Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target

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.

Cannabinoid-based drugs as anti-inflammatory therapeutics

In the nineteenth century, marijuana was prescribed by physicians for maladies ranging from eating disorders to rabies. However, as newer, more effective drugs were discovered and as the potential for abuse of marijuana was recognized, its use as a therapeutic became restricted, and only recently has its therapeutic potential been re-evaluated. Recent studies in animal models and in humans have produced promising results for the treatment of various disorders – such as obesity, cancer, and spasticity and tremor due to neuropathology – with drugs based on marijuana-derived cannabinoids.

The therapeutic potential of cannabis and cannabinoids

Cannabis-based medications exert their effects mainly through the activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). More than 100 controlled clinical trials of cannabinoids or whole-plant preparations for various indications have been conducted since 1975. The findings of these trials have led to the approval of cannabis-based medicines (dronabinol, nabilone, and a cannabis extract [THC:CBD=1:1]) in several countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for the treatment of moderate to severe refractory spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Is Cannabidiol a Promising Substance for New Drug Development? A Review of its Potential Therapeutic Applications

The pharmacological importance of cannabidiol (CBD) has been in study for several years. CBD is the major nonpsychoactive constituent of plant Cannabis sativa and its administration is associated with reduced side effects. Currently, CBD is undergoing a lot of research which suggests that it has no addictive effects, good safety profile and has exhibited powerful therapeutic potential in several vital areas.

Therapeutic Value of Medical Marijuana in New Jersey Patients: A Community Partnership Research Endeavour

The Public Health Program at Stockton University partnered with the Compassionate Care Foundation to ascertain the impact of medical marijuana on patients in New Jersey. Patients volunteered to complete a survey once a month for 8 months. The survey explored their use, form, and strain of medical marijuana and its influence on pain and 12 other physical and mental health variables. Also, an increase or decrease in other medication taken and any unexpected outcomes were recorded. Results support positive therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, and despite methodological limitations, our study contributes to the growing body of literature.