Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids

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BACKGROUND:

Numerous
physical,
psychological,
and
emotional
benefits
have
been
attributed
to marijuana since
its
first
reported
use
in
2,600
BC
in
a
Chinese
pharmacopoeia.
The
phytocannabinoids,
cannabidiol
(CBD),
and
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
(Δ9-THC)
are
the
most
studied
extracts
from cannabis sativa subspecies
hemp
and marijuana.
CBD
and
Δ9-THC
interact
uniquely
with
the
endocannabinoid
system
(ECS).
Through
direct
and
indirect
actions,
intrinsic
endocannabinoids
and
plant-based
phytocannabinoids
modulate
and
influence
a
variety
of
physiological
systems
influenced
by
the
ECS.

METHODS:

In
1980,
Cunha et
al
.
reported
anticonvulsant
benefits
in
7/8
subjects
with
medically
uncontrolled
epilepsy
using marijuana extracts
in
a
phase
I
clinical
trial.
Since
then
neurological
applications
have
been
the
major
focus
of
renewed
research
using medical
marijuana
 and
phytocannabinoid
extracts.

RESULTS:

Recent
neurological
uses
include
adjunctive
treatment
for
malignant
brain
tumors,
Parkinson’s
disease,
Alzheimer’s
disease,
multiple
sclerosis,
neuropathic pain,
and
the
childhood
seizure
disorders
Lennox-Gastaut
and
Dravet
syndromes.
In
addition,
psychiatric
and
mood
disorders,
such
as
schizophrenia,
anxiety,
depression,
addiction,
postconcussion
syndrome,
and
posttraumatic
stress
disorders
are
being
studied
using
phytocannabinoids.

CONCLUSIONS:

In
this
review
we
will
provide
animal
and
human
research
data
on
the
current
clinical
neurological
uses
for
CBD
individually
and
in
combination
with
Δ9-THC.
We
will
emphasize
the
neuroprotective,
antiinflammatory,
and
immunomodulatory
benefits
of
phytocannabinoids
and
their
applications
in
various
clinical
syndromes.

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