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cbd oil and morphine

From folk medicine and anecdotal reports it is known that Cannabis may reduce pain. In animal studies it has been shown that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has antinociceptive effects or potentiates the antinociceptive effect of morphine. The aim of this study was to measure the analgesic effect of THC, morphine, and a THC-morphine combination (THC-morphine) in humans using experimental pain models. THC (20 mg), morphine (30 mg), THC-morphine (20 mg THC+30 mg morphine), or placebo were given orally and as single doses. Twelve healthy volunteers were included in the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover study. The experimental pain tests (order randomized) were heat, cold, pressure, single and repeated transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Additionally, reaction time, side-effects (visual analog scales), and vital functions were monitored. For the pharmacokinetic profiling, blood samples were collected. THC did not significantly reduce pain. In the cold and heat tests it even produced hyperalgesia, which was completely neutralized by THC-morphine. A slight additive analgesic effect could be observed for THC-morphine in the electrical stimulation test. No analgesic effect resulted in the pressure and heat test, neither with THC nor THC-morphine. Psychotropic and somatic side-effects (sleepiness, euphoria, anxiety, confusion, nausea, dizziness, etc.) were common, but usually mild.

The study was structured as a “sort of a randomization to early vs delayed,” said Zylla. “The early group got cannabis for 3 months right off the bat, and the delayed group served as our standard-of-care or control group. This control group was ‘enticed’ to remain in the study and be randomized, because they would receive cannabis as the study progressed.

“There are some anecdotal and population-based studies looking at opiate prescriptions overall in states that have legalized marijuana to some degree or another. And there is a correlation with the introduction of marijuana legalization laws and decreased opiate usage,” he said.

Less Opiate Use?

“Part of the problem with this study is we had a pretty high dropout rate,” Zylla said. “A lot of people, especially in the delayed-cannabis arm, ended up going to hospice or dying, actually even in the first 3 months of the study. Unfortunately, we also had a lot of insufficient data.”

“Who knows? Maybe there’s a magical anticancer benefit of the cannabis,” he said, half jokingly, “but it’s far too early to say that.”

At the same session, new data from a small clinical trial showed that cannabis use led to improved pain control and a reduction in the use of opioids.