Analysis of Cannabis for Pain: Is Tolerance an Issue?

February 15, 2021
Grace Halsey

Authors of 2 large cannabis-user database analyses discuss the possible reasons for observed dose increase over time by individuals using inhaled cannabis for pain relief.

After analyzing data from thousands of documented cannabis-use sessions for acute pain from a variety of conditions,* Drs Carrie Cuttler and Rebecca Craft from the Department of Psychology at Washington State University identified trends in diminished analgesic efficacy for some pain states over time as well as use of larger doses of cannabis over time.

In this video the researchers discuss issues of tolerance and what the observed increase in dose across time might indicate.


*Cuttler, Craft, and colleagues analyzed data from >12 000 cannabis use sessions for treating headache and >7000 cannabis use sessions for treating migraine that spanned a period of 6 months.

In the second study, the team analyzed data from >57 000 cannabis use sessions for treating muscle pain, >56 000 cannabis use sessions for joint pain, and >17 000 sessions for nerve pain that spanned a period of 34 months.

For the other videos in this interview series:

Impact of Inhaled Cannabis for Acute Pain: Analysis of a Unique Data Set

Cannabis, Pain Relief, and the Sexes: Differential Benefit Explored


The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.