Cannabinoids are the 'key' to Marijuana's Success



Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds which include the phytocannabinoids (oxygen-containing C21aromatic hydrocarbon compounds found in thecannabis (marijuana)) and chemical compounds which mimic the actions of phytocannabinoids or have a similar structure (e.g. endocannabinoids, found in the nervousand immune systems of animals and that activatecannabinoid receptors).

Clinical investigations ....

.... of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids are now more prevalent than at any time in history. The reason being; it works. And not only that, they work far better than pharmaceutical drugs with no side affects and have close to zero toxicity for the patient.
Studies, that have utilized the so‐called ‘gold standardʹ FDA clinical trail design, concluded that cannabinoids ought to be the ʺfirst line treatmentʺ for patients with neuropathy and other serious illnesses. They have the ability to alleviate neuropathic pain, an extremely difficult to treat type of nerve‐pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injury, and many other debilitating conditions, as well as conditions not so debilitating, more naturally than pharmaceutical drugs and narcotics.
Much of the interest in cannabinoid therapeutics is a direct result of the discovery of the endocannabinoid regulatory system in our body that works hand in hand with our immune system. What sparked other interest and grabbed attention, and probably most important, is the growing body of very positive testimonials from patients as well as their physicians across this nation, and around the world.
Cannabinoids have the capacity to moderate autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as their role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimerʹs disease and amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrigʹs disease.)
A growing body of preclinical and clinical data concludes that cannabinoids can reduce the spread and destroy specific cancer cells via apoptosis (programmed cell death) and by the inhibition of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels).
The discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system, with specific receptors and ligands, has enlightened our understanding of the therapeutic actions from folklore to valid science. It
now appears that the cannabinoid system evolved with our species and is intricately involved in normal human physiology specifically in the control of movement, pain, reproduction, memory, and appetite, as well as other important biological functions. The prevalence of cannabinoid receptors in our brain and peripheral tissues suggests that the cannabinoid system represents a previously unknown ubiquitous network in our nervous system.
Cannabinoids produce an anti‐inflammatory effect by inhibiting the production and action of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and other acute phase cytokines, which also makes them ideal compounds to treat the autoimmune forms of arthritis. Cannabinoid receptor systems are the mechanisms by which the body maintains homeostasis (the regulation of cell function), allowing the bodyʹs tissues to communicate with one another in a intricate cellular dance we call ʺlife.ʺ


Cannabinoid

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Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors. These include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals),[1] the phytocannabinoids (produced by various plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (produced chemically by man). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis.[2][3] However, there are known to exist numerous other cannabinoids with varied effects.
Synthetic cannabinoids encompass a variety of distinct chemical classes: the classical cannabinoids structurally related to THC, the nonclassical cannabinoids (cannabimimetics) including the aminoalkylindoles, 1,5-diarylpyrazoles, quinolines, and arylsulphonamides, as well as eicosanoids related to the endocannabinoids.[2]

Contents

Cannabinoid receptors

Before the 1980s, it was often speculated that cannabinoids produced their physiological and behavioral effects via nonspecific interaction with cell membranes, instead of interacting with specific membrane-bound receptors. The discovery of the first cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s helped to resolve this debate. These receptors are common in animals, and have been found in mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. At present, there are two known types of cannabinoid receptors, termed CB1 and CB2,[1] with mounting evidence of more.[4]

Cannabinoid receptor type 1

CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, to be specific in the basal ganglia and in the limbic system, including the hippocampus.[1] They are also found in the cerebellum and in both male and female reproductive systems. CB1 receptors are absent in the medulla oblongata, the part of the brain stem responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions. Thus, there is not the risk of respiratory or cardiovascular failure that can be produced by some drugs. CB1 receptors appear to be responsible for the euphoric and anticonvulsive effects of cannabis.

Cannabinoid receptor type 2

CB2 receptors are predominantly found in the immune system, or immune-derived cells[5] with the greatest density in the spleen. While found only in the peripheral nervous system, a report does indicate that CB2 is expressed by a subpopulation of microglia in the human cerebellum .[6] CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and possibly other therapeutic effects of cannabis.[5]


Types

At least 85 different cannabinoids have been isolated from the Cannabis plant.[9] At least 25 different cannabinoids have been isolated from Echinacea species.[10] To the right, the main classes of cannabinoids from Cannabis are shown. All classes derive from cannabigerol-type compounds and differ mainly in the way this precursor is cyclized.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and Dodeca-2E,4E,8Z,10E/Z-tetraenoic-acid-isobutylamides (from Echinacea species) are the most prevalent natural cannabinoids and have received the most study. Other common cannabinoids are listed below:

Tetrahydrocannabinol

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component of the plant. It appears to ease moderate pain (analgesic) and to be neuroprotective. THC has approximately equal affinity for the CB1 and CB2 receptors.[11]
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol9-THC, THC) and delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), mimic the action of anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced naturally in the body. These two THC's produce the effects associated with cannabis by binding to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain.


Range

Endocannabinoids are hydrophobic molecules. They cannot travel unaided for long distances in the aqueous medium surrounding the cells from which they are released, and therefore act locally on nearby target cells. Hence, although emanating diffusely from their source cells, they have much more restricted spheres of influence than do hormones, which can affect cells throughout the body.

U.S. Patent no. 6630507

On October 7, 2003, a U.S. patent number 6630507 entitled "Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants" was awarded to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, based on research done at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This patent claims that cannabinoids are "useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as ischemia, age-related, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."[45][46]
On November 17, 2011, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(c)(1) and 37 CFR part 404.7(a)(1)(i), the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, published in the Federal Register, that it is contemplating the grant of an exclusive patent license to practice the invention embodied in U.S. Patent 6,630,507, entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US99/08769 and foreign equivalents thereof, entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” [HHS Ref. No. E-287-1997/2] to KannaLife Sciences Inc., which has offices in New York, U.S. This patent and its foreign counterparts have been assigned to the Government of the United States of America. The prospective exclusive license territory may be worldwide, and the field of use may be limited to: The development and sale of cannabinoid(s) and cannabidiol(s) based therapeutics as antioxidants and neuroprotectants for use and delivery in humans, for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy, as claimed in the Licensed Patent Rights.[47]

Synthetic and patented cannabinoids

Historically, laboratory synthesis of cannabinoids were often based on the structure of herbal cannabinoids, and a large number of analogs have been produced and tested, especially in a group led by Roger Adams as early as 1941 and later in a group led by Raphael Mechoulam. Newer compounds are no longer related to natural cannabinoids or are based on the structure of the endogenous cannabinoids.
Synthetic cannabinoids are particularly useful in experiments to determine the relationship between the structure and activity of cannabinoid compounds, by making systematic, incremental modifications of cannabinoid molecules.
Medications containing natural or synthetic cannabinoids or cannabinoid analogs:
Other notable synthetic cannabinoids include:


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