Monday, August 30, 2010

New Research Supports Marijuana Use for Neuropathic Pain

MONTREAL – researchers have released the result of a study, which finds that smoking marijuana can ease chronic neuropathic pain and help patients achieve a more restful sleep.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on August 30, 2010, and found that most people suffering from neuropathic pain are usually treated with opioids, antidepressants and local anesthetics. These treatments are limited and can have severe side-effects.

The new study found that patients suffering from chronic pain noticed significant improvement after smoking higher-potency marijuana.

“We’re not saying that this is the final solution for chronic pain management. As with any pain strategy, especially with chronic pain, we know that the best approach is a multidisciplinary one,” said lead author Mark Ware, director of clinical research at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit of the McGill University Health Centre. “All that this does is open the door to the cannabinoid being another tool in the toolbox in treating chronic pain.”

The study looked at 21 adults with post-traumatic or post-surgical chronic pain. They were randomly assigned to receive marijuana with a THC content of 2.5percent, 6percent, 9.4percent or were given a placebo.

Researchers found that those who participated in the study found higher levels of relief by smoking the 9.4percent marijuana three times a day.

The study does not address the use of marijuana as a long-term treatment for neuropathic pain, but it does support its effectiveness on neuropathic pain in short term treatment. More studies will still have to be done as to its viability as a long-term treatment.

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