Cannabinoid controversy

Receptors that bind the active ingredient in marijuana may be novel therapeutic targets in autoimmune disease, but contested evidence for their presence on neurons could hamper drug development

Tia Ghose
Switching on a subtype of the receptor that binds cannabis, the active ingredient in marijuana, can suppress inflammation -- suggesting a new and particularly promising target to treat autoimmune problems such as multiple sclerosis and the damage caused by immune cells after a stroke. But hotly contested evidence for whether or not this cannabinoid receptor is expressed on neurons may limit the potential for pursuing that target in the search for new medicines.
A cannabis tincture from the
first half of the 20th century

Image: Wikipedia
Understanding the receptor's role in damaged neurons and autoimmunity "has pretty important therapeutic implications," said linkurl:Ken Mackie,; a neuroscientist at Indiana University in Bloomington who studies cannabinoid receptors in the brain.It's commonly accepted that marijuana's "high" stems from cannabis binding to one type of cannabinoid receptor -- called the CB1 receptor -- which is widespread on neurons in the brain. Scientists have tied CB1...
Microvascular ResearchScienceBrain and ResearchNew York Academy of SciencesBrain and ResearchGenes, Brain and Behavior

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