Inhaled Cannabis Reduces Diabetic Nerve Pain
For diabetics who suffer from nerve pain, inhaled cannabis may help reduce symptoms and provide relief, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego studied 16 people to test how inhaled cannabis could treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in various doses.
Inhalation of cannabis - which is different than smoking and usually involves a vaporization method - is preferred, researchers said, because the effects are more immediate.
Dose-dependent reduction in pain
The subjects were given four outpatient treatment sessions where they were give a placebo or one of three different doses - low, medium or high - of 1 percent THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Researchers found that patients experienced a dose-dependent reduction in pain from the inhaled cannabis, which seemed especially helpful for relieving spontaneous pain.
Other studies on cannabis and pain reduction have elicited encouraging results, but this is the first research project to focus specifically on DPN.
Side effects that patients experienced included euphoria and sleepiness.
"These findings along with previous studies suggest that cannabis might have analgesic benefit in neuropathic pain syndromes," said lead author Mark S. Wallace.
The study is published in The Journal of Pain.
Source: American Pain Society