Researchers have identified a compound that targets cannabinoid receptors in the brain to ease chronic pain, but without the side effects of medical marijuana.
Opioids and medical marijuana are considered effective treatments for chronic pain, but the drugs carry significant risks. In a new study, researchers reveal a drug compound that is just as effective for alleviating chronic pain, but without the side effects.
Chronic pain - defined as pain that persists for at least 12 weeks - is estimated to affect more than 76 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Opioids are among the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic pain in the United States; in 2012, physicians wrote around 259 million prescriptions for the drugs - the equivalent to one bottle of pills for every adult in the country.
Though opioids might be effective for pain relief, their use has become a major public health concern. Opioids are addictive, and in 2014, the drugs were responsible for more than 28,000 deaths in the U.S. At least half of these deaths involved a prescription opioid.
Studies have also suggested that marijuana is an effective pain reliever, and a number of U.S. states have legalized its use for medicinal purposes. Still, marijuana use may pose a number of short- and long-term side effects, including altered sensory perceptions, hallucinations, delusions, impaired motor function, and memory loss...http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314114.php?tw