Cannabis does not reduce pain, makes it more bearable
Numerous studies from the past several years have indicated that cannabis could be useful in reducing post-surgery pain and neuropathic pain. However, a new study from the Oxford University Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain has found that marijuana, in fact, does not reduce pain at all. Instead, it appears that the drug alters the brain's emotional state in a way that makes pain more bearable.
The study subjects were given a THC pill – the principal psychoactive element in marijuana – and had capsaicin cream rubbed on their skin. Functional MRI scans were performed, and the researchers found that those who took the THC pill did not report any change in the burning caused by the cream, but instead reported that the pain bothered them less.
Though the study was small – involving only 12 subjects – the information learned could provide insight into how the use of medical marijuana may evolve in the future.