May 10, 2021
Last week, Verywell Health, an award-winning online resource for up-to-date health information with more than 300 million readers, cited Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, in an article discussing a new study. The April 2021 study sought to discover whether the placebo effect plays a role in the effectiveness of CBD in treating pain. Theisen is a faculty member at Pacific College of Health and Science’s medical cannabis program and president of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.
In this Syracuse University study, reports Verywell, participants who received CBD and believed they were receiving CBD reported an increased pain tolerance than those who received CBD but believed they were actually given a placebo. Therefore, the researchers suggest, emphasizing CBD’s positive impact on pain, “without overemphasizing negative side effects”, might increase its benefits.
Pacific College’s Eloise Theisen, however, critiqued the study: “One of the challenges with cannabis research in humans, particularly with THC, is they often know if they’re getting it,” Theisen tells Verywell. “We haven’t really seen studies with active placebos that can still mimic the effect but don’t actually have the drug in it.” However, this doesn’t change the fact that using CBD to manage chronic pain is ideal for some people due to its limited side effects and low risk of addiction, said Theisen. “The benefits of CBD versus over the counter pain medications or prescription medications are that CBD has [been] demonstrated to have fewer side effects and is very well tolerated even in large dosages.”