In recent years, the media and scientists have shown increased interest in cannabis-based drugs. In many medical fields, we do not have sufficient evidence for the efficacy of cannabinoids. In German pharmaceutical legislation, the use of nabiximols for the treatment of intermediate to severe, therapy-resistant spasticity in multiple sclerosis is the only approved indication for cannabis-based drugs. In most cases, today’s assessment of cannabinoids relies on studies that are classified as low evidence. Therefore, further studies which involve more participants and evaluate long-term effects are needed.
Numerous physical, psychological, and emotional benefits have been attributed to marijuana since its first reported use in 2,600 BC in a Chinese pharmacopoeia. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are the most studied extracts from cannabis sativa subspecies hemp and marijuana. Recent neurological uses include adjunctive treatment for malignant brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and the childhood seizure disorders Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. In addition, psychiatric and mood disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction, postconcussion syndrome, and posttraumatic stress disorders are being studied using phytocannabinoids.
This review is one of a series on drugs used to treat chronic neuropathic pain. Estimates of the population prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic components range between 6% and 10%. Current pharmacological treatment options for neuropathic pain afford substantial benefit for only a few people, often with adverse effects that outweigh the benefits. There is a need to explore other treatment options, with different mechanisms of action for treatment of conditions with chronic neuropathic pain. The potential benefits of cannabis-based medicine (herbal cannabis, plant-derived or synthetic THC, THC/CBD oromucosal spray) in chronic neuropathic pain might be outweighed by their potential harms.
A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric, Movement and Neurodegenerative Disorders
The discovery of endocannabinoid’s role within the central nervous system and its potential therapeutic benefits have brought forth rising interest in the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Although trials with positive findings were identified for anorexia nervosa, anxiety, PTSD, psychotic symptoms, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease, definitive conclusion on its efficacy could not be drawn.
The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation in multiple sclerosis: Clues for other neuroinflammatory diseases
Multiple sclerosis is the most common inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, caused by an autoimmune response against myelin that eventually leads to progressive neurodegeneration and disability. Although the knowledge on its underlying neurobiological mechanisms has considerably improved, there is a still unmet need for new treatment options, especially for the progressive forms of the disease. Both preclinical and clinical data suggest that cannabinoids, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, may be used to control symptoms such as spasticity and chronic pain.
Effect of medical cannabis on thermal quantitative measurements of pain in patients with Parkinson’s disease
Cannabis can alleviate pain of various etiologies. This study assessed the effect of cannabis on motor symptoms and pain parameters in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).Cannabis improved motor scores and pain symptoms in PD patients, together with a dissociate effect on heat and cold pain thresholds. Peripheral and central pathways are probably modulated by cannabis.
Structure-Activity Relationship of Cannabis Derived Compounds for the Treatment of Neuronal Activity-Related Diseases
Cannabis sativa active compounds are extensively studied for their therapeutic effects, beyond the well-known psychotropic activity. C. Sativais used to treat different medical indications, such as multiple sclerosis, spasticity, epilepsy, ulcerative colitis and pain. In this review, we will consider the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of cannabinoid compounds able to bind to cannabinoid receptors and act as therapeutic agents in neuronal diseases, e.g., Parkinson’s disease.
Preclinical and clinical studies using cannabis-based therapy have been shown to provide both analgesia and anti-inflammatory effects, with an overall alleviation of clinical symptoms in animal models of arthritis, highlighting its promising therapeutic application for humans.
Botanicals are increasingly used by people with epilepsy worldwide. Although the currently available evidence for the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy is similarly lacking, several carefully designed and well controlled industry-sponsored clinical trials of cannabis derivatives are planned to be completed in the next couple of years, providing the needed reliable data for the use of these products.
Cannabinoids have been used medicinally for centuries, and in the last decade, attention has focused on their broad therapeutic potential particularly in seizure management. While some cannabinoids have demonstrated anticonvulsant activity in experimental studies, their efficacy for managing clinical seizures has not been fully established.