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New trial shows cannabis works

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    New trial shows cannabis works

    New trial shows cannabis works

    by Geraint Smith, Science Correspondent
    Cannabis can have a real role in reducing chronic, long-term pain, according to the first results from a hospital trial.

    The trial at Great Yarmouth's James Paget Hospital looked at the response of 23 patients to measured doses of the various active compounds found in cannabis.

    All were suffering chronic, long-term pain on which all other treatments including morphine had failed. Half had multiple sclerosis, the remainder had a variety of causes of pain including spinal injury and surgery.

    They were asked to assess their pain on a scale from zero to 10, the highest rating being unbearable, "the worst pain you could imagine", Dr William Nortcutt told the British Association Annual Science Conference at Glasgow University. The drug was administered as a spray under the tongue. Their self-reported-pain was traced as a graph as they took different active compounds - known as cannabinoids - or placebos, which had no effect. The graphs showed that it was the compounds that were having the effect.

    Dr Nortcutt said: "Several patients had a dramatic effect. They reported that their pain went from a 10 level to zero. We had responses from that down to helping sleep.

    "Only three patients did not benefit - one who had to leave the trial because she could not stand the side effects, one for whom there were protocol violations and we had to withdraw, and one on whom it simply had no effect."

    People could have taken doses of the drug which would have given them the sort of high experienced by recreational drug smokers, he said."One or two of the early patients pushed it to see what the high was, but having done so, said that they were already trashed by their pain and didn't want to sit round being stoned all day. They wanted to get on with their lives," he said.

    "They were fed up with being immobilised. One is working again in an executive capacity, one is looking after a child successfully, several are driving again, one actually told me the other day that he'd gone up a ladder with a power tool to cut a hedge." These were things that would have been impossible for them without treatment, he said. However, he added it was too early to recommend use of the drug and more tests were still being conducted.

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    © Associated Newspapers Ltd., 03 September 2001
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    Isn't it ridiculous that it took so long to do a trial on this subject? People have been reporting the effects of cannabis on pain for nearly two decades.

    Max, could you post these kinds of articles to the Pain Forum? Thanks very much.



      It drives me nuts that doctors are all-too-willing to prescribe dangerously addictive opiates, but because of the social-stigma marijuana has, the same doctors will look down their noses at the idea there are any medicinal benefits. Every drug has side effects, but so many people place moral objections on pot--the same people who drink every night to relax or are on any number of antidepressants or on something much stronger. *sigh*

      I knew a guy who was in a study back in '93 to test how smoking pot affected spasticity, and it was working well for him when other meds didn't. But the Fed gov't shut down the study because they decided it was morally wrong (or some b.s. politicians say to make us think they're doing more than filling their pockets with corporate pay-offs and trying to get re-elected).