Cannabis cannabinoids regulate many physiological and pathological functions in humans, animals, and plants. In nature, surprisingly many molecules act on the ECS through endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, degradation or synthesis enzymes. The cannabinoids contained in cannabis affect almost every organ system of the body. Therefore, information on the medicinal effects of cannabis is extremely comprehensive and its coverage is increasing day by day. Cannabis can reduce the negative effects of countless health problems.
The important cannabinoids extracted from cannabis provide serious benefits for the human body by helping to regulate and re-establish numerous physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, neuropsychiatric states, and memory through the endocannabinoid system. Diseases that can be targeted for treatment with cannabinoids include epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, and central modulation of feeding behavior. It is an undeniable fact that in the coming years, thanks to the advancement of scientific studies on cannabis cannabinoids, more medicinal benefits may be revealed from the hemp plant.
Cannabis Can Reduce the Prevalence of Skin Problems
It has been stated that cannabinoids exhibit anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, anti-aging, and anti-malign properties by various mechanisms, including interacting with the skin’s endocannabinoid system. Our skin is the largest organ of the human body with its apparent simplicity, surprising complexity, and importance. It has functions such as temperature control and synthesis of hormones, protection of the body from microbial invasion, allergens, ultraviolet exposure, water, and chemicals; perception of heat, cold, touch, pressure, vibration, pain, and itching; hair production.
The effects of cannabinoids on dermatological problems have been studied by many researchers. CB1 and CB2 receptors are commonly seen in the skin, and the endocannabinoid system influences a variety of biological mechanisms, including cell proliferation, growth, differentiation, programmed cell death, and hormonal functions. Pathological skin diseases potentially affected by the endocannabinoid system are reviewed in this section.
- Melanoma Skin Cancer
When melanocytes undergo carcinogenesis, they gain the ability to avoid apoptosis, promote angiogenesis, and proliferate uncontrollably. Because human melanomas and melanoma cell lines express both CB1r and CB2r, studies have been conducted to understand the interaction between the endocannabinoid system and melanoma formation. For example, activation of CB1r and CB2r promotes apoptosis and inhibits cancer growth in human melanoma cells in mice.
Furthermore, autophagy, viability, and apoptosis of the A375, SK-MEL-28, and CHL-1 melanoma cell lines are induced by THC in vitro and in vivo. Similarly, THC treatment has been reported to reduce the growth of melanomas in a CB1r and CB2r-dependent manner in vivo. However, in this experiment THC reduced melanoma growth only in vivo, therefore, as it did not reduce it in vitro, these studies show that the cannabinoid system has an anti-antitumoral effect.
However, another study showed that activation of the endocannabinoid system increases melanoma cell growth. These contradictory results show that it develops with the effect of the tumor microenvironment, which cannot be taken into account sufficiently in in-vitro studies, and that the amount of cannabinoid added to the system affects the result. For example, the researchers showed how low doses of AEA stimulate melanin production in a CB1r-dependent manner; reported that high doses of AEA induce apoptosis via a TRPV1-dependent pathway.
- Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Since cannabinoids regulate keratinocyte homeostasis, it is thought that they may also affect the development of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. However, the exact nature of this effect is debated, as the results of many studies are conflicting. For example, researchers reported that mice lacking CB1r and CB2r had a significantly lower rate of inflammation and tumorigenesis induced by 280-320 nm wavelengths of the light spectrum compared to mice with active cannabinoid receptors.
While this indicates a pro-carcinogen receptor-dependent pathway within the endocannabinoid system, experts have shown the opposite, determining that the CB1r/CB2r agonist WIN-55, 212-2, and the CB2r agonist JWH-133 can induce apoptosis and reduce angiogenesis in PDV.C57 epidermal tumors. These different results are thought to be due to the different cannabinoid dosages used in the studies. Nanomolar concentrations of endocannabinoids are associated with non-melanoma skin cancer tumorigenesis in UVB-related and chemically-induced models, while micromolar concentrations reduce non-melanoma skin cancer.
