Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoked Cannabis Reduces Foot Pain Associated With HIV In Placebo Trial

Date:
February 13, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, patients smoking cannabis experienced a 34 percent reduction in intense foot pain associated with HIV -- twice the rate experienced by patients who smoked placebo.

In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, patients smoking cannabis experienced a 34 percent reduction in intense foot pain associated with HIV--twice the rate experienced by patients who smoked placebo.

Related Articles


"This placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that people with HIV who smoked cannabis had substantially greater pain reduction than those who did not smoke the cannabis," said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine. "These results provide evidence that there is a measurable medical benefit to smoking cannabis for these patients."

The study, published in the February 13 issue of the journal "Neurology," looked at 50 HIV patients with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy, a painful and often debilitating condition that is the most common peripheral nerve disorder that occurs as a complication of HIV infection. Occurring usually in the feet and characterized at times by tingling, numbness, the sensation of pins and needles, burning, and sharp intense pain, severe peripheral neuropathy can make walking or standing difficult.

Patients participating in the study were randomized into two equal groups--one assigned to smoke cannabis and the other assigned to smoke identical placebo cigarettes with the cannabinoids extracted. The patients smoked the study cigarettes three times a day for five days under supervision as inpatients in the General Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

"Even though antiretroviral treatments have reduced the prevalence and severity of many HIV-related neurological complications, neuropathy continues to affect up to one of every three patients," said co-author Cheryl A. Jay, MD, UCSF professor of clinical neurology. "There are no FDA-approved treatments for HIV-related neuropathy. This study suggests new avenues to manage neuropathic pain in this setting."

The study also incorporated a pain model developed at UCSF that provided a standardized reference point. This model allowed researchers to compare relief of chronic HIV-associated neuropathic pain simultaneously with patient response to pain and skin sensitivity induced by heating and capsaicin application.

"The beauty of this study is the use of the pain model as a neutral and physiological anchor for pain measurement. Patients' eyes were averted during the measurements and were uninfluenced by expectations. Smoked cannabis was shown to work on the pain system by shrinking the area of painfully sensitive skin created by the model. The response was comparable to strong pain relievers we have studied, such as morphine," said co-author Karin L. Petersen, MD, UCSF assistant adjunct professor of neurology.

This study is the first to be completed of several clinical trials of medicinal cannabis being conducted under the auspices of the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

"It has been many years since clinical trials with cannabis have been conducted in the United States," said Igor Grant, MD, professor of psychiatry at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the CMCR. "As a result there has been insufficient light shed on the possible therapeutic value of cannabis. The results of this first study indicate that cannabis may indeed be useful in the amelioration of a very distressing, disabling, and difficult to treat complication of HIV. We look forward to the results of several additional CMCR studies nearing completion to continue clarifying cannabis' possible role as a therapeutic agent."

Co-authors include Starley B. Shade, MPH; Hector Vizoso, RN; and Mary Ellen Kelly, MPH, from the UCSF Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, and Michael C. Rowbotham, MD; Haatem Reda, BA; and Scott Press, BS, from the UCSF Pain Clinical Research Center.

The General Clinical Research Center at SFGH is funded by NIH.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Smoked Cannabis Reduces Foot Pain Associated With HIV In Placebo Trial." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212185335.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2007, February 13). Smoked Cannabis Reduces Foot Pain Associated With HIV In Placebo Trial. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212185335.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Smoked Cannabis Reduces Foot Pain Associated With HIV In Placebo Trial." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212185335.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins