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Obesity is a growing health concern for many countries. In countries where it is already established as an issue there doesn’t seem to be any perfect solution to the problem. Beside the strain it can put on a individuals body, obesity also also puts a strain on the health care sector due to the countless medical conditions it brings with i.e. heart troubles, diabetes, chronic pain and respiratory difficulties.
There are many different treatments available to combat obesity and they also come in different variations depending on the severity of the problem. For example a dieting could be a light diet or a fasting procedure. Surgery could be a gastric bypass or abdominal wall surgery. There are even prescription medications for slowing or stopping the absorption of fat and new naturally based medications such a hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) or medical cannabis which can also provide similar relief.
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However with any medication, especially weight loss medication, you must always consult with your doctor or registered medical adviser before doing so. All weight loss medication should only be taken while also being monitored by a doctor or medical professional.
In regards to cannabis based treatments these are currently being researched as potential natural alternatives to weight-loss when compared to modern treatments. The possible benefits here would be that a natural treatment should bring with it less side effects when compared to opioid based treatments which are widely known to be damaging to our bodies over an extensive period of time. Findings from various small studies are showing that cannabis can both suppress and improve appetite but not directly get rid of fat cells with the body.
Cannabinoids (chemical properties from in cannabis) within the cannabis plant itself known as Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are recorded as having an effect on our appetite. These cannabinoid interact with our bodies endocannabinoid system and various cannabinoid receptors within it i.e. cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2).
Some findings say they can make us feel hungry and others are saying the neurological properties from THC can block our minds from seeing eating as a reward or release for stress. Stress or emotional eating is commonly known to be a contributing factor towards weight gain and also obesity.
The first cannabinoid receptor (CB1) has recently been the most important target for the treatment of obesity. Research has shown that rimonabant has assisted animal models with food intake reduction and losing weight. A novel, acyclic amide was found from a high throughput screen (HTS) of the Merck sample collection and discovered to be a strong and cannabinoid receptor 1 inhibitor.
Further studies have led to stronger chemicals that were ingested orally to decrease food intake in rats that were obese. However, lots of these models showed a great ability for bioactivation and the making of reactive substances and covalent protein binding. This study concluded in the discovery of cannabinoid receptor 1 agonist, taranabant, which is now being used in clinical trials for treating obesity with no side effects.
A potential safety problem was discovered early in the study from the CB1 receptor antagonist: strong covalent protein binding can result in the idiosyncratic allergic drug reactions. This problem was made right soon after discovery by metabolism and further studies in liver microsomes. Overall, the quick progress of this study was made possible by weilding a high quality lead, swift PD evaluation, and early induction of drug metabolism/ pharmacokinetic reserves to guide the medicinal chemistry efforts.