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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Smoking marijuana relieves some pain: Study

Small marijuana plants, available for sale, are shown in a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California in this June 30, 2010 file photo. California, the U.S. state that first allowed sales of medicinal marijuana in 1996, may take away all restrictions on adult use of the drug in a November vote, giving local governments the option to regulate sales and growing of marijuana. Picture taken June 30, 2010. To match Special Report MARIJUANA/CALIFORNIA REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: AGRICULTURE POLITICS BUSINESS SOCIETY HEALTH)


From CBC:

People who suffer chronic neuropathic or nerve pain from damage or dysfunction of the nervous system have few treatment options with varying degrees of effectiveness and side-effects.

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to nerves that don't repair, which can make the skin sensitive to a light touch.

Cannabis pills have been shown to help treat some types of pain but the effects and risks from smoked cannabis were unclear.

To find out more, Dr. Mark Ware, an assistant professor in family medicine and anesthesia at Montreal's McGill University, and his colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial — the gold standard of medical research — of inhaled cannabis in 21 adults with chronic neuropathic pain.

Investigators used three different strengths of the active drug — THC levels of 2.5 per cent, six per cent and 9.4 per cent, as well as a zero per cent placebo.

"We found that 25 mg herbal cannabis with 9.4 per cent THC, administered as a single smoked inhalation three times daily for five days, significantly reduces average pain intensity compared with a zero per cent THC cannabis placebo in adult subjects with chronic post traumatic/post surgical neuropathic pain," the study's authors concluded in Monday's online issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/08/30/marijuana-medical-neuropathic-pain.html#ixzz0yrdJmxoi

"The authors should be congratulated for tackling such a worthwhile question as: does cannabis relieve neuropathic pain? particularly because the trial must have been a major nightmare to get through the various regulatory hurdles," Dr. Henry McQuay of Balliol College, Oxford University, U.K., said in a journal commentary accompanying the study.

McQuay concluded that the trial adds to the "trickle of evidence that cannabis may help some of the patients who are struggling at present."

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy#History_of_pharmacy

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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