Cannabinoids in neurodegenerative diseases

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of cannabinoids has a neuroprotective effect on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and others. We tell you about the main studies on this subject and their conclusions in this article.

Three types of cannabinoids are known: phytocannabinoids, synthesized naturally by the cannabis plant; endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids, produced naturally by the organism; and synthetic cannabinoids, similar compounds manufactured in laboratories.

Since the end of the 20th century, there has been much interest in the scientific community to encourage clinical studies related to the Cannabis Sativa or Indian hemp plant, which has a mixture of about 400 components, of which 60 belong to the cannabinoid group. The main cannabinoids of this plant are: cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the latter having psychoactive properties.

With the discovery of cannabinoids and the receptors that interact with them in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the door is open to endless therapeutic possibilities. In this blog we have already talked before about CBD and its benefits, such as its analgesic action against pain, sleep inducer, anxiety reducer... In this case, we focus on the neuroprotective effect that these substances contain and the positive impact they can have on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Cannabinoid receptors and the immune system

The activity of cannabinoids is due to their interaction with cannabinoid receptors. There are many lines of research studying the relationship between the two within the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but one of the most interesting is related to neurodegenerative diseases, in which cannabinoids can not only decrease symptoms, but also slow down the disease process.

There are two endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and, although their function is still being discovered, both are known to be present in immune cells, which points (along with other related evidence) to them playing an important role in modulating the immune system.

This being so, cannabinoids would have immunoregulatory properties, thanks to the fact that they are substances that interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. These immunoregulatory properties are in addition to the already widely known and proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids, which are precisely the most related to neurodegenerative diseases, as we discuss below.

How cannabinoids work in neurodegenerative diseases

The wide variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids, as well as their consequent neuroprotective and anti-neuroinflammatory action, mean that these active ingredients are currently emerging as important therapeutic agents in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), among others.

Some of the major research findings leading up to this are:
- Cannabinoids suppress the production of a variety of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
- CB1 and CB2 receptors are related to the regulation of neuroinflammation.
- Cannabinoids, through CB2 receptors, can inhibit the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF, joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis and other pathologies).
- Cannabinoids decrease the spasticity (muscle stiffness) produced by multiple sclerosis disease.

In subsequent articles we will detail how cannabinoids intervene in the development of each of these neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, in a previous article we already told you about the benefits of CBD in Parkinson's disease.

In general, the relationship between cannabinoids and this type of disease is based on the fact that these active ingredients are able to reduce oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and apoptosis (programmed cell death), promoting intrinsic repair mechanisms of the brain itself. Also key is their ability to stimulate neurogenesis or the process of formation of new neurons in the brain.

In any case, science continues to advance in the research of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system to define all these processes and extract conclusive findings for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases.

Reliable, quality, premium CBD

For those people who look to CBD or cannabidiol for pain relief caused by disease or an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant or any of the effects described above, it is of the utmost importance to acquire a premium quality product that offers all the guarantees. For this, there are three key issues:

1.- Access to laboratory reports: at Phexia, all laboratory reports are available for immediate consultation and download on the web. This makes it possible to check:

  • That each batch is verified in an authorized laboratory.
  • That the concentration of the product is as offered.
  • That the product does not contain any harmful contaminants.

2.- The formulation of the products has the advice of a team of medical professionals.

3.- The products marketed by the brand are tested in third party laboratories to guarantee their reliability.

In Phexia, we comply with all these requirements and all the information is available in our website. For any additional questions or personalized consultation, you can contact us by email at

Photo: Aaron Andrew Ang on Unsplash.

Source: original study article


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