The central nervous system (CNS), is a series of nerves and cells which are known as neurons. These neurons will transmit signals between parts of the body. It is through neurotransmitters and electrical currents how neurons will communicate to the brain.
A central nervous system disorder includes many diseases which relate to the spinal cord and/or brain such as; arthritis, seizures, inflammatory diseases, types of cancers and neuropathy.
This paper will look at how cannabinoids can have effects in preclinical models of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, such as epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders, and also the potential they have as therapeutics in clinical trials. Each of these disorders vary in general but all have in common the loss of function to the nervous system circuits.
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Cannabis sativa wields a number of phytocannabinoids in addition to the main psychoactive THC constituent. Anecdotal studies have shown that it has a therapeutic value in treating CNS disorders and this has lead to the support of a solid body of preclinical studies that are focused on the therapeutic growth of non THC cannabinoids. Animal models of diseases have influenced human clinical trials on CNS diseases. Sativex, a cannabinoid based medicine, is an oromucosal spray that contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as well as specific minor cannabinoids and other non-cannabinoid components. Sativex has been effective in treating multiple sclerosis related spasticity and chronic pain from cancer.
Overall, where THC has been displayed to be a good treatment in animal models, the adverse events that follow CB1 agonism need to be looked at so the clinical benefit can be realised patients. The mixture of THC and CBD in a medicine shows good promise in terms of safety and tolerability in the clinic, suggesting that THC does not preclude the growth of medicines suitable for global use.
Based on measurements of cerebrospinal fluid levels in rat, this paper has found that a dose of 100 mg/kg of CBD can reduce central nervous system related pain. This paper has also found that CBD doses as high as 1200 mg can be safe and well tolerated in human trials. The future of cannabinoids as a safe and effective agent in fighting CNS disorders looks promising, therapeutically and pharmacologically.