“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a very important role in the human body for our survival. This is due to its ability to play a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of the human body, which encompasses the brain, endocrine, and immune system, to name a few. ECS is a unique system in multiple dimensions.
To begin with, it is a retrograde system functioning post- to pre-synapse, allowing it to be a “master regulator” in the body. Secondly, it has a very wide scope of influence due to an abundance of cannabinoid receptors located anywhere from immune cells to neurons. Finally, cannabinoids are rapidly synthesized and degraded, so they do not stay in the body for very long in high amounts, possibly enabling cannabinoid therapy to be a safer alternative to opioids or benzodiazepines. This paper will discuss how ECS functions through the regulation of neurotransmitter function, apoptosis, mitochondrial function, and ion-gated channels. The practical applications of the ECS, as well as the avenues for diseases such as epilepsy, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and autism, which have no known cure as of now, will be explored.
The ECS is one of the, if not the most, important systems in our body. Its role in the homeostatic function of our body is undeniable, and its sphere of influence is incredible. Additionally, it also plays a major role in apoptotic diseases, mitochondrial function, and brain function.
Its contribution is more than maintaining homeostasis; it also has a profound ability in regulation. Working in a retrograde fashion and with a generally inhibitory nature, ECS can act as a “kill switch.” However, it has been shown to play an inhibitory or stimulatory role based on the size of the influx of cannabinoids, resulting in a bimodal regulation. Furthermore, due to the nature of the rate of degradation of cannabinoids, it does not have as many long-term side effects as most of the current drugs on the market.
The ECS may not only provide answers for diseases with no known cures, but it could change the way we approach medicine. This system would allow us to change our focus from invasive pharmacological interventions (i.e. SSRIs for depression, benzodiazepines for anxiety, chemotherapies for cancer) to uncovering the mystery of why the body is failing to maintain homeostasis. Understanding the roles of ECS in these diseases confers a new direction for medicine which may eradicate the use of some of the less tolerable therapeutics.”
“To analyze available data related to the use of cannabinoids in medicine, with a special focus on pain management in cancer. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is growing but there are still numerous questions to be solved: effectiveness, safety, and specific indications.
There is considerable variation between countries in the approaches taken, reflecting a variety of historical and cultural factors and despite few randomized controlled studies using natural cannabinoids, there is a trend to state that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of cancer-related pain. Cannabidiol, a nontoxic phytocannabinoid with few side-effects is promising in various indications in medicine.
The endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target. Cannabinoids may be considered as potential adjuvant in cancer-related pain management. Cannabidiol appears to be the drug of choice. Analgesic trial designs should evolve to get closer to real-life practice and to avoid biases.”
“Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a genetic blistering disorder characterized by intense pain related to disease pathology and care‐based interventions.
Opioid‐based therapies underpin pain care in EB; however, they are unable to provide adequate analgesia in a significant proportion of patients.
Cannabinoid‐based medicines (CBMs) have been studied increasingly for pain conditions of various aetiologies and pose as a novel dimension for pain care in EB.
We present three patients with EB who were prescribed pharmaceutical‐grade sublingually administered CBMs comprising tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.
All three patients reported improved pain scores, reduced pruritus and reduction in overall analgesic drug intake.”
“Cannabinoids Could Help Manage EB-related Pain, Study Suggests” https://epidermolysisbullosanews.com/2019/02/08/cannabinoids-could-help-manage-eb-related-pain-study-suggests/
“The World Health Organization has proposed rescheduling cannabis within international law to take account of the growing evidence for medical applications of the drug, reversing its position held for the past 60 years that cannabis should not be used in legitimate medical practice.”
“Cannabis users have long reported therapeutic properties of the plant for a variety of conditions, some of which include nausea, emesis, seizures, cancer, neurogenic diseases and pain control. Research has elucidated many cannabinoid pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, expanding the potential use of cannabinoids as a medical therapy.
Due to the inconsistent delivery and control of the active components involved with smoking, pharmaceutical companies are investigating and prioritizing routes other than smoke inhalation for therapeutic use of cannabinoids. In this relatively new field of pharmaceutical development, ongoing drug development promises great benefit from targeted endocannabinoid receptor agonism.
Available in Canada and Europe, nabiximols, a specific extract from the Cannabis plant, has demonstrated great benefit in the treatment of pain related to spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cancer and otherwise chronic pain conditions.
The cannabidiol oral solution Epidiolex®, which is available in the USA, is indicated for management of refractory epilepsy but may offer therapeutic relief to chronic pain conditions as well.
