A study conducted by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) shows that marijuana is a non-addictive option for treating chronic pain. The study also showed that the endocannabinoid system produces relief from pain with less side effects than opioid options. The senior author of the study is Susan Ingram, Ph.D.
Chronic pain affects roughly 30-percent of the American population, according to Science Daily. OHSU studied how two forms of cell membrane receptors connect (bind) cannabinoids occurring naturally in the body. These are called endocannabinoids, which all human bodies naturally possess.
Dr. Ingram said, “It may be an avenue where we can get better pain medications that are not addictive… emerging data indicates that drugs that target the endocannabinoid system might produce analgesia with fewer side effects compared with opioids.”
The two cannabinoid receptors focused on in this study were CB1 and CB2. These are two receptors in the brain that control pain. In the study, it was noted that activity of CB2 receptors increased with chronic inflammatory pain. The reverse was noticed in CB1 receptors. So, what that boils down to is that medical marijuana does benefit those suffering from chronic pain, especially in the CB2 receptors.
To put this into layman’s terms, the results of the study show that marijuana does work with the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system to reduce pain, inflammation, and increases pain tolerance to allow for increased mobility.
Further research is expected in additional phases of this base study.