Bipolar disorder is rarely considered from our growing perspective of the endocannabinoid system in mental health. Iranian researchers at Kerman University recently reviewed the beneficial and harmful aspects of endocannabinoids in this disease.
Organophosphates are a class of insecticides like chlorpyrifos and soman. Sarin, used as a chemical weapon, is also an organophosphate. Many of these are neurotoxic, owing to their ability to amplify the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which paralyzes insects and causes their death. A recent study from medical researchers in Maryland and Pennsylvania described the human toxicity in detail and explained why cannabinoids may be protective for humans.
Hormone replacement therapy is used to reduce some of the symptoms of menopause. Although it can reduce problems like osteoporosis, hot flashes and depression, hormonal treatments come with risks including an increased likelihood of stroke and heart attack. Among those who use hormone therapy, scientists tend to believe there is a “critical window” where hormone replacement can reduce depression and the worsening memory associated with menopause. A new study from researchers in Xi’an, China, indicates that activating CB1 may prolong this window.
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.