For thousands of years, weed preparations have been used to treat pain. Its applications have been described, among other things, as an analgesic in surgery, as an anti-inflammatory, as an antidote to gout, to neuralgia (nerve pain), migraines and toothache and also as a remedy for painful menstrual cramps. The mechanisms of action for pain therapy by cannabinoids have been very well researched and prove the remarkable effect several times. Inhalation of cannabis is often avoided because the effects are short-lived and therefore need to be administered several times. Oral cannabis is usually preferred because its action lasts many times longer and even chronic pain can be treated.

THC has also been shown to reduce phantom pain after amputation. Several studies compared patients with painful spasticity after spinal cord injury. Some of them were given 5 mg of THC, others 50 mg of codeine and the control group a placebo. The result was that THC and codeine were analgetic superior to placebo. However, of the two effective drugs, THC was superior to codeine and significantly reduced spasticity.

Another study showed that THC/CBD extract provided better pain relief in 24 patients with neurogenic symptoms (nerve pain) than placebo.

A morphine patient with abdominal pain who received 30 mg of morphine daily for analgesia was given 10 mg of THC /CBD extract five times a day for six weeks. The CBD counters the psychotropic, behavioural-altering effects of THC. The need for morphine and pain intensity was measured in the THC/CBD and in a placebo phase. The need for morphine could be reduced many times in the THC/CBD phase (p < 0.001).

In ten cancer patients, a major pain reduction was observed when 5, 10, 15 and 20 mg of oral THC were administered compared to placebo. In 12 women, doses of sublingual THC extracts of 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg were administered after postoperative pain after hysterectomy. The pain relief was optimal after 2 hours and lasted no longer than 3 hours. When the THC was given in capsule form, the effect lasted longer and after six hours only half of the patients needed additional painkillers.

In general, it should be mentioned that the use of cannabis as a painkiller has side effects such as drowsiness or high feeling, but these should also be weighed against the very different, harmful side effects of morphine.


Pain is a complex sensory perception that, acutely speaking, is intended as a kind of warning signal for the body (nociceptor pain). If the pain is chronic, it usually results from damage to the system(neuropathic pain) and forms a separate clinical picture according to current medicine. The pain is also often the result of reversible functional disorders (e.g. migraine due to poor blood circulation regulation).

The pain itself is passed through the nerve fibers through the body. Especially in chronic pain, the affected person experiences not only the symptoms that affect the body, but usually also the sociopsychological damage, which can completely change the behavior of the person in public. In addition to chronic pain, for example, a large number of patients with advanced-stage cancer have so-called pain attacks, which have a major impact on the quality of life. Such forms of breakthrough pain can also occur with a typically adequate pain treatment.

Pain is usually treated with opioids (e.g. morphine, fentanyl and methanone) and non-opioid painkillers (e.g. salicylic acid derivatives). Adaptive drugs (e.g. antidepressants) are also used that affect the cause of the pain. The choice of the right medication is usually adjusted individually.

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