A team of investigators at the University of California, San Diego, UC Davis, and the Sacramento VA Medical Center evaluated the effects of vaporized cannabis in a cohort of 42 neuropathic pain patients who were previously unresponsive to conventional analgesics. Participants inhaled four puffs of cannabis containing either 6.7 percent THC, or 2.9 percent THC or zero THC (placebo), and then repeated the procedure three hours later.
Researchers reported that vaporized cannabis containing both low and moderate levels of THC were associated in a “significant analgesic response” in study participants.
They concluded, “The present study complements previous investigative work that cannabis is a promising treatment in selected pain syndromes caused by injury or disease of the nervous system.”
Neuropathic (nerve-related) pain is associated with a number of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, and is poorly treated by conventional pain-relievers, such as opioids or NSAIDS. A literature review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that cannabinoids are safe and effective in the treatment of neuropathy.
Full text of the study, “An exploratory human laboratory experiment evaluating vaporized cannabis in the treatment of neuropathic pain from spinal cord injury and disease,” appears in The Journal of Pain.