A new study suggests that marijuana may not be as effective for pain relief in women as it is in men. Two researchers from Columbia University Medical Center demonstrated this sex-dependent analgesic effect in men and women who reported similar responses to the psychotropic effects of cannabis. Further, they stated that their study is likely the first to assess the therapeutic effect of marijuana under “well-controlled” conditions. Study participants consisted of 21 men and 21 women, recruited from non-treatment-seeking recreational cannabis smokers, and matched for baseline pain response and level of cannabis use. The level of cannabis use was quantified to help determine whether tolerance may have developed to the analgesic effect. The researchers then administered a pain response test (the cold pressor test) to patients that is also used for opioid testing. The investigators described the greater analgesic response to cannabis in men, with similar psychoactive effects to those in women, as “the reverse” of observations in preclinical studies of laboratory rats. The study adds dimension to the national debate regarding marijuana’s legal status and safety in the midst of the opioid epidemic. States with more liberal medical marijuana laws see decreases in painkiller prescriptions.
Read more via Pain Medicine News here.