A study by Imperial College, London, and the Medical Research Council, UK, has shown that a cannabis plant extract, Cannador, effectively relieves pain after major surgery. You can read about this study in the journal Anesthesiology.
According to Dr Anita Holdcroft, Imperial College, and lead researcher "Pain after surgery continues to be a problem because many of the commonly used drugs are either ineffective or have too many side effects. These results show that cannabinoids are effective, and may lead to the development of a wider range of drugs to manage post-operative pain."
The study involved:
-- A total of 65 patients, all of whom had undergone surgery.
-- 11 had a 5 mg Cannador dose
All asked for extra pain relief medication
-- 30 had a 10 mg Cannador dose
15 asked for extra pain relief medication
-- 24 had a 15 mg Cannador dose
6 asked for extra pain relief medication
The higher the dose, the more the patients experienced side effects of nausea and raised heart rates.
Team member Professor Mervyn Maze, Imperial College, London, said "We thought cannabis might be beneficial in helping manage pain following surgery, as previous research indicated cannabinoids help 'top up' the body's natural system for reducing pain sensation. This research proves it can be effective, with minimal side effects at low doses."
The study was carried out at:
-- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
-- Charing Cross Hospital
-- Northwick Park Hospital
-- Kings College Hospital
-- The Manor Walsall
-- The Whittington
-- St Bartholomew's
-- University College London Hospital
-- West Middlesex Ravenscourt Park Hospital
The Cannador was donated by the Institute for Clinical Research, Berlin, Germany.
The Medical Research Council and the Westminster Medical School Research Trust funded the study.