A randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled crossover study was conducted in 16 patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) to assess the short-term efficacy and tolerability of inhaled cannabis. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego, and reported in the July edition of Journal of Pain. The study results demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in DPN pain in patients with treatment-refractory pain. The authors contend that the findings add preliminary evidence to support further research on the efficacy of the cannabinoids in neuropathic pain.
About one-half of patients with diabetes also experience DPN and 15% have pain, especially in the feet. This pain is often not effectively controlled with either of the 2 FDA-approved treatments now available. In this study, the effects of varying doses of inhaled cannabis on DPN pain and hyperalgesia were assessed. According to the authors, inhalation is preferred to smoking as a drug delivery method due to superior pharmacokinetics and easier titration. Results showed there was a dose-dependent reduction in pain intensity from inhaled cannabis, with only modest impact on cognitive function (attention and memory). However, the authors additionally noted that all subjects reported either euphoria or somnolence, effects that may limit the acceptability of cannabis as an analgesic.
Link to other articles about medical marijuana here.
Link to other articles about diabetic peripheral neuropathy here.
Courses about medical marijuana, peripheral neuropathy, and many other topics--over 120 CE/CME hours' worth--will be presented at PAINWeek 2015. CLICK HERE to learn more or register.
Read more about the study conclusions here.
The journal abstract may be read here.