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  1. #1
    Lightly Toasted lequebecfume's Avatar

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    Exclamation Pot lowers chronic pain even without the high: Study

    Pot lowers chronic pain even without the high: Study


    BY SHARON KIRKEY,
    POSTMEDIA NEWS AUGUST 30, 2010



    The new study, the first clinical trial in the world to allow patients to take marijuana home with them and "self-dose," found that for people with neuropathic pain — a common and dreaded condition that causes electric, stabbing pain — smoking cannabis reduced pain, improved mood and helped them sleep.
    Photograph by: Leon Neal, AFP/Getty Images

    Briefly inhaling cannabis three times a day eases a kind of chronic pain that affects tens of thousands of Canadians — without making them high — Montreal researchers are reporting.

    The new study, the first clinical trial in the world to allow patients to take marijuana home with them and "self-dose," found that for people with neuropathic pain — a common and dreaded condition that causes electric, stabbing pain — smoking cannabis reduced pain, improved mood and helped them sleep.

    Three different potencies (2.5 per cent, six per cent and 9.4 per cent) of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, were tested against a placebo, or "dummy" pot in 21 patients with neuropathic pain, none of whom had responded to standard treatments.

    Participants inhaled a single dose through a pipe three times daily for five days, followed by a nine-day "washout" period. They were instructed to inhale for five seconds while the cannabis was lit, hold the smoke in their lungs for ten seconds, and then exhale.

    Pain was measured on an 11- point scale ranging from "no pain" to "worst pain possible."

    Patients reported less pain, better sleep and less anxiety when they were smoking the highest concentration of THC, compared with the placebo.

    It wasn't a massive reduction in pain: The average daily pain intensity was 5.4 with 9.4 per cent THC, versus 6.1 with the placebo.

    "But the patients that we were recruiting had to be patients that had tried and failed all other conventional treatments,"
    said lead author Dr. Mark Ware, director of clinical research at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre.

    Neuropathic pain — which is caused by damage to nerves — affects as much as two per cent of the population. The Montreal study involved patients with post-trauma or post-surgical pain — radiating pain from prolapsed discs, for example, or burning pain from an incision.

    "Through no fault of the surgeon's, it's impossible to do an operation without cutting through some nerves,"
    Ware said.
    "For some people, for some reason, even after the tissue has healed they have persistent pain at the site of the operation."
    "All of these were very refractory, very difficult pain problems to resolve. Any improvement in pain was quite remarkable."
    As many as 15 per cent of patients with chronic non-cancer pain and multiple sclerosis report using marijuana, and Ware said that when he asked his own pain patients, similar numbers reported using marijuana. "There clearly was an unmet need."

    "We're not going to argue that smoked cannabis is the be-all and end-all of pain management,"
    Ware said.

    "It simply opens the door to the fact that cannabinoids may be an additional tool in the physician's tool box, along with other medications and other non-pharmacological approaches."
    During the study, "psychoactive effects" were rare: After more than 1,000 different "administrations" of cannabis over the course of the study, people reported feeling "high" on only three occasions.

    Ware said it's possible their plasma levels of THC didn't reach the levels found with recreational smokers. "Street users have access to cannabis that can be anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent THC."

    An expert in pain relief at Oxford University said the study "adds to the trickle of evidence" that cannabis may help some patients struggling with chronic pain. Dr. Henry McQuay lauded the Montreal team for even taking on the study, "given that the regulatory hurdles for their trial must have been a nightmare."

    Those hurdles included getting through ethics approval; setting up a ventilated room where patients could use the drug under supervision for the first dose; finding a safe, legal supply of cannabis that had well-controlled levels of THC (cannabis was obtained from Prairie Plant Systems Inc. in Saskatoon) and finding a believable placebo.

    Ware ended up importing a THC-extracted cannabis from the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse. It still looked like cannabis. It just had no THC in it.

    "
    These weren't experienced cannabis users,"
    he said.
    "They didn't have a lot of prior expectations to go on."
    Side effects increased as the THC dose increased. The most common included headache, dry eyes, dizziness, numbness and cough.

    Some of the patients continued to use cannabis after the study was over.

    "When we started the study there was no evidence this was effective,"
    Ware. Three other trials have since been completed, two that were restricted to neuropathic pain in patients with HIV.

    "Now it's clear that smoked cannabis does have analgesic properties,"
    Ware said.
    "The question now is, where do we go with that ?"
    His team is just concluding another study on the long-term safety issues.

    "Chronic pain isn't a life-threatening disorder,"
    he said.
    "If patients use cannabis, they may use it for many years. We want to know what the long-term safety issues are. Are there other ways of administering this drug that doesn't require smoking ?"
    Some prescription sprays and medications are now available that contain cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain that play a role in modulating pain.

    The study, which appears in the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, comes as more than 5,000 health professionals from across Canada and the world gather in Montreal this week for the 13th World Congress on Pain.

    As of Aug. 6, 4,903 people in Canada had authorization to possess dried marijuana for medical reasons under the federal government's medical marijuana access program.




    http://www.vancouversun.com/health/l...#ixzz0yMXjslP5


    LEQ

    from hospital in extreme pain and into my 2nd round of treatments for C

    Nice to see this medical study came up finally after the 'New Government of Canada' cut all monnies that were available to study cannabis...now imagine what real medical cannabis really does better than the 'New Government of Canada's' weed supply...?
    Léglaliser, Règlementé, Éduquer et Soigner


    Liberé Marc Emery de prison dans l'état de Georgia puis retouner lui au Canada pour server son temps pas loin de son èpouse Jodie



    One Compassionate Act per Day

  2. #2
    Vegetative Member paddyk's Avatar

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    who cares if one of the side-effects is getting high! sure beats most other side-effects like vomitting,constipation, etc... there's always got to be a negative spin put on cannabis no matter what.
    i was wondering lately how the hell cannabis has gotten such a terrible stigma. i mean there are a lot of things out there that get demonized but none come close to the staying power as the b.s. against cannabis. why is that? then i was talking to someone who had this wild idea, she was talking about the subliminal messaging experiments of the 50's. she said they put messages on the screen in movie theatres telling people to go buy coke or a certain chocolate bar and they did. these messages were on the screen for so short a time you do not notice it conciously, but it is picked up by the subconcious. her theory is this is or has been used against cannabis, because there is no benefit using trees to replace hemp, except to make lots of money for a few people. sounds a little out there but i have heard worse or crazier. just thought i'd put it out there for fun. what do you think?
    peace

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