Cannabinoids as a Therapeutic Treatment for Alcoholism | cannabisMD

Cannabinoids as a Therapeutic Treatment for Alcoholism

Cannabinoids as a Therapeutic Treatment for Alcoholism; National Institute of Health

National Institute of Health

The endocannabinoid signaling system: a potential target for next-generation therapeutics for alcoholism

Cannabinoids are a collection of compounds that are situated in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main chemical within the cannabis plant and it is said by the wide scientific community that it has anti inflammatory effects when induced into animal cells. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals and it is said to have a psychotropic effect. Major cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are located in the endocannabinoid system and gives cannabinoids power to bind and thrive in the body.
This paper will look at the role of cannabinoids in the therapeutic treatment for alcoholism.

Main Points

  • Endocannabinoids as a therapeutic for alcoholism?
  • Selective cannabinoids for the treatment of alcohol abuse

Endocannabinoids as a therapeutic for alcoholism?

Studies into the endocannabinoid transmissioning system has grown massively in current times following the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoids that contain chemicals anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Important developments have been made regarding the endocannabinoid signaling system in various aspects of alcoholism, including alcohol use disorders. Alcohol has been seen to increase the synthesis of endocannabinoids, leading to increased levels of cannabinoids in the brain.
When mice were treated with the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (rimonabant), they exhibited a reduced voluntary alcohol intake. ‘CB1 knockout mice also show increased alcohol sensitivity, withdrawal, and reduced conditioned place preference’. This is conflicting to other studies as the triggering of the CB1 receptor promotes alcohol intake. Current research points at that elevated endocannabinoid levels in the brain contributes to high alcohol preference and self-administration. These impacts are reversed by local administration of rimonabant, suggesting the inclusion of the endocannabinoid transmissioning system in high alcohol preference and self-administration. These recent developments will be studied with a focus on the endocannabinoid transmissioning system for potential therapeutic interventions of alcoholism.

Selective cannabinoids for the treatment of alcohol abuse

Although the described physiology, biochemistry and pathophysiology of the endocannabinoid transmissioning system have not been properly investigated, there is already overwhelming results to suggest that pharmacological alteration of the endocannabinoid transmissioning system could house new treatments for a lot of disease states, including alcohol addiction. Recently it was reported that rimonabant holds an important therapeutic role in treating liver fibrosis and alcohol abuse accounts for more than half of the prevalence of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in the united states. Therefore, it is detrimental to evaluate whether alcohol-induced liver fibrosis and cirrhosis concludes in increased endocannabinoid levels and rimonabant reverses alcohol-induced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis.. Recent studies on the role of CB1 receptors in alcohol drinking behavior, including alcohol tolerance, clearly support the role of substances such as CB1 receptor antagonists, including rimonabant, will have potential as therapeutic agents for the treatment of alcoholism.

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