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Marijuana-like Substance Reduces Pain Without the Mental Fog

Effective pain relief from a marijuana-like substance may be possible, according to a the results of a recent study published in the Anesthesia & Analgesia journal.

Effective pain relief from a marijuana-like substance may be possible, according to a the results of a recent study published in the Anesthesia & Analgesia journal.

While marijuana has been proven to offer some patients pain relief there can be mental and physical side effects. A new synthetic cannabinoid compound has the potential to relieve pain without causing adverse effects in the central nervous system. The compound is called MDA19 and acts on a specific subtype of the cannabinoid receptor.

Through a series of experiments, the researchers found that two subtypes of the cannabinoid chemical receptor exist; CB1 is found in the brain, while CB2 is found in the peripheral immune system. The synthetic compound, MDA19, has a much stronger effect on the CB2 receptor, and, in humans, the compound demonstrated four times greater activity on the CB2 receptor than on the CB1 receptor.

The compound also demonstrated the ability to either block or activate the cannabinoid receptors. When the treatment was given to rats, it had reduced certain types of neuropathic pain without the behavioral effects commonly associated with marijuana.