December 9, 2022

The CBD tablet shows promise as a new post-surgery painkiller

NEW YORK – CBD, or the second most common active ingredient in marijuana, has exploded in popularity in recent years. Its proponents claim that CBD can help relieve stress, improve sleep, and even relieve pain. Although the validity of these claims is still widely debated, a new study by researchers at New York University reveals that a new pill containing CBD reduces post-surgery shoulder pain. Best of all, the scientists didn’t encounter any security issues associated with the tablet.

Specifically, researchers from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Health found that ORAVEXXMT tablet safely managed patients’ pain after minimally invasive rotator cuff surgery. Additionally, none of the patients taking the tablet experienced the typical side effects of CBD use, such as nausea, anxiety, and liver toxicity.

“There is an urgent need for viable alternatives for pain management, and our study presents this form of CBD as a promising tool after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair,” says lead researcher Michael J. Alaia, MD , Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. at NYU Langone Health, in a Press release. “It could be a new, inexpensive approach to pain relief, and without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs and the addictive risks of opiates.” Additionally, CBD has the benefit of providing pain relief without the mind-altering effects associated with THC or marijuana.

CBD reduced post-operative pain by a quarter

A total of 99 patients (ages 18-75) at two medical centers, NYU Langone Health and Baptist Health/Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, were randomly assigned to either a placebo group or a CBD pill group. To begin with, the study authors prescribed a low dose of Percocet to patients in both groups after surgery. Patients were then asked to wean off the opioid as quickly as possible and take the placebo or CBD three times a day for two weeks.

On the very first day after surgery, those who received real CBD tablets experienced an average of 23% less pain (based on the visual analog scale pain score) than those who took a placebo. The study authors say this strongly suggests that CBD offers significant benefits to patients with moderate pain. On the first and second day after surgery, patients taking the CBD tablets reported 22-25% more satisfaction with their pain control compared to the placebo group.

Notably, other research has also found that patients receiving 50mg of CBD reported less pain, more satisfaction with pain control, and no significant side effects. This work is undoubtedly promising, but even the study authors caution against running off to the nearest CBD dispensary.

“Our study examines a well-designed and carefully reviewed product in an FDA-sanctioned Investigational New Drug Application. It is currently still an experimental drug and it is not yet available on prescription,” explains Dr. Alaia.

ORAVEXX™, the buccal tablet analyzed in this study, was specifically designed as a non-addictive, fast-absorbing CBD pain treatment. Going forward, NYU scientists are already planning another study to assess whether the CBD tablet can specifically treat chronic pain in patients with osteoarthritis.

The team presented its findings to the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) in Chicago.