Pain Relief: What We Expect
A trial highlighted in the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology looks at the analgesic effects of cannabidiol. While people may take CBD for pain relief, “no experimental pain research has tested the analgesic effects” in humans. Researchers experimentally tested CBD’s effects on pain reactivity. What did the people taking CBD expect it to do for their pain? A small group of 15 “Participants were randomly assigned to different counterbalanced manipulation conditions at each session: control (told inactive—given inactive); expectancy (told active CBD—given inactive); drug (told inactive—given active CBD); and expectancy + drug (told active CBD—given active CBD).”
The study concluded “that separate pain outcomes can be differentially affected by CBD and/or expectancies for receiving CBD. Future investigations of the psychological and pharmacological mechanisms underlying CBD analgesia are warranted.” For some outcomes, response to the medication was “significantly larger when participants were told that they received CBD” whether they actually received it or not.
Access the journal article.
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