“Although rimonabant has been approved for use in several countries, the Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern about the potential for adverse neurologic and psychiatric effects, considering the widespread distribution of CB1 receptors in the brain. While more research is clearly needed, the clinical evidence shows that CB1-receptor blockade with rimonabant improves multiple cardiovascular and metabolic variables, including body weight and waist circumference, HDL-C, triglycerides, and glucose metabolism. Furthermore, these effects, which are probably mediated by both peripheral and central actions in the ECS, appear to be greater than the improvements that would be expected from weight loss alone. There are multiple ongoing and planned studies with rimonabant as well as several other CB-receptor blockers (e.g., taranabant, CP-945,598). While diet and exercise are the cornerstones of cardiometabolic risk-factor reduction, improved pharmacotherapies are urgently needed. The ECS has provided us with new insights and a promising new avenue for the management of obesity and its associated cardiometabolic risk factors.”
“Cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) constitute essential members of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which participates in many different functions indispensable to homeostatic regulation in several tissues, exerting also antitumorigenic effects. The present study aimed to assess the clinical significance of CB1R and CB2R protein expression in mobile tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The present study provides evidence that CB1R and CB2R may play a role in the pathophysiological aspects of the mobile tongue SCC and even each molecule may constitute a potential target for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs for this type of malignancy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26459312
“In our previous studies, we found that a single ultralow dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)… protects the brain from different insults that cause cognitive deficits.
Because various insults may trigger a neuroinflammatory response that leads to secondary damage to the brain, the current study tested whether this extremely low dose of THC could protect the brain from inflammation-induced cognitive deficits…
Our results suggest that an ultralow dose of THC that lacks any psychotrophic activity protects the brain from neuroinflammation-induced cognitive damage and might be used as an effective drug for the treatment of neuroinflammatory conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases.”
“The term “drug of abuse” is highly contextual. What constitutes a drug of abuse for one population of patients does not for another. It is therefore important to examine the needs of the patient population to properly assess the status of drugs of abuse. The focus of this article is on the bidirectional relationship between patients and drug abuse. In this paper we will introduce the dopaminergic systems of the brain in Parkinson’s and the influence of antiparkinsonian drugs upon them before discussing this synergy of condition and medication as fertile ground for drug abuse. We will then examine the relationship between drugs of abuse and Parkinson’s, both beneficial and deleterious. In summary we will draw the different strands together and speculate on the future merit of current drugs of abuse as treatments for Parkinson’s disease.”
“Researchers investigating anecdotal evidence that cannabis relieves some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have discovered a potential new target for cannabis-derived drugs for treatment of the disease.
This finding, published in the journal Gastroenterology… could bring new hope for… sufferers of diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis1 with the possibility that cannabis-derived drugs may help to heal the gut lining, which is damaged during the course of disease. ”
“In traditional practices of medicine, numerous plants have been used to treat cognitive disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other memory related disorders. An ethnopharmacological approach has provided leads to identifying potential new drugs from plant sources, including those for memory disorders. There are numerous drugs available in Western medicine that have been directly isolated from plants, or are derived from templates of compounds from plant sources. For example, some alkaloids from plant sources have been investigated for their potential in AD therapy, and are now in clinical use (e.g. galantamine from Galanthus nivalis L. is used in the United Kingdom).
Various other plant species have shown favourable effects in AD, or pharmacological activities indicating the potential for use in AD therapy.
This article reviews some of the plants and their active constituents that have been used in traditional medicine, including Ayurvedic, Chinese, European and Japanese medicine, for their reputed cognitive-enhancing and antidementia effects. Plants and their constituents with pharmacological activities that may be relevant to the treatment of cognitive disorders, including enhancement of cholinergic function in the central nervous system, anti-cholinesterase (anti-ChE), antiinflammatory, antioxidant and oestrogenic effects, are discussed.”
“The potential therapeutic benefits of certain cannabinoid-mediated effects, as well as the use of marijuana for its psychoactive properties, has raised interest in understanding the cellular adaptations produced by chronic administration of this class of drugs.”
“The endogenous cannabinoid system is an ubiquitous lipid signalling system that appeared early in evolution and which has important regulatory functions throughout the body in all vertebrates. The main endocannabinoids (endogenous cannabis-like substances) are small molecules derived from arachidonic acid, anandamide (arachidonoylethanolamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. They bind to a family of G-protein-coupled receptors, of which the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor is densely distributed in areas of the brain related to motor control, cognition, emotional responses, motivated behaviour and homeostasis. Outside the brain, the endocannabinoid system is one of the crucial modulators of the autonomic nervous system, the immune system and microcirculation. Endocannabinoids are released upon demand from lipid precursors in a receptor-dependent manner and serve as retrograde signalling messengers in GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses, as well as modulators of postsynaptic transmission, interacting with other neurotransmitters, including dopamine. Endocannabinoids are transported into cells by a specific uptake system and degraded by two well-characterized enzymes, the fatty acid amide hydrolase and the monoacylglycerol lipase. Recent pharmacological advances have led to the synthesis of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, anandamide uptake blockers and potent, selective inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation. These new tools have enabled the study of the physiological roles played by the endocannabinoids and have opened up new strategies in the treatment of pain, obesity, neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, emotional disturbances such as anxiety and other psychiatric disorders including drug addiction. Recent advances have specifically linked the endogenous cannabinoid system to alcoholism, and cannabinoid receptor antagonism now emerges as a promising therapeutic alternative for alcohol dependence and relapse.”
“Since the discovery of anandamide, the increasing information on the physiological roles played by the endogenous cannabinoid system and its contribution to pathology have led to this signalling system becoming more important in neurobiology. The intense pharmacological research based on this information has yielded, in a very short time, potent, selective drugs targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system that have opened up new avenues for the understanding and treatment of major diseases including cancer, pain, neurodegeneration, anxiety and addiction. This is a very promising starting point for a new age that takes over from the ancient use of Cannabis as a medicine. Now is the time for clinical trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy of cannabinoid drugs in disorders lacking effective therapeutic approaches, such as alcoholism.”