A study published in the February issue of the Journal of NeuroImmune Pharmacology has found that cannabis may provide a treatment option for neuroinflammation.
“Chronic neuroinflammatory disorders (such as HIV associated neurodegeneration) require treatment that decreases production of inflammatory factors by activated microglia and macrophages and protection of blood brain barrier (BBB) injury secondary to activation of brain endothelium”, begins the study’s abstract. “Cannabioid type 2 receptor (CB2) is highly expressed on macrophages and brain microvasular enndothelial cells (BMVEC) and is upregulated in inflammation and HIV infection. It has been shown that CB2 activation dampened inflammatory responses in macrophages and BMVEC.”
After researchers “assessed by PCR [polymerase chain reaction] array the expression of a wide range of genes increased in macrophages and BMVEC in inflammation”, they found that “CB2 [cannabinoid receptor type 2] stimulation in primary human macrophages led to the suppression of 35 genes out of the 50 genes upregulated by LPS [lipopolysaccharide]. Such changes in gene expression paralleled diminished secretion of proinflammatory factors.”
They conclude; “These results indicate the potential utility of CB2 agonists [cannabis is a natural CB2 agonist] for the treatment of neuroinflammation.”
The study’s abstract can be found by clicking here.