“Whereas the cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use, it is only in recent years that a sufficient understanding of the pharmacology of the main plant constituents has allowed for a better understanding of the most rational therapeutic targets.
The distribution of cannabinoid receptors, both within the nervous system and without, and the development of pharmacological tools to investigate their function has lead to a substantial increase in efforts to develop cannabinoids as therapeutic agents.
Concomitant with these efforts, the understanding of the pharmacology of plant cannabinoids at receptor and other systems distinct from the cannabinoid receptors suggests that the therapeutic applications of plant-derived cannabinoids (and presumably their synthetic derivatives also) may be diverse.
This review aims to discuss the clinical evidence investigating the use of medicines derived, directly or indirectly, from plant cannabinoids with special reference to neurological disorders.
Published studies suggest that the oral administration of cannabinoids may not be the preferred route of administration and that plant extracts show greater evidence of efficacy than synthetic compounds. One of these, Sativex (GW Pharmaceuticals), was approved as a prescription medicine in Canada in 2005 and is currently under regulatory review in the EU.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17952657