I came across some articles about medical cannabis and decided to write a short summery because it is quite challenging to find scientific data due to restrictions on cannabis research. This is a bite size review on some research data.
Medical cannabis in treating epilepsy
The article is discussing an interesting case about child from Colorado with epilepsy. The child was given medical marijuana in combination with anti-epilepsy therapy, which led to convulsions to reduce from 50 to 2-3 per month. Previous research has shown that THC and CBD have anticonvulsive properties. However, all available data is based on animal models research and chronic seizures. Physicians are calling for more research on medical cannabis as potential treatment for epilepsy. According to the review the anti-convulsive effect of cannabis is well known during the centuries.
Medical cannabis in treating multiple sclerosis
Team from the University of Tel Aviv has reported interesting results from their research on multiple sclerosis. They have used compounds from marijuana to treat mice with MS-like symptoms to evaluate the effect of the compounds on brain and spinal cord inflammation. The researchers discovered that mice treated with CBD have less inflammation. Similar effect was observed with THC.
However, further research is required to confirm these findings.
Medical cannabis in treating cancer
Researchers from the universities of East Anglia and Madrid have tested THC effect on breast cancer tumors induced in mice. They have discovered that THC can reduce the tumor size by using CB2 and GPR55 cannabinoid receptors. The article also reports that there is an interest in pharma industry to explore synthetic analogs in cancer treatment.
Medical cannabis in treating pain
Research team form Oxford University has examined the effect of THC on chronic pain. For their study they have used 12 healthy volunteers and have preformed brain MRI to see the effect of THC on pain centres. Participants had to take THC or placebo pill and rub cream on their leg that will induce irritation and pain. They have performed brain scan to examine the pain centres and their reaction to THC and placebo pills. Only 6 out of 12 reported change of pain level. The team has discovered that the primary sensorimotor area in the brain is changed in a different way for participants who have experienced pain relief effect. The team speculates that this could be used to predict who can benefit from cannabis treatment.
They have discovered that THC does not reduce the pain but make it more bearable.
However, more research is required to evaluate the effect of THC on pain.