In the wake of the prescription opioid drug epidemic in America many states became in favor of medical marijuana programs for treating chronic pain. While there is not much known regarding the efficacy of marijuana for pain treatment, there are a number of Americans who now argue for and rely on marijuana to treat their pain. Every drug carries with it unwanted side effects, and for those who use marijuana to treat their pain, but do not like the side effects – there may be an alternative.
New research suggests that the cholesterol drug Tricor ® (fenofibrate), may open the doors for the development of cannabis-like drugs for a number of ailments including pain, Science Daily reports. These types of drugs could possibly be used for: pain, appetite stimulation, nausea, immune conditions, and various psychiatric and neurological conditions.
“By illustrating the relationship between fenofibrate and the cannabinoid system, we aim to improve our understanding of this clinically important drug,” said Richard S. Priestley, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham Medical School in Nottingham, United Kingdom. “Our study provides the basis for the investigation of new drugs targeting these important receptors.”
The researchers found that in many ways fenofibrate mimicked what marijuana does in the body, according to the article. They found that some of the effects of fenofibrate may be controlled by cannabinoid receptors. Targeting these cannabinoid receptors may allow scientists to develop new drugs for treating pain.
“It may be difficult to persuade people in Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia that there are people who want the beneficial effects of marijuana without actually getting high,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “but there are people who do not want to get stoned just to get the relief that marijuana brings. This new work suggests that possibility.”
The findings were published in The FASEB Journal.