Prescription cannabis products with more THC may ease chronic pain, at least a little, study finds

CNN – People who suffer from chronic pain may find small-to-moderate pain relief for the short-term when using certain prescriptioncannabis products with higher THC to CBD levels, but there are some worrisome side effects, according to new research.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical compound in the marijuana plant that makes you high. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent active chemicalin cannabis, but it does not make you high. Both have been associated with pain relief.

“The findings are in line with what we know,” said Yasmin Hurd, a professor of pharmacological sciences, neuroscience and psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She was not involved with the study.

“There is some indication of weak-to-moderate pain relief depending on the THC/CBD ratio, but there is an increase of side effects such as dizziness and sedation,” said Hurd, who is the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai.

However, no such benefits were found from any over-the-counter THC or CBD extracts from the whole marijuana plant.

“Unfortunately, the available evidence is largely inconclusive, due to the small number of studies and the variation in cannabinoid products among these studies,” said Jodi Gilman, an associate professor at the Center for Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School who was not involved with the study.

“Large, placebo-controlled trials in hundreds of patients who are all taking the same exact product at the same doses are needed to understand the benefits and risks of cannabis for chronic pain,” Gilman added.

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