Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cannabis, a Medicine?

Endocannabinoid signaling in stress, medicine and wellness.

Tobias Esch

Based on self-care and stress research, it is reasonable to propose that our bodies contain naturally occurring properties, that is, tools that serve to maintain our health and integrity for a passable period of time, even in times of stress: These processes, including endocannabinoid autoregulation, might in part determine our well-being and life span. Such properties would also manifest themselves during times of stress, i.e., stress reduction. Stress potentially triggers endocannabinoid and NO synthesis and release. In fact, endocannabinoids exert stress-reducing functions by their potential to modulate norepinephrine release, e.g., via constitutive NO activation, therefore suggesting a sympatho-inhibitory mechanism that effectively diminishes sympathetic tone. This stress-reducing and health-promoting potential can be detected not only in central but also peripheral pathways, again indicating general or systemic down-regulation. In this process, signaling molecules such as the endocannabinoids may play a role in connecting mind and body phenomena, and one could speculate that such evolutionarily old autoregulatory pathways, by using endocannabinoids as one type of their molecular messengers and constitutive NO as a possible converging point, are involved in natural or innate health promotion, including wellness, reward and pleasure. Consequently, endocannabinoid research has now become a focus not only of neurobiological but also medical science: With this interdisciplinary approach, we will gather new insight on these fascinating molecules and their healing properties in the coming years ahead.
Med Sci Monit. 2005 Aug ;11:ED3-5

Therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system in the brain.

José Antonio Ramos, Sara González, Onintza Sagredo, María Gómez-Ruiz, Javier Fernández-Ruiz

Cannabinoids have been predominantly considered as the substances responsible of the psychoactive properties of marijuana and other derivatives of Cannabis sativa. However, these compounds are now being also considered for their therapeutic potential, since the term "cannabinoid" includes much more compounds than those present in Cannabis sativa derivatives. Among them, there are numerous synthetic cannabinoids obtained by modifications from plant-derived cannabinoids, but also from the compounds that behave as endogenous ligands for the different cannabinoid receptor subtypes. Within the family of "cannabinoid-related compounds", one should also include some prototypes of selective antagonists for these receptors, and also the recently developed inhibitors of the mechanism of finalization of the biological action of endocannabinoids (transporter + FAAH). All this boom of the cannabinoid pharmacology has, therefore, an explanation in the recent discovery and characterization of the endocannabinoid signaling system, which plays a modulatory role mainly in the brain but also in the periphery. The objective of the present article will be to review, from pharmacological and biochemical points of view, the more recent advances in the study of the endocannabinoid system and their functions in the brain, as well as their alterations in a variety of pathologies and the proposed therapeutic benefits of novel cannabinoid-related compounds that improve the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of classic cannabinoids.
Mini Rev Med Chem. 2005 Jul ;5:609-17 
Blair Anderson
Techno Junk and Grey Matter

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Christchurch, New Zealand 8006

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