A new study from the University of New Mexico found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0–10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption.
Among the study’s findings, the greatest analgesic responses were reported by people who used whole dried cannabis flower, or buds, and particularly cannabis with relatively high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) showed little association with the momentary changes in pain intensity, based on the database explored in the study.
“Cannabis likely has numerous constituents that possess analgesic properties beyond THC, including terpenes and flavonoids, which likely act synergistically for people that use whole dried cannabis flower,” said Jacob Miguel Vigil, one of the lead investigators. “Our results confirm that cannabis use is a relatively safe and effective medication for alleviating pain, and that is the most important message to learn from our results. It can only benefit the public for people to be able to responsibly weigh the true risks and benefits of their pain medication choices, and when given this opportunity, I’ve seen numerous chronic pain patients substitute away from opioid use, among many other classes of medications, in favor of medical cannabis.”