A common obstacle in clinical management of pathological pain is the poor response to opioid analgesics. We now report that Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9 -THC)-induced antinociception remained effective in rats with pathological pain. The selective central cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A, but not the generic opioid receptor antagonist naloxone, blocked the Δ 9 -THC antinociception. Moreover, there is no cross-tolerance between the antinociceptive effects of morphine and Δ 9 -THC in pathological pain states. The results indicate that Δ 9 -THC antinociception is both effective and independent of opioid receptors in rats with pathological pain. Thus, the cannabinoid analgesic system may be superior to opioids in alleviating intractable pathological pain syndromes.
Neuroscience Letters – Elsevier
Published: Feb 11, 2000
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