Anecdotal evidence shows that not only does marijuana tend to alleviate pain of patients suffering from chronic syndromes but also those with headaches and migraine. Marijuana is often referred to as a treatment for migraines although the IOM team found only one published scientifically-based report on the subject matter since 1975 and investigating the probability of maximizing marijuana-based require arduous clinical experiments intended to direct factors that may bias the outcome.
The 1975 study suggest that in three cases, people who suffered migraine experienced pain after quitting their daily marijuana habits. In researches of cannabinoid receptors abundant in the brain, a promising link between migraine and cannabinoids has been made known. The receptors take place in great quantities in the periaqueductal gray (PAG) region which is an area that migraines are usually suspected to originate. It continues to be identified, however, what effect cannabinoid have on the PAG and whether or not they have the ability to stop migraines from happening.
An estimated 11 million people in the United States suffer from moderate to severe migraines and conducting such study would be valuable conducting since the finest medicine presently out in the market for migraines which is sumatriptan (lmitrex), seemed to fail in providing complete ease for at least one out of four patients who use it. According to the IOM team, what medical experts have come to know about marijuana’s pain-relieving capacities could warrant the realization of further studies.
The next logical step in conducting basic research then is to identify whether these cannabinoids could be altered to keep their analgesic characteristic while still eradicating undesirable side effects including sedation and amnesia. Even with these side effects, marijuana could potentially be a very helpful pain reliever. These cannabinoids seem to reduce vomiting, nausea, pain, as well as loss of appetite. Also, the euphoric boost that magnetizes recreation users to the drug could also be a benefit to people who have anxiety-producing disorders like that of cancer and AIDS. It is actually for this reason that the team from IOM has suggested that researchers take on clinical studies on cannabinoid medications in patients having cancer or patients with AIDS are those under chemotherapy who suffer from significant pain or wasting.
Furthermore, the IOM has also recommended including these groups of patients in the conduct of such researches:
- Surgical patients – cannabinoids must be given alongside with opiates in these cases to conclude whether cannabinoids really reduce the vomiting and nausea related with painkillers from opiates .
- Patients who have injuries in the spinal cord and other pain that has been caused by damage in the nerves.
- Patients suffering from chronic pain who undergo difficulties with insomnia.
Patients who are included in the abovementioned categories are presently being administered with opiate drugs which generate dependence, tolerance, and other unwanted side effects. The question lies whether fewer doses of these opiates that would be given to patients would have the same level of ease when complemented with cannabinoid. The answer, of course, would be known in the conduct of clinical experiments. These clinical trials would also establish whether THC is the single, if not the most excellent, pain-relieving ingredient in marijuana. If other cannabinoids alleviate pain, researchers should first see to it that they consider which among these cannabinoids or its combinations are the most effective.
There have been very few clinical pain studies on marijuana yet the results are inclined to supporting positive results from experiments on animals and others. Additional clinical researches are being warranted especially if these lead to new classes of drugs to supplement current medications or existing painkillers that could as well ease nausea, appetite loss, and pain. This would undoubtedly be useful especially to people with cancer and patients with AIDS.