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This paper assess how two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), alter the perception of pain in anaesthetized rats. Following on from in vitro models, the authors investigated how these two cannabinoids interacted with two types of TRP channels, which are some of the pain-sensing channels in the body.
Both cannabinoids were found to stimulate “descending pathways” of antinociception, or pain relief mechanisms, and did it via several different pathways. The authors discuss the relevance and importance of dose on this activity, and the possible mechanisms by which antinociception is produced by CBC and CBD.
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Previous research has indicated the importance of TRP channels and the way that cannabinoids can modulate them. This research adds to the model and suggests several points of investigation that would be useful for the development of effective analgesics.
Analgesia is a complicated process, involving many different interactions, receptors, and pathways. This makes it hard to study and understand. This paper has partially explained some of the analgesic effects of non-psychoactive cannabinoids CBC and CBD. The authors theorize that they both affect the perception of pain in the brain and the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Both ON and OFF neurons in the pain perceiving part of the brain were inhibited, and levels of endocannabinoids were increased significantly in these areas by the administration of the drugs.
The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) and adenosine receptors are clearly involved in this process, the authors believe by inhibition of the receptors to change the signaling cascades that are triggered by their activation. However, there is inhibition and activation of different interconnected ON and OFF pain signal pathways, which is still not understood. There is a complex web of interactions in pain perception that will require a lot of research to understand.
The endocannabinoid system is a delicate regulatory and signaling set of processes in the body. It is not something that can be pushed in one way without a series of reactions that pushes back. This research goes some way to describe the stimulatory and inhibitory effects of the ECS in pain perception in live animals.
This study has found for the first time that CBD and CBC both exert pain-relieving effects, and partially explains how. There are several targets that have been identified, including the TRPA1 channel (known as the “spice” receptor because it is bound to by capsaicin, the “hot” ingredient in spicy food), the compounds that interact with TRPA1, and other endocannabinoid interacting mechanisms. The role of adenosine receptors is partially explored.
Clearly, CBD and CBC have pain-relieving effects along with many other potential therapeutic properties. The research indicates that there are several targets revealed by the interactions of these cannabinoids that could present very specific targets for analgesia. This should be investigated with some urgency because cannabinoids like CBC and CBD have very positive safety profiles and are not psychoactive.
An important step in the direction of understanding the endocannabinoid system’s role in pain perception, this research partially reveals the mechanisms the body uses to regulate pain perception and signaling. Several promising targets of research are identified, and the promise of using cannabinoids as effective analgesics is progressed significantly.