Mechanisms of Cannabinoid Analgesia

May 18, 2011

The full results of this study were pub­lished in PAIN Below is a brief sum­mary of these results.

Anec­do­tal evi­dence sug­gests that cannabi­noid drugs, which include the main active ingre­di­ent of mar­i­juana delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, may be use­ful for the treat­ment of trigem­i­nal pain syn­dromes, includ­ing headache. These stud­ies exam­ined the effect of one cannabi­noid drug, WIN 55,212–2, on the trans­mis­sion of pain sig­nals involved in head pain. The activ­ity of pain trans­mis­sion neu­rons in the anes­thetized rat was mon­i­tored after cannabi­noid admin­is­tra­tion. Results from these stud­ies demon­strated clear inhi­bi­tion of neu­ronal responses to nox­ious heat stim­u­la­tion of the facial skin. In addi­tional stud­ies, the abil­ity of the rat to actively with­draw from heat­ing the face was delayed by cannabi­noid drug admin­is­tra­tion. The abil­ity of cannabi­noids to delay the response to painful stim­u­la­tion, com­bined with the demon­stra­tion of cannabinoid-induced inhi­bi­tion of pain trans­mis­sion sig­nals, pro­vides sci­en­tific evi­dence for a direct anal­gesic effect of cannabinoids.


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