Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It has been cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes since many centuries. Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions. Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.
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.
To analyze available data related to the use of cannabinoids in medicine, with a special focus on pain management in cancer. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is growing but there are still numerous questions to be solved: effectiveness, safety, and specific indications. The endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target. Cannabinoids may be considered as potential adjuvant in cancer-related pain management. Cannabidiol appears to be the drug of choice. Analgesic trial designs should evolve to get closer to real-life practice and to avoid biases.
Clinicians involved in pain management can finally include cannabis or cannabis-related products in their therapeutic armamentarium as a growing number of countries have approved them for pain relief. The growing public opinion, pushing toward the legalization of the use of cannabis in chronic pain and various rheumatological conditions, makes it necessary to have educational programs that modify the concerns and widespread preconceptions related to this topic in the medical community by increasing confidence.
The plant Cannabis sativa L. has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is the most important source of phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of receptors, endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and metabolizing enzymes, and plays an important role in different physiological and pathological processes. Phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can interact with the components of ECS or other cellular pathways and thus affect the development/progression of diseases, including cancer.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 50 million people worldwide. There is currently no definitive epilepsy cure. However, in recent years, medicinal cannabis has been successfully trialed as an effective treatment for managing epileptic symptoms, but whose mechanisms of action are largely unknown. Lately, there has been a focus on neuroinflammation as an important factor in the pathology of many epileptic disorders.
Cannabinoids have been known as the primary component of cannabis for decades, but the characterization of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s opened the doors for cannabis’ use in modern medicine. The 2 main receptors of this system, cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, are found on cells of various tissues, with significant expression in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This article hopes to create an overview of current research on cannabinoids and the ECS, detail the potential advantages and pitfalls of their use in GI diseases, and explore possible future developments in this field.
The medicinal use of cannabis has recently become the focus of much medical, as well as political, attention. The endocannabinoid system is undoubtedly a new and exciting pharmaceutical target for chronic pain management, but transition from preclinical to clinical studies has so far proved difficult. Although it is reasonable to consider cannabinoids for otherwise unresponsive pain, care should be taken in frail clinical populations. As this has become a socioeconomic and political issue in which agendas often take precedence over due diligence, there is a pressing need for unbiased empirical data and high quality evidence to better inform prescribers and patients.
This review is particularly important for primary care physicians whose patients may be interested in using as an alternative therapy. In response to increased interest in medicinal marijuana (MM), Health Canada released a document in 2013 for general practitioners (GPs) as an educational tool on the efficacy of MM in treating some chronic and acute conditions. The purpose of this paper is to offer physicians an educational tool that provides a necessary, evidence-based analysis of the therapeutic potential of MM and to ensure physicians are making decisions on the therapeutic use of MM in good faith.
The Endogenous Cannabinoid System: A Budding Source of Targets for Treating Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain
A great need exists for the development of new medications to treat pain resulting from various disease states and types of injury. Given that the endogenous cannabinoid (that is, endocannabinoid) system modulates neuronal and immune cell function, both of which play key roles in pain, therapeutics targeting this system hold promise as novel analgesics. Emerging clinical studies show that ‘medicinal’ cannabis or cannabinoid-based medications relieve pain in human diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.