Cannibis, also known as “medical marijuana” is surely a topic of controversy in many circles – both medical and societal.  Medical cannabis refers to the use of cannabis – and its functional compounds known as cannabinoids – to treat disease and/or improve symptoms of existing disease, and/or the treatment thereof.

Specifically, cannabis is used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy treatments, to improve appetite in persons with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms.  Its use for other medical applications is insufficient for conclusions about its safety and/or its efficacy.

Short-term use increases both minor and major adverse effects.  Common side effects include dizziness, feeling tired, vomiting, and hallucinations.  Long-term effects of cannabis are not clear.  Concerns include memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction, schizophrenia in young people, and the risk of children taking it by accident.

? Cannabis Study + Goals

To evaluate the short-term efficacy and tolerability of inhaled cannabis.  Researchers at the University of California San Diego conducted a randomized, double-blind study evaluating 16 subjects to assess the efficacy and tolerability of inhaled cannabis for treating pain caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).  DPN occurs in half of diabetes patients and 15 percent have pain, especially in the feet.

? Results + Conclusion

A reduction was seen in diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain in patients with treatment-resistant pain. Moreover, However, measuring the impact of inhaled cannabis impact on cognition, the researchers found modest effects with no major declines or impairments.

“We hypothesized that inhaled cannabis would result in a dose-dependent reduction in spontaneous and evoked pain with a concomitant effect on cognitive function,” said lead author Mark S. Wallace, M.D., professor of anesthesiology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

The researchers concluded that there was a dose-dependent reduction in pain intensity from inhaled cannabis, which the authors noted is consistent with results of other trials of the drug for diverse neuropathic pain syndromes.  So for those of you who are afflicted with diabetes and have DPN, this may be of potential interest to you in dealing with the disease.

? Reference