Topic: Nostrums: A Bit of Marijuana Is Found to Ease Pain
Newshawk: We Support 19 http://yeson19.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 7 Sep 2010
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2010 The New York Times Company
Author: Roni Caryn Rabin
Note: Download the study at http://mapinc.org/url/t4KIh82X
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)
NOSTRUMS: A BIT OF MARIJUANA IS FOUND TO EASE PAIN
People with chronic pain who took just a puff of marijuana three times a day got some mild pain relief and, with rare exceptions, did so without getting high, a Canadian study reports. (Yes, they inhaled.)
The patients, who suffered from persistent nerve damage that did not respond to other pain drugs, also reported better sleep and less anxiety, the researchers said.
The study is one of the first randomly controlled clinical trials to test the pain-relieving properties of smoked marijuana and of its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, said Dr. Mark A. Ware, a pain researcher at McGill University in Montreal who was lead author of the paper, published in The Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Twenty-one adult volunteers, all of them with intractable pain, completed the trial, which compared three different formulations of marijuana with various concentrations of THC -- along with a placebo version, a formulation with no THC at all.
Each volunteer was given a titanium pipe to take home along with quarter-teaspoon capsules of cannabis that they were instructed to open, tip in to the bowl of the pipe, light and then inhale, holding the smoke in their lungs for 10 seconds before exhaling.
The cannabis with the highest concentration of THC, 9.4 percent, appeared to deliver a modest reduction in pain: 0.7 point on an 11-point scale, compared with the placebo. There were no significant differences with the lesser concentrations. Side effects included dizziness, dry mouth -- and, occasionally, euphoria.