The endocannabinoid system is a complex and nearly ubiquitous network of endogenous ligands, enzymes, and receptors that can also be stimulated by exogenous compounds such as those derived from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. This review seeks to summarize the current, and rapidly expanding field of research on the broad potential uses of cannabinoids in inflammatory and neoplastic diseases of the skin.
First isolated from Cannabis in 1940 by Roger Adams, the structure of CBD was not completely elucidated until 1963. Subsequent studies resulted in the pronouncement that THC was the ‘active’ principle of Cannabis and research then focused primarily on it to the virtual exclusion of CBD. This was no doubt due to the belief that activity meant psychoactivity that was shown by THC and not by CBD. In retrospect this must be seen as unfortunate since a number of actions of CBD with potential therapeutic benefit were downplayed for many years.
Since the discovery of the endogenous receptor for Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, a main constituent of marijuana, the endocannabinoid system (comprising cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, as well as the enzymes involved in their metabolic processes) has been implicated as having multiple regulatory functions in many central and peripheral conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this review, we will discuss the possible functions of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of RA, which may be a potential target for treatment.
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common in all age groups and both sexes, resulting in tremendous personal suffering and a substantial burden to society. Antimuscarinic drugs are the mainstay of symptom management in patients with LUTS, although their clinical utility is limited by the high prevalence of adverse effects, which often limit patients’ long-term adherence to these agents. Data from controversial studies in the 1990s revealed the positive effects of marijuana-based compounds on LUTS, and sparked an interest in the possibility of treating bladder disorders with cannabis.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a lifelong disease of the gastrointestinal tract whose annual incidence and prevalence is on the rise. Current immunosuppressive therapies available for treatment of IBD offer limited benefits and lose effectiveness, exposing a significant need for the development of novel therapies. Although manipulation of the endocannabinoid system in murine colitis has proven to be largely beneficial in attenuating inflammation, there is a paucity of human study data. Further research is essential to clearly elucidate the specific mechanisms driving this anti-inflammatory effect for the development of therapeutics to target inflammatory disease such as IBD.
Cannabis buds and extracts as well as synthetic cannabinoids have been available on prescription to patients with severe diseases since March 2017, with the costs covered by health insurance companies.The prescription of medical marihuana is not restricted to specific symptoms and is therefore also valid for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, the authors state their opinion on which indications cannabinoids could be useful in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease or in which situation the patient could or even should be prescribed cannabinoids.
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. Here we examine the preclinical and clinical evidence of various endocannabinoid system targets as potential therapeutic strategies for inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions.
Despite its controversial nature, the use of medical marijuana and cannabis-derived medicinal products grows more popular with each passing year. As of November 2016, over 40 states have passed legislation regarding the use of either medical marijuana or cannabidiol products. This review will deliver the history of marijuana use and legislation in the United States in addition to the currently available medical literature to equip pediatric health care providers with resources to provide patients and their parents the best recommendation for safe and appropriate use of cannabis-containing compounds.
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. More research is needed on this subject, including randomised controlled trials.
Administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction in adults with PTSD. CBD also appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD. Additional clinical investigation, including double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, would be necessary to further substantiate the response to CBD that was observed in this study.