2 Studies Examine Marijuana’s Effectiveness for Pain Relief | Marijuana

2 Studies Examine Marijuana’s Effectiveness for Pain Relief


Marijuana’s ability to mitigate pain is well-established in scientific literature — and two new studies offer fresh evidence of how cannabis can be beneficial to patients suffering from different kinds of pain.

1. People Who Consume Marijuana Experience Lower Levels of Pain and Have Higher Pain Tolerance Compared With Those Who Abstain.

After recruiting 66 students (half of whom were deemed cannabis consumers and half non-users) and administering basic questionnaires, Auburn University Ph.D. candidate Julio Yanes conducted a series of experiments to discern how cannabis use influences pain.

Participants were hooked up to an experimental pain apparatus — a band fitted with a plastic disk that applies pressure to a sensitive part of the hand. Then they were asked to rate their average pain at a certain pressure on a scale of 0 to 100, and also to signal when the pressure became too uncomfortable to proceed with the experiment.

The cannabis group reported lower average pain levels than the non-using group (41 vs. 52). People who consume marijuana also reported higher maximum pain tolerance than those who don’t (160 vs. 142), but that result was not considered statistically significant.

“When taken together, these outcomes suggest that recreational cannabis may mitigate emotion/motivation pain dimensions (i.e., pain ratings) without affecting sensation/perception dimensions (i.e., pain tolerance),” Yanes wrote.

2. Marijuana Helps Patients Manage Pain and Reduces Other Symptoms That are Common During Surgical Operations.

A review of PubMed articles “related to cannabinoids, as well as articles regarding cannabinoid medications, and cannabis use in surgical patients” turned up strong evidence that cannabis can relieve symptoms such as pain and nausea that are common among people undergoing certain surgeries.

Studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids “reduce intestinal motility, gastric acid secretion, and nausea” and also “improve pain control, reduce inflammation, and increase appetite,” according to the review, which was published in the American Journal of Surgery in November 2018.

“Cannabinoids including THC and CBD have widespread effects on the body. These effects are particularly notable in the intestinal tract, where cannabinoids slow down intestinal transit, reduce inflammation, and reduce gastric acid secretion. Other systemic effects include increasing appetite, and reducing nausea and vomiting.”

All of these effects should be taken into consideration by surgeons, as it’s increasingly likely that patients will have consumed cannabis in some form as more states opt to legalize, according to the review authors.

“As recreational and medicinal marijuana use grows, surgeons will see more patients using these substances and should be aware of their effects,” they wrote. “There are numerous directions for cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapy in the future, and we are likely to see this evolve over the coming years.”

“Surgeons should stay abreast of the laws in their region governing the use of and indications for medicinal marijuana,” they added. “Additional research is needed to provide further information on the widespread effects on the surgical patient and possible therapeutic modalities.”

Ask and You Shall Receive: More Research is Coming.

A federal agency recently announced a call for research investigating how terpenes and cannabinoids other than THC work and whether they can treat pain.

Additionally, a pair of notices were posted in Federal Business Opportunities that listed jobs involving cannabis cultivation and analysis for research purposes.

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

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  1. I have ankylosing spondylitis. I have four fused vertebrae along with two rods and four screws in my back. I deal with chronic pain every waking minute. I’ve been growing my own medicine for about 11 years now. I’ve found that cannabis works very well as a conjunctive therapy along with my opiate pain meds. I also sincerely believe that cannabis helps keep opiate withdrawal and addiction at bay. I only take the hydros when I need them and don’t have the withdrawal symptoms most other chronic pain people I’ve met over the years.

    • I also have AS. I was diagnosed 4 years ago. My SI joints are fused and I have lots of bone spurs on my vertebrae. I’m unable to use the biologics since I have a cancer history so my options are very limited. I hate being so dependent on opioids. My tolerance for them are also increasing making them less effective. I’ve just started trying cannabis to hopefully enhance my pain relief regimen. Could you give some suggestions on which strains work best for out condition? I’ve tried a few with no success and it gets expensive experimenting. Knowing the pain associated with this disease, you understand my desperation. Thanks!

