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Chronic Pain? Pot May Do the Trick

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Posted on Aug 30, 2010
Wikimedia Commons / Bogdan

This may seem like the results of a study by Professor Obvious, but a research team out of McGill University Health Center in Montreal has determined that smoking marijuana might help chronic pain sufferers manage their symptoms. However, there are always caveats that come with this kind of work, and this “small study” is no exception. —KA

Reuters via Fox News:

Ware and his colleagues recruited 21 adults who were suffering from chronic neuropathic pain after an injury or surgery. Three times a day, for five days, participants took a 25 milligram hit of one of four treatments: marijuana that was 2.5 percent, 6 percent, or 9.4 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or a 0 percent placebo. All patients rotated in random order through the four different treatments, with a nine-day break between each one.

During each treatment, participants were asked about their pain, sleep patterns, mood, and overall quality of life.

Patients smoking 9.4 percent THC marijuana reported lower pain scores than when smoking the placebo - on average, 5.4 versus 6.1 on a scale from 0 (“no pain”) to 10 (“worst possible pain”). They also reported that they slept better, and were less anxious and depressed than when they were on the placebo.

When smoking marijuana with moderate doses of THC, participants generally reported improved symptoms, but there was no significant difference in their relief from these doses compared to relief from the placebo treatment. There was also no difference in the quality of life or mood scores that participants reported when they were on any of the four treatments.

The highest dose of THC produced the most side effects, which included headaches, dry eyes, and a burning sensation in the regions where patients had pain.

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By Rev. Lauren Unruh, August 31, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe you are arguing because you are ignoring the truth.

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By ofersince72, August 31, 2010 at 3:19 am Link to this comment

We even argue about getting high ! ! ! !

There is no hope.

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By rico, suave, August 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment


Re “hookah”. That’s what I thought. rollzone is all into the esoterica. To me it’s just a waterpipe- smoke what’s in it.

rollzone: I’m not mocking a harmless social pleasure. But I’d be happy to mock your pomposity: “the culture of the Hookah…  finding an intricate and beautiful Koyilandy Hookah from India is rare.” You’re so cool! The coeds must be falling all over you. I wasn’t try to steal anybody’s culture, I was just trying to get high. Jesus!

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By Malcontent, August 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

This (done a million times before) study is sorta interesting and all, but why does one need to be in pain to exercise ones birthright to self medicate with the most benign therapeutic substance on earth?

As to the hookah; I was always under the impression that the pipe itself was a hookah, regardless of what you choose to smoke in it. (I quit smoking tobacco). Either way, who can afford to fill one of those things up at black market prices?

Tried to post an interesting link, but got this: “Action Denied: Blacklisted Item Found”, followed by my link. Does anybody know why?

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By rollzone, August 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

yeah bud. your nonchalant mockery of a bloodbath taking place because of our appetite for a medicine, and a harmless social pleasure, offended me. the culture of the Hookah in the Arab world extends to the 1600s, when only prestigious elites imbibed the the doctor prescribed water cooled tobacco vapor. they put hot coals atop the tobacco. the very popular Hookah tradition is still offered in clubs and cafes today, and finding an intricate and beautiful Koyilandy Hookah from India is rare. because you thought you were sharing their tradition by substituting cannabis makes you an idiot.

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By robert puglia, August 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

rico, i mean, dude; tell me you’re a steward.

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By rico, suave, August 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment


“Hookah has nothing to do with cannabis.”

Well pilgrim, back in my day it sure as shit did! We used to load up that bad boy with the best we could find. (Does “hookah” mean the same to you as it does to me?)

Lighten the fuck up, dude!

PS. “Idiot”? Did I insult you? Sorry.

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By rollzone, August 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

hello. you are the idiot this piece was written to. Hookah has nothing to do with cannabis. i can line up 40 million people in this nation alone, with personal experience, whom will openly state these studies are “Bull*,(Shit”. Phelps this… extend the figure globally, and easily half a billion people around the world, will tell you unequivocally that cannabis relieves chronic pain without serious side effects, and gives your receptor pleasure while doing it. only powerful people making money off the wrongful classification of cannabis as a narcotic continue the murderous war against it, and no amount of studies will decapitate their income.

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By rico, suave, August 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Where do I sign up? I’m a real p.. I mean I’m in real pain! And what’s this “mood scores”? Are they serious? Does anybody out there know anybody who smoked pot to get rid of a GOOD mood?

Come to think of it, having read truthdig for several months now, I know a lot of posters who could use a couple of serious hits off the old hookah.

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