Is THC the Real Painkiller in the Cannabis Plant? This Medical Study Says YES!June 16, 2022
There’s been a debate whether cannabis can help with pain. Users swear by it while some people in the medical community think it’s bullshit. Furthermore, what part of cannabis is responsible for pain mitigation? A recent article published in New Scientist reports on a study that looked into cannabis and pain management.
Most medical cannabis users take cannabis for pain mitigation, but since pain is a highly subjective experience – it’s difficult to gauge scientifically whether it is as effective as people claim it to be. The new study not only found that cannabis does in deed mitigate pain, but that the only cannabinoid really doing all the heavy lifting is THC.
Yet despite the growing accessibility and popularity of cannabis products, research into their medicinal effects is limited. Several studies have suggested that medical cannabis can help alleviate pain. To determine whether these products could specifically reduce chronic pain – defined as pain persisting for three months or more – and how the ratio of THC to CBD impacted their efficacy, Marian McDonagh at Oregon Health & Science University and her colleagues scoured previous research.
“We wanted to know, would cannabis for treating chronic pain have any kind of similar benefits [to opioids]? And of course, we really wanted to look deep into the adverse side effects side, particularly the more serious ones,” says McDonagh. – NEW SCIENTIST
The researchers fished out 25 studies from over 1000 that adhered to their specific control conditions. The studies had to span for 3-4 weeks, include people with different kinds of pain, and none of the substances used could have been bought at a dispensary.
At the end of this process they had a sample group of about 14,000 people which showed that, “some cannabis products do provide minor to moderate pain reduction and that those with a high ratio of THC to CBD were most likely to subdue discomfort.”
In other words, they seemed to have shown that THC is providing the greatest mitigation in pain whereas CBD by itself has not provided similar results.
“There is so much noise out there about CBD really being able to treat pain,” says McDonagh. “This might help down the road to clarify whether that’s true or not. Right now, there’s just not enough evidence.”
The people that experienced the greatest benefits were those with neuropathic pain – the kind of nerve pain that usually causes tingling and burning sensations.
The researchers notes that this is all preliminary findings and of course, more research would be needed – but it does give us some indication that people with chronic pain could use cannabis to help mitigate the side effects.
Furthermore, depending on the efficacy of cannabis, it could become the “first protocol” when it comes to dealing with chronic pain. What I mean by this is that medicine should always try to use the least invasive, least toxic approach first.
Compared to opioids, cannabis is a far less dangerous way of dealing with chronic pain and considering that cannabinoids help stimulate the endocannabinoid system – it could also mean that healing and recovery could be quicker.
Health above all
It seems these days that if you stub your toe you can get highly addictive drugs prescribed to you, or a slew of anti-depressants or any other type of pharma solution. I think as a society we should always try the healthiest option first.
Meaning we’ll start with exercise and diet or therapy to deal with the problems. If that doesn’t work, plans like cannabis or even engaging in things like Yoga, Meditation or Breathwork could all be considered “medical”. Doctors should prescribe these practices when they see that the patient would have a more long term benefit than just ordering some pills and popping it at specific times during the day.
Nonetheless, there is some sort of vindication when it comes to this news and I believe that if we can continue to pry deeper into the wonderful world of weed, we’ll be surprised at the depth we’ll find. This plant and humanity has had a long history together…in a way, our organisms were designed to interact.
Maybe it’s time we start using it to its full potential?