Autoimmune diseases and cannabis

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How does cannabis affect autoimmune diseases?

The role of the body’s defense system, the immune system is to protect the body from foreign bodies and pests. The role of white blood cells to attack foreign cells. Sometimes the white cells see our body tissue as foreign cells, and attack them. Autoimmune disease is triggered by genetic predisposition along with external inflammatory conditions. External conditions: mental stress, illness, accident, divorce, etc. are inflammatory agents.

In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of patients with autoimmune diseases.

Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)

A patient (reserved name) approached me to consult medical cannabis treatment.

The patient suffers from autoimmune disease (neuromyelitis), immune system cells and other antibodies attack the myelin in the optic nerve and spine. Myelin is the fatty layer that surrounds and protects the nerve cells and helps the electrical message pass from one nerve cell to another.

Drug therapy is combined. Immune suppression of the immune system by chemistry and biological treatment – erythrocyte / sulfate / bivetra (biologic therapy) / methotrexate, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Drug therapy and steroid steroid cause many side effects. There is a risk of other side effects: damage to the immune system and exposure to disease, increased blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, central obesity (Cushing’s syndrome), risk of osteoporosis and muscle weakness, risk of gastric ulcers, suppression of the immune system cataracts and glaucoma.

One of the most important and least known systems in the body is the endocrine system that supports the immune system.
In autoimmune diseases, the function of the endocannabinoid system is important [1].

Cannabinoids reduce TNF-α and COX-2 levels. Anandamide, the counterpart of THC in our body, also weakens microwave cell activity. The assumption that the protective effect of cannabinoids on the brain, BBB, and blood-spinal cord-barrier (BSCS) is important, and damage to this system may be a cause of autoimmune diseases and primarily de- NMO, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory, Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, and Antiphospholipid Syndrome with neurological involvement.

Falkoffer and others found that patients with NMO had high levels of AG-2 endocannabinoid. There was an inverse relationship between AG-2 levels and sensitivity to pain and a direct relationship between anandamide levels and sensitivity to pain [2].

CBD reduces the permeability of the immune system cells to the cerebral parenchyma and the activity of microwave cells and it was found that the effect lasted 80 days after treatment [3]. Cannabigerol Quinone (CBG) also suppresses levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and PGE2 [4]. Gp1a, a selective CB2 receptor agonist, modifies anandamide levels through Th17.

There is evidence of improvement in the condition of MS patients following cannabis treatment, improved spasticity and overall improvement in quality of life [5].

Multiple sclerosis and NMO are two conditions suitable for treatment using cannabis and especially Cannabis-rich cannabidiol (CBD) strains. Cannabis may reduce pain, hypersensitivity and inflammation and prevent further seizures [6]. Compared to conventional drugs and the large amount of steroids that the patient consumes, there is certainly room to try cannabis, a treatment that may help reduce the symptoms of the disease and reduce the side effects of the drugs it receives.

[1] Meste L, Iñigo PM, Mecha M, et al. Anandamide inhibits Theile’s virus induced VCAM-1 in brain endothelial cells and reduces leukocyte transmigration in a model of blood brain barrier by activation of CB1 receptors. Journal of neuroinflammation. 2011; 8: 102

[2] Pellkofer HL, Havla J, Hauer D, et al. The major Brain endocannabinoid 2-AG controls neuropathic pain and mechanical hyperalgesia

[3] Mecha M, Feliú A, Iñigo PM, et al. Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis: A role for A2A receptors. Neurology of Disease. 2013; 59: 141-150

[4] Granja AG, Carrillo-Salinas F, Pagani A, et al. A cannabigerol quinone alleviates neuroinflammation in chronic model of multiple sclerosis, J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2012; 7: 1002-1006

[5] Koppel BS, Brust JCM, Fife T, et al. Systematic review: efficiency and safety of medical marijuana in selected neurologic disorders report of the guideline development subcommittee of the American academy of neurology. Neurology. 2014; 82 (17): 1556-1563

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