Sunday 5th December, 2021

Issue No.69

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Cannabidiol is a Proven Aid for Chronic Pain

At the Ribeirão Preto campus in Brazil, animal tests have shown the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) in reducing chronic pain and treating associated comorbidities such as anxiety. Research findings suggest that cannabidiol may be an adjunct in the treatment of chronic pain and that it may also reverse anxiety-like behavior. But researchers caution that clinical trials must be done to confirm the results.

Research developed by scientists at USP's Ribeirão Preto campus in laboratory animals shows the positive action of cannabidiol (CBD) – a substance extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant – in reducing chronic pain and associated comorbidities, such as anxiety.

Researcher Gleice K. Silva-Cardoso, from the Post-Graduate Program in Psychobiology at the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences, and Letters of USP (FFCLRP) believes that CBD is a promising strategy for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. The cannabinoid system plays an essential role in the pain sensitivity circuit. The endocannabinoid system (found in the brain and in several other places in the human and animal body) was discovered in the late 1980s, and since then, several national and international studies involving the therapeutic effects of CBD have gained traction. An article by Gleice K. Silva-Cardoso was published in the journal Neuropharmacology.

The results are from the pre-clinical phase (tests performed in laboratory animals), but they showed the therapeutic potential of CBD in reducing the perception of allodynia (pain to light stimuli, such as a simple touch) and thermal hyperalgesia (a painful condition caused by increased heat) in animals with neuropathic pain. According to Professor Christie Ramos Andrade Leite Panissi, from the Psychology Department at FFCLRP and research supervisor, in addition to the reduction in pain, the scientists observed "activation of regions of the central nervous system related to the modulation of emotional responses".

man drinking from the droplet. Cannabidiol treatment will be a relaxing experience.

As for the emotional factor, Gleice states that chronic pain never comes alone and is often associated with some comorbidity, "especially anxiety and depression". Thus, she believes that the disorder must be dealt with in a multifactorial aspect and not just physical. The researcher's assessments are also based on previous results of another study she carried out at the University of Maryland, in the United States, when she assessed neuronal activities (communication between neurons and their receptors) in an area located in the brainstem: the parabrachial nucleus, involved in the modulation of chronic pain perception and which has also been tested for cannabinoid receptors.

Therapy for Pain and Emotional Responses

Cannabis is composed of flavonoids, more than 200 terpenes, and more than 100 phytocannabinoids, among which the best known are cannabidiol (CBD, which has no psychoactive effect) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which has a psychoactive effect). As one of the most studied, CBD is capable of activating cannabinoid receptors present in the body and that is part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors can be activated by endocannabinoid substances (produced by the body itself) and by Cannabis derivatives, such as CBD or another synthetic agent.

Professor Christie highlights that the search for therapeutic agents, "especially for cases of chronic pain resistant to traditional treatments", confirms the relevance of the study, not only for the discovery of new drugs but for investigating "new uses of already known compounds and the possibilities of their joint action, minimizing possible undesirable side effects".

Gleice believes that her study findings may indicate CBD as an aid in the treatment of chronic pain that can also reverse anxiety-like behaviors. If this component of Cannabis helps to modulate pain aversion, as noted, it does so by addressing "not only the mechanical relief part of the animal but also the issue of this modulation of perception".

Despite celebrating the results, Professor Christie recalls that the study is still pre-clinical and that more research should be carried out on the use of cannabidiol and other cannabis derivatives "until they are indicated for clinical use in the treatment of chronic pain".

Cannabidiol treatments

Gleice informs that, currently, there is "a range of study options with the use of cannabidiol in various diseases", mainly focusing on its properties "in comorbidities and neuropsychiatric diseases". The substance has shown analgesic and immunosuppressive pharmacological benefits, with therapeutic action for anxiety, sleep, and movement disorders, "which makes it a substance with great therapeutic potential", observes Christie.

Products with CBD are already marketed in several countries, including Portugal, and "indicated for the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, as well as analgesics in terminal cancer patients", says the professor.

green cannabis leaves and black glass drops bottle, a Cannabidiol treatment.

