The medical use of cannabis is the subject of numerous scientific studies, in particular for its analgesic effect. To evaluate its efficacy on nerve pain, which is generally intense and resistant to the usual painkillers, researchers have tested 21 patients with hemp oil at various doses.

Neuralgia that is difficult to bear

Nerve pain, which would affect between 1.5 and 3 million Americans, are related to damage to the nerves, the spinal cord or the brain, following an illness (diabetes, AIDS, shingles, multiple sclerosis …), trauma (nerve section) or surgery (herniated disc, amputation, etc.). Damaged nerves send false signals to the brain, which sends out pain signals.

These pains are characterized by a permanent painful bottom with sometimes sensations of stab wounds, burns or electric shocks. They are very disabling, often prevent sleep and profoundly alter the quality of life. Also, they resist the usual analgesics and are therefore difficult to treat. Doctors can, however, use antidepressants, neuroleptics or even anesthetics. But these drugs have many side effects, especially when used in the long term. They also tested Other techniques, such as local electrical stimulation.

Hemp oil in different strengths, including a placebo

CBD is frequently used to fight against chronic pain. Researchers at McGill University decided to rigorously test it, in 21 patients with such pain for at least 3 months and were not using CBD for at least 1 year. They used 25 mg of CBD capsules. The novelty of this study lies in the development of a placebo, with capsules containing inactivated cannabis (0% THC). 

A decrease in the intensity of the pain

The participants took one capsule three times a day for 5 days. Their pain and quality of life assessed daily, over several 5-day periods. The results show that:

9.4% of users of the CBD were rapidly and significantly less painful than those who received a placebo (0%). Intermediate assays also lead to improvement, but less clearly, not statistically significant.

A decrease in sleep disorders

The use of cannabis at 9.4% also allowed a significant improvement in the sleep. falling asleep easier, faster, better overall quality of sleep. On the other hand, mood and quality of life were steady. The most common side effects, described by the authors of “minors”, were headaches, dry eye, burning sensations in painful areas, dizziness, numbness, and coughing.

Towards an improvement of study protocols on cannabis?

The authors conclude that CBD is effective and well-tolerated in this type of rebellious pain, underlining the rigor of their protocol, good compliance and close monitoring of patients. These results are consistent with many previous observational studies. They also believe that they have demonstrated the feasibility of rigorous studies on cannabis versus placebo, which would allow the development of protocols with other dosages, other durations of use, Such complementary studies (on various pains, but also nausea, loss of appetite, or glaucoma), if they emerge, could make it possible to precisely determine the effective therapeutic doses and the tolerance of the product.

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