“Sickle cell disease (SCD) causes severe pain. We examined pain-related behaviors, correlative neurochemical changes, and analgesic effects of morphine and cannabinoids in transgenic mice expressing human sickle hemoglobin (HbS).
Importantly, cannabinoids attenuate pain in mice expressing HbS.
Cannabinoids offer a novel approach to treat chronic pain and hyperalgesia.
Inhaled or systemically injected cannabinoids are effective in treating pain in HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis and breakthrough pain in cancer.
Activation of peripheral cannabinoid receptors attenuates hyperalgesia in inflammation and cancer. Selective pharmacologic activation of peripheral cannabinoid receptors to attenuate pain is particularly appealing because it might avoid side effects associated with activation of cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system.
Because pain in SCD may have both inflammatory and neuropathic components, we hypothesized that cannabinoids may provide pain relief in SCD…
Our observations in these mice suggest that both systemically administered and locally applied cannabinoids may be beneficial in treating pain in SCD.”