Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis

The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.

Cannabis, pain, and sleep: lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine

Cannabis sativa L. has been utilized for treatment of pain and sleep disorders since ancient times. This review examines modern studies on effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on sleep. It goes on to report new information on the effects on sleep in the context of medical treatment of neuropathic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis, employing standardized oromucosal cannabis-based medicines containing primarily THC, CBD, or a 1 : 1 combination of the two (Sativex).

The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids

As a therapeutic agent, most people are familiar with the palliative effects of the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa (CS), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a molecule active at both the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor subtypes. Through the activation primarily of CB1 receptors in the central nervous system, THC can reduce nausea, emesis and pain in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During the last decade, however, several studies have now shown that CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists can act as direct antitumor agents in a variety of aggressive cancers.

A user’s guide to cannabinoid therapies in oncology

“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. Patients with malignant disease represent a cohort within health care that have some of the greatest unmet needs despite the availability of a plethora of guideline-driven disease-modulating treatments and pain and symptom management options.

Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review

Medicinal cannabis has received increased research attention over recent years due to loosening global regulatory changes. Medicinal cannabis has been reported to have potential efficacy in reducing pain, muscle spasticity, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and intractable childhood epilepsy. Yet its potential application in the field of psychiatry is lesser known. There is currently encouraging, albeit embryonic, evidence for medicinal cannabis in the treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders.
Supportive findings are emerging for some key isolates, however, clinicians need to be mindful of a range of prescriptive and occupational safety considerations, especially if initiating higher dose THC formulas.

Medical Cannabis for Pediatric Moderate to Severe Complex Motor Disorders

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. We studied the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of medical cannabis in children with complex motor disorder. Significant improvement in spasticity and dystonia, sleep difficulties, pain severity, and QOL was observed in the total study cohort, regardless of treatment assignment.

Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy

Cannabinoids (CBs) from Cannabis sativa provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients. Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients. Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models. CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.