Researchers have uncovered how marijuana plants produce pain-killing molecules that are 30 times stronger than aspirin — a property that gives them medicinal promise as a substitute for opioid pain relievers, which can lead to crippling addiction, researchers said.
“There’s clearly a need to develop alternatives for relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids,” said Tariq Akhtar, a University of Guelph biology professor and author of the study, in a statement on the newly released research.
Those pain-relieving molecules in cannabis, called cannflavin A and cannflavin B, cut down on pain by fighting off inflammation but are not psychoactive, in contrast with the chemicals that give marijuana its mind-bending effects, Canadian researchers said in a Tuesday news release on their findings. The study appears in the August edition of the journal Phytochemistry.
“Being able to offer a new pain relief option is exciting, and we are proud that our work has the potential to become a new tool in the pain relief arsenal,” said Steven Rothstein, another biology professor at the Ontario university who worked on the study. [Read more at The News Tribune]