The study appears to be the first randomized controlled trial of inhaled cannabis for diabetic neuropathy pain, and is quickly becoming an increasingly common condition (given the increasing prevalence of diabetes). This study is welcome news since currently approved medications don't provide adequate relief to most patients with this condition.
I'm also happy to report that the researchers used the Volcano vaporizer (approved by Health Canada as a medical device for administering medical cannabis). Vaporization has advantages over other routes of administration, since it avoids the hazardous compounds when cannabis is combusted.
Analgesic effects lasted about 4 hours,and the researchers also evaluated the participants' psychomotor speed, attention, and cognitive sequencing capacities. While surprising to most who have fallen prey to the anti-marijuana propaganda, this study also confirmed what most regular cannabis users already knew--that we can still perform at a fairly high level of cognition while under the influence. This meant the overall differences between doses in changes from baseline were not statistically significant.
Having said that, it's important people understand this doesn't mean "normal" cognition. Although none of the cognitive scores dropped into the "impaired" range, the researchers warned that the effects were strong enough that they could affect driving. Further, after adjusting for visit order and baseline scaled score, the researchers found that the patients taking the medium and high doses did lose some cognitive capacity.
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Source: Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
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