The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.
Over the last two decades, experimental and clinical data suggest a therapeutic benefit of cannabis-based medicines for a variety of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Clinical trials, both with synthetic or plant-derived cannabinoids, have demonstrated clinical efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of spasticity, neuropathic pain and bladder dysfunction.
Originally used in Asia for the treatment of pain, spasms, nausea and insomnia, marijuana is the most consumed psychotropic drug worldwide. The interest of medical cannabis has been reconsidered recently, leading to many scientific researches and commercialization of these drugs.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that is estimated to affect around 60,000 people in England and Wales, with a lifetime risk in the UK of 1 in 1,000.(1,2) Spasticity (an increase in muscle tone) is a common symptom of MS, resulting in muscle spasms, immobility, disturbed sleep and pain.
“Cannabinoid” is the collective term for a group of chemical compounds that either are derived from the Cannabis plant, are synthetic analogues, or occur endogenously. Although cannabinoids interact mostly at the level of the currently recognized cannabinoid receptors, they might have cross reactivity, such as at opioid receptors. The use of cannabinoid therapies could be effective in improving quality of life and possibly modifying malignancy by virtue of direct effects and in improving compliance or adherence with disease-modulating treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat seizures. Recent anecdotal reports, accumulating animal model data, and mechanistic insights have raised interest in cannabis-based antiepileptic therapies. These studies suggest that CBD avoids the psychoactive effects of the endocannabinoid system to provide a well-tolerated, promising therapeutic for the treatment of seizures, while whole-plant cannabis can both contribute to and reduce seizures.
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 number of past anti epileptic drugs tried was a significant predictor of medicinal cannabis use in both adults and children with epilepsy. Fifty-six percent of adults with epilepsy and 62% of parents/guardians of children with epilepsy expressed willingness to participate in clinical trials of cannabinoids.
Cannabis sativa is one of the most popular recreational and medicinal plants. Benefits from use of cannabinoid agents in epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others have been suggested. It seems that the endocannabinoid system is also involved in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression, though its role in this mental disease has not been fully understood yet. Based on the published data, the endocannabinoid system evidently gives novel ideas and options in the field of antidepressant treatment, however further studies are needed to determine which group of patients could benefit from this type of therapy.
A complex motor disorder is a combination of various types of abnormal movements that are associated with impaired quality of life (QOL). Current therapeutic options are limited. We studied the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of medical cannabis in children with complex motor disorder.