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Cannabis as painkiller

Date:
August 7, 2012
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
Cannabis-based medications have been demonstrated to relieve pain. Cannabis medications can be used in patients whose symptoms are not adequately alleviated by conventional treatment. The indications are muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, loss of appetite in HIV/Aids, and neuropathic pain, experts say.

Cannabis-based medications have been demonstrated to relieve pain. Cannabis medications can be used in patients whose symptoms are not adequately alleviated by conventional treatment. The indications are muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, loss of appetite in HIV/Aids, and neuropathic pain.

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This is the conclusion drawn by Franjo Grotenhermen and Kirsten Müller-Vahl in issue 29-30 of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

The clinical effect of the various cannabis-based medications rests primarily on activation of endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Consumption of therapeutic amounts by adults does not lead to irreversible cognitive impairment. The risk is much greater, however, in children and adolescents (particularly before puberty), even at therapeutic doses.

Over 100 controlled trials of the effects of cannabinoids in various indications have been carried out since 1975. The positive results have led to official licensing of cannabis-based medications in many countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis. In June 2012 the Federal Joint Committee (the highest decision-making body for the joint self-government of physicians, dentists, hospitals and health insurance funds in Germany) pronounced that the cannabis extract showed a slight additional benefit for this indication and granted a temporary license until 2015.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Grotenhermen, F; Müller-Vahl, K. The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabis and Cannabinoids. Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2012; 109(29-30): 495-501 DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2012.0495

Cite This Page:

Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Cannabis as painkiller." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120807101232.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2012, August 7). Cannabis as painkiller. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120807101232.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Cannabis as painkiller." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120807101232.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

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