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Marijuana Derivative Blocks Neuropathic Pain Without Side Effects

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  • Marijuana Derivative Blocks Neuropathic Pain Without Side Effects

    (This continues the hot and heavy conversation we had on my Facebook page last week about new research that found that medical marijuana could reduce neuropathic pain. Some patients were in support of using MJ while others were not. Here's another interesting study which takes out any of the potential "high" side effects and focuses solely on receptors that fight pain. - Jill )

    Marijuana Derivative Could Be Useful for Pain Treatment Blocks Neuropathic Pain without Undesired Side Effects

    Released: 7/1/2010 3:00 PM EDT
    Source: International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)

    Newswise — A new compound similar to the active component of marijuana (cannabis) might provide effective pain relief without the mental and physical side effects of cannabis, according to a study in the July issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

    The synthetic cannabinoid (cannabis-related) compound, called MDA19, seems to avoid side effects by acting mainly on one specific subtype of the cannabinoid receptor. "MDA19 has the potential for alleviating neuropathic pain without producing adverse effects in the central nervous system," according to the study by Dr Mohamed Naguib of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

    MDA19 Works on a Single Cannabinoid Receptor

    The researchers performed a series of experiments to analyze the pharmacology and effects of the synthetic cannabinoid MDA19. There are two subtypes of the cannabinoid chemical receptor: CB1, found mainly in the brain; and CB2, found mainly in the peripheral immune system. Dr. Naguib's group has been doing research to see if the cannabinoid receptors—particularly CB2—can be a useful target for new drugs to treat neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a difficult-to-treat type of pain caused by nerve damage, common in patients with trauma, diabetes, and other conditions.

    MDA19 was designed to have a much stronger effect on the CB2 receptor than on the CB1 receptor. In humans, MDA19 showed four times greater activity on the CB2 receptor than on the CB1 receptor. In rats, the difference was even greater. The experiments also showed that MDA19 had "protean" effects, so-called after the shape-shifting Greek sea god Proteus—under different conditions, it could either block or activate the cannabinoid receptors.

    In rats, treatment with MDA19 effectively reduced specific types of neuropathic pain, with greater effects at higher doses. At the same time, it did not seem to cause any of the behavioral effects associated with marijuana.

    Potential to Develop Effective Pain Drugs that Avoid Side Effects

    The "functional selectivity" of MDA19—the fact that it acts mainly on the CB2 receptor and has a range of effects under differing conditions—could have important implications for drug development. "[W]ith functionally selective drugs, it would be possible to separate the desired from the undesired effects of a single molecule through a single receptor," Dr. Naguib and colleagues write.

    This means that MDA19 could be a promising step toward developing medications that have the pain-reducing effect of cannabinoids while avoiding the mental and physical side effects of marijuana itself. However, more research will be needed before MDA19 or other agents that act on the CB2 receptor are ready for testing in humans.

    "These elegant studies by Professor Naguib demonstrate remarkable analgesic properties for this synthetic cannabinoid,” comments Dr. Steven L. Shafer of Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesia &Analgesia. "The studies suggest a novel mechanism for this protean agonist. Although preliminary, these studies suggest that synthetic cannabinoids may be significant step forward for patients suffering from neuropathic pain."

    Read the full study in Anesthesia & Analgesia
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  • #2
    Hi that is great

    Hi that is great

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome!!! I wonder if toxicity is reduced...

      Comment


      • #4
        Marijauna

        Wonderful article. Thanks for posting it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Woohoo! Would be nice to get pain relieving effects without getting high or damaging lungs!

          Comment


          • #6
            another plus

            Plus it would not have the habituating properties of opoids!!!!!!!!!! Now that is a BIG plus!

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll ask my uro about this. Breaking the law/smoking anything I'm not willing to do but this sounds like it might be ok someday.

              Love, H.

              Comment


              • #8
                I stumbled upon this article quite a while ago as well, posted it to my facebook and everything.

                There are numerous studies showing the pain relieving effects of marijuana. And, if you do the research, even in the regular smoking form, it's far less damaging to your body than prescription opoids.

                I pray that someday maybe there will be a medical marijuana card for IC patients as well. I know several people who have severe chronic pain that have the cards, and say it does help them a lot.
                Clark College Junior, wanting to go to UW for Fine Art Degree
                Major: Fine Art
                Taking a course in medical transcription, must work from home
                IC diagnosed 07/07
                PFD developed sometime during late 07
                Uterine Cyst removed 12/09
                Chronic Pelvic pain developed in 09
                Chronic Back Pain developed in 09
                Possible vulvodynia

                Medications: Elmiron, Detrol LA, BC, Prosed DS, Celexa for anxiety, depression, and pain,
                No longer taking: Atarax (No help),Amytriptalene (no effect, became suicidal), Ditropan (no effect), Probiotics (sick to stomach), Bactrim (hopefully cleared up my UTI!), avoiding Pyridium unless absolutely needed (sick to stomach), Prozac (helped anxiety, no pain relief), Pamelor (gained nearly 20 lbs in a short time, no anxiety relief), Valium, Vicodin, percocet (none of these meds even touch my pain >_<)

                Current Therapies: acupuncture, heat, Vicodin if needed, lots of laying down, gaming as a distraction, Pain Management classes started 9/22, Wanting to try TENS therapy

                Comment


                • #9
                  marijuana

                  I wish my state was a progressive as Washington.
                  I do hope someday MJ will be recoginzed for it's pain reducing properties and legalized for that purpose.
                  I understand that in Europe, they use it regularly for pain and for MS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bubbe1 View Post
                    I wish my state was a progressive as Washington.
                    I do hope someday MJ will be recoginzed for it's pain reducing properties and legalized for that purpose.
                    I understand that in Europe, they use it regularly for pain and for MS.
                    I can relate. NYC is very backwards. You wouldn't expect it but I don't see medical mj of any sort ever being passed here. There's a drug called marinol or something like that, derived from mj and used for chemo patients. I wonder if that's similar?

