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A new study has shown that pot users are more sensitive to pain than non-users. Scientists analyzed the doses of painkillers needed to alleviate pain in marijuana users after a car crash when compared with non-users.
Medical marijuana, ironically, is prescribed to alleviate pain. But the plant seems to lower pain tolerance in users, as well.
Study authors also found that short-term pain relief can prevent the body from enduring pain in time.
In the study, the team at Swedish Medical Center, Colorado, sifted through the medical data on 260 people admitted to emergency rooms after a minor car crash. More than 50 were frequent pot users while 16 admitted that they used the drug occasionally.
Nearly 10% of participants had cocaine or opiates in their system.
Researchers found that weed users needed 7.6mg of painkillers on average every day. Non-users needed just 5.6mg per day. When asked to rate their pain, pot users gave a 4.9 rating on average, with non-users giving a 4.2 rating.
Doctors said that pot users are more likely to stay in the hospital because no one wants to send them home while on massive doses of narcotics.
Pot Could Delay Healing
The study revealed that marijuana users had a higher risk to experience drug withdrawal, like vomiting while being treated. The withdrawal symptoms can severely hamper healing.
Researchers noted that other drugs and prescription medication do not impact people’s pain levels.
Dr. Anne Wagner of the UCHealth Burn Center noted that many people falsely believe that pot has no side-effects.
I don’t think they’re at all aware about how much it’s going to affect them in their recovery,
Dr. Wagner said.
The study appeared this week in the journal Patient Safety in Surgery.
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