Addiction remains a major public health concern, and while pharmacotherapies can be effective, clinicians are limited by the paucity of existing interventions. Endocannabinoid signaling is involved in reward and addiction, which raises the possibility that drugs targeting this system could be used to treat substance use disorders. This review discusses findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating cannabinergic medications for addiction. Current evidence suggests that pharmacotherapies containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, such as dronabinol and nabiximols, are effective for cannabis withdrawal. Dronabinol may also reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled “A New Dawn in Cannabinoid Neurobiology”.
Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.
Medical marijuana continues to gain acceptance and become legalized in many states. Various species of the marijuana plant have been cultivated, and this plant can contain up to 100 active compounds known as cannabinoids. Two cannabinoids seem the most clinically relevant: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which tends to produce the psychotropic effects commonly associated with marijuana, and cannabidiol (CBD), which may produce therapeutic effects without appreciable psychoactive properties. Although there is still a need for randomized controlled trials, preliminary studies have suggested that medical marijuana and related cannabinoids may be beneficial in treating people with chronic pain, inflammation, spasticity and other conditions.
Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoid Treatments in the Rheumatic Diseases: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
Extremely small sample sizes, short study duration, heterogeneity of rheumatic conditions and products, and absence of studies of herbal cannabis allow for only limited conclusions for the effects of cannabinoids in rheumatic conditions. Pain relief and effect on sleep may have some potential therapeutic benefit, but with considerable mild to moderate adverse events. There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend cannabinoid treatments for management of rheumatic diseases pending further study.
Harvesting the biosynthetic machineries that cultivate a variety of indispensable plant natural products
Plants are a sustainable resource for valuable natural chemicals best illustrated by large-scale farming centered on specific products. Gaps in our understanding of how economically important compounds such as cannabinoids are produced are being identified using next-generation ‘omics’ to rapidly advance biochemical breakthroughs at an unprecedented rate.
One hypothesis suggests that tinnitus is a form of sensory epilepsy, arising partly from neuronal hyperactivity in auditory regions of the brain such as the cochlear nucleus and inferior colliculus. Although there is currently no effective drug treatment for tinnitus, anti-epileptic drugs are used in some cases as a potential treatment option.
Gaps in our understanding of how economically important compounds such as cannabinoids are produced are being identified using next-generation ‘omics’ to rapidly advance biochemical breakthroughs at an unprecedented rate
Recently, cannabis has been suggested as a potential alternative therapy for refractory epilepsy, which affects 30% of epilepsy, both adults and children, who do not respond to current medications. There is a large unmet medical need for new antiepileptics that would not interfere with normal function in patients with refractory epilepsy and conditions associated with refractory seizures. The two chief cannabinoids are Δ-9-tetrahyrdrocannabinol, the major psychoactive component of marijuana, and cannabidiol (CBD), the major nonpsychoactive component of marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol garnered most research interest with sporadic attention to cannabidiol, which has only rekindled in the last 15 years through a demonstration of its remarkably versatile pharmacology and synergy with THC. Gradually a cognizance of the potential of other phytocannabinoids has developed. Contemporaneous assessment of cannabis pharmacology must be even far more inclusive. Medical and recreational consumers alike have long believed in unique attributes of certain cannabis chemovars despite their similarity in cannabinoid profiles. This has focused additional research on the pharmacological contributions of mono- and sesquiterpenoids to the effects of cannabis flower preparations.
Legalization of cannabis’ medicinal use is rapidly increasing worldwide, raising the need to evaluate medical implications of cannabis. Currently, evidence supports cannabis and its active ingredients as immune-modulating agents, affecting T-cells, B-cells, monocytes, and microglia cells, causing an overall reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Due to the supporting evidence of cannabinoids as an immune-modulating agent, research focusing on cannabinoids and autoimmunity has emerged.
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder, is the second most common neurological illness in United States. Neurologically, it is characterized by the selective degeneration of a unique population of cells, the nigrostriatal dopamine neurons. The current treatment is symptomatic and mainly involves replacement of dopamine deficiency. This therapy improves only motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and is associated with a number of adverse effects including dyskinesia. Therefore, there is unmet need for more comprehensive approach in the management of Parkinson’s disease and neurodegenerative and movement disorders. The potential for cannabis to enhance the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients is explored.