Cannabinoids in health and disease

Cannabis sativa L. preparations have been used in medicine for millenia. However, concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of the medicinal use of marijuana in most countries in the 1930s. Only recently, marijuana and individual natural and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as chemically related compounds, whose mechanism of action is still obscure, have come back to being considered of therapeutic value.

Narrative review of the safety and efficacy of marijuana for the treatment of commonly state-approved medical and psychiatric disordersNarrative review of the safety and efficacy of marijuana for the treatment of commonly state-approved medical and psychiatric disorders

The present investigation aimed to provide an objective narrative review of the existing literature pertaining to the benefits and harms of marijuana use for the treatment of the most common medical and psychological conditions for which it has been allowed at the state level. Common medical conditions for which marijuana is allowed (i.e., those conditions shared by at least 80 percent of medical marijuana states) were identified as: Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia/wasting syndrome, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and seizures, glaucoma, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasticity, severe and chronic pain, and severe nausea.

Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in CNS disease

The major psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta(9)-THC), and endogenous cannabinoid ligands, such as anandamide, signal through G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors localised to regions of the brain associated with important neurological processes. Signalling is mostly inhibitory and suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in CNS disease where inhibition of neurotransmitter release would be beneficial. Anecdotal evidence suggests that patients with disorders such as multiple sclerosis smoke cannabis to relieve disease-related symptoms.

Management of Chronic Pain in Adults Living With Sickle Cell Disease in the Era of the Opioid Epidemic: A Qualitative Study

The hallmark of sickle cell disease (SCD) is vaso-occlusive pain that may be acute and episodic or may progress to chronic, persistent pain with unpredictable and disabling exacerbations. Patients with SCD rely on opioids almost exclusively for acute and chronic pain management. Participants described increased stigmatization about opioid use and that their medical care was being affected by the physician’s exclusive focus on reducing pain medication use. There was an emerging interest among adult patients in the consideration of the use of alternative therapies, including marijuana, to manage pain.