Inhaling Cannabis Reduces Pain In Patients With Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, Sort Of

Photo Credit: Clinical Pain Advisor

Photo Credit: Clinical Pain Advisor

New research published in the Journal of Pain has revealed inhaling cannabis may be able to relieve the pain associated with neuropathy, which is welcoming news to the approximately 50% of diabetic patients who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In the randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled crossover study, researchers analyzed the tolerability and short-term efficacy of inhaled cannabis on the treatment of pain in 16 patients suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Researchers measured "highness" and pain intensity at various intervals throughout four sessions and determined there is a dose-dependent reduction in pain for cannabis, meaning higher doses caused more sedation and euphoria in patients. They also found cannabis produced minimal psychoactive effects.

This study is significant because researchers say of previous studies, "there is some uncertainty regarding the dosing range that results in analgesia after administration of cannabis." This is due to the fact few studies looked at the doses, and other studies were inconsistent. Although this new study offers hopeful news, researchers want to remind patients, "cannabis does not treat the underlying disease of diabetic neuropathy. It will not prevent the progression of the disease nor reverse the process. It only relieves the pain that results from neuropathy." Lead researcher Mark Steven Wallace, MD, says more research is desired, especially when it comes to strains containing higher levels of cannabidiol.

This information is brought to you by the Clinical Pain Advisor and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.