Activation of the body’s cannbinoid receptors – something done naturally by cannabis and cannabinoids – may be an effective treatment and prevention strategy for itching, according to a study published in this month’s issue of the journal Pharmacology, and published online by the National Institute of Health.
According to the study’s researchers; “We have previously reported that [a novel cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2) agonist] significantly suppressed compound 48/80-induced scratching behavior in mice in a dose-dependent manner when it was administered orally.”
To help confirm these results, researchers found that the “inhibitory effects of [the CB2 agonist] on compound 48/80-induced scratching behavior are reversed” by pretreatment with a CB2-selective antagonist, meant to have the reverse effect of a CB2 agonist such as cannabis.
“In addition, we investigated the effects of [the CB2 agonist] on itch-associated scratching behavior induced by several pruritogenic agents in mice and rats. [It] significantly suppressed scratching behavior induced by histamine or substance P in mice or by serotonin in rats… Moreover, [it] significantly inhibited histamine-induced peripheral nerve firing in mice.”
Researchers conclude; “In conclusion, these results suggest that [a novel CB2 agonist produces its antipruritic effects by inhibiting itch signal transmission through CB2 agonism.”
The full study can be found by clicking here.