Smoking pot can soothe tingling or burning pain – but you don’t need to get high to find relief. So says an $8.7 million California research study reported by the Sacramento Bee, the first major research conducted on the effects of marijuana in two decades. The findings are sure to drive debate over public policy governing California’s burgeoning medical marijuana market.
The study concluded that marijuana can provide relief for neuropathic pain caused by injuries, infections, diabetes, strokes and other medical conditions affecting the nervous system. Conducted since 2000 by the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, the research endorsed medical benefits of marijuana, but it was anything but an endorsement for getting stoned. “We found that low strength was as good as high strength in resolving pain,” said Dr. Barth Wilsey, a UC Davis specialist in pain medicine and anesthesiology.