Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Dude, what happened to my pain resistance?


Marijuana is known to dull the senses when you’re high. But smoking dope may have much longer effects on pain perception, according to a new study presented yesterday at the World Congress on Pain in Montreal.

Laura Mitchell and her colleagues at the Glasgow Caledonian University recruited around 90 regular recreational cannabis users, most of whom were in their 20s or 30s, and studied their ability to withstand the pain of dipping their hands in ice cold water.

They found that heavy male weed tokers had a significantly lower pain threshold than non-pot smokers, and these potheads kept their hands in the freezing cold water for much shorter durations than either non- or light-users.

If you smoke too much grass, it seems, your ability to withstand certain types of pain might go to pot.

Image: Wikimedia


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    ccmorton said:

    Could it be that people who have lower pain tolerances are more likely to become heavy pot smokers? The researchers didn’t follow them over time to see if pain tolerance increased or decreased, correct?