Study To Probe Safety of Using Pot for Pain

Study To Probe Safety of Using Pot for Pain
Posted by CN Staff on December 09, 2004 at 12:22:06 PT
By Debora Van Brenk, Free Press Reporter
Source: London Free Press
Pain patients in London will be able to join a national study to test medicinal pot's safety. It's believed to be the first scientific look at how medical marijuana interacts or interferes with health problems and conventional medicines, said pain specialist Dr. Mark Ware, leading the study from McGill University Health Centre. "As far as I know, nowhere else in the world" has this been done, he said yesterday.
Other studies test how well cannabis relieves pain, which isn't the intent of this work. Pain researcher Dr. Dwight Moulin of London Health Sciences Centre and Lawson Health Research Institute is heading the London study. He will work with 50 people who use medicinal marijuana against pain and 150 pain sufferers who don't use pot. All told, 1,400 chronic-pain patients will be studied at seven pain clinics nationwide. Most will be people whose pain stems from multiple sclerosis, arthritis or spinal cord injuries. (Cancer patients are excluded from the study.) "We're looking to see what the safety issues might be," Ware said. There's a possibility other medications may interact with marijuana to make some or all those drugs more, or less, effective, Ware said. Participants will be followed for a year and undergo chest x-rays, memory questions and tests for heart, lung, kidney and liver function. Researchers hope to emerge with a clearer picture of pot's side effects on people with chronic pain and whether those effects outweigh the benefits. Conventional drugs are ordinarily subjected to rigorous safety and other testing before being approved for use. But Health Canada approved the use of medicinal pot more than a year ago. "We're sort of forced to work backwards" from the normal course of events, Ware said. The approach may even become a template for testing natural health products, Ware said. The cannabis to be used in this study is produced by Prairie Plant Systems under contract to Health Canada. It contains about 12 per cent THC, the chemical that produces the pain relief. The study is supported by a $1.8-million grant from Health Canada, which will be kept abreast of results. Ware said doctors will already know most patients who are eligible for the study. But those interested in participating can call 1-866-302-4636 and leave their contact information. Media contacts for other participating centres can be found at: London Free Press (CN ON)Author: Debora Van Brenk, Free Press ReporterPublished: December 9, 2004Copyright: 2004 The London Free Press Contact: letters lfpress.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Safety Study of Medical Cannabis Use News -- Canada Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #6 posted by ekim on December 10, 2004 at 08:12:11 PT
Novak on Capital Gang
today on Wash Journal on C-Span from 8-9 Mr. Novak was on. he was asked about the Capital Gang show last sat. where he was the only person on to be against Med use of Cannabis. and why is the drug war not allowing the US farmer from competing with China in Hemp production. to which ol Bob gave his pat reply ---all this talk of med use is a back door effort to legalize all drugs in the US and that's that.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by afterburner on December 10, 2004 at 06:21:02 PT
The ''High'' Level of Debate on Canadian Cannabis
First, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (and former Justice Minister and former Health Minister) calls cannabis smokers stupid. {people who smoke marijuana are "stupid," Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan said}
--Canada: Grow-Ops Pose 'Serious Threat' To Public Safety [Thanks, lombar in Medical Marijuana Approved ]Now, the Canadian Media calls legalization stupid. Real mature debate, NOT!
CN ON: OPED: Pot Legalization Stupid 
by David Warren, (09 Dec 2004) Windsor Star Ontario "I stopped doing drugs when I realized they make you crazy. ... Substitute tobacco for marijuana, and I might be tempted to vote NDP."Oh, no, he doesn't use drugs. Tobacco is not a drug, doncha know. And although he does not admit to using alcohol, which is a big part of the press scene, I bet he also thinks that alcohol is not a drug. And that morning coffee is alright too because coffee is not a drug. Wake up and smell the drugs.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by afterburner on December 10, 2004 at 04:31:24 PT
Health Canada Is Already the Canadian FDA
Dosanjh vows action on drugs
Dec. 10, 2004. 06:21 AM
[Toronto Star free subscription site]"Canadians deserve a better system to detect harmful effects of drugs, says the federal Health Minister. But Ujjal Dosanjh rejected calls to set up an independent drug agency to oversee the approval and monitoring of prescription medicines on the market. Rita Daly reports."  [Full Story]
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 09, 2004 at 13:52:49 PT
Maybe it's because it would be hard to check if cancer was causing problems or cannabis. That could be.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 09, 2004 at 13:51:01 PT
I don't know why cancer patients are excluded either. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on December 09, 2004 at 13:42:59 PT:
One complaint I have
*(Cancer patients are excluded from the study.)*That sucks, big time. I recall only too well the elderly woman I cared for, tears streaming down her face, describing how the pain from the chemo drugs felt like "Wild animals eating my bone marrow." She had to stay zonked on opiates much of the time, cheating her of her remaining days. Cannabis would be an almost perfect analgesia for such unfortunates. It's criminal to deny them some respite from their pain.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment