For immediate release: February 15, 2013
Contact: Chuck Weber - 262.473.3018
News from The Journal of Pain
Low-dose Vaporized Cannabis Improves Neuropathic Pain
GLENVIEW, Feb. 15, 2013 – For treating neuropathic pain, currently available medications are marginally effective at best, however, a new study published in The Journal of Pain showed that low-dose, vaporized cannabis can provide significant relief.
Researchers from the University of California Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) compared low-dose (1.29% THC) and medium dose (3.53% THC) vaporized cannabis to determine if significant analgesic benefits could result without high levels of cognitive side effects. Vaporization avoids respiratory toxins from smoking marijuana. Cannabis can be heated to create active vapors without releasing toxins.
Participants for the study were recruited from the UCDMD Pain Clinic and from newspaper advertisements. Candidates were screened in telephone interviews, and 59 subjects were selected. Several withdrew or were disqualified after medical examinations revealed exclusionary criteria, such as pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease or depression. Thirty-nine subjects with persistent neuropathic pain completed the study, which involved several interviews and questionnaires to rate pain intensity. All patients previously had used cannabis as required in the inclusion criteria.
Results of the study showed that both the low and medium doses provided significant pain relief, with an average of 30 percent reductions in pain intensity compared with placebo. Side effects observed were negligible, based on mood scales. Subjects from the medium dose group, however, had worse performance and learning and memory evaluations compared with the placebo and low-dose groups.
The authors concluded that low and medium doses of vaporized cannabis could be prescribed for treatment of neuropathic pain and provide clinically significant, however, low doses would cause fewer cognitive and psychological side effects.
About the American Pain Society
Based in Glenview, IL, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and others. For more information on APS, visit www.americanpainsociety.org.