Neurological Aspects of Medical Use of Cannabidiol.
- Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
- Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
- Department of Biotechnology and Legal Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
- Unit of Forensic Toxicology, Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
- National Center of Epidemiology, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.
- Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy. Via Consolare Valeria 1, 98125 Messina, Italy.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is among the major secondary metabolites of Cannabis devoid of the delta-9-tetra-hydrocannabinol psychoactive effects. It is a resorcinol-based compound with a broad spectrum of potential therapeutic properties, including neuroprotective effects in numerous pathological conditions. CBD neuroprotection is due to its antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities and the modulation of a large number of brain biological targets (receptors, channels) involved in the development and maintenance of neurodegenerative diseases.
The aim of the present review was to describe the state of art about the pre-clinical research, the potential use and, when existing, the clinical evidence related to CBD in the neurological field.
Collection of all the pre-clinical and clinical findings carried out investigating the effects of CBD alone, not in combination with other substances, in the neurological arena with the exclusion of studies on neuropsychiatric disorders.
Laboratory and clinical studies on the potential role of CBD in Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS), cerebral ischemia, were examined.
Pre-clinical evidence largely shows that CBD can produce beneficial effects in AD, PD and MS patients, but its employment for these disorders needs further confirmation from well designed clinical studies. CBD pre-clinical demonstration of antiepileptic activity is supported by recent clinical studies in human epileptic subjects resistant to standard antiepileptic drugs showing its potential use in children and young adults affected by refractory epilepsy. Evidence for use of CBD in PD is still not supported by sufficient data whereas only a few studies including a small number of patients are available.
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[Self-medication with cannabidiol oil in a patient with primary lateral sclerosis].
Many patients with neurological disorders have symptoms which are difficult to treat with conventional medication. In this case report we present a 40-year-old male patient with primary lateral sclerosis who used cannabidiol oil as therapy. We discuss the evidence of the effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with neurological disease, and we raise the question: “Should patients who use illegal cannabis products as self-medication be diagnosed as drug abusers?”
Cannabis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: hypothetical and practical applications, and a call for clinical trials.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Center, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA. [email protected]
Significant advances have increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), yet this has not translated into any greatly effective therapies. It appears that a number of abnormal physiological processes occur simultaneously in this devastating disease. Ideally, a multidrug regimen, including glutamate antagonists, antioxidants, a centrally acting anti-inflammatory agent, microglial cell modulators (including tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha] inhibitors), an antiapoptotic agent, 1 or more neurotrophic growth factors, and a mitochondrial function-enhancing agent would be required to comprehensively address the known pathophysiology of ALS. Remarkably, cannabis appears to have activity in all of those areas. Preclinical data indicate that cannabis has powerful antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. In the G93A-SOD1 ALS mouse, this has translated to prolonged neuronal cell survival, delayed onset, and slower progression of the disease. Cannabis also has properties applicable to symptom management of ALS, including analgesia, muscle relaxation, bronchodilation, saliva reduction, appetite stimulation, and sleep induction. With respect to the treatment of ALS, from both a disease modifying and symptom management viewpoint, clinical trials with cannabis are the next logical step. Based on the currently available scientific data, it is reasonable to think that cannabis might significantly slow the progression of ALS, potentially extending life expectancy and substantially reducing the overall burden of the disease.