US Pharm. 32(11)77-78.

While studies are still being conducted linking smoking marijuana to pain relief, an article in Anesthesiology reports that the benefit that smoking marijuana may have on pain relief depends on a narrow therapeutic dosing window.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that too low a dose had no effect at all, and a higher dose of the drug can actually intensify pain.

In the study, healthy volunteers who smoked marijuana containing 8% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) had a significant increase in pain response to capsaicin-induced hyperalgesia than those who used a 4% THC dose; a 2% dose afforded no pain relief at all.

The researchers cautioned that no conclusions should be drawn from the study. They said that "no conclusions on the analgesic efficacy of smoked cannabis on clinical pain states can be made from this study, as the relationship between analgesic effects in experimental pain and clinical pain states is unknown."

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