Treatment of Neurodegenerative Conditions with Cannabis
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and thus probably plays a key role in protecting the human body from toxins or stressors found in our environment or through personal lifestyle choices such as a poor diet. Research on the endocanabinoid system has shown that cannabinoids have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activity, which suggests that cannabis may be useful in the treatment of neurodegerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotropic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimers disease or Parkinson's disease .
MS patient, Barbara Douglass, has actually improved her sight, mobility, and bladder control with her use of cannabis. ALS patient, Cathy Jordan, continues to survive against all odds with her deadly disease and she attributes it all to cannabis. For those patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, does cannabis boost the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) to help it slow or halt the progression of these diseases? Can the use of cannabis or specific cannabinoids help maintain the integrity of our ECS and actually prevent some neurodegenerative diseases from developing? Can cannabis or specific cannabinoids help prevent the damage that often occurs following traumatic injuries that result from the body's initial response to injuries such as traumatic head injuries or spinal cord injuries through its neuroprotective or anti-inflammatory action? We may find the answers to these questions and more as scientists continue to study the ECS and cannabis preparations. Learn more about the science and view the various patient testimonials...
Faculty Presentations on Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
Movement Disorders and Cannabis, with Dr. Sanchez-Ramos, PhD, MD -
"The effects of Cannabinoids on movement are profound!", states Juan Sanchez-Ramos, Professor of Neurology, Helen Ellis Endowed Chair. Director of Movement Disorders, University of South Florida. Addressing Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, Dr. Ramos finds Cannabinoids have potential to slow onset and progression of neurodegenerative conditions. Presentation at May, 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference in Charlottesville, VA.
Cannabinoid System in Neuroprotection, Raphael Mechoulam, PhD -
At the same 2004 conference, Professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Dr. Mechoulam gives a brief history of Medical Cannabis, then describes the role of Cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory for arthritis, as neuroprotectant for brain injury and as a possible treatment for PTSD. Dr. Mechoulam first isolated THC in 1964.
Centonze, D., Finazzi-Agro, A., Bernardi, G., & Maccarrone, M. (2007). The endocannabinoid system in targeting inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases. Trends in Pharmacological Science, 28(4) 180-187.
Eubanks, L. M., Rogers, C. J., Beuscher, A. E. t., Koob, G. F., Olson, A. J., Dickerson, T. J., et al. (2006). A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer's disease pathology. Mol Pharm, 3(6), 773-777.
Ramirez, B. G., Blazquez, C., Gomez del Pulgar, T., Guzman, M., & de Ceballos, M. L. (2005). Prevention of Alzheimer's disease pathology by cannabinoids: neuroprotection mediated by blockade of microglial activation. J Neurosci, 25(8), 1904-1913.
Hampson, A. J., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J., & Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 95(14), 8268-8273.
Venderova, K., Ruzicka, E., Vorisek, V., & Visnovsky, P. (2004). Survey on cannabis use in Parkinson's disease: Subjective improvement of motor symptoms. Mov Disord, 19(9), 1102.