- Acne and Seborrhea
One of the most common skin conditions, acne is characterized by increased sebum production and inflammation of the sebaceous glands, often induced by factors such as stress and diet in young people. Seborrhea is an inflammatory skin condition that affects areas of skin particularly enriched with sebaceous glands and is similar to acne. Acne and seborrhea are the most common dermatological diseases. As with various skin cells, sebaceous glands also have endocannabinoid receptors, and it has been reported that a cannabinoid-based drug can be produced to treat acne, especially in studies with CBD.
Experts have reported that CBD has the potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of Acne vulgaris. Recently, the regulatory effect of cannabinoids on sebocytes has been studied in the treatment of acne vulgaris. While sebocytes positively regulate the lipid homeostasis of the sebaceous glands, the viability of sebocytes is negatively regulated through the CB2 receptor. Specifically, cannabidiol inhibits the lipogenic effects of arachidonic acid, linoleic acid, and testosterone, thereby reducing sebocyte proliferation and lipogenesis.
In one study, 3% hemp seed extract cream was shown to be a potential treatment for acne vulgaris and seborrhea by reducing skin sebum and erythema content. Therefore, cannabinoids should be considered as possible therapeutic agents in future clinical trials for the treatment of subcutaneous inflammatory mechanisms and increased sebum production mechanisms in acne.
Alopecia is a pathological hair loss that particularly affects the scalp. It has been claimed that smoking marijuana lowers plasma testosterone levels, the essential androgen in men. However, the issue of hair loss is a major psychological stressor for many, and cannabis has become closely related to this issue. Detection of illegal consumption of cannabis by studying the cannabinoid content of blood samples in forensics reflects the fact that cannabinoids can accumulate in the hair, but it is unclear whether this affects hair growth.
Dermatitis is skin inflammation caused by various factors such as allergens, infections, eczema, external compounds. It has been reported that allergic contact dermatitis affects approximately 5% of men and 11% of women in industrialized countries and is one of the leading causes of occupational diseases. In an animal model for cutaneous contact hypersensitivity, results have been reported showing that cannabinoid receptor antagonists exacerbate allergic inflammation, while receptor agonists attenuate inflammation.
These results reveal that the endocannabinoid system plays a protective role in skin contact allergy. Researchers have found that the endocannabinoid system and cannabimimetic compounds protect against the effects of allergic inflammatory disorders in various mammalian species and that this system may be a target for therapy and treatment of inflammatory disorders resulting from immune system activity, such as allergic skin diseases.
In atopic dermatitis, histamine receptors are further regulated by Th2 lymphocytes, and irritated keratinocytes release growth factors that cause hypertrophy of sensory nerve fibers. Since cannabinoids exert both anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects, they may be a possible treatment option for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
Hirsutism refers to excessive hair growth and increased hair growth in areas of the body where hair growth is normally minimal or absent. Researchers have experimentally reported that hair growth can be prevented by applying anandamide or THC.
Itching is defined as an uncomfortable feeling that causes the urge to scratch the skin. Itching may be localized or widespread and present as an acute or chronic condition. The ability of endocannabinoids to activate itch receptors demonstrates the potential of ECS for therapeutic manipulation in reducing itch. In a preliminary study, researchers found that THC relieved itching in a few patients with the liver disease cholestatic jaundice.
It is a chronic autoimmune skin disease characterized by the overproduction of skin cells and skin inflammation. Wilkinson and Williamson concluded that there is a potential role for cannabinoids in the treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by dysregulation of the skin immune system, which causes marked proliferation and keratinization of epidermal cells. Potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in psoriasis include activation of non-cannabinoid receptors such as GPR55, which reduces NGF-induced inflammation, and activation of PPARα and PPARγ, which reduces epidermal hyperplasia through suppression of keratinocytes.
Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by degenerative changes and vascular anomalies resulting from extensive fibrosis in the skin, joints, and internal organs. It has been thought that ECS may have a therapeutic role in the treatment of systemic sclerosis. Ajulemic acid, a synthetic analog of THC, significantly inhibited bleomycin-induced dermal fibrosis and modestly reduced the progression of systemic sclerosis in three independent mouse models. Experts reported that a synthetic cannabinoid was able to prevent skin fibrosis in a mouse model of scleroderma.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common papulosquamous dermatoses when triggered by an inflammatory reaction of the Malassezia yeast strain. To evaluate the use of cannabinoids in acne and seborrheic dermatitis, Ali and Akhtar recruited 11 patients. They treated them with 3% hemp seed cream and found a significant reduction in erythema and sebum production compared to the control. Seborrheic dermatitis can cause significant discomfort and affect the quality of life, so the treatment option with cannabinoids presents an exciting innovation.
Cannabis Can Reduce the Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are incurable diseases that occur with the progressive death or degeneration of neurons in the nervous system. People with this disease have ataxias and dementias. Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for biomedical research in developed countries in this century. Given the current and promising longevity in these countries, the occurrence of these disorders will be more frequent. Researchers report that there is preliminary scientific evidence that it provides sympathetic relief in various neurodegenerative diseases. The neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids are likely to be promising agents with the highest potential for therapeutic use.
American Academy of Neurology; He spearheaded a study to address medical cannabis research published between 1948 and 2013 on findings that it was effective in treating symptoms in MS, Huntington’s disease, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Cervical dystonia, and Tourette’s syndrome. They concluded that cannabis helps relieve spasticity and central or spasm-related pain and some other MS symptoms. However, it has been reported that there is little evidence of effectiveness in treating epilepsy or movement disorders and there are serious concerns about side effects.
In recent years, significant advances have been made in understanding the role of endocannabinoids in preventing or reducing the effects of progressive neurodegenerative diseases. ECS has been shown to mediate neurological protection in many neurological and psychiatric disorders such as pain, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and epilepsy. It also has neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects on brain ischemia and traumatic brain injury.
The endocannabinoid system is a local messenger between the nervous and immune systems and plays a role in immune activation and neuroprotection control. Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or the use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo may constitute a potent treatment for inflammatory disorders. Experts have reported the neuroprotective effect of cannabis extracts of Cannabidiolic acid and cannabidiol, known as non-psychoactive cannabinoids, in in vitro cellular models of neurotoxicity. In this study, both cannabis extracts and pure cannabidiol showed moderate neuroprotective activity in the neurotoxicity models studied; It was emphasized that a trophic effect was observed on SHSY5Y cells.
Recent studies have shown that endogenous cannabinoid signaling plays a number of modulatory roles throughout the central nervous system, including neuroinflammation and neurogenesis. In particular, the action of type-2 cannabinoid receptors to increase stimulus-response has been found in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. He noted the neuroprotective effects of compounds targeting the ECB system. These studies have focused specifically on identifying molecular targets within the ECB system that may lead to neuroprotection against the most common neurodegenerative diseases.
The most extensively studied neuroprotection mechanism involves the anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 receptors, which protect the brain by limiting inflammatory processes. Activation of the CB2 receptor specifically modulates the release of cytokines, protein molecules responsible for the regulation of immune function, and inflammatory responses. In contrast, the CB1 receptor has been associated with protection against cell death induced by overstimulation of excitatory receptors and concomitant calcium release, also known as excitotoxicity. Therefore, CB receptors are likely to act on neurodegenerative diseases in two main ways, excitotoxic and restricting immunological processes.
Cannabis Can Reduce the Discomfort Caused by Gastrointestinal Diseases
For centuries, cannabis and its derivatives have been used to treat gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, endocannabinoid ligands, and enzymes involved in their biosynthesis and degradation is involved in the regulation of GI function such as motility, mucosal permeability, inflammation, visceral sensation, and nociception.
Notably, stimulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors with agonists inhibits GI motility/peristalsis, reduces inflammation, and reduces visceral pain. Scientific data shows that cannabis use can have a positive effect on patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. CB1 receptors in the brain and gut regulate intestinal motility, and both receptor types reduce intestinal inflammation, which may explain the therapeutic role of cannabis in gastrointestinal diseases in this way.
