Anyone that's done much research on pain management should recognize the name of Ron Melzack. He founded a pain research center at McGill University in Montreal and helped attract a host of promising researchers. Melzack is retired now, but McGill still has a strong pain research program and they now have a study underway on the benefits of smoked cannabis on neuropathic pain. Their theory is that THC, the component that gives the "high" also has benefits for managing pain.

An announcement about the study is online at: http://www.mcgill.ca/public/releases...july/cannabis/

This study is notable for a couple of important reasons. Most studies about cannabis seem to focus on how to remove the high and still deliver cannaboids. Also, most studies about cannabis and pain focus on nociceptive, or "normal," pain, not neuropathic pain.

I only became aware of this study after noticing that a couple of people from McGill have been visiting my PainOnline site lately and I decided to take a look at their site to peek around.

This study might be worth watching. I've seen previous studies, I think from Andrew Rice in London, that already indicate cannaboid receptors might be active when opiod receptors are non-functional, such as happens with neuropathic pain.

I don't advocate illegal use of *anything*, but in my mind a drug is a drug and it's moral hypocracy to stigmatize and outlaw something for the sake of a political agenda when people have a legitimate medical need that it can fulfill. That happened to cocaine 30 years ago, and scientists and politicians should keep their minds open about marijuana now. I'm glad to see some active research.

David Berg

[This message was edited by David Berg on September 20, 2001 at 12:39 AM.]