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

Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Regarding the Use of Medical Cannabis in the Hospice Population: An Educational Intervention

Currently, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use despite its remaining Schedule I federally. Benefits of medical cannabis (MC) have been demonstrated in nausea/vomiting associated with chemotherapy, cachexia associated with HIV/AIDS, and certain types of neuropathic pain. However, it is unclear how comfortable hospice providers are with the concept of MC, The aim of this study is to determine changes in knowledge, self-perceived skills, and attitudes (KSA) of hospice providers regarding MC after an online educational intervention.

Selective activation of cannabinoid receptor-2 reduces neuroinflammation after traumatic brain injury via alternative macrophage polarization

Inflammation is an important mediator of secondary neurological injury after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Endocannabinoids, endogenously produced arachidonate based lipids, have recently emerged as powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, yet the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly defined. Endocannabinoids are physiological ligands for two known cannabinoid receptors, CB1R and CB2R. In the present study, we hypothesized that selective activation of CB2R attenuates neuroinflammation and reduces neurovascular injury after TBI.

Efficacy and safety of cannabis for treating children with refractory epilepsy

The aim of this literature review was to examine the evidence base for the safety and efficacy of cannabis in treating children with refractory epilepsy.  Cannabis may reduce seizures in some children and young people with refractory epilepsy, however, its success may be affected by aetiology of the epilepsy or concomitant anti-epileptic drug use, and a therapeutic dose has not been found. Positive side effects were also found including improved sleep, alertness and mood.

Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain

The roots of the cannabis plant have a long history of medical use stretching back millennia. However, the therapeutic potential of cannabis roots has been largely ignored in modern times. The current available data on the pharmacology of cannabis root components provide significant support to the historical and ethnobotanical claims of clinical efficacy. Certainly, this suggests the need for re-examination of whole root preparations on inflammatory and malignant conditions employing modern scientific techniques.

Irish general practitioner attitudes toward decriminalisation and medical use of cannabis: results from a national survey

Governmental debate in Ireland on the de facto decriminalisation of cannabis and legalisation for medical use is ongoing. A cannabis-based medicinal product (Sativex®) has recently been granted market authorisation in Ireland. Male GPs and those with higher levels of addiction training are more likely to support a more liberal drug policy approach to cannabis for personal use.

Pharmacology of cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy

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.

Structural barriers in access to medical marijuana in the USA-a systematic review protocol

There are 43 state medical marijuana programs in the USA, yet limited evidence is available on the demographic characteristics of the patient population accessing these programs. Moreover, insights into the social and structural barriers that inform patients’ success in accessing medical marijuana are limited. A current gap in the scientific literature exists regarding generalisable data on the social, cultural, and structural mechanisms that hinder access to medical marijuana among qualifying patients.

Perioperative Patient Beliefs Regarding Potential Effectiveness of Marijuana (Cannabinoids) for Treatment of Pain: A Prospective Population Survey

Cannabinoids have an expanding presence in medicine. Perioperative patients’ perceptions of the effectiveness of these compounds, and acceptance if prescribed for pain, have not been previously described. Patients generally believe that marijuana could be at least somewhat effective for the management of pain and are willing to use cannabinoid compounds for this indication, if prescribed by a physician.

Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads

Additional parts of the cannabis plant provide a wide and distinct variety of other compounds of pharmacological interest, including the triterpenoid friedelin from the roots, canniprene from the fan leaves, cannabisin from seed coats, and cannflavin A from seed sprouts. This chapter will explore the unique attributes of these agents and demonstrate how cannabis may yet fulfil its potential as Mechoulam’s professed “pharmacological treasure trove.”