Carlo and Izzo observed that cannabis has potentially significant efficacy for the treatment of a number of gastrointestinal diseases such as nausea and vomiting, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, paralytic ileus, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. There is some clinical evidence that cannabis is therapeutic for Crohn’s disease. At least in experimental animals, THC has been shown to reduce esophageal sphincter relaxation and reduce acid production, which may be beneficial for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Although it can cause cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome in case of long-term use, the beneficial effects of cannabis have been proven in the control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. These effects are mediated by CB receptors in the central nervous system, enteric nervous system, and gut-brain interaction. Although cannabis is used as part of traditional medicine for the treatment of GI disorders such as nausea and vomiting, clinical studies in this area are very limited. Because this natural compound and its derivatives are considered illegal in most countries. It should not be forgotten that, with the legalization of recreational and medicinal use of cannabis in the United States, Canada, and many European countries, an increase in cannabis-related side effects can be seen.
Cannabis Can Reduce the Risk of Developing Neurological Disorders
- Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor dysfunction, cognitive loss, and psychiatric symptoms as a result of the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain over time. Huntington’s disease was once called Huntington’s chorea. This condition affects 1 in 10,000 people, with symptoms typically beginning in middle age. This disease is caused by the inclusion of trinucleotides in exons of the Huntington gene on chromosome 4.
The protective effects of CBD and other cannabinoids were evaluated in a cell culture model of Huntington’s disease with cells expressing mutated huntingtin. In this model, huntingtin induction promotes rapid and extensive cell death. CBD and three other cannabinoid compounds were tested, 18-THC, 19-THC, and cannabinol showed 51-84% protection against Huntington-derived cell death.
Regarding the treatment of this disease with cannabis, Armstrong and Miyasaki report that the available data are insufficient to recommend long-term use. Similarly, the researchers found that there was insufficient data to draw conclusions about Huntington’s disease. Although a clinical trial with Sativex reported that it did not slow the progression of the disease, experts concluded that further studies are needed for the effects of cannabis in treating the symptoms of Huntington’s disease.
Based on mouse studies, the researchers suggested that long-term administration of cannabinoid receptor agonists may be a viable strategy for selectively improving motor symptoms and stimulating neuroprotective processes in HD patients. In a recent study, cannabinoid drugs were administered to 7 patients. In these cases, clinical beneficial effects appear to occur only when CBD is combined with 19-THC in a 1:1 ratio; It has been reported that the motor score and dystonia subscore of the patients improved.
According to the limited results obtained; The beneficial neuroprotective effect of CBD is encouraging. Undoubtedly, future research is needed to confirm these initial data and elucidate the mechanisms involved in the preventive and therapeutic potential of CBD on movement disorders.
- Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is among the most common neurodegenerative diseases with an increasing prevalence with age, affecting 1% of the population over 60 years of age. The disease is characterized by motor impairment and non-motor symptoms. This is due to the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the midbrain for unknown reasons. The pathophysiology of PD is mainly associated with loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, primarily in the nigra pars compacta, resulting in decreased dopamine levels in the striatum.
By the time motor symptoms appear, about 60% of dopaminergic neurons are already absent, preventing an early diagnosis. The most effective treatment for PD is L DOPA, a dopamine precursor that improves motor symptoms and promotes an increase in dopamine levels in the striatum. However, the effect of L-DOPA can be variable after long-term treatment. The first study with CBD on PD patients aimed to confirm the effects of CBD on psychotic symptoms.
4 weeks of treatment with CBD reduced psychotic symptoms as assessed by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and Parkinson’s Psychosis Questionnaire without worsening motor function or causing adverse effects. Later, experts suggested that cannabis may have a place in the therapeutic mechanism of PD in their studies, where tremor, stiffness, slow movement, sleep, and pain were observed to improve significantly after treatment. The researchers used mouse models of Parkinson’s and postmortem patients.
while obtaining evidence of high levels of CB2 receptors; They suggested it was an adaptive response that could be used to alleviate the disease.
