Medical research, cannabis and the treatment of pain in Canada : some historical perspectives


Serval ID
Autre: use this type when nothing else fits.
Medical research, cannabis and the treatment of pain in Canada : some historical perspectives
Beaulieu Pierre, Monnais Laurence
Issued date
Published on Cultures of health : a historical anthology = Culturas da saúde : uma antologia histórica = Culturas de la salud : antología histórica = Les cultures de la santé : une anthologie", a website featuring archival material, research notes, interviews, bibliographic summaries, and links to related sites. Published by scholars with experience in the history of medicine and related fields, Cultures of Health approaches medicine and health from a social, cultural and political perspective."
Pain is still poorly treated, despite its emergence as a significant public health issue. Cannabis has a long history as a therapeutic substance, particularly for pain relief; yet its use remains both controversial and marginal despite recent data tending to show that it is not just promising but in certain circumstances truly effective in pain treatment. In fact, even further upstream, research on cannabis and on its therapeutic use remains fraught with difficulties. In Canada, the lack of funding for projects in this field is one of the clearest indicators of what appears to be a shared reluctance on the part of both public funding institutions and health professionals. By adopting a historical approach, we identify some of the obstacles that might account for the enduring roots of this double resistance. We will focus on thethree following factors that developed in the latter half of the 19th century: the dual construction of toxicity (in therapeutics) and of addiction (and of addictive drugs), the emergence of modern pharmaceuticals, and the development of a close relationship between the State and healthcare professionals. Because historical processes have made cannabis into a “non-medicine,”€˝ it is not currently considered to be a valid subject of clinical research, nor can it be medically prescribed in the vast majority of Western countries. Yet, in this era of evidence-based medicine,it is important to wait for well-conducted clinical studies and their results before knowing whether the therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives is possible or not.
cannabis, pain, opioids, legislation, pharmaceuticals, Canada
Publisher's website
Open Access
Create date
05/07/2024 8:30
Last modification date
06/07/2024 7:06
Usage data