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Cannabis may have the same pain-relieving effect as a placebo


It is often said that cannabis acts as a pain reliever…and this information alone can cure some people.

While some research has shown that cannabis can replace pain relievers, other studies are more skeptical. A study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Network Open highlighted a lack of evidence to confirm the benefits of cannabis. Researchers found that cannabis relieved pain for 67% of patients…exactly the same percentage among those who took a placebo.

According to experts, these analgesic effects are mainly due to the good pressure of cannabis, which produces a placebo effect on patients, notes National Geographic. Even worse, the study accuses the media of publishing positive articles even if the conclusions of the scientific studies are neutral or negative. Because it’s hard to do cannabis studies.

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Many studies have been done in recent years, but blind trials are difficult to carry out in the case of cannabis. If scientists provide a placebo with the same smell and taste, some users can still guess which pill they took based on their condition next. According to Deepak D’Souza (a professor of psychiatry at Yale University who has studied cannabis for more than twenty years) one solution may be to complete a short questionnaire before starting the study. Thus, it will be possible to identify people who have a positive outlook on cannabis, as they are likely to have more positive results later on.

The role of the brain in pain management

In addition to these explanations, a placebo would be particularly effective for certain chronic conditions, such as nociplastic pain (fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, etc.). These pains are not caused by tissue or nerve damage, but are the result of changes in the sensory system.

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Experts don’t yet know exactly where the nociplastic pain comes from, but they speculate that thought may play a role. According to doctors, people who suffer from these pains may be particularly sensitive to the placebo effect.

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While some may be satisfied with knowing that cannabis and placebos can be effective in fighting pain, researchers want to know more. They will now try to figure out exactly what mechanism is at work in the brain so that they can help people in the long term.