THE BLOG
10/16/2013 05:09 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Cannabidiol Could Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis

The Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology has published a study showing that marijuana contains chemical compounds that could help treat Multiple Sclerosis-