Lets not pretend we're ever going to get anything done ever again

Posted by Fearless Leader and Faithhealer on 8/12/2008 12:33 pm

from new scientist.com

Morphine-cannabis super-painkiller

Pain can often be better managed when two types of painkiller are used together. For example, it has recently become known that cannabinoids such as THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, enhance the painkilling effects of opioids such as morphine.

Teaming them up could allow doses to become smaller, reducing the possibility of addiction. But a simple mixture of the drugs produces unpredictable results because the body absorbs them at different rates.

A possible solution is to join together THC and morphine to create a hybrid molecule that is snipped apart by the body, say Joseph Holtman and Peter Crooks at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky.

Their idea is to bind the two drugs together using a linking molecule such as an ester. When the body snips this linking group, both drugs are released at the site where they are needed. That should ensure both drugs will be absorbed at the same rate, making it easier to work out doses for patients.

Read the full morphine-cannabis supermolecule painkiller patent application.

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