Many patients dealing with chronic pain are starting to appreciate the Cannabis ingredient Cannabidiol CBD. Advocates praise the non-psychoactive substance saying that it can do anything from relieving pain to ward off bacterial infections. However, researchers from Temple University now say that a new cannabis-derived drug may be even more effective at reducing pain.
Opioid addiction crisis
The researchers add that there is a critical need for a less harmful, less addictive pain reliever in America. Apart from chronic pain, these patients often deal with ineffective treatments and reduced work productivity, giving them a sense of hopelessness and anxiety. A typical result is substance abuse and addiction to prescription opioids.
Estimates reveal that more than 18 million Americans abused prescription opioids in 2017 alone. Worse still, studies show that opioids are not very effective at controlling long-term pain.
Although researchers have been exploring CBD as an alternative to prescription opioids, they say it’s still limited in its ability to relieve pain in humans. This can be attributed to low bioavailability, a drug’s ability to reach the targeted site in the human body.
In the new study, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine found that a CBD analog named KLS- 13019 enhances pain-relieving capabilities in animals like mice. In a mouse model’s chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), the analog has been seen to work as well as, if not better than CBD, to prevent the development of neuropathy and reversing sensitivity and pain once the pain was established.
The researchers observe that KLS- 13019 is more potent than CBD in animal studies. They tried the drug’s performance on mice using CIPN.
In humans, CIPN is a common side effect of some cancer treatments. Patients experience pain as damaged nerves transmit sensory information to the legs, arms, and brain. The sensations also manifest as numbness, tingling, or burning feelings in the limbs.
The researchers tested the animals’ pain in multiple trials after treatment with CBD and KLS- 13019. Results showed that in both cases, the pain was drastically reduced. However, KLS 13019 was successful to a greater degree in reversing painful stimuli in animals suffering from peripheral neuropathy.