Smoking pot may ease nerve pain at the expense of certain mental skills, according to a research on medical marijuana.
This finding was revealed by researchers at the University of California in an edition of The Journal of Pain.
The researchers studied 38 adults afflicted with nerve pain (neuropathic pain) and who smoked pot in the past but abstained from smoking marijuana for a period of thirty days before the study. The study participants visited lab of the researchers thrice and smoked a marijuana cigarette made for research purposes, under the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s supervision.
Participants rated their pain before and after smoking their assigned cigarette. There was more of drop in pain ratings after smoking the THC cigarettes than the placebo cigarette lacking THC. Comparable effects were noticed with higher doses and lower doses and these effects began to wear off an hour or two after they stopped smoking. The study showed participants had no change in their pain sensitivity to light touch or heat after smoking any of the cigarettes.
Researcher Barth Wilsey, MD, and colleagues urged “caution in the prescribing of medical marijuana for neuropathic pain,” especially in light of the mental impact, and also in young patients, as pot use in adolescence “increases the risk of later schizophrenia-like psychoses, especially in genetically susceptible individuals.”
Wilsey, B. The Journal of Pain, June 2008; vol 9: pp 506-521