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Study: Cannabinoids Are Safe, Effective For Treating Pain


pain medical cannabisBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Cannabinoids are safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between the years 2010 and 2014. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a synthetic analog of THC), in pain treatment.

Cannabinoids possessed “significant analgesic effects” and were “well tolerated” in the majority of studies reviewed.

Authors concluded, “The current systematic review provides further support that cannabinoids are safe, demonstrate a modest analgesic effect and provide a reasonable treatment option for treatment chronic non-cancer pain.”

A 2011 review of 18 separate randomized trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids for pain management similarly reported, “[C]annabinoids are a modestly effective and safe treatment option for chronic non-cancer (predominantly neuropathic) pain.”

In September, Canadian researchers reported that pain patients who consumed herbal cannabis daily for one-year experienced decreased analgesia and no increase in serious adverse side effects compared to matched controls.

An abstract of the study, “Cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain: An updated systematic review of randomized controlled trials,” appears online here.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


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  2. jasen joseph hylbert on

    I hope that one day the criminals who push the pills are brought to justice and wiped from history.

  3. Paul — Can you organize a call-in to the white house comment line?
    For quite a while, I’ve been requesting that people who care about this issue call the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 to ask that the President take personal action to get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1, since doing so would save so many American lives and do so much to reduce the suffering of so many Americans.
    My concern is that only a tiny fraction of the people who care about this issue do anything to let the President and members of Congress know how they feel.
    Its one thing for me to post comments asking people to call in and to get everyone they know to do so, but its quite another thing to for you to do so – you’ve got a much bigger “megaphone” than I do.
    82% of Oncologists want their Cancer patients to be able to use Medical Marijuana to ease their pain and suffering, and to get through the horrors of Chemo.

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer Research.
    I believe that there’s a strong Scientific basis for the success Cancer Patients are seeing with High Dose Medical Marijuana Oil Therapy (HDMMOT) and want to see large scale double blind trials of it begin as soon as possible.
    I believe it will save countless lives, but I’m a Scientist, not a Politician. You can do a lot to help by getting people to call the white house, every day, until the President takes action on this.
    I’d appreciate your help in this area.
    So would America’s Cancer Patients — Thanks.

  4. These results closely match those reported anecdotally by extremely large numbers of Medical Marijuana users in the US and around the world.
    Its long past time to de-schedule Medical Marijuana and make it available over the counter.
    It has a better safety profile than any other painkiller, either prescription or over the counter.
    Google Medical Marijuana Therapeutic Index.
    Marijuana has a therapeutic index of over 20,000
    Tylenol’s therapeutic index is about 5.
    Its not only immoral to leave Marijuana illegal for even one second longer, from a scientific and medical standpoint, its nuts.

  5. But the head of the DEA says that medical use of marijuana is a JOKE!.
    Isn’t every thing our government tells us the gods honest truth?
    Would our government lye to its own people? Wake up America , it’s our government that’s the joke. It’s time for a change. Feel the bern, and be truly free.

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