The delivery of precise doses of THC via an inhaler is associated with pain mitigation in patients with neuropathy and other complex pain conditions, according to clinical trial data published in the European Journal of Pain.
A team of Israeli researchers conducted a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel, metered-dose cannabis inhaler in 27 patients with chronic pain. Participants inhaled a precise dose containing either THC (at doses of either 0.5mg or 1mg) or placebo.
They reported: “Both doses, but not the placebo, demonstrated a significant reduction in pain intensity compared with baseline and remained stable for 150-minutes. The 1mg dose showed a significant pain decrease compared to the placebo. Adverse events were mostly mild and resolved spontaneously. There was no evidence of consistent impairments in cognitive performance.”
Authors concluded: “This feasibility trial demonstrated that a metered-dose cannabis inhaler delivered precise and low THC doses [that] produced a dose-dependent and safe analgesic effect in patients with neuropathic pain/complex-regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Thus, it enables individualization of medical cannabis regimens that can be evaluated pharmacokinetically and pharmacodynamically by accepted pharmaceutical models.”
Prior clinical trials, such as those here and here, have similarly reported that a metered-dose inhaler can deliver precise therapeutic doses of cannabis to pain patients absent any significant adverse effects.
Chronic pain is the most commonly reported qualifying condition among medical cannabis patients enrolled in state-specific access programs. A 2017 literature review by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded, “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”
An abstract of the study, “Pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of a novel selective-dose cannabis inhaler in patients with chronic pain: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial,” is online here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and pain appears online here.