Marijuana as medicine?
A new study has shown that cannabinoids, derived from marijuana, are an effective analgesic for very ill cancer patients.
Cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia in cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.
25 percent improvement
While conventional opioid therapy is the mainstay treatment for cancer pain in patients, a substantial minority experience pain that cannot be adequately controlled with this treatment. The most common approach is to then co-administer another analgesic – in this case, the potential of cannabinoids is being analysed.
In this study, nabiximols, a cannabinoid delivered as an oral mucosal spray, were studied to obtain information about their effectiveness as an analgesic and their safety in patients with moderate to severe pain that was not controlled with conventional opioid drugs. Results showed that the nabiximols were, in fact, very effective as an add-on therapy for cancer patients – even just a low-dose produced a 25 percent improvement in pain intensity and sleep quality.
This Nature & Health natural health news item was sourced from materials provided by the American Pain Society.