Cannabis: Minor Chronic Effects

Ian Goddard igoddard at
Tue Jul 1 19:31:00 EST 2003

"John H." <john at> wrote:
>Damn right Ian, many studies now point to powerful benefits for
>cannabinoids. Unfortunately when cannabis is mentioned people only think of
>THC and particuarly in the USA the political climate is absurd. Eg. Some
>months ago the DEA issued a notice to pet shop owners to remove all birdseed
>products with pot seed in it ... . By the way, good evidence that
>dicannabidol(spelling!) should be extensively trialled for stroke and head
>trauma victims. Its ability to save neurons is remarkable, has
>anti-inflammatory properties, in vitro toxicity is impossible (or at least
>have never been demonstrated). There is also good evidence to for
>cannabinoid antitumoural properties (breast, glioma, prostrate) but won't
>hear that in the news ... .

  IAN: Here are a couple cannabidiol abstracts along 
  with a review of the pharmacology of cannabinoids
  that concludes: "Properties of cannabis that might 
  be of therapeutic use include analgesia, muscle
  relaxation, immunosuppression, sedation, improvement 
  of mood, stimulation of appetite, antiemesis, lowering 
  of intraocular pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection
  and induction of apoptosis in cancer cells." Here's more:

J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;42(11 Suppl):11S-19S.  

Cannabidiol: an overview of some pharmacological aspects.

Mechoulam R, Parker LA, Gallily R.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Over the past few years, considerable attention has focused on
cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychotropic constituent of cannabis.
The authors present a review on the chemistry of CBD and discuss the
anticonvulsive, antianxiety, antipsychotic, antinausea, and
antirheumatoid arthritic properties of CBD. CBD does not bind to the
known cannabinoid receptors, and its mechanism of action is yet
unknown. It is possible that, in part at least, its effects are due to
its recently discovered inhibition of anandamide uptake and hydrolysis
and to its antioxidative effect.


J Clin Pharmacol. 1981 Aug-Sep;21(8-9 Suppl):417S-427S.  

Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol.

Carlini EA, Cunha JM.

Clinical trials with cannabidiol (CBD) in healthy volunteers,
isomniacs, and epileptic patients conducted in the authors' laboratory
from 1972 up to the present are reviewed. Acute doses of cannabidiol
ranging from 10 to 600 mg and chronic administration of 10 mg for 20
days or 3 mg/kg/day for 30 days did not induce psychologic or physical
symptoms suggestive of psychotropic or toxic effects; however, several
volunteers complained of somnolence. Complementary laboratory tests
(EKG, blood pressure, and blood and urine analysis) revealed no sign
of toxicity. Doses of 40, 80, and 160 mg cannabidiol were compared to
placebo and 5 mg nitrazepam in 15 insomniac volunteers. Subjects
receiving 160 mg cannabidiol reported having slept significantly more
than those receiving placebo; the volunteers also reported
significantly less dream recall; with the three doses of cannabidiol
than with placebo. Fifteen patients suffering from secondary
generalized epilepsy refractory to known antiepileptic drugs received
either 200 to 300 mg cannabidiol daily or placebo for as long as 4.5
months. Seven out of the eight epileptics receiving cannabidiol had
improvement of their disease state, whereas only one placebo patient


Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(4):327-60.  

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids.

Grotenhermen F.

Nova-Institut, Hurth, Germany. franjo.grotenhermen at

Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main source of the
pharmacological effects caused by the consumption of cannabis, both
the marijuana-like action and the medicinal benefits of the plant.
However, its acid metabolite THC-COOH, the non-psychotropic
cannabidiol (CBD), several cannabinoid analogues and newly discovered
modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also promising
candidates for clinical research and therapeutic uses. Cannabinoids
exert many effects through activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid
receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues. Additionally, there is
evidence for non-receptor-dependent mechanisms. Natural cannabis
products and single cannabinoids are usually inhaled or taken orally;
the rectal route, sublingual administration, transdermal delivery, eye
drops and aerosols have only been used in a few studies and are of
little relevance in practice today. The pharmacokinetics of THC vary
as a function of its route of administration. Pulmonary assimilation
of inhaled THC causes a maximum plasma concentration within minutes,
psychotropic effects start within seconds to a few minutes, reach a
maximum after 15-30 minutes, and taper off within 2-3 hours. Following
oral ingestion, psychotropic effects set in with a delay of 30-90
minutes, reach their maximum after 2-3 hours and last for about 4-12
hours, depending on dose and specific effect. At doses exceeding the
psychotropic threshold, ingestion of cannabis usually causes enhanced
well-being and relaxation with an intensification of ordinary sensory
experiences. The most important acute adverse effects caused by
overdosing are anxiety and panic attacks, and with regard to somatic
effects increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure. Regular
use of cannabis may lead to dependency and to a mild withdrawal
syndrome. The existence and the intensity of possible long-term
adverse effects on psyche and cognition, immune system, fertility and
pregnancy remain controversial. They are reported to be low in humans
and do not preclude legitimate therapeutic use of cannabis-based
drugs. Properties of cannabis that might be of therapeutic use include
analgesia, muscle relaxation, immunosuppression, sedation, improvement
of mood, stimulation of appetite, antiemesis, lowering of intraocular
pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection and induction of apoptosis
in cancer cells.

  "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." Ben Franklin   

  Ongoing CR monkey study update: "In the monkeys...those on
  reduced feeding since the study started are dying at a rate 
  that is about half that of the monkeys receiving a full food
  ration." Associated Press: Eating less may extend human life.
  August 1, 2002 :


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