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Cannabinoids are a collection of over 100 chemicals that are derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these chemicals and research has said it has anti inflammatory effects when induced on animal cells, without unwanted psychoactive side effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals that gives off a psychotropic effect in animals brains. Endogenous cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endocannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids to bind and work in the body. Understanding of the endocannabinoid system has led to THC being a primary agrivator of the CB 1 receptor. 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.
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Sativex may have therapeutic benefits
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.
THC may be effective in treatment of CNS disease
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.
Cannabinoids are potentially safe in fighting CNS disease
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.