In pain therapy, cannabis preparations are more effective than so-called joints
After numerous studies have shown the positive effects of cannabis active ingredients in pain relief, scientists from Columbia University in New York have now investigated the way in which they should be taken to achieve the greatest possible pain relief. Joints smoking therefore has a less sustainable effect than taking cannabis capsules orally.
The researchers compared the effects of oral cannabis use with the effects of smoked joints in a "randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study" to determine the best possible use in pain therapy. They had 30 subjects (15 women, 15 men), who anyway consumed cannabis in the form of joints, regularly take different doses of dronabinol or a placebo for a period of two weeks. The subjects continued to smoke joints, although cannabis with three different THC concentrations was used (zero percent, 1.98 percent or 3.56 percent). Cannabis with zero percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is equivalent to a placebo. The scientists published the results of the study in the journal "Neuropsychopharmacology".
Longer effect of the pain reliever The researchers checked the effect of the joints and the dronabinol taken orally on the subjects 'sensation of pain by immersing the test persons' hands in cold water at four degrees Celsius. Subjects should indicate when they feel pain (sensitivity to pain) and only pull their hand out of the water when it becomes too uncomfortable (pain tolerance). "Compared to placebos, cannabis and dronabinol result in reduced pain sensitivity, increased pain tolerance and reduced subjective assessment of pain intensity," write the US researchers. Although there was no difference between dronabinol and joint smoking in the changes in the peaks in pain sensitivity and tolerance, the effects of dronabinol lasted longer. However, it can be assumed that the oral intake of cannabis in general (e.g. in the form of cookies) has a significantly longer effect than smoking joints.
Dronabinol is used in many countries to treat cancer patients for pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. HIV patients with the immunodeficiency AIDS often receive the drug to curb muscle spasms and counteract loss of appetite.
Study data not yet conclusively verifiable The study data presented are “only of limited relevance, since all subjects had previously used cannabis,” as the researchers write in their report. Therefore, it is unclear whether the results would be similar if the attempt were made with non-cannabis smokers. Nevertheless, doctors who have dealt extensively with the therapeutic healing power of cannabis have been advising for a long time not to inhale the active ingredient by “joint”, but to take it, for example, in the form of capsules. After all, the smoke damages the organism because it contains a large number of carcinogenic substances. In addition, the active ingredient contained in THC that causes intoxication can be isolated. This is particularly important for patients who have neurological symptoms such as dizziness or headache. (fp, sb)
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