Tons of experts are developing ways to improve human health using cannabis. Some studies claim it helps with anxiety, it can be a mood enhancer, and an effective anti-epileptic. A recent study
today, however, says that marijuana constituents can be a safe, non addictive pain reliever.
Researchers at OHSU School of Medicine have been developing treatments for chronic pain with the use of cannabis. They conducted a study in mice to learn the activity of cannabinoids.
Their goal is to develop a drug that acts on cannabinoid receptors to treat chronic pain. According to experts, there are two forms of cell membrane receptors that bind cannabinoids called endocannabinoids.
“It may be an avenue where we can get better pain medications that are not addictive,” senior author Susan Ingram, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurosurgery in the OHSU School of Medicine told the OHSU
Though currently, there are available drugs that treat pain, some of them are ineffective and may even cause withdrawal or unwanted side effects to the patient, “However, emerging data indicate that drugs that target the endocannabinoid system might produce analgesia with fewer side effects compared with opioids.”
The researchers focused on the two cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2, located in the rostral ventromedial medulla. These are part of a group of neurons located in the brainstem that modulate pain.
Experts learned that chronic inflammatory pain results to increased CB2 receptor activity and decreased CB1. Cannabis activates both receptors equally.
Researchers said that selective activation of CB2 receptors may contribute to the medicinal benefit of cannabis. As well as reducing the activity of the other cannabinoid receptor, CB1 to induce tolerance and withdrawal.