A study whose findings were published towards the end of July has found that dried marijuana flower provides the highest level of pain relief when compared to other marijuana products. This conclusion was made after analyzing the data collected by an app which allows medical marijuana users to track the effects of the different medical marijuana products and dosage for different health conditions.
The New Mexico University researchers wrote that higher THC concentrations in marijuana flower and other cannabis products were associated with better pain relief outcomes among the patients who used the Releaf App to track their medical cannabis usage.
In contrast, CBD showed pain relief effects only up to a certain level, while the additional concentration was associated with no additional benefit yet gastrointestinal complaints increased among the patients who used products with higher concentrations of CBD. This is in line with research that shows the benefits of CBD start leveling off when patients consume higher doses of the compound.
Overall, the study looked at 20,513 sessions of marijuana use logged in the app by 2,987 patients for more than two years (June 6, 2016 to October 24, 2018). 95 percent of all the patients reported marked relief from pain and the average reduction was 3.1 points on a self-reported pain scale ranging from 0-10. The starting level of pain was an average of 5.87 and this average dropped to 2.77 after the patients had used marijuana for their pain.
Another highlight of this study was that cannabis concentrates were linked to more side effects than dried cannabis flower. The researchers suspect that those negative side effects could have been caused by the residues of the solvents used to extract the concentrates, or because other cannabis compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids, are lost during the extraction process.
The research also revealed that marijuana products which were hybrids of sativa and indica marijuana strains exhibited better pain management when compared to those that were either purely indica or purely sativa in nature.
It was also noted that the patients who said that they had pain in the stomach or gastrointestinal system benefited most from products with lower concentrations of THC than from products high in THC.
Interestingly, the patients who used marijuana tinctures, pills and edibles reported less relief from pain when compared to those who used cannabis concentrates, dried flower and topical products.
This research done on a large population of medical marijuana users provides some of the best proof so far available regarding the role of THC in pain management. Industry watchers are eager to see how different entities like Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) and TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) (FRA: TH8) will make use of these research findings in their products.
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