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Marijuana Can Ease Pain
by admin on: December 27th, 2011

A study published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal(September 2010) demonstrated that three puffs of marijuana per day can provide mild pain relief for patients that suffer from chronic pain. These patients were all diagnosed with persistent nerve damage and were unresponsive to the other drugs commonly prescribed for pain. Interestingly, the patients that puffed marijuana seemingly got relief from pain, had less anxiety, and claimed they slept better ??? all without feeling ???high??? (except in a few rare cases).

This studyis among the first to investigate the pain-relieving properties of smoking marijuana in a controlled, clinical study. The active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The delta-9 isomer of THC is thought to be responsible for the majority of the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Pharmacodynamic studies demonstrate that THC binds to cannabinoid receptors and interferes with the native endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter system in brain areas associated with cognitive, physiological, and psychomotor effects.

Twenty-one patients were enrolled in the study led by Dr. Mark Ware, a pain researcher from McGill University in Montreal. Each patient enrolled in this study was given a titanium pip as well as quarter-teaspoon capsules containing cannabis (marijuana). The patients were instructed to open the capsules, pour the cannabis in the bowl of the pipe, light the pipe and inhale. Patients were instructed to hold the smoke in their lungs for at least 10 seconds before exhaling. Of the cannabis supplied, the cannabis with THC concentration of about 9.4 percent proved to be the most effective in delivering a modest reduction in pain intensity (patients rated pain as, approximately, 0.7 points on an 11-point scale). Cannabis with lower concentrations of THC did not produce any significant pain reducing effects. Patients reported experiencing the following side effects: dizziness, dry mouth, and euphoria (occasionally).

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