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Study: Cannabis Cigarettes Effective for in Neuropathic Pain

Study: Cannabis Cigarettes Effective for in Neuropathic Pain

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/12/2011 in Medical Marijuana Studies

tudy: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain 

Published: The Journal of Pain, Volume 9, Issue 6 , Pages 506-521, June 2008 

Researchers:
Barth Wilsey: VA Northern California Health Care System, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Davis, California.
Thomas Marcotte: Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, California.
Alexander Tsodikov: UC Davis/VANCHCS General Clinical Research Center and Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Davis, California.
Jeanna Millman: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Davis, California.

Heather Bentley: University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California, San Diego, California.
Ben Gouaux: University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California, San Diego, California.
Scott Fishman: Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Davis, California.

Read the Study >>

Summary

This study, which was supported by a grant from the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, evaluated the effectiveness of smoking cannabis for neuropathic pain. The researchers concluded that this study “adds to a growing body of evidence that cannabis may be effective at ameliorating neuropathic pain, and may be an alternative for patients who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other drugs.” However, they did note that the use of marijuana as medicine may be limited “by its method of administration (smoking) and modest acute cognitive effects, particularly at higher doses.”

Abstract

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) report that no sound scientific studies support the medicinal use of cannabis. Despite this lack of scientific validation, many patients routinely use ”medical marijuana,” and in many cases this use is for pain related to nerve injury. We conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of smoking cannabis for neuropathic pain. Thirty-eight patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for smoking either high-dose (7%), low-dose (3.5%), or placebo cannabis. In addition to the primary outcome of pain intensity, secondary outcome measures included evoked pain using heat-pain threshold, sensitivity to light touch, psychoactive side effects, and neuropsychological performance. A mixed linear model demonstrated an analgesic response to smoking cannabis. No effect on evoked pain was seen. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, with some acute cognitive effects, particularly with memory, at higher doses.

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