New trial underway to determine benefits of cannabis for spinal cord injuries

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The study will explore the role of cannabis in treating symptoms of the severe injury

Pain is a universal human experience. According to data, up to 20% of the world’s population suffers from chronic pain. This epidemic reveals the urgent need to find new strategies to alleviate it. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines this phenomenon as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or similar to, that associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” Fortunately, cannabis has become an ideal ally, so much so that according to a new trial, this plant is used for chronic pain induced by spinal cord injury.

After receiving million-dollar funding from NSW Health, scientists at the University of Sydney set out to investigate a new treatment for this type of pain that usually strikes people suffering from spinal cord injuries. A large number of people with this type of injury develop pain that makes it impossible for them to have an adequate quality of life, so marijuana seems to show quite promising effects.

If effective, this trial will provide sufficient evidence for the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to be supported for patients with neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. Ultimately, the results may help inform policy change around prescribing medical cannabis for the treatment of neuropathic pain and improve patient access.

The study’s principal investigator, Professor Luke Henderson, said, “Current treatment options for neuropathic pain are limited and often come with significant side effects that make the condition worse, highlighting a need for new treatment options.” Many people anecdotally indicate that marijuana and its derivatives are essential for improvements in neuropathic pain and that is why the expert indicates that it is necessary to fully understand how the plant works in these scenarios.