Madrid, Spain: Cannabis’ active components show promise in halting the progression of certain neurodegerative disorders and should be evaluated in clinical trials, according to a review published online in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
An international team of researchers from Spain and Israel assessed the potential of cannabinoids to moderate Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), two degenerative brain disorders that are mostly unresponsive to conventional treatment therapies.
“Cannabinoids are promising medicines to slow down disease progression in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD), two of the most important disorders affecting the basal ganglia,” authors reported.
Researchers noted that both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) have been demonstrated to “protect nigral or striatal neurons in experimental models of both disorders.” Investigators added that the separate “activation of CB(2) [cannabinoid] receptors leads to a slower progression of neurodegeneration in both disorders.”
Authors concluded, “[T]he evidence reported so far supports that those cannabinoids having antioxidant properties and/or capability to activate CB(2) receptors may represent promising therapeutic agents in HD and PD, thus deserving a prompt clinical evaluation.”
In June, a team of investigators from Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom reported in the Journal of Neuroscience Research that the administration of THC and CBD-rich botanical extracts delays the progress of Huntington’s disease in laboratory animals.
Separate studies have also indicated the potential of cannabinoids to moderate additional neurodegenerative diseases, including Lou Gehrig’s disease and Alzheimer’s.