Cannabinoids are a collection of chemicals derived from the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these compounds and studies have suggested that it has anti inflammatory properties to treat animals with nervous system problems. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these compounds that wields a psychoactive effect in animals. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endocannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids to bind and do their job in the body. This paper will look at cannabis’ potential in treating MS related symptoms such as muscle stiffness and chronic pain.
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Cannabinoids can reduce inflammation
Inflammation, autoimmune responses, brain damage and disability are thought to be apart of the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Understanding whether brain damages causes or starts from demyelination is a crucial issue in the fight against MS. Excitotoxic processes may be involved for inflamed white cells and brain damage. Cannabinoids have been seen to reduce inflammation in previous studies and this could lead to them being legalised to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. Medical cannabis has been seen to stop disease progression in the central nervous system and in the spinal cord in animals with the neurodegenerative disease.
Cannabinoids may be able to treat MS
Experimental and clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids could be effective in the treatment of MS. In this study, mice with MS were given a synthetic cannabinoid (HU210) and this led to the reduction of brain damage caused by the MS. Moreover, HU210 reduced excitotoxicity through the activation of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Although, these results have also shown the implication of excitotoxic processes in demyelinating pathologies such as MS and the potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoids.