Synthetic Cannabinoids in the Treatment for Hair Pulling | cannabisMD

Synthetic Cannabinoids in the Treatment for Hair Pulling

Hair Pulling - Treating with Synthetic Cannabinoids

Image Credit: Adam Grego on Shutterstock

Cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa) and are said to be efficient in pain management from pain symptoms such as multiple sclerosis. A cannabinoid is one of a group of complex chemical compounds that naturally occur in the body and operates on major cannabinoid receptors in cells that mediates neurotransmitter release in the brain. Cannabinoids for these receptors include the endocannabinoid system, that are produced in the body by animals, the phytocannabinoids in cannabis and some other plants, and synthetic cannabinoids. The main cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another main constituent of the plant and produces a non psychotic effect. This paper will see how dronabinol, a synthetic cannabinoid, can reduce hair pulling in trichotillomania.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • Dronabinol reduces excitotoxic damage
  • Dronabinol improves motor impulsivity

Dronabinol reduces excitotoxic damage

Trichotillomania is described by repetitive grabbing making noticeable hair loss. Dronabinol is said to decrease the excitotoxic damage caused by glutamate release in the striatum and gives a path to potentially decrease the rate of compulsive behavior. 14 females with trichotillomania were experimented on in a 12-week study of dronabinol dosing. In order to review impacts on cognition, the patients had to go through pre- and post-treatment tests using goal computerized neurocognitive assessments. Results were gained from November 2009 to December 2010. 12 of the 14 subjects finished the 12-week experiment. The prescription was well-tolerated, with no massive malignant impacts on cognition. This research, the first to review a cannabinoid agonist in the treatment of trichotillomania, found that dronabinol showed statistically important reductions in trichotillomania signs, in the non appearance of bad cognitive impacts. Pharmacological modulation of the cannabinoid system may seem worthwhile in mediating a range of addictive behaviors.

Dronabinol improves motor impulsivity

This experiment indicates that dronabinol may be efficient in the acute treatment of trichotillomania by bettering motor impulsivity. As efficient treatments for trichotillomania come out from the woodwork, it becomes more and more detrimental that physicians and mental health care givers screen for trichotillomania to allow timely treatment. Given the small design of the experiment and the small number of people taking part, however, the interpretation of the effectiveness of data in this study is limited. More so, in the USA, dronabinol is a schedule 3 regulated agent and is possibly habit forming. This type of prescription, therefore, needs to be used with an eye on the ball in those with a track record of drug abuse. It also puts a finger on ethical problems of using a possibly habit-forming prescription to treat a non-life-threatening syndrome. The choice to apply dronabinol therefore has to be reviewed in the vein of its seriousness and the risks versus advantages of this type of prescription. This research might lend a hand to the future growth of non-habit-forming prescriptions that target the cannabinoid system in clinical syndromes related to repetitive motoric habits. There were no serious side effects of synthetic cannabinoid dronabinol in the people with trichotillomania.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *