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Cannabis Research: Chronic pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for over 6 months. It is often a symptom of an underlying disease, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis, but it can also be caused by simple injury or infection. Chronic pain can take many forms, be it mild or excruciating, and usually takes a slow emotional toll on those effected. Prescribed medication can often be ineffective or have undesirable side effects, thus cannabis as an analgesic has been explored.

Related Studies:

1) Smoked Medicinal Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain in HIV: A Randomized, Crossover Clinical Trial (2008)

This research was conducted to find out how effective cannabis is in the treatment of nerve based chronic pain caused by HIV. They found that participants reported better pain relief when using cannabis over a placebo, and that it was highly effective when used in conjunction with other pain relieving therapies. Published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

2) Dose-dependent Effects of Smoked Cannabis on Capsaicin-induced Pain and Hyperalgesia in Healthy Volunteers (2007)

Researchers in this study set out to see how smoking cannabis would affect pain perception in those suffering from capsaicin induced pain, (the compound in chilli peppers that causes a burning sensation with tissue it comes into contact with). They found that those who smoked a medium dose reported a significant reduction in pain, whereas those who smoked a higher dose reported a significant increase in induced pain. Published in the journal Anesthesiology.

3) Cannabinoids for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain; a systematic review of randomized trials (2011)

This study aimed to address the limited options available to those suffering from chronic pain. They conducted random trials comparing cannabis to a placebo, and the effect it had on pain. It was found that those using cannabis reported a significant reduction in pain compared to those using a placebo. They also found that there were no serious side effects to its use. It was summarised that cannabinoids appeared to be an effective and safe way to treat pain. Published in the US National Library of Medicine.

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