New Study Looks at Cannabis Users’ Pain Tolerance

The study looked at those who use cannabis more than three times a week and compared them with people who were not cannabis users.
New Study Looks at Cannabis Users’ Pain Tolerance
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A study by University of British Columbia Okanagan campus shows that regular cannabis use, unlike opiate use, does not make pain sensitivity worse, the way opiates do. 

Due to the alarming opiate crisis in the country, coupled with an increased interest in medical cannabis, there has been an uptick in research on how cannabis can help with pain. This new study is important because it means that, even if you use cannabis frequently to help with pain, you will not need more and more cannabis or find that you are no longer getting pain relief at all. 

“Recent years have seen an increase in the adoption of cannabinoid medicines, which have demonstrated effectiveness for the treatment of chronic pain,” said Michelle St. Pierre, one of the researchers who worked on the study. “However, the extent to which frequent cannabis use influences sensitivity to acute pain has not been systematically examined.”

“This study should come as good news to patients who are already using cannabis to treat pain,” added co-author Zach Walsh, head of the UBC Therapeutic Recreational and Problematic Substance Use Lab, the group that specifically conducted the study. “Increases in pain sensitivity with opioids can really complicate an already tough situation; given increasing uptake of cannabis-based pain medications it’s a relief that we didn’t identify a similar pattern with cannabinoids.”

Pain and Opiates

Opiates are currently the go-to prescribed items for pain, and dependence on opiates is a major issue. Patients often have to up their doses to deal with pain, which makes them even more dangerous.  

“There is a different effect from opioid users; sustained use of opioids can make people more reactive to pain. We wanted to determine if there was a similar trend for people who use cannabis frequently,” said St. Pierre. “Cannabis and opioids share some of the same pain-relief pathways and have both been associated with increases in pain sensitivity following acute use.”

The study looked at those who use cannabis more than three times a week and compared them with people who were not cannabis users. Participants had their hands and arms submerged in cold water to determine pain tolerance level. From doing that, they were able to determine that cannabis does not cause hyperalgesia, or enhanced sensitivity to pain. 

“Our results suggest frequent cannabis use did not seem to be associated with elevated sensitivity to experimental pain in a manner that can occur in opioid therapy,” St. Pierre concluded. “This is an important distinction that care providers and patients should consider when selecting options for pain management. These findings are particularly relevant in light of recent reports of opioid overprescribing and high rates of pain in the population, as it suggests that cannabis may not carry the same risk of hyperalgesia as opioids.”

This is a hugely important study for the brave new world of cannabis pain research, as it provides even more evidence that cannabis is a safe alternative to dangerous, habit-forming opiates. More research will reveal even more details about how cannabis works with pain management.

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  1. I have witnessed several patients with cardiovascular diseases having serious side-effects of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and they feel unwell instead of finding solace from pain and restlessness in these pills. If they keep on using it for a longer period, their stomach stops functioning well and numerous other health conditions arise. I have stopped pooping the pill too for every common pain and usually take if the pain is unbearable or as prescribed by my doctor. Medical Marijuana is certainly one of the best alternative medicines discovered to date and people used to treat health problems before pharmaceutical drugs came into being. If anyone is looking to know more about what other illnesses can be treated by using medical marijuana, http://bit.ly/medical-marijuana-treats-diseases provides an in-depth knowledge about it. I would never suggest anyone to take medical marijuana in over-dosage, as moderation is always the key to health. So, consult the nearest marijuana dispensary and get yourself a marijuana prescription by following the legal way.

  2. Marijuana is perhaps one of the most contentious topics today, both from a legal and health perspective.

    More research on the benefits of marijuana for your health is needed for both sides of the debate to come to an agreement on its use in medical and recreational settings. Marijuana is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the central nervous system. This can translate to multiple benefits in the body. I think this is due to certain myths that medical marijuana cannot be used to treat health conditions. I came to this article recently. http://bit.ly/medical-marijuana-for-neurological-disorders, which shows medical marijuana is being used of many health conditions. Doctors also prescribe Marijuana for the treatment of severe epilepsy and chemotherapy side effects. I have my personal experience of using medical marijuana. I took it for my long term depression. I had to get it from some sources but the good thing is now to our ease, medical marijuana can now be obtained from dispensaries. Other than that I have seen many patients now self cultivating medical marijuana to get cured by the it wonders.

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