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One of the reasons that many people are choosing to vape weed is to manage their medical conditions, however, can it really help to relieve pain? While traditional pharmaceutical treatments are the standard medical response to chronic pain, many patients still find that they are suffering, despite taking their prescribed medication. Since weed has been identified as a potential treatment for pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, can it prove useful for those who are looking for other options?
Recent medical research has looked more closely at cannabinoids and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body and has demonstrated that the cannabinoid CBD is incredibly effective when it comes to reducing pain. So, how does this translate into the use of weed in its entirety? Can it effectively reduce pain in sufferers? A study recently carried out by the University of California was designed to find an answer to the question. As part of the research, 42 patients who suffered from chronic pain that was resistant to traditional medicinal treatments were asked to take 4 puffs of vaporized weed with another four to eight puffs 3 hours later using the popular Volcano vaporizer from Storz & Bickel. As part of the process, participants had to hold the mouthpieces closely to their mouth, inhale for 5 seconds and then hold in the vapour for 10 seconds before exhaling, then repeating the procedure after 40 seconds in an attempt to mimic the common way in which vapers use their devices.
When evaluating any pain treatment, the idea of the placebo must be counteracted, and therefore, patients were randomly sorted into groups to be given different concentrations of weed with some participants receiving a dose that contained zero concentration as a control test. Before and after administration of the test, the patients rated their pain on a scale of 0 to 11 and then their ratings were compared. The conclusive results showed that when vaporized, whole plan weed can be very effective at reducing pain significantly. Although 18 patients reported a drop of a minimum of 30% in their pain levels while using a placebo, 26 reported the same reduction on higher and lower concentrations, with the number of puffs that were needed to reach this level being 3-4.
As the results showed little variation in pain reduction between the lower and higher doses, it appears that patients are not necessarily benefiting from vaping a large amount of weed, but instead are benefiting from the CBD content in the whole plant which would probably have remained the same throughout the samples. Overall, it appears that patients who are looking for an effective alternative to traditional treatments would be well advised to try vaping weed to see if they can find relief, since all the evidence so far seems to demonstrate that it can have a very beneficial effect for those who are suffering from long term and chronic pain.