The marijuana plant consists of cannabinoids which are a group of chemicals that include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC and CBD are said to have long term medical benefits with little side effects in treating chronic pain. It has been seen that the cannabinoid system within the body has a lot of parallels with the opioid system. This has led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a system in which cannabinoid receptors allow cannabinoids to work. Cannabinoids have the ability to treat disorders such as multiple sclerosis spasticity and pain because of their anti inflammatory effects. In recent years it has been discovered that cannabinoids could have a role in neuroprotection. This paper will review the therapeutic potential of cannabis.
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Cannabis can provide an answer for anxiety
Cannabis is one of the most frequently used drug after tobacco and alcohol. It has been widely reported that cannabis can ease muscle spasms, pain and migraines. It is now being said that cannabis can have anticonvulsant, analgesic and mainly anti anxiety effects in humans. It has been discovered that 5-HT1A agonist, a subtype of the serotonin receptor, can manipulate the endocannabinoid system to treat anxiety. Drug companies have previously developed serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) into drugs such as prozac and zoloft. SSRI’s function to block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, in turn increasing the amount of serotonin that is available.
Cannabis may be beneficial in the treatment for brain related disorders
Clinical studies have focused on managing the symptoms of disorders such as multiple sclerosis, however studies of the cannabinoid system have suggested that there might be other benefits in the treatment of neurological diseases. This might be achieved by the ability of cannabinoids to slow down the spread of neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabinoid receptor 1 in the striatum area of the brain is associated with Huntington’s disease in animal models. This suggests that cannabinoid regulation is lost before the disease develops and by managing to maintain these cannabinoids could stop the disease from spreading. The cannabinoid receptor (CB1) can possibly regulate neurodegenerative effects by “the inhibition of excessive glutamate production and calcium ion influx via several ion channels and reactive oxygen species”, as quoted by this study.