By Staff Blogger
A new study has shown that a medical marijuana pill may work better at reducing pain than smoking marijuana and have less side effects as well. A study was done where people either smoked the pot, took the pill called dronabinol, or took a placebo. They were then asked to place their hands in ice water. The groups that smoked the pot and took the pill were able to hold their hands in the water longer, showing that they could tolerate pain more than those who took the placebo.
This study also showed that the pain-reducing effect of the pill lasted much longer than the marijuana that was smoked. The effect lasted 2.5 hours roughly for those who smoked it and lasted 4.5 hours for those who took the pill. The pill effects did take an hour to kick in however while it only took 15 minutes if they smoked it.
Medical marijuana has been made legal in 18 states at this time. It has been shown to relieve pain, especially for nerve injuries and cancer patients. However, smoking still comes with other unhealthy side effects such as reduced lung function and the increased risk of cancer.
Another finding of the study was that people didn’t get the same ‘high’ that you get with smoking marijuana. This could lead to less potential for abuse of the pill. More research is needed however to confirm all of these results.
The study involved healthy people, so it is not clear as to its effects on someone who is in real pain. The study also involved people that smoke marijuana regularly so it is not clear if the same effects would be had by someone who doesn’t smoke.
While this research is not complete, it does give a good starting point for more research down the road and possibly a more effective way of reducing pain than smoking marijuana.