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CANNABIS FOR PAIN RELIEF

Herbal cannabis preparations have been used to treat pain for thousands of years. Among other things, applications have been described as an analgesic in operations, as an anti-inflammatory agent, as an antidote for gout, against neuralgia (nerve pain), migraines, and toothache and also as an agent against painful menstrual cramps. The mechanisms of action for pain therapy by cannabinoids have been very well researched and prove the remarkable effect several times. Inhalation of cannabis is often avoided because the effects are short-lived and therefore need to be administered several times. Oral cannabis is usually preferred because the duration is many times longer and even chronic pain can be treated.

It has also been shown that THC can reduce phantom pain following amputation. Different studies compared patients with painful spasticity after spinal cord injuries. Some of them were given 5 mg of THC, another 50 mg of codeine and another placebo. The result was that THC and codeine were analgesically superior to the placebo. However, of the two effective medications, THC was superior to codeine and significantly reduced spasticity.

Another study demonstrated that THC / CBD extract provided better pain relief in 24 patients with neurogenic symptoms (nerve pain) than with placebo.

A morphine patient with abdominal pain who was given 30 mg morphine daily for analgesia was given 10 mg THC / CBD extract five times a day for six weeks. The CBD counteracts the psychotropic, behavior-changing effects of THC. The need for morphine and pain intensity was measured in the THC / CBD as well as in a placebo phase. The need for morphine could be reduced many times in the THC / CBD phase (p <0.001).<

In ten cancer patients, a large reduction in pain was observed when 5, 10, 15 and 20 mg of oral THC were administered compared to placebo. In 12 women, doses of sublingual THC extracts of 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg were given following postoperative pain after hysterectomy. The pain relief was maximal after 2 hours and did not last longer than three hours. When the THC was given in capsule form, the effects lasted longer and after six hours only half of the patients needed additional pain relievers.

In general, it should be mentioned that the use of cannabis as a pain reliever has side effects such as drowsiness or high feeling, but these also have to be weighed against the extremely diverse, harmful side effects of morphine.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PAIN

Pain is a complex sensory perception that, seen acutely, is intended to be a kind of warning signal for the body (nociceptor pain). If the pain is chronic, it usually goes back to damage to the nervous system (neuropathic pain) and, according to today’s medicine, represents a separate clinical picture. The pain also often results from reversible functional disorders (e.g. migraines due to poor blood circulation regulation).

The pain itself is passed through the body via nerve fibers. Especially in the case of chronic pain, the person affected not only experiences the symptoms acting on the body, but mostly also social psychological damage, which can completely change the behavior of the person within the public. For example, in addition to chronic pain, so-called pain attacks occur in a large number of patients with advanced cancer, which have a significant impact on the quality of life. Such types of breakthrough pain can also occur with otherwise adequate pain treatment. Pain is typically treated using opioids (e.g. morphine, fentanyl and methanone) and non-opioid analgesics (e.g. salicylic acid derivatives).

Adjuvant drugs (e.g. antidepressants) that influence the cause of pain are also used. The choice of the appropriate medication is usually adjusted individually. Adaptive drugs (e.g. antidepressants) are also used that affect the cause of pain. The choice of the right medication is usually adjusted individually.

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