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Inhaled cannabis improved neuropathic pain in clinical study

IACM-Bulletin of 30 December 2012

Sunday 30 Dec 2012

According to a clinical study at the University of California with 39 patients suffering from neuropathic pain both low and moderate doses of inhaled cannabis were effective in reducing pain. The study was headed by Dr Barth L. Wilsey from VA Northern California Health Care System in Sacramento. Participants either received a medium dose or a low dose of cannabis inhaled by a vaporizer or a placebo. Most of them were experiencing central or peripheral neuropathic pain despite conventional treatments.

There were no significant differences between the two groups receiving low and medium doses of cannabis. An average of about three patients had to be treated for one patient to benefit with a pain reduction of more than 30%. Authors noted that these results "are compatible to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications" and that psychoactive effects were minimal and well tolerated. They concluded that "vaporised cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain."

Wilsey B, Marcotte T, Deutsch R, Gouaux B, Sakai S, Donaghe H. Low-Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain. J Pain. 2012 Dec 10. [in press]




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