                    Love, H.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mj

                      Originally posted by Hannah13 View Post
                      I can relate. NYC is very backwards. You wouldn't expect it but I don't see medical mj of any sort ever being passed here. There's a drug called marinol or something like that, derived from mj and used for chemo patients. I wonder if that's similar?

                      Love, H.
                      Hi H,
                      Thought you would find this interesting.
                      Laurie


                      A pharmaceutical product, Marinol, is widely available through prescription. It comes in the form of a pill and is also being studied by researchers for suitability via other delivery methods, such as an inhaler or patch. The active ingredient of Marinol is synthetic THC, which has been found to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients and to assist with loss of appetite with AIDS patients.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is one of the few times that I wish I was on Facebook so that I could have participated in your discussion thread there Jill!

                        I have posted on this board before about my own use of marijuana to manage my IC pain and I just want to reiterate that it is not habit-forming or necessarily damaging to the lungs. There are many ways to ingest marijuana aside from smoking a 'joint.' Many regular users, especially people using for medical reasons, use a vaporizer (which is far gentler on the lungs) or bake/cook with marijuana.

                        Also, I wanted to let readers of the board know that the very issue of removing the "high" component from the drug is controversial in itself, particularly in circles of people advocating for the legalization of marijuana (both medical and recreational use). If you take away the "high," many advocates than argue that you are eliminating one of the main benefits of using marijuana.

                        For myself, I can take Tylenol 3 to deal with the pain from a severe flare, but I still end up focusing on my pain and IC. If I use marijuana, then I am gifted a period of time that allows my mind to better focus on other things -- from the simple distraction of watching a film to enjoying intimacy with my partner.

                        Of course, there are times when being "high" is inappropriate or potentially dangerous, but when I use marijuana to control pain symptoms at home, it's a blessed relief from suffering and the constant physical reminder that I'm not fully well. Even if I could get my hands on the new drugs being developed (like the one in the article above), I would still use the real thing.

                        People use alcohol ALL of the time to "wind-down" and "let loose" at the end of the day or a long work week -- why deny that same privilege to those people, like IC-suffers, who can benefit in so many ways from using marijuana?
                        Me: Canadian. 31.

                        IC symptoms: Cramping, burning, frequency. Pain!

                        Pain management: Ibuprofen. AZO. Marijuana. Prelief. The IC Diet.

                        My IC-safe, Gluten-free, Lactose-free food blog:
                        Good for Your Guts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          medical marijuana

                          Originally posted by klite View Post
                          This is one of the few times that I wish I was on Facebook so that I could have participated in your discussion thread there Jill!

                          I have posted on this board before about my own use of marijuana to manage my IC pain and I just want to reiterate that it is not habit-forming or necessarily damaging to the lungs. There are many ways to ingest marijuana aside from smoking a 'joint.' Many regular users, especially people using for medical reasons, use a vaporizer (which is far gentler on the lungs) or bake/cook with marijuana.

                          Also, I wanted to let readers of the board know that the very issue of removing the "high" component from the drug is controversial in itself, particularly in circles of people advocating for the legalization of marijuana (both medical and recreational use). If you take away the "high," many advocates than argue that you are eliminating one of the main benefits of using marijuana.

                          For myself, I can take Tylenol 3 to deal with the pain from a severe flare, but I still end up focusing on my pain and IC. If I use marijuana, then I am gifted a period of time that allows my mind to better focus on other things -- from the simple distraction of watching a film to enjoying intimacy with my partner.

                          Of course, there are times when being "high" is inappropriate or potentially dangerous, but when I use marijuana to control pain symptoms at home, it's a blessed relief from suffering and the constant physical reminder that I'm not fully well. Even if I could get my hands on the new drugs being developed (like the one in the article above), I would still use the real thing.

                          People use alcohol ALL of the time to "wind-down" and "let loose" at the end of the day or a long work week -- why deny that same privilege to those people, like IC-suffers, who can benefit in so many ways from using marijuana?

                          Klite,
                          I so agree with you. Such a benign drug as long as it is used in a safe manner, as is the case with all drugs.
                          Thanks for posting this.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In the near future we should be seeing a lot more drugs being developed of this type. There is quite a few synthetic legal canabanoids out there these days. Most of them are made to get you high, but the pain relieving is still the same. Hopefully, other scientists will help in the race to develop pain relieving substances of this type.
                            Trying to figure this mess out!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mj

                              I have to agree with klite. I didn't use mj until I started reading about studies being done on it in regards to pain and IC. I really don't know how it works, but it does help mentally by giving me a break from pain. It was not what my husband wanted me to try, but I was losing a third of the month in bed, not being able to bike or even exercise - just cuddling w my heating pan.

                              mj and meditation has helped me the most. making myself live life is also a big one, regardless of how I feel. Am I in remission- no I think I am getting worse. but have a uro I trust and think I at least found something that helps me manage my life better. Any way you look at it, you have to fight mentally. I also have Fibromyalga, and when they both flare, well mentally it gets real interesting. I may go to bed a half day now, but I am not losing my life in bed.
                              Sweet Texas Hugs,
                              jane2

                              Comment

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