Cannabis-like drugs could kill pain without the high

by Andy Coghlan

An ingenious set of experiments has teased apart the mind-altering and pain-relieving effects of the main component of cannabis. This could open the way to cannabis-like drugs that provide pain relief without causing unwanted highs.

Cannabis is taken as a painkiller – to dull pain in cancer for example – but it can produce unpleasant side effects such as hallucinations and impaired mobility.

Now, a team led by Li Zhang of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, has shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active component in cannabis that makes people high but that is also thought to dull pain – binds to different molecular targets on cells to produce these two effects.

Not all users want to get high (Image: Aaron McCoy/Getty)

Not all users want to get high (Image: Aaron McCoy/Getty)

Read More>>

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: