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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cannabis, Bad for the Brain or Neuroprotectant?

brainImage by TZA via Flickr

The endocannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of neuronal damage.

cc:  Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Justice Hon Simon Power.


Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040-Madrid, Spain.



Cannabinoids have been proposed as clinically promising neuroprotective molecules, based on their capability to normalize glutamate homeostasis, reducing excitotoxicity, to inhibit calcium influx, lowering intracellular levels and the subsequent activation of calcium-dependent destructive pathways, and to reduce the generation of reactive oxygen intermediates or to limit their toxicity, decreasing oxidative injury. Cannabinoids are also able to decrease local inflammatory events by acting on glial processes that regulate neuronal survival, and to restore blood supply by reducing vasocontriction produced by several endothelium-derived factors.


Current literature supporting these neuroprotective effects, particularly evidence generated during the last ten years, concentrating on targets within the cannabinoid signaling system that facilitate these effects. Acute or chronic neurodegenerative disorders where cannabinoids have shown neuroprotective effect.


Most of the information reviewed here relates to preclinical studies. However, these molecules may progress from the present preclinical evidence to clinical applications.


Treatment of neurodegenerative disorders is a challenge for neuroscientists and neurologists. Unhappily, the efficacy of available medicines is still poor and there is an urgent need for novel neuroprotective agents. Cannabinoids can serve this purpose given their recognized antiexcitotoxic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

PMID: 20230193  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Blair Anderson 
Social Ecologist 'at large'

ph nz  (643) 389 4065   nz cell 027 265 7219

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