Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke
Cannabidiol (CBD) has a unique therapeutic profile as it has a cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism, limited side-effects, and patients do not seem to develop an insurmountable tolerance. Research currently focussed on the therapeutic benefits of CBD has demonstrated long-lasting neuroprotective properties against global and focal ischemic injury, such as ischemic stroke. This piece points to CBD as a major component of cannabis-based medicine as a non-psychoactive component. Further research is needed to evaluate the full clinical capabilities of CBD, including its neuroprotective effect.
Training and Practices of Cannabis Dispensary Staff
How much medical training does your local budtender possess? An online survey sent to medical marijuana dispensary staff reported only 55% of staffers had any formal training for their position, with 20% reporting some background in medical/scientific training. The analysis reported that many among the dispensary staff are recommending cannabis choices that are consistent with current evidence, but some are recommending strains that are either ineffective or exacerbate a patient’s condition. The findings of this study stress the importance of consistent and well-regulated training of dispensary staff.
Pharmaceutical Cannabis Derivatives Help Discover their Receptors and Functions for Autoimmune Illnesses
A recent study conducted by Michigan State University exposed the potential for cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) to target the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Elevated levels of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pCD, a type of cell in the immune system) contribute to chronic inflammation in autoimmune diseases, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Researchers found that synthetic CB2 agonists reported comparable benefits to THC, but minimized the cerebral effects as the psychotropic activity is mediated by cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). This evidence demonstrates the potential benefits of CB2-targeted treatment for inflammatory conditions. Unfortunately, there are serious concerns about the misuse of some synthetic cannabinoids, so there is still a missing bridge, in products and public education, between these research products and potential therapeutic pharmaceuticals, down the road.
Overlaps in pharmacology for the treatment of chronic pain and mental health disorders
Select small trials have demonstrated cannabis to be more effective than other analgesics to treat chronic pain associated with certain conditions. However, the existing research lacks large-scale, controlled experiments relating medical cannabis use to pain management. Additionally, negative effects are documented with respect to cannabis use among adolescents and those suffering from compromised mental health. There is a need for further research on the topic.
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabidiol Oromucosal Spray (Sativex): A Review in Multiple Sclerosis-Related Spasticity
A debilitating symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) is spasticity, the stiffness and involuntary spasms of muscles, often occurring in the legs. In a randomized study involving MS patients who have not experienced relief with any current anti-spasticity medication, Sativex, a THC/CBD oro-mucosal spray was administered. Patients receiving THC/CBD experienced significantly more spasticity relief than the placebo group. Sativex may hold substantial treatment potential for MS patients, as side effects are minimized, the spray allows for an adjustable dosage, and there is low potential for abuse.
While this pharmaceutical is proving to be effective, in related data, we also see a distinct advantage of non-pharmaceutical options, including cost, availability, and efficacy, although drastically higher variability and limited consistency in product.
In a systematic review of studies investigating cannabis therapy for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), evidence pointed to cannabinoids primarily effecting change with respect to neuropathy or MS-related pain. For CNCPs, it is unlikely that cannabinoids can be used as a single therapy, but rather in conjunction with other therapies. The quality of evidence in many of the studies reviewed was low, so further research needs to be completed in order to evaluate the efficacy of cannabinoids as a long-term treatment option for CNCPs.