Can Cannabis Pills Stop Pain?

There has been a lot of research on the potential benefits of medicinal marijuana in helping some of the most painful chronic problems. Many states in the USA now allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain. Research has focused on trying to find a pill for people to take rather than smoking cannabis, which as you can imagine, many people don’t like. During this research, it was found that the pill version of medicinal marijuana could in fact be more effective than the smoked form of cannabis, which surprised researchers. The researchers also found that the pill version of medicinal marijuana didn’t result in a strong “high” that smoked marijuana does.

The drug is called Dronabinol. The psychoactive component of cannabis is THC, which is found in Dronabinol. Not only is the drug good for treating generalized chronic pain, it can also be used to treat nausea and help reverse appetite loss, which are common side effects of treatment when people suffer from cancer and AIDS.

In the study, the researchers found thirty different subjects who didn’t suffer from chronic pain. The subjects were provided with two different strengths of smoked medicinal marijuana and this was up against two different strengths of Dronabinol and a placebo. The subjects were asked to take Dronabinol, and after waiting 45 minutes, the subjects then smoked marijuana. The researchers completed five sessions of this process. For each session, the subjects in the study were asked to put their hands in a some very cold water. The researchers then timed how long it took the subjects to feel pain, and then monitored how long they could last after feeling the pain. As an addition, each subject had to rate how severe the pain was, what they felt like during the process and additionally how “high” they felt.

The results found that smoked marijuana and dronabinol were both effective to the same extent for controlling pain, it was found that the subjects who took the strongest dose of medicinal marijuana and the highest dose of Dronabinol were the ones who didn’t suffer any pain until over 10 seconds later compared to those who took a placebo. The research shows that the Dronabinol certainly has a positive effect on pain relief.

The researchers found that the pain relief was at its greatest around quarter of an hour after the subjects smoked the medicinal marijuana, but then the effect tended to not last for very long at all. However, the pills were found to provide around 3-4 hours worth of pain relief, but took a little longer to work. The researchers also found that the subjects all felt higher when they smoked the medicinal marijuana compared with the Dronabinol pill.

Therefore, it appears the Dronabinol pill can provide long lasting pain relief for sufferers of chronic pain and not produce as much of a high. Let’s hope this treatment becomes more widely available in the future.

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