Experts have obtained data suggesting that the endocannabinoid system may provide numerous therapeutic benefits in the treatment of PH. In this context, they reported that cannabinoid drugs can alleviate the symptoms of PD and alleviate the reinforcing motor side effects associated with current pharmacotherapies. Accordingly, researchers have shown that CBD reduces haloperidol-induced catalepsy and c-Fos protein expression in the dorsal striatum by a mechanism dependent on 5-HT1A activation. In addition, CBD prevents catalepsy behavior induced by repeated administration of reserpine. With the expanding knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, there is hope for a better understanding of PH and an increase in treatment options.
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is expanding rapidly and is often used as a medicine to treat insomnia. Insomnia often causes symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, anxiety, daytime fatigue. The complications of poor sleep quality, such as effects on productivity, mental health, and cardiac and endocrinological functions, suggest that this spectrum of diseases needs to be treated effectively.
Cannabis has historically been used to treat sleep difficulties, as it has sedative and anxiety-reducing properties and is believed to have the potential to treat insomnia. Studies on cannabis and insomnia have generally shown that cannabis may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia, and Delta-9 THC has been found to reduce sleep latency, but impair sleep quality in the long run. While CBD is effective for sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness, nabilone has been observed to reduce nightmares during sleep and improve sleep in patients with chronic pain.
Recent studies examining cannabinoids and obstructive sleep apnea suggest that synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone and dronabinol may provide short-term benefits for sleep apnea due to their modulatory effects on serotonin-mediated apneas. While THC has sleep-inducing properties; low-dose CBD can have a stimulating or neutral effect; high doses of CBD can be sleep-inducing. CBD can also reduce symptoms that interfere with sleep.
The pain-relieving properties of THC may also help promote sleep for some patients. Researchers have found that nabilone is effective at improving sleep in people with fibromyalgia. Tringale and Jensen noted that a significant reduction in sleep times and results reported after cannabis use in patients with and without sleep difficulties are supported as recent findings regarding the endocannabinoid system. Experts stated that THC increases melatonin production and can contribute to drowsiness after cannabis use.
In a recent study, it was reported that the effect of cannabis on sleep depends on many factors such as cannabinoid composition, dose, and route of administration. In a study, administration of low THC doses by inhalation of cannabis with known THC content resulted in a slight increase in sleep at rest. This result demonstrates the importance of investigating the sleep-promoting properties of cannabis. Marijuana and sleep research is still in its infancy, with mixed results. Additional controlled, long-term preclinical and clinical studies are required before cannabinoids can be used to relieve sleep disorders.
- Multiple Sclerosis and Spasticity
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The incidence of MS is higher in women, who are affected twice as often as men. Although the exact etiology of MS is unclear, observational studies have shown that genetic and environmental factors may contribute to the onset and progression of the disease. Typically, MS is considered a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease primarily driven by inflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells. When autoreactive T lymphocytes cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system, they cause local inflammation resulting in demyelination, gliotic scarring, and axonal damage.
Cannabinoids extracted from hemp, as well as synthetic forms, have been characterized by their anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoids have also been shown to alleviate spasticity and neuropathic pain in MS patients. For this reason, the combination of THC and CBD, called Sativex, has been approved in many countries such as Europe, Australia, and Canada. The combination of THC and CBD was recently tested in animal models of MS and found to suppress neuroinflammation.
However, the precise mechanisms, such as the role of miRNA in the efficacy of such combination therapy, remain to be elucidated in detail. THC has been shown in many laboratories to increase anti-inflammatory and decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine production. THC also mediates apoptosis in T-cell-induced inflammation, increasing FoxP3+ Tregs through miRNA induction and epigenetic modifications. CBD has recently been approved by the US FDA as a drug to treat epilepsy.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind or activate CB1 and CB2 receptors but can act as a negative allosteric modulator of CB receptors. Also, CBD has been shown to activate other receptors such as GPR55, TRPV1, or 5-HT1a. Therefore, it is possible that a THC + CBD combination would be more effective at treating inflammation by targeting both the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as other potential receptors such as GPR55, TRPV1, or 5-HT1a.
