How Cannabinoids Interact With Pain Circuits
Often times when we think about how cannabis is affecting the brain, we consider its effects on the dopaminergic tracts in the central nervous system. And why not, that is the primary region of the brain that produces our experience with cannabis. But there is far more to the biochemical propensity of exogenous cannabinoids and the receptors they act on. Researchers are now looking into cannabinoids for pain, and in the midst of our nation’s opioid crisis, cannabinoids for pain management is a hot topic.
I have known from personal experience that cannabis can help dull pain when the going gets tough, but I have often wondered, “Is there actually a reduction in pain or is my perception of it diminished?”Questions about cannabinoids for pain management like these were explored in an extensive review article by the German scientist, Jörn Lötsch, in the European Journal of Pain. I have done my best to untangle a small portion of this vast review, so that the general public may better understand cannabis’ role in modern health and society.