Cannabidiol and Chronic Pain: A Proven Aid

At the Ribeirão Preto campus in Brazil, animal tests have shown the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) in reducing chronic pain and treating associated comorbidities such as anxiety. Research findings suggest that cannabidiol may be an adjunct in the treatment of chronic pain and that it may also reverse anxiety-like behavior. But researchers caution that clinical trials must be done to confirm the results.

Research developed by scientists at USP's Ribeirão Preto campus in laboratory animals shows the positive action of cannabidiol (CBD) – a substance extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant – in reducing chronic pain and associated comorbidities, such as anxiety.

Researcher Gleice K. Silva-Cardoso, from the Post-Graduate Program in Psychobiology at the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences, and Letters of USP (FFCLRP) believes that CBD is a promising strategy for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. The cannabinoid system plays an essential role in the pain sensitivity circuit. The endocannabinoid system (found in the brain and in several other places in the human and animal body) was discovered in the late 1980s, and since then, several national and international studies involving the therapeutic effects of CBD have gained traction. An article by Gleice K. Silva-Cardoso was published in the journal Neuropharmacology. You can check more information about this cannabidiol treatment here:

The results are from the pre-clinical phase (tests performed in laboratory animals), but they showed the therapeutic potential of CBD in reducing the perception of allodynia (pain to light stimuli, such as a simple touch) and thermal hyperalgesia (a painful condition caused by increased heat) in animals with neuropathic pain. According to Professor Christie Ramos Andrade Leite Panissi, from the Psychology Department at FFCLRP and research supervisor, in addition to the reduction in pain, the scientists observed "activation of regions of the central nervous system related to the modulation of emotional responses".

As for the emotional factor, Gleice states that chronic pain never comes alone and is often associated with some comorbidity, "especially anxiety and depression". Thus, she believes that the disorder must be dealt with in a multifactorial aspect and not just physical. The researcher's assessments are also based on previous results of another study she carried out at the University of Maryland, in the United States, when she assessed neuronal activities (communication between neurons and their receptors) in an area located in the brainstem: the parabrachial nucleus, involved in the modulation of chronic pain perception and which has also been tested for cannabinoid receptors.

Therapy for Pain and Emotional Responses

Cannabis is composed of flavonoids, more than 200 terpenes, and more than 100 phytocannabinoids, among which the best known are cannabidiol (CBD, which has no psychoactive effect) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which has a psychoactive effect). As one of the most studied, CBD is capable of activating cannabinoid receptors present in the body and that is part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors can be activated by endocannabinoid substances (produced by the body itself) and by Cannabis derivatives, such as CBD or another synthetic agent.

Professor Christie highlights that the search for therapeutic agents, "especially for cases of chronic pain resistant to traditional treatments", confirms the relevance of the study, not only for the discovery of new drugs but for investigating "new uses of already known compounds and the possibilities of their joint action, minimizing possible undesirable side effects".

man giving Cannabidiol to a Siberian husky.

Gleice believes that her study findings may indicate CBD as an aid in the treatment of chronic pain that can also reverse anxiety-like behaviors. If this component of Cannabis helps to modulate pain aversion, as noted, it does so by addressing "not only the mechanical relief part of the animal but also the issue of this modulation of perception".

Despite celebrating the results, Professor Christie recalls that the study is still pre-clinical and that more research should be carried out on the use of cannabidiol and other cannabis derivatives "until they are indicated for clinical use in the treatment of chronic pain".

Cannabidiol treatments

Gleice informs that, currently, there is "a range of study options with the use of cannabidiol in various diseases", mainly focusing on its properties "in comorbidities and neuropsychiatric diseases". The substance has shown analgesic and immunosuppressive pharmacological benefits, with therapeutic action for anxiety, sleep, and movement disorders, "which makes it a substance with great therapeutic potential", observes Christie.

Products with CBD are already marketed in several countries, including Portugal, and "indicated for the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, as well as analgesics in terminal cancer patients", says the professor.

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