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Monday, August 30, 2010

Smoked cannabis reduces chronic pain

Smoked cannabis reduces chronic pain
Randomized controlled trial

For people suffering chronic pain, smoked cannabis reduces pain, improves mood and helps sleep, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (pre-embargo link only) http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj091414.pdf.

People who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain due to damage or dysfunction of the nervous system have few treatment options. These options include opioids, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and local anesthetics, but efficacy varies and all have side effects which limit compliance. Oral cannabinoids have shown success in treating some types of pain but may differ in effect and risks from smoked cannabis.

A team of researchers from McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the analgesic effect of inhaled cannabis in 21 participants 18 years and older with chronic neuropathic pain. The researchers used three different potencies of active drug (THC levels of 2.5%, 6% and 9.4%) as well as a 0% placebo.

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