Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist Significantly Reduces Post-Operative Pain, Study Says

London, United Kingdom:  The intravenous administration of low doses of the cannabinoid receptor agonist cannabinor significantly reduces post-operative pain compared to placebo, according to clinical trial data released this week by the Israeli biotechnology company Pharmos Pharmaceuticals.

Investigators at London’s University College Analgesia Centre assessed the efficacy of single doses of the selective CB2 receptor agonist cannabinor on nociceptive pain (nerve pain due to tissue damage) in 100 volunteers participating in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  Researchers reported that the intravenous administration of a 12-milligram dose of cannabinor produced a statistically significant decrease in patients’ overall pain versus placebo.  However, larger doses of the drug did not result in pain relief, investigators noted.

Patients in the trial reported no adverse side effects from the drug. Investigators said that the findings are sufficient to warrant additional clinical trials on the use of cannabinor to treat various chronic and/or neuropathic pain conditions.

A previous trial found that the intravenous administration of cannabinor reduced both pressure-induced and heat-induced pain in the skin of healthy volunteers.

Separate clinical trial data published last year in the journal Anesthesiology reported that low doses of cannabis plant extracts significantly relieved post-operative pain in patients who had undergone knee replacement surgery.

Most recently, the February 2007 edition of the journal Neurology reported that inhaled cannabis significantly reduces HIV-associated neuropathy, a painful nerve condition that often goes untreated with standard pain medications.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at paul@norml.org.