Cannabis has been associated with the treatment of epilepsy throughout history, and if ancient Assyrian sources referring to “hand of ghost” are considered credible, this relationship may span four millennia. A tradition of usage continued in Arabic medicine and Ayurvedic practice in India, which led, in turn, to early experiments in Europe and North America with “Indian hemp.” Lack of standardization, bioavailability issues, and ultimately prohibition were all factors in cannabis-based medicines failing to maintain mainstream usage in seizure treatment, but investigation was resumed in the 1970s with interesting signals noted in both laboratory and clinical settings. Early case studies showed promise, but lacked sufficient rigor.
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. Cannabis and related compounds have created significant research interest as a promising therapy in neurodegenerative and movement disorders.
Legalization of cannabis’ medicinal use is rapidly increasing worldwide, raising the need to evaluate medical implications of cannabis. 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.
An Australian nationwide survey on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy: History of antiepileptic drug treatment predicts medicinal cannabis use
Epilepsy Action Australia conducted an Australian nationwide online survey seeking opinions on and experiences with the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy. The survey was promoted via the Epilepsy Action Australia’s main website, on their Facebook page, and by word of mouth. The main reasons for medicinal cannabis use were to manage treatment-resistant epilepsy and to obtain a more favorable side-effect profile compared to standard antiepileptic drugs.
Marijuana is a substance with a long and controversial history. At different times in its history, which goes back over 5,000 years, this plant has been used for different purposes, ranging from recreational and leisure to its use in the treatment of several diseases or to offer relief in processes that entail a certain type of malaise, and including its consideration as a means of relaxation and meditation.
The use of cannabis products in the treatment of epilepsy has long been of interest to researchers and clinicians alike; however, until recently very little published data were available to support its use. As cannabinoids and cannabis-based products are studied for efficacy as anticonvulsants, more investigation is needed regarding the specific targets of action, optimal drug delivery, and potential drug-drug interactions. This article is part of a Special Issue titled Cannabinoids and Epilepsy.
Pharmacy Student Knowledge, Confidence and Attitudes Toward Medical Cannabis and Curricular Coverage
Objective. To assess pharmacy student confidence in their knowledge of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use in the US and their attitudes toward curricular coverage of medical cannabis. Nearly 80% of students felt that the topic of medical cannabis should be added to existing curricula within the next five years.
Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Pathophysiology of Schizophrenia: Implications for Pharmacological Intervention
The term schizophrenia describes a group of multifaceted psychiatric conditions causing significant impairment of the quality of life of affected patients. Although multiple pharmacological treatment options exist, e.g. first- or second-generation antipsychotics, these therapeutics often cause disturbing side effects, such as extrapyramidal symptoms, prolactin increase, sexual dysfunction and/or metabolic syndrome.However, cannabidiol is a promising candidate as an effective and mechanistically different antipsychotic treatment with a favourable side-effect profile. We therefore conclude that further studies are urgently needed to clarify the antipsychotic effects and safety profile of cannabidiol, and to fully explore its potential antipsychotic mechanism.
Legal access to marijuana, most frequently as “medical marijuana,” is becoming more common in the United States, but most states do not specify sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition. Explicit inclusion of sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana might reduce illicit marijuana use and related risks and costs to both persons living with sickle cell disease and society.
In recent years, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) granted exceptional licenses for the medical use of cannabinoids, typically for 6 months with possible extensions. A systematic review of cannabinoids for medical use commissioned by the FOPH supports the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity. However, little is known about the patients treated with cannabinoids. We aimed to study medical uses of cannabinoids as part of the FOPH’s programme of exceptional licenses.