PHARMACOLOGY OF CANNABINOIDS
The discovery of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid system has led to the potential therapeutic use of cannabis derivatives. Cannabinoids acting through the CB1 receptors modulate the release of other neurotransmitters in central nervous system, whereas the activation of peripheral CB2 receptors results in decreased inflammatory response and increased apoptosis of some tumor cells populations. The cannabinoids have been authorized for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; stimulation of appetite; to alleviate neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and to reduce pain in cancer patients. Efficacy in other diseases and clinical conditions should be proven in ongoing or future clinical trials. Isolation and identification of different cannabinoids from cannabis and synthesis of novel, more selective, derivatives widens their therapeutic potential. However, there are numerous adverse effects reported, especially when cannabinoids formulations with unknown quantitative and qualitative composition are used. Addiction, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, increased risk of acute myocardial re-infarction, and increased risk of psychosis or worsening of psychosis are the most common adverse effects of cannabinoids. Acute adverse effects e. g. severe central nervous system depression, are more pronounced in children than in adults. Potential cannabinoid medicines should be subject to the same regulations as other potential drugs. Safety and efficacy of any potential drug candidate, regardless whether it is plant-derived or synthesized, should be proven in non-clinical studies and clinical trials, as well as the marketing authorization must be issued by the appropriate drug authority. Patients deserve a quality manufactured product, which always contains the specified amount of "Remedium cardinale."
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