Various studies have found that circulating miRNAs are involved in physiological and pathological processes and have been identified as potential biomarkers, therapeutic agents, or drug targets. It has been determined that many miRNAs are differentially expressed in MS patients compared to controls and have the potential to be used as diagnostic biomarkers. In a recent study, it was found that the combination of THC + CBD suppressed neuroinflammation and attenuated the development of autoimmune encephalomyelitis in clinical trials, and this effect was associated with changes in the miRNA profile in cells entering the brain.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to impaired sensation, movement, or bodily functions caused by damage or disease affecting the nerves. In clinical studies, cannabinoids have been found to provide benefits for peripheral neuropathy, such as pain reduction, better sleep, and improved function, even in symptoms that do not respond to standard treatments. The best-known example of this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Chronic neuropathic pain affects 1-2% of the adult population and is generally not resistant to standard pharmacological treatment. Painful peripheral neuropathy includes many symptoms that severely reduce the quality of life.
Among them, allodynia and various abnormal sensations are called dysesthesia. The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy are diabetes, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, certain drugs, and toxins. About 20 million people in the United States suffer from neuropathic pain. The prevalence is higher in some populations, for example, 26% of people over 65 years of age and 30% of patients with Diabetes mellitus are affected. Commonly prescribed treatments are tricyclic antidepressant drugs and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor classes of antidepressants; It consists of anticonvulsants, opioids, and some topical agents. However, some patients benefit partially from such treatments or these drugs do not benefit or the patient cannot tolerate them.
Marijuana appears to be a pain-relieving aid accompanying various diseases. The analgesic effects of herbal cannabis from dried leaves and flowers have been most studied in neuropathic pain conditions. Rahn and Hohmann report that cannabinoids show promise for the treatment of neuropathic pain in humans, either alone or in addition to other therapeutic agents. Researchers have found that vaporized cannabinoids, even at low doses, can offer an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain.
Grant suggested that, in addition to the treatment of patients with severe painful peripheral neuropathy for whom other drugs have not provided fully satisfactory results, cannabis may represent a reasonable alternative or help in the treatment of patients. Gutierrez and Hohmann, on the other hand, report that cannabinoids effectively suppress neuropathic pain in preclinical and clinical studies and thus appear promising for the treatment of neuropathic pain, which is not open to conventional treatments or in addition to existing medical drugs.
Nabiximol is a non-synthetic pharmaceutical product with a standard composition and dosage. In their study of 246 patients to evaluate the effects of the oro-mucosal spray of cannabis-containing Nabiximol on central or peripheral neuropathic pain in various conditions, experts reported a 30% improvement in neuropathic pain in actively treated patients. Researchers have conducted a systematic review of basic research in human health and health policy. While analyzing 16 studies in this study, which lasted 2-26 weeks; The treatments used an oro-mucosal spray containing plant-derived THC and CBD, nabilone, inhaled herbal cannabis, and plant-derived THC.
As a result, with cannabis-based treatments, significantly more people achieved 50% or greater pain reduction than placebo; There was a 30% pain reduction in 39% of the treated patients, and 33% of the placebo-treated patients had pain reduction. However, due to the small size and short duration of the primary studies and the methodological limitations that differ in formulations and study designs, further evaluation of the long-term study, tolerability, and dependency potential are critical to determining the risk-benefit ratio.
In short, neuropathic pain is pain caused by damaged nerves. It differs from pain messages that are carried from damaged tissue along healthy nerves. Neuropathic pain is treated by medications that are different from those used for damaged tissue pain. Some cannabis extract products have been suggested for the treatment of pain, including neuropathic pain.
These products include inhaled herbal cannabis and various sprays or tablets containing active cannabis ingredients derived from the plant or made synthetically, and the potential benefits of the ingredients may outweigh the potential harms. However, long-term studies in the definitive treatment of neuropathic disorders with natural cannabis-based drugs and further clinical studies are needed to evaluate the safety of the compounds used in humans.
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