Cannabidiol and Neurodegeneration: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Benefits

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“Neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are severe and life-threatening conditions in which significant damage of functional neurons occurs to produce malfunction of psycho-motor functions. NDs are an important cause of death in the elderly population worldwide. These disorders are commonly associated with the progression of age, oxidative stress, and environmental pollutants, which are the major etiological factors. Abnormal aggregation of specific proteins such as α-synuclein, amyloid-β, huntingtin, and tau, and accumulation of its associated oligomers in neurons are the hallmark pathological features of NDs. Existing therapeutic options for NDs are only symptomatic relief and do not address root-causing factors, such as protein aggregation, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychotic natural cannabinoid obtained from Cannabis sativa that possesses multiple pharmacological actions, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects in various NDs and other neurological disorders both in vitro and in vivo.

Cannabidiol has gained attention as a promising therapeutic drug candidate for the management of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, by inhibiting protein aggregation, free radicals, and neuroinflammation. In parallel, CBD has shown positive results in other neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety, as well as adjuvant treatment with existing standard therapeutic agents. Hence, the present review focuses on exploring the possible molecular mechanisms in controlling various neurological disorders as well as its clinical applications in NDs including epilepsy, depression and anxiety. In this way, the current review will serve as a standalone reference for the researchers working in this area.”

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