Historically, cannabis has been used as an anti-inflammatory for centuries. However, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that cannabis and its derivatives such as cannabidiol (CBD) and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), captured the attention of the medical science community.
In the past few years, numerous publications have reported the potential use of cannabis-based medicines for the treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to glaucoma. One compound, SR141716A, has been widely publicized as the next wonder drug for promoting weight loss and smoking cessation.
However, cannabis and its components such as CBD and THC have been particularly scrutinized in more recent times for having great beneficial qualities, including anti-inflammatory effects.
One recent studied reviewed the effects of marijuana and related compounds on the adaptive and innate immune systems and provided some perspective concerning the therapeutic potential of marijuana derived cannabinoids and related compounds for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.
The study found that these anti-inflammatory effects are undoubtedly associated with the ability of these drugs to suppress the expression of cytokines, as well as other endogenous pro-inflammatory mediators. These drugs might also function by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory mediators.
The study also called for further elucidation of the effect of marijuana-based drugs on pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This will provide the basis for the formulation of more effective drugs for the management of chronic inflammatory diseases.
While there is still more research to be done on the health benefits and risks associated with cannabis in general, our scientific understanding of how cannabis can be used to treat inflammation is growing rapidly. By all accounts, it seems that it is only a matter of time before a cannabis-based anti-inflammatory drug reaches the market.
Until then, growing numbers of people are using cannabis as an experimental home treatment for a range of inflammatory conditions, and if they and their reports are to be believed, cannabis has real potential as the anti-inflammatory drug of the future.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.