For a long time, it has been known, that the well-known cannabis chemical compound (cannabinoid) known as THC possess antispastic effects in addition to their hallucinogenic, antiemetic, anxiolytic appetite-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects. This has been proven in an immunogenic animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
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Because there were some indications for a stronger muscle-antispastic effect of the extract than of pure THC, which today is available as Dronabinol® in Germany, Marinol in the U.S.A. and Cesamet in England, a comparative i.v. test of 1 mg/THC and 5 mg/kg Cannabis extract, the latter standardized on a concentration of 20% of THC, was carried out.
As the graphic shows, the cannabis extract with equimolar THC content was considerably more effective antispastically than THC alone. Since a THC free extract in a preliminary investigation did not show strong antispastic effect, concomitant constituents of the Cannabis extract, probably cannabidiol, may be responsible for the synergy effects enhanced. Cannabidiol promotes an increase in the transport of anandamide through the brain membrane not evident with THC. This could explain the stronger antispastic effect of the Cannabis extract.
This study describes many examples of how methods like modern molecular-biological can help experts to understand synergistic mechanisms and enhance the bioavailability of an extract of one or several substances. The new, approaching generation of phytopharmaceuticals could lend phytotherapy and enable their use to treat diseases.
However, it’s important to note that studies are still being conducted due to the fact that there is little knowledge on the subject. Regardless, it seems to be promising, but more in-depth studies by medical experts are perspicuously needed. It’s also important to keep an open mind on the topic as with more studies being conducted, information overload in inevitable to a certain extent.