Adrian Devitt-Lee is Project CBD’s chief science writer and a PhD candidate in applied math at the University College in London. He is the co-author of several articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Physiology, F1000Research, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, and Physica A.
The elderly are the fastest growing population of cannabis users. But how do hospice workers feel about their patients using cannabis? A recent survey by pharmacists at the University of Maryland asked palliative care practitioners about their opinions on cannabis use among hospice patients. Over 90% of workers support the use of cannabis, but most physicians did not recommend cannabis to their patients. This may be due to a lack of knowledge about safe use of cannabis — over 80% of respondents wanted standardized protocols on the use of cannabis in palliative care.
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is so named because it responds to cannabis compounds. But cannabis is not its only regulator – there are a plethora of molecules derived from plants or even single-cellular organisms that interact with the ECS.
Robert Randall was the first U.S. citizen to legally access cannabis based on medical necessity since the start of prohibition. He and his wife, Alice O’Leary Randall, sued the government because THC-rich cannabis was the only effective medicine for his glaucoma.
Phytocannabinoids consistently confuse scientists because of the multiplicity of their actions. CBD, for example, binds to a handful of neurotransmitter receptors, as well as hormone receptors, ion channels, and a variety of enzymes. Receptors without a known endogenous ligand are called “orphan” receptors. GPR18 is involved in ocular-pressure (and hence glaucoma treatment) as well as cardiovascular function.
Plant cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydriocannabinol (THC), interact in interesting ways with endocannabinoids.
It’s increasingly recognized that the runner’s high, which used to be attributed to endorphins, is conferred partly by endocannabinoids in the brain. In response to the stress of exercise, the brain produces anandamide, “the bliss chemical” which provides that feeling of elation along with pain reduction and health benefits. A collaboration between researchers in Wisconsin and at Iowa State University has sought to understand this phenomenon in women suffering from depression.
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CBD
By the Editors of Reader’s Digest & Project CBD: Everything You Need to Know About What It Helps, Where to Buy It, and How to Take It.