Neuropathic Pain Patients Report Sustained Relief After Cannabis Use
Neuropathic pain is typically caused by an ongoing, progressive nerve disease. However, neuropathic pain can also result after a patient experiences an injury or infection. Sufferers report experiencing a shooting, burning pain, as well as a feeling of tingling, numbness, or a loss of sensation in certain parts of their body.
International researchers estimate that as much as 7% of the global population suffers from neuropathic pain to some degree. Physical therapy, psychological counseling, and sometimes surgery are incorporated into regimens to treat the condition. Pharmaceutical medications are commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain, including anti-seizure drugs.
Cannabis is another form of treatment that patients are turning to, and according to a recent study in Germany, the treatments are effective at providing sustained relief to neuropathic pain patients. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:
Hamburg, Germany: Cannabis inhalation is associated with sustained improvements in pain and sleep in patients with chronic neuropathy, according to data published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.
German investigators assessed the use of herbal cannabis in a cohort of 99 patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Participants in the study inhaled cannabis containing moderate levels of THC (12 to 22 percent) for six weeks.
Researchers reported: “Within six weeks on the therapy, median pain scores decreased significantly from 7.5 to 4.0. The proportion of patients with severe pain (score >6) decreased from 96 percent to 16 percent. Sleep disturbance was significantly improved with the median of the scores decreased from 8.0 to 2.0. These improvements were sustained over a period of up to six months. There were no severe adverse events reported.”
Other surveys have identified similar pain decreases in neuropathy patients following their initiation of cannabis therapy.
The study’s authors concluded, “The results … demonstrated that chronic neuropathic pain can be effectively, sustainably, and safely treated with medical cannabis.”
Data published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open reported that nearly one in three patients with chronic pain use cannabis as an analgesic agent and that many of them substitute it in place of opioids.
Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis alleviates chronic neuropathic pain effectively and sustainably without severe adverse effects: A retrospective study on 99 cases,” appears in Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Additional information on cannabis and chronic pain is available from NORML’s publication, Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.