Therapeutic Aspects of Cannabis and CannabinoidsBy Philip Robson
British Journal Of Psychiatry, 2001
Aims: Assess the therapeutic profile of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Method: Medline search, references supplied by DOH and others, and personal communications.
Results and Conclusion: Cannabis and cannabinoids are effective anti-emetics and analgesics and reduce intra-ocular pressure. There is evidence of symptom relief and improved well-being in selective neurological conditions, AIDS and certain cancers. Cannabinoids may reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Anti-convulsant activity requires clarification. Other properties identified by basic search await evaluation. Standard treatments for many relevant disorders are unsatisfactory. Cannabis is safe in overdose but often causes unwanted effects, typically sedation, intoxication, clumsiness, dissiness, dry mouth, lower blood pressure or increased heart rate. The discovery of specific receptors and natural ligands may lead to drug developments. Research is needed to optimize dose and amount of administration, quantify therapeutic and adverse effects, and examine interactions.
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