Q. I’ve heard that cannabidiol oil can be used for pain relief. Is this true? Are there

Q. I’ve heard that cannabidiol oil can be used for pain relief. Is this true? Are there interactions with other medications?

The pain meds I’m on only take the edge off. I still have quite a bit of pain. I think that’s typical for most of us with chronic pain.

A. Cannabidiol oil is derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, aka marijuana. Unlike some other components of cannabis, however, CBD does not make people high.

Animal research suggests that this compound may be helpful in preventing or treating neuropathic (nerve) pain (British Journal of Pharmacology, online May 26, 2017).

Italian researchers report on their initial impressions in prescribing cannabis (as tea) for chronic pain. They conclude that it seems effective and safe (Journal of Pain Research, May 22, 2017).

Cannabidiol oil may interact with other medications, particularly those used for pain relief (CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets, online, April 13, 2017). If you decided to try it, consulting a prescriber to help you find the appropriate dose would be wise.

Another reader wrote: “Cannabidiol oil has helped the nerve pain in my back, legs and feet. For me, other medications don’t work well, but this is almost miraculous.”

Q. For about a year now, I’ve been getting plantar warts. It started with just one, but now there are more. The dermatologist has been freezing them off, but they come back.

I’d like to get rid of them quicker. Apple-cider vinegar worked for a few but not all. Is there any method that might work better?

A. An online resource for doctors suggests using the least expensive and least painful treatment first (StatPearls, March 29, 2017). Since you already have tried soaking the soles of your feet in dilute vinegar (equal parts vinegar and water), you might try other home remedies. Most of these use kitchen products such as bacon fat, banana peel, minced garlic and turmeric powder. They are applied overnight under a bandage.

Duct tape has stirred a lot of controversy among dermatologists. One small randomized controlled trial showed that it worked significantly better for children than freezing the warts (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, October 2002). That study used silver duct tape. Another study using clear duct tape in adults found it was no better than placebo (Archives of Dermatology, March 2007).

Some readers have had success soaking the area in old-fashioned Listerine. Back in 1962, a physician wrote in the Cleveland Clinic Quarterly that soaking the foot in hot water (110 degrees F) for 30 to 90 minutes a week could eliminate a plantar wart. It may take six weeks to see the results. There are, unfortunately, no comparative studies to determine which of these might be most effective for you.

Q. I’m interested in trying gin-soaked raisins for my arthritis pain. What is the percentage of alcohol in the raisins after they have been soaked in gin?

A. When we first started writing about this home remedy, we had the raisins tested with spectrometry. In nine raisins (the recommended daily dose), there is approximately one drop of alcohol.

You can learn more about the gin-raisin remedy and many other nondrug approaches in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. This 80-page online resource is available for $4.99 at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. You will be sent a link that allows you to consult it whenever you wish.

2017 King Features Syndicate Inc.

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