For people who have experienced neuropathy, the day-to-day pain can be debilitating. Since standard treatments often provide little relief, the idea that cannabis could help nerve pain is an incredibly exciting prospect. The existing studies on the topic are not extensive but are very thorough. To fully understand the potential of cannabis to treat nerve pain, we need to take a close look at the research.
Exploring the Research on Cannabis Effects on Nerve Pain
In 2008, the Journal of Pain released a study performed by the University of California to find out if cannabis can help with nerve pain. The experiment assessed the effects of smoking cannabis in 38 patients with neuropathic pain. The participants were assigned either high or low-dose cannabis or placebo cigarettes. The participants took two puffs at 60 minutes, three puffs at 120 minutes, and four puffs at 180 minutes. The primary outcome was spontaneous relief of pain in patients using cannabis.
In another study, patients with HIV neuropathy were randomly assigned to smoke active cannabis or a placebo while continuing their regular treatment. Of the 28 patients, 46% had their pain reduced by 30%; further answering the question “can cannabis help nerve pain?”.
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In 2010, the Canadian Medical Journal published an experiment on 21 patients with posttraumatic and postsurgical nerve pain. Participants were assigned one of four different levels of THC for 14-day periods. The patients smoked flower through a pipe 3 times a day for 5 days followed by a 9-day “washout period”. Patients in the highest THC group reported significantly less pain and better sleep. The study also revealed that this same pain was more stubborn than traditional treatment.
One thing to note is that while cannabis does have the ability to potentially treat nerve pain, there are adverse effects that could possibly become present. If you are considering using cannabis to treat nerve pain, make sure to talk with your doctor and do your proper research on all the possible effects of cannabis, especially in combination with other treatments.