On this page you can find a summary of the last news and researches from scientist publications sources. Most of these reasearches are pre-clinical conclusions on small groups of people or observations on animals, this article or our products are absolutely not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your professional healthcare for any specific condition.

What are cannabinoid compounds?

As per the definition of the National Institute of Health (NIH), cannabinoids are compounds that are found in the cannabis plant that cause psychoactive effects throughout the whole body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems in addition to the immune system, which typically plays a role in the majority of the medical conditions we see today. The main active cannabinoid compound that is found in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects that cause a “high”. On the other hand, cannabidiol, or CBD, which is found in cannabis in trace amounts and in the hemp plant in abundant amounts, does not have any of the psychoactive properties that THC does.

Cannabinoids are similar to the endocannabinoids inside our bodies in molecular structure, so they may exhibit various effects on the targeted organs. Cannabinoids are found in our bodies in the form of ‘endocannabinoids’, these target one of the cannabinoid receptors (type 1 or 2), which are usually distributed in our brains and our immune systems. This is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). These compounds target these receptors, causing a certain reaction inside our bodies and brains, including improved control of memory and cognitive functions, less pain perception, improved mood and depression, inflammatory processes, and other immune-related functions.

medical use of cannabinoids list of medecine

There are a wide variety of synthetic cannabinoids that target the endocannabinoid system to perform a certain function. Cannabinoids have been known to help treat the symptoms associated with cancer or the side effects of its treatments. Moreover, moderate to high scientific evidence shows that cannabinoids, including CBD, could be future therapeutic options for a number of conditions, including chronic pain, certain types of resistant epilepsy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, depression, psychosis, and many,many other conditions.

We will now briefly summarize the effects of certain cannabinoids on various bodily functions.

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Cannabinoids can work as gastrointestinal anti-inflammatory drugs

Preliminary evidence has demonstrated that cannabinoids exhibit various anti-inflammatory effects on various forms of inflammatory gastrointestinal disease, including inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and even Crohn’s disease. Also, cannabinoids at low, non-psychoactive doses have been shown to counteract some of the non-inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as chemotherapy-induced diarrhea.

Even though these findings are supported by human studies, more studies of larger sample sizes are needed to confirm these observations.

The effects of cannabinoids on the endocrine system

Substantial evidence has confirmed the involvement of endocannabinoids in the regulation of food intake and energy inside our bodies as well as having a significant impact on the endocrine system. This system includes all of our endogenous glands, such as the pancreas, adrenal gland, and pituitary gland which are all involved in the regulation of many of the endogenous functions inside our bodies. Therefore, the interactions between both systems (ECS and endocrine system) may be a target for many therepeutic drugs which would target various diseases, such as diabetes, infertility, obesity, among others.

The results of some human studies have shown that various cannabinoids (THCV and CBD) may be promising agents in the treatment of diabetes type 1. These cannabinoids reduced fasting plasma glucose and improved pancreatic ?-cell function. However, these results may require further confirmation in clinical trials.

The role of cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids in the lungs

There is a large body of evidence supporting the fact that the activation of the cannabinoid system helps to alleviate the pain as well as reduce inflammation. In the context of lung inflammation, various cannabinoids (exogenous and endogenous) have shown valid therapeutic potential due to their inhibitory effects on the immune system. However, this research still requires further confirmation prior to recommending for the public as a whole.

Bones and Joints: The Effects of Cannabinoids on the Skeleton

Recently, research has demonstrated the influence of the endocannabinoid system on the process of bone metabolism. With the use of various cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabindiol (CBD), it was observed that they are involved in the process of bone growth and remodeling, which has become clinically relevant in recent years. However, the relevance of these observations in humans was not totally clear until recently. Therefore, we are in need of more research in order to confirm these observations.

Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Resistant Epilepsy

Evidence regarding the potential anti-epilepsy effects of cannabinoids has reached a turning point in the past 3 years. After 3 high-quality placebo-controlled clinical trials, it was proven that the cannabinoid, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), was more effective than the placebo in the management of certain types of epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Today, CBD is FDA-approved for the management of these disorders.

Cannabinoids and Cardiovascular System

Cannabinoids can influence the cardiovascular system (both the heart and blood vessels) through various mechanisms. The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in both the physiology and pathology of the heart. The ECS is over-activated under certain pathological conditions (diseases), where it plays both a protective and compensatory role. This includes the effect of various cannabinoids on various forms of heart diseases, such as hypertension-increased blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other inflammatory-associated conditions. Recently, it has been shown that the cannabinoid (CBD) has the potential to decrease the resting blood pressure of normal subjects.
However, the role that cannabinoids play on the cardiovascular system is still under investigation and the results are not yet confirmed. Therefore, more research is needed before there is a drug that could relieve huanity of heart disorders and hypertension.

Table1. Summary of evidence for medicinal use of cannabis based products and cannabinoids.

Indication

Number of studies (Participants)

Primary Product Tested

Comparator

Outcomes

Summary estimate (95% Confidence interval)

Grade Certainty Rating

Chronic Pain

9 (1734)

Sativex (THC + CBD)

Placebo

30% reduction in pain

Odds ratio: 1.46 (1.16 – 1.84). More effective than placebo

??? Moderate

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

5 (1244)

Sativex (THC + CBD)

Placebo

Ashworth spasticity scale

Weighted mean difference: -0.12 (-0.24 to 0.01). Not more effective than placebo

??? Moderate

Treatment of resistant types of Epilepsy

2 (291)

Epidolex (CBD)

Placebo

50% reduction in seizure frequency

Relative risk: 1.74 (1.24 – 2.43). More effective than placebo

?? Low

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

3 (102)

Dronabinol (THC)

Placebo

Complete response in nausea and vomiting

Odds ratio: 3.82 (1.55 – 9.42). More effective than placebo.

?? Low

??? Moderate : the authors believe that the true effect is probably close to the estimated effect;

?? Low : the true effect might be markedly different from the estimated effect.