Dementia

Cannabinoid Receptors Play Important Roles in Anti-inflammation, Anti-depression, Immune modulation, and HIV support

Cannabinoid receptor 2: Potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation Review

Summary Info:

Previous research and characterization of cannabinoid receptors (CBs) have consistently demonstrated the therapeutic potential for many medical conditions. CB1, the receptor responsible for the intoxicating (and other psychoactive) effects of cannabis, has demonstrated the ability to modulate concentrations of certain other neurotransmitters, giving it the capability of acting as an antidepressant. Additionally, mice lacking CB1 receptors exhibited increased neurodegeneration, increased susceptibility for autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and inferior recovery to some traumatic nerve injuries. The CB2 receptor is generally attributed to support for modulating the immune system and calming some of the body’s natural, core inflammatory signaling systems. Activation of the receptor has been found to associate with neuroinflammatory conditions in the brain, and in appropriate circumstances, can result in the programming of cell death among some immune cells. This effect points toward a role in communication, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, evidence points to CB2 holding significant potential in HIV therapy. Binding partners of CB2 inhibit the HIV-1 infection and help to diminish HIV replication. Historically, these staggering findings have escaped traditional modern medical understanding. Further investigation into the therapeutic potential of cannabis, with respect to the treatment of inflammation, depression, autoimmune diseases, and HIV is at a minimum, clearly warranted for a more comprehensive understanding of effective medical therapy.

Dr Caplan and the #MDTake:

The main points here no longer seem to be investigational trends, but just pillars of Cannabis Medicine that are embarrassingly new, and poorly recognized by the modern medical establishment. While the bulk of consumers, including patients, may not engage with the science on a molecular basis, by iterative or intuitive science, individuals are diligently discovering what forms of cannabis serve their personal interests more effectively. This is, through a scientific lens, a trial-and-error adventure through products, which have various ratios of cannabinoid-receptor activation or inhibition, that ultimately achieves a similar result, which is a clinical relief for a particular ailment. Does the fact that the process does not begin with a clear understanding of the involved receptors and receptor modulators really matter? If one of the primary objectives of Medicine is to treat and/or ease suffering, and the products are built upon a bedrock of chemical safety (misuse, inappropriate, or misinformed production of products notwithstanding), it should not matter that people discover it by happy accident, or through more direct achievement.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabinoid Receptors Play Important Roles in Anti-inflammation, Anti-depression, Immune modulation, and HIV support
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The Cannabinoid System Provides Target for Novel Alzheimer’s Treatment

Discovery of novel benzofuran-based compounds with neuroprotective and immunomodulatory properties for Alzheimer’s disease treatment

A recent study has revealed that novel therapeutic methods that modulate the endocannabinoid system may help to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have isolated two compounds that provide neuroprotective benefits regulated by the endocannabinoid system. This treatment is specifically thought to slow the progression of the disease as it provides anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that would prevent the aggressive degradation of the cholinergic system.  Further research will hopefully continue to expand on findings such as these, toward the development of much-needed medications. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Cannabinoid System Provides Target for Novel Alzheimer’s Treatment
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The Effect of Chronic Cannabis Use on Volumetric Alterations in Brain Regions

Title: Neuroanatomical alterations in people with high and low cannabis dependence

A recent article has been published revealing some volumetric alterations in specific brain regions in people who report dependence on cannabis. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that the volume of certain regions, including the hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the caudate, in cannabis dependent users, were all reduced in size, relative to recreational cannabis users who did not use cannabis chronically. Future research will likely focus on the effects of the structural alterations on patients’ reward, stress, and addiction-relevant circuitry to examine the possible relevance of cannabis dependance on those circuits. 

There are certainly possibilities that suggest this volume difference could be of concern, but there are also a great number of explanations (more than likely) whereby this is related to another variable that we have not yet fully appreciated.

Currently, cannabis use is thought to have a little-to-no risk of addiction (beyond any “normal” product of medical value, such as coffee or eyeglasses), because it does not act directly on the reward circuit. Opioids have a high risk of addiction, and therefore a concerning safety profile, in part because of the direct effect of the opioid system on the reward pathway of the central and peripheral nervous systems. While the endocannabinoid system has been observed to act directly up the reward circuit, it does so in subtle, soft ways, making it an ideal adjunct therapy for opioids to help with pain management. Current research provides inconsistent results and appropriately emphasizes a need for more testing to validate the possibility of cannabis as a recommended pain medication. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Effect of Chronic Cannabis Use on Volumetric Alterations in Brain Regions
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False Memory Formation Does not Differ between Cannabis Users and Controls

Title: False memory formation in cannabis users- a field study

This new study has revealed that although cannabis use does not increase the rate of false memory acquisition, cannabis use did increase the uncertainty of participants. It was also determined that intoxicated cannabis users were less accurate when recognizing true events, providing evidence that cannabis intoxication hinders memory formation.

This research provides a basis of knowledge for those interviewing people under the influence of cannabis for legal proceedings to determine the validity of their statements. If cannabis intoxication increases the uncertainty and liberal answers provided by users then their statements should be used sparingly or well-corroborated. 


This research highlights the importance of understanding cannabis for legal proceedings. More and more state governments are legalizing medical and recreational cannabis, each year, increasing the amount of those eligible to legally consume cannabis. As cannabis use continues to climb in popularity, witnesses or others interviewed in legal settings may not provide the most accurate information. Acute cannabis use should be a consideration related to legal proceedings so that the users’ statements can be weighed appropriately.  

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Benjamin Caplan, MDFalse Memory Formation Does not Differ between Cannabis Users and Controls
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Herbal Treatments may prove valuable to treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Promising Therapeutics with Natural Bioactive Compounds for Improving Learning and Memory — A Review of Randomized Trials  

A recent review has determined that herbal treatments, such as those including flavonoids, are beneficial when attempting to prevent neurocognitive decline, commonly seen in Alzheimer’s Disease. Galantamine, quercetin, examples of two flavonoids, as well as huperzine A, bacoside A, and ginkolide B, three flavonoid-like compounds, all proved to be effective when used as a treatment for poor memory function. The authors mention the need for similar results in clinical trials but find the current data compelling evidence for future drug development. 

Highlighted in this paper is the current perception of herbal products as natural, gentle, and safe in comparison to current synthetic drugs. While herbal products are generally safer and considered to be more gentle, it is important to note that for these herbal compounds to truly be effective when treating patients they likely need modification in order to optimize their benefits. The modification would increase potency, selectivity, and pharmacokinetic abilities, as well as lessen any possible side effects. Synthetic drugs may seem frightening, particularly in light of recent illnesses and mortality associated with their abuse, but technology can also be used to optimize novel drugs and it can be efficient to do so. 



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Benjamin Caplan, MDHerbal Treatments may prove valuable to treat Alzheimer’s Disease
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A systematic review of Safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia

A 2019 literature review summarizes the finding on using THC and CBD on patients with dementia. Researchers found that Dronabinol and THC were associated with significant improvements in a range of psychiatric scores. Interestingly, cannabis products showed the most promising results in patients whose symptoms were previously unmanageable or resistant to other treatments.

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This paper is also stored here:    http://bit.ly/2IWFA8R     inside the CED Foundation Archive

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Benjamin Caplan, MDA systematic review of Safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia
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