Preemptive Use Of Cannabinoids Enhances Pain Relief, Study Says

Montreal, Quebec: The daily administration of the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 prior to surgery produces enhanced analgesic activity in an animal model of neuropathic (nerve) pain, according to preclinical data published in the European Journal of Pharmacology.

Investigators at the University of Montreal reported that the preemptive administration of WIN 55, 212-2 in the days leading up to surgery produced greater neuropathic pain relief than did the administration of the drug immediately prior to surgery. “[Although] WIN 55,212-2 decreased mechanical alloodynia (skin pain) and thermal hyperalgesia in neuropathic animals, … the group receiving pre-emptive WIN 55,212-2 had significantly greater anti-hyperalgesic and anti-allodynic effects compared with the group receiving [it] before the surgery,” authors concluded.

Previous preclinical trial data of WIN 55, 212-2 indicates that the agonist can significantly reduce brain inflammation and improve memory in an animal model of Alzheimer’s. Administration of the drug has also been associated with the inhibition of prostate cancer cells.

Clinical trial data published earlier this year by investigators at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California’s Pain Clinical Research Center reported that inhaling cannabis significantly reduced HIV-associated neuropathy compared to placebo.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Preemptive antinociceptive effects of a synthetic cannabinoid in a model of neuropathic pain,” appears in the European Journal of Pharmacology.