  2. I’m brand new to smoking and just realized that it does help me BUT after going to 2 dispensaries and buying what they said was their BEST and both were just blaaaah…..slight head buzz then after about 20 minutes its gone my pain is easing up but not a whole lot, however I am great full for that bit of relief but I need to get access to the correct strength. I go out side as much as a cigarette smoker it’s kind of annoying me. I wished I could find the same in a cartridge also for when I can’t go outside. I’m finding that the dispensaries may have allot of jars in there it’s when you ask for the strongest thing because I too have a very high pain level, they don’t seem to have anything they can say with help…. Due to opiate abuse in the surrounding areas where I live doctor’s have cut back and cut people off. My question is how does a pure beginner successfully grow my own weed at home that will be good and potent enough to help manage my pain longer? How much will the easiest but best way to do it cost overall ? and how much should I be able to grow ? I appreciate any info your willing to share. Thanks in advance.

  3. Watch out because you can go into withdrawal if you take your opiods for too long. I had graduated from #3 to #4 and then Percocet. I don’t have a large intestine so pain control was difficult because I would pass anything through me in 6 hrs. Max.
    So 20 years ago doctor’s answer was a 3 day fentanyl patch. The patches worked for a while and like all the other opiods before, it became less effective with time so I had to add the Percocets (up to 6 a day) to the fentanyl patch. After refusing to increase beyond a 25mg. Patch I stayed on the same mg. for 12 years. I took an early retirement because I thought my ulcerative colitis was so bad. After having seen a young fill-in doctor it was later discovered that I was in severe withdrawal for at least 5-6 years. I was puking before work every second or third day because my body wouldn’t absorb the patch beyond the second day although there’s supposed be enough for 4 days in a 3 day patch. I now change this patch every 2 days (so mg. Is the same) and it was life changing. Every opioid is addictive!
    I have smoked cannabis for 40 plus years but had very limited access to any variety of cannabis until 9 months before legalization. Can’t believe I waited so long but after discovering medicinal cannabis I was able to completely stop taking Percocets and a few other pain related meds.
    I have probably learned more about cannabis in the last year than the previous 40 years.
    I agree with you and can’t believe how different strains can help you in different ways?
    My long term objective is to totally get off the opiods if possible. I believe with the right research cannabis will help people to break the cycle of prescription medication addiction. A certain amount of the opiods treating the pain, the rest is keeping the addiction in check.

    Good luck in the future, hoping technology brings you a pain-free life!

  4. I have gotten completely off of opoids after being on them for 20+ years! Ive had a spinal cord tumor removed and a flexible fusion in my lower spine. Total of 4 back surgeries!! It can be done!! With medical Cannabis I am Finally Alive!
    It is Possible!!

  5. Yeah I have found the baked goods made from cannabis butter helps with my pain. I was on the Vicodin for 15 years. I slowly cut down Vicodin to 1/2 Pill each day. Been total off Vicodin For over year. Cannabis has It’s own side effects So it might not be for everybody!

  6. Is there research in marijuana and running? I’m a distance runner and smoke every day. I know it’s not harmful. It would be cool to actually test it and see what happens when you use marijuana and train.

  7. Carla L. Baldwin on

    I started smoking marijuana when I was a teenager. After smoking some “pot” with my friends I realized that my migraines were not as frequent or severe. I got I licence from my MS doctor when Canada started issuing medical licences. In 1999 I was diagnosed with acromegaly and had to have a benign pituitary tumour removed. People that don’t have chronic health issues can never understand.

  8. Laura Whittemore-Shepherd on

    I have M.S., PTSD, and fibromyalgia. I bought some flower of a strain called HARLOX….actually, it is a hybrid of Harlequin and Ox. MAGNIFICENT for relieving pain, muscle spasm, anxiety, stress and many of the symptoms of these disorders. A small amount provides relief and lifts one’s mood and yet you remain clear headed and functional. I have searched for more, but can’t find it. I don’t understand why, when it is so helpful for so many conditions. I would like to see this become a regular for medicinal use.

    • Hi Laura, I have skin condition that is in the process of covering my body, When can I purchase these products. I’m not a smoker and interested in a liquid, powder or unprocessed form.
      Thank you

  9. i was told by my Dr that in order for me to receive opioids i’ll have to pass a drug test! no THC or no opioid. with surger coming up, i’m hoarding my pills and smoking to get by.

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