In this article, we have curated for you the most interesting scientific reports on the potential use of cannabis in the relief of symptoms or diseases.
#Medical Marijuana versus diabetes
A cross-sectional analysis of data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2005 and 2010 shows that present or previous marijuana users were less likely to experience type 2 diabetes compared to non-marijuana users.
The study included a total of 4657 people, 579 of them used marijuana during the experiment, while 1975 people used it in the past. Prevention of type 2 diabetes could be associated with a decrease in the concentration of C-reactive protein in the blood serum of volunteers, which suggests the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.
Another study that also used NHANES data showed a reduction in fasting insulin (16%) and insulin sensitivity (17%) for inactive marijuana users. It is worth mentioning, however, that in the above-described studies, it has not been specified which cannabis strains were used among volunteers.
#Diet-rich fats reduce the sensitivity of cannabinoid receptors to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
In the case of rats, it was observed that the high-fat diet reduces the effects of THC presumably due to a decrease in the sensitivity of the CB1 receptor to which tetrahydrocannabinol is attached. Enriching the diet with high-fat food increases the level of endogenous cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids) of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and an increase in their concentration translates into a weakening of CB1 receptor sensitivity to THC. Study
#NSAIDs reduces the side effects resulting from the use of marijuana
NSAIDs (such as indomethacin, acetylsalicylic acid, and ibuprofen) appear to limit some of the side effects of using marijuana i.e. feeling of being high or long-term memory impairment. According to the researchers, such effects may be related to the ability of NSAIDs to inhibit the enzyme COX2, which in turn is activated by stimulation of the CB1 receptor by THC contained in hemp. Reduction of the adverse effect of marijuana on long-term memory was also noted in the case of caffeine (a component of tea, coffee).
# Endocannabinoid system in relieving the symptoms of neuropathy
Cisplatin is a drug used in anticancer therapy when diagnosing ovarian, cervical, testis, bladder, bronchitis, head, neck, melanoma or sarcomas. Its anti-cancer activity is the result of interaction between elements of the cisplatin molecule and cell components, including nucleic acids (DNA) or proteins. As a result of the drug’s reaction with the DNA, the latter is damaged, which ultimately leads to the death of both healthy and cancerous cells.
Despite its effectiveness in anticancer therapy, the use of cisplatin very often causes nerve damage. From a clinical point of view, this side effect after cisplatin administration is called peripheral neuropathy and may occur after the first dose of the drug, but also during chemotherapy, and even after a few weeks or months after its completion.
The main symptoms of this condition are:
- loss of sensation
- sensitivity to temperature and excessive pain in the areas innervated by the damaged nerve.
Unfortunately, these neuropathies may be irreversible.
According to the guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (2014) on the prevention and management of peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy, the effectiveness of any drug used as part of prevention in patients undergoing chemotherapy with nerve-damaging drugs has not been demonstrated.
Among the potential substances that could prevent the occurrence of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, mention was made of Vitamin E, glutamine, α-lipoic acid, glutathione, acetylcysteine or acetyl L-carnitine. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of their administration has not been fully proven. Therefore, there is still a great need to discover new means and methods to prevent the development of neuropathy or to limit the consequences of its appearance i.e. in the form of pain.
Endocannabinoids modulates pain
A recent review has shown that the endocannabinoid system has a large effect on the modulation of pain in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy.
For example, compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors (their agonists – e.g. THC) have some analgesic efficacy in animal models of peripheral neuropathy, but their use is limited by psychoactive side effects. It has been proposed that these side effects can be overcome by using agents that indirectly activate the endocannabinoid system. Substances that inhibit the reuptake of endocannabinoids or inhibit FAAH and MGL, enzymes that break down the main endocannabinoids – anandamide or 2 -AG, have been shown to be effective in reducing the pain symptoms associated with neuropathy in an animal model.
To offset the adverse effects of THC, it can be administered together with CBD. In a mouse study, it was shown that Sativex containing THC and CBD in a 1: 1 ratio, alleviated neuropathic pain following administration of cisplatin to these animals, although Sativex alone did not prevent the adverse effects resulting from the use of an anticancer drug.