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Research & Development Pain, Medical research

Perspectives on Pain

If you conducted a straw poll on the medical indications of cannabis, pain would likely be at the top of the list. With a relatively solid safety profile, legalization advocates claim that cannabis-based treatments may be a magic bullet for the chronic pain that plagues as many as 1 in 5 Americans – and thus one answer to the country’s deadly opioid epidemic. Notably, an estimated 67 percent of US cannabis prescriptions are already for chronic pain relief (1).

But beyond the anecdotes and hyperbole, there is mixed evidence for the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of pain (2, 3) – perhaps unsurprising given the huge range of causes and types of pain. We spoke with four experts working across the spectrum of pain research to get a clearer idea of the state of the field – from biologists shedding light on the role of the endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation, through to doctors running (tightly-regulated) clinical trials and assessing the impact on their patients.


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About the Author

Jonathan James

Having thrown myself into various science communication activities whilst studying science at University, I soon came to realize where my passions truly lie; outside the laboratory, telling the stories of the remarkable men and women conducting groundbreaking research. Now, at Texere, I have the opportunity to do just that.

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