Marijuana Relieves Pain, More Research Is Wanted

No. It’s not surprising to learn that marijuana relieves pain, but it’s helpful for some people to know exactly how much cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana plant extract, is needed to kill pain without getting anyone high. That’s what researchers at McGill University have figured out. First, from a McGill University news release, a bit of science: Cannabis indica and sativa are the two main cannabis strains that produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  The McGill scientists showed that CBD does not act on the CB1 cannabinoid receptors like THC, but rather, through the mechanism that binds receptors involved in  anxiety (serotonin 5-HT1A) and pain (vanilloid TRPV1). They were then able to determine the exact dosage of CBD needed to kill pain and reduce anxiety, without producing the euphoria and generations of marijuana users have coveted. Yes, it’s good news. “In animal models of neuropathic or chronic pain, we found that low doses of CBD administered for seven days alleviate both pain and anxiety, two symptoms often associated,” says study co-author Danilo De Gregorio. What that means, the researchers say, is that CBD looks like a safe alternative to THC and opioids for treating chronic pain, such as back pain, sciatica, diabetic, cancer or post-trauma pain. And yes, they say, more research is needed, because despite widespread public usage, few clinical studies exist on CBD, which recently became legal in Canada.


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