Anyone who has smoked or ingested marijuana would understand how it has a bit of a numbing feeling. Marijuana can be used to treat patients with chronic pain, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. For a long time, people have come to the conclusion that marijuana is useful for relieving the pain, but these have always been stories with no actual scientific evidence.
Researcher Mark Ware looks to make actual scientific findings for marijuana’s effectiveness. The new study ”adds to the trickle of evidence that cannabis may help some of the patients who are struggling [with pain] at present,” according to Henry Mcquay.
Ware and his team performed their study on 21 men and women with an average age of 45 suffering from chronic nerve pain (Neuropathic Pain). Ware tried three different potencies of cannabis, the highest being 9.4% THC. The Other two potencies were 6% and 2.5%. Each person was studied for a month using all three strengths. Ware also included a placebo to see whether marijuana’s pain-relieving properties was only a result of the human mind telling itself that it was being healed.
The subjects would smoke a bowl of marijuana and were told to hold it in for 10 seconds. They were told to do so three times a day. The pain was rated from 1 being the lowest and ten being the highest. The patient’s stated that after smoking the marijuana, the pain was at 5.4 on average, while the placebo was rated at 6.1. Not a huge difference but this is considering that 9.4% THC is lower than the regular marijuana you can get, which usually range from 14-16%
Cannabinoids have been showing great promise for treating people with chronic pain, even arthritis. Many elderly people suffer from arthritis. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America and affects over 50 million adults and 300,000 children. Symptoms of arthritis include inflammation of joints, pain, stiffness and the reduced range of motion. Arthritis has no specific cure.
A study published by Chinese scientist Dr. Sheng-Ming Dai found that CB2 receptors are found in high levels in the joint tissue of arthritis patients. Cannabis can activate neural pathways to these receptors. The nerves of an arthritis patient can be compared to a wire that has been stripped of its protective outer layer; this causes the nerves to shoot up what our brain interprets as pain. It has been found that Cannabis molecules can attach themselves to the nerves, essentially creating a new protective layer, causing the nerve to shoot up much less pain.
Needless to say, more research must be done to completely prove the effectiveness of marijuana on pain relief, but things seem to be going in the right direction. With the legalization of marijuana becoming more popular these days, studies looking into the medical properties of cannabinoids will become more accepted and easier to be researched. The future of medical marijuana grows brighter with each passing day.