Medical cannabis: Another piece in the mosaic of autoimmunity?
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. Several clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and fibromyalgia suggest cannabis‘ effectiveness as an immune-modulator. However, contradicting results and lack of large-scale clinical trials obscure these results. Although lacking clinical research, in vitro and in vivo experiments in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type 1, and systemic sclerosis demonstrate a correlation between disease activity and cannabinoids.
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PMID: 27859024 DOI: 10.1002/cpt.568