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Medical Marijuana and Neuropathic Pain: A Journal of Pain Study Proves Medical Use of Marijuana

Medical Marijuana and Neuropathic Pain: A Journal of Pain Study Proves Medical Use of Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 02/18/2011 in Medical Marijuana Conditions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) all contend that no sound scientific studies support the medicinal use of cannabis—which means that they are able to include marijuana in the list of Schedule I drugs. But despite this, patients around the world use medical marijuana to alleviate countless medical conditions, including neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain as a result from an injury to the nervous system. Neuropathic pain often seems to have no obvious cause; but according to Medicinenet.com, some common causes of neuropathic pain include: Alcoholism; Amputation; Back, leg, and hip problems; Chemotherapy; Diabetes; Facial nerve problems; HIV infection or AIDS; Multiple sclerosis; Shingles; and Spine surgery.

In 2007, researchers supported by grant C01-DA-114 from the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research decided to prove the FDA, SAMHSA and NIDA wrong and find out if cannabis actually does help patients with neuropathic pain—and conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic or pain relieving qualities of smoking cannabis for neuropathic pain.

The results were documented in a study called A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain, which was published in the Journal of Pain in April 2008. The researchers studied 38 patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain. The patients underwent a standardized procedure for smoking either high-dose (7%), low-dose (3.5%), or placebo cannabis. In the end, the study concluded that cannabis may be an alternative for neuropathic pain patients who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other drugs. The researchers concluded that their findings “add to a growing body of evidence that cannabis may be effective at ameliorating neuropathic pain.”

That sure sounds like medical use. And it’s just another reason why marijuana should not be classified as a Schedule I drug.

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