Current investigative drugs, such as those developed by Cara Therapeutics and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, are synthetic cannabinoids which show promise to specifically target neuropsychiatric conditions and chronic pain symptoms such as neuropathy and allodynia.
The objective of this review is to provide clinicians with an update of currently available and promising developmental cannabis pharmaceutical derivatives which may stand to greatly benefit patients with otherwise difficult-to-treat chronic conditions.”
“Almost 50,000 children and young people are affected by life-limiting conditions in the United Kingdom, around a third of which use children’s hospices. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabinoid-based medicines (CBMs), specifically cannabis oil (CO), are being used by families with increasing frequency to manage distressing symptoms. The use of most nonprescription CBMs in the United Kingdom remains illegal.
Forty children’s hospices from across the four countries of the United Kingdom responded to the survey, representing 74% of British children’s hospices. About 87.5% of hospices knew of children who use CO therapeutically. Sixty-nine percent of those hospices have received requests to administer CO during an episode of care. Approaches by organizations around CO management varied across the sectors, including arrangements for storage, administration, and recording of its use. Hospices highlighted how the lack of available guidance made decision making more challenging. Only a third of responding organizations routinely questioned families about the use of cannabis when prescribing medicines.
CO is used extensively by children who use children’s hospices. Despite recognizing the use of CO, many hospices are unable to support it. There is a need for clear guidelines on how hospices should approach the care needs of children, allowing hospices to meet the needs of children who use CO, and families in a safe, consistent, and relevant way, safeguarding all children, families, and professionals within the organization.”
“A flowering plant of variegated ingredients and psychoactive qualities, Cannabis has long been used for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Regulatory approvals have been gained across a broad range of palliative and therapeutic indications, and in some cases, included in standard treatment guidelines.
Areas covered: The use of Cannabis and cannabinoid-based-medicines in oncology is summarized in this article. Cannabinoids were classified according to natural and synthetic subtypes and their mechanisms of action expounded. The variability of available products is discussed in the clinical context and data regarding chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, cancer-related pain, anorexia, insomnia and anxiety are presented.
Moreover, immunological and antineoplastic effects in preclinical and clinical trials are addressed. Concepts such as synergism or opposition with conventional treatment modalities, sequence of administration and dosage, molecular cross-talk and malignancy-cannabinoid congruence, are explored. Finally, side-effects, limitations in trial design and legislation barriers are related.
Expert opinion: Sufficient evidence supports use of Cannabis for palliative indications in oncology, however, patients should be carefully selected, guided and followed. Promising research suggests potent antineoplastic activity, but more data must be accrued before conclusions can be drawn.”
“Over the past twenty years, the acceptance and use of medicinal cannabis has increased in the United States. However, there is still a lack of education and comfort as it relates to the therapeutic uses of botanical cannabis and cannabidiol in pharmacy professional curricula. Professional training programs have failed to keep pace with the evolving national landscape and growing acceptance of this therapy.
In this manuscript, the current landscape of pharmacy professional involvement in the dispensing and administration of medicinal cannabis throughout the United States is described. A concern exists that there is a knowledge gap among pharmacists and pharmacy students, as demonstrated by recent survey results, related to the pharmacology, dosing, administration, adverse effects, drug interactions, and monitoring of both medicinal and recreational cannabis use.
While cannabis use is still considered illegal by the federal government, it is imperative pharmacy educators prepare the next generation of pharmacists to be knowledgeable on the safe and effective use and communication tactics related to cannabis. As a therapy garnering national attention with growing support for use, education on this topic must be included in pharmacy curricula and pharmacy continuing education.”
“The herb Cannabis sativa has been traditionally used in many cultures and all over the world for thousands of years as medicine and recreation.
However, because it was brought to the Western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy with respect to its physiological effects as well as the generation of specific behaviors. In this regard, the CB1 receptor represents the most relevant target molecule of cannabinoid components on nervous system and whole-body energy homeostasis.
Thus, the promotion of CB1 signaling can increase appetite and stimulate feeding, whereas blockade of CB1 suppresses hunger and induces hypophagia.
Taste and flavor are sensory experiences involving the oral perception of food-derived chemicals and drive a primal sense of acceptable or unacceptable for what is sampled. Therefore, research within the last decades focused on deciphering the effect of cannabinoids on the chemical senses involved in food perception and consequently in the pattern of feeding.
In this review, we summarize the data on the effect of cannabinoids on chemical senses and their influences on food intake control and feeding behavior.”