Health Canada to Fund Clinical Trial on Smoked Cannabis and Pain

Health Canada has agreed to fund one of the first ever peer-reviewed clinical trials on the effectiveness of smoked marijuana at treating symptoms of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage). The study will examine the therapeutic effects of marijuana on 32 patients who are unresponsive to standard treatment methods over a four-week period in an outpatient setting.
The McGill Pain Centre in Montreal will oversee the research.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), cannabinoids hold great potential in the treatment of neuropathic pain. “Neuropathic pain represents a treatment problem for which currently available analgesics are, at best, marginally effective,” a 1997 NIH report found. “Since [cannabinoids are] not acting by the same mechanism as either opioids or NSAIDS [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs], they may be useful in this inadequately treated type of pain.”
For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.