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Best And Safest Painkiller Available – Try Marijuana

By James Donahue

Researchers in at least two Canadian university laboratories and studies conducted in England have discovered through clinical testing that the cannabinoids found in hemp, a form of cannabis still marked as an illegal substance in the United States, are a highly effective treatment for chronic pain.

A paper published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2011, reported a study at the Department of Anesthesia and Psychiatry at Dalhousie University, Halifax, that found that cannabinoids were effective in relieving chronic non-cancer pain. The study examined neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and mixed chronic pain.

The study found that the cannabinoids also provided "noticeable improvement in sleep in most of the volunteers participating in the study. Some of the volunteers were given a placebo as a control during the trials. Best of all, the study found that while the cannabinoids improved pain, mood and sleep, it caused no damaging side effects like those found in over-the-counter or prescription pain killers.

The Halifax study supported similar research work at the McGill University Health Center in Montreal, Quebec, in 2002. That study suggested that cannabis can be effective for improving pain in some patients with chronic pain.

Another paper recently published by Imperial College, London, found that the receptors for cannabinoids are found in the spinal cord, in areas concerned with pain processing, thus explaining why cannabis offers effective pain relief for certain types of chronic pain, but not all.

Research teams led by Dr. Maurice Elphick, of Queen Mary and Westfield College, and Professor Steve McMahon at Kings College, found that cannabinoids seem to have the ability to relieve a type of chronic pain that current treatments cannot reach. This includes strong opioid analgesics like morphine. This is because the spinal opioid receptors disappear after a nerve injury, but spinal cannabinoid receptors appear to be preserved.

This "may indicate a therapeutic advantage for cannabinoid-based drugs over opioids in the treatment of painful neuropathy," the researchers wrote.

The cannabinoids that kill the pain are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD. These two compounds are found to interact with the body to kill pain while enhancing the mood of the patient.

Notice that in spite of the findings published by researchers outside the United States, the possession, production and sale of all forms of cannabis, including hemp which offers no psychological "high" when consumed, is still prohibited by federal law in the United States. There has been a movement to make this plant legal and voters in many states have approved the legalization of marijuana for medical use.

The U.S. government claims that research has proved that the cannabis plant offers no medical benefit.

By contrast, the pharmaceutical painkillers have been responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined. They were linked to more than 15,000 deaths in 2008.

Strangely, these drugs, available by doctor’s prescription, and over-the-counter pain killers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and even aspirin, are known to damage kidneys, the liver and cause death by addiction and overdose, are readily available, while marijuana, which has never been known to kill anyone, remains an illegal substance.

That marijuana, which is easy to grow, can be produced anywhere in the world, and is a cheap and effective medical substance, may be the problem. Opening the door to allow everybody to grow marijuana plants in their back yards would threaten profits of not only the pharmaceutical industry, but organized crime, which markets the dried plant on the street.