MS News Channel
Vaporized cannabis “significantly augments” the analgesic effects of opiates in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical trial data published online in the scientific journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco looked at the use of vaporized marijuana over a five-day period in 21 chronic pain patients who were on a regimen of twice-daily doses of morphine or oxycodone. Participants in the trial inhaled cannabis vapor on the evening of day 1 of the study, three times a day on days 2 through 4, and in the morning of day 5, reports the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
The extent of each patient’s chronic pain was assessed daily.
Investigators determined that patients’ pain “was significantly decreased after the addition of vaporized cannabis.” According to the scientists, medical marijuana “may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer [patient]side effects.”
“The participants experienced less pain after 5 days of inhaling vaporized cannabis; when the morphine and oxycodone groups were combined, this reduction in pain was significant,” the researchers concluded. “This is the first human study to demonstrate that inhaled cannabis safely augments the analgesic effect of opiods.”
According to the investigators, “These results suggest that further controlled studies of the synergistic interaction between cannabinoids and opioids are warranted.”