Cannabinoids and Opiods as a Mixed Therapy For Chronic Pain | cannabisMD

Cannabinoids and Opiods as a Mixed Therapy For Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, cannabis and opiods therapy

Cannabinoids have been illustrated therapeutic abilities in the treatment of chronic pain. Their effect on pain is due to their neuroprotective and anti inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids are naturally occuring substances in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Primary cannabinoids are Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

THC is the psychoactive part of marijuana that gives you a “high” feeling when ingested. CBD is not psychoactive but still has medicinal properties. The endocannabinoid system has two primary cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors allow cannabinoids to bind and thrive throughout the body. Novel studies find cannabinoids have therapeutic value in the treatment of chronic pain.

Cannabinoids Have the Ability to Treat Chronic Pain

Cannabinoids and opioids share numerous chemical functionalities and might work together. The security for mixing these two chemicals in humans has not been clinically assured. Scientists are carrying out research to determine just this.

One study had twenty-one people suffering with chronic pain. They were on a schedule of two-a-day concentrations of sustained expulsion morphine. They were admitted for a 5-day inpatient period for the study. Subjects were asked to smoke vaporized marijuana:

  • The evening of day 1
  • Three times a day on days 2–4
  • In the morning of day 5

Blood tests took place at 12 hour breaks on days 1 and 5. The range of chronic pain was also tested on a day to day basis. Pharmacokinetic evaluations showed no massive changes under the plasma dose-time curves for morphine after treatment with marijuana. These means the medications did not interact poorly. Chronic pain was massively decreased after the use of vaporized marijuana. Researchers have reported that vaporized marijuana fuels the therapeutic properties of opioids without massively modulating plasma opioid levels. The mixture might allow for opioid treatment at smaller concentrated doses with fewer adverse effects.

Between January 2007 and February 2009, a total of 315 plausible subjects were tested to see if they were good fits for the study. After a review of the subjects, most were not allowed to partake in the study as they:

  • Did not suffer from chronic pain
  • Were not taking the right opioids
  • Were taking opioids three times a day

A total of 24 people were enlisted in the study. Of these participants, 13 of were taking morphine and 11 were on oxycodone. Of the subjects on morphine, 3 people could not finish the experiment. This left researchers with 21 evaluable people. In the experiment, most of the subjects were racially defined as white. The average age of participants on morphine was 42.9 years old. The average age of participants on oxycodone was 47.1 years old. The average morphine administrative concentration was 62 mg twice a day. The average oxycodone administrative concentration was 53 mg twice daily.

Causes of subjects suffering included:

  • Musculoskeletal in 7 patients
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in 4 patients
  • Arthritis in 2 patients
  • Peripheral neuropathy in 2 patients
  • Cancer in 1 patient
  • Fibromyalgia in 1 patient
  • Migraines in 1 patient
  • Multiple Sclerosis in 1 patient
  • Sickle cell disease in 1 patient
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome in 1 patient

Cannabinoids have a massive potential to treat chronic pain. The type of chronic pain, as you can see above, can vary and still be treated by medical forms of cannabis. You are at less risk of negative side effects–both short term long term–with cannabis than with opiates.

Opiates are known as the deadliest drug when abused. It is near impossible to have a life-threatening overdose on cannabis. Some of us need consistent pain relief, however, and opiates are conventional tool. With the opiate-cannabis combination, you can lower your opiate dose for fewer negative side effects. No matter your treatment plan, you should speak to a medical professional before taking new medications or mixing medications.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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