An increasing amount of anecdotal evidence from individuals who treat their chronic pain with cannabis has prompted researchers to study how it functions within the body. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published results of a clinical trial that associated cannabis with pain reduction.

Cannabis Reduces Nerve Pain

The 21 men and women selected for the trial by the lead doctor, Mark Ware, MD, had conditions caused by nerve pain. In addition to taking their regular pain medications, they went through a series of tests that gave them various doses of cannabis and a placebo. After rating their pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain, their responses showed that cannabis reduced pain ratings to 5.4 compared to 6.1 with a placebo. As long as a person has a medical marijuana card in Portland, he or she can visit an area dispensary to explore the potential of cannabis for nerve pain therapy.

How Does Cannabis Function Within the Body?

The human endocannabinoid system connects the nervous system, immune cells and the tissues of bones and joints. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally within the body to enable communication within this system. Phyto-cannbinoids are produced by the marijuana plant, and this class of substances fits into existing human biology, often producing positive results. Patients noted reductions in inflammation associated with arthritis pain and other conditions.

Can Cannabis Replace Opioids?

Another study authored by University of California, San Francisco, professor Donald I. Abrams, MD, found that people reported greater pain relief when they used vaporized cannabis on top of opiate pills such as oxycodone or morphine. Commenting on his study published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 2011, Abrams said that cannabis could replace opioids for some people, helping them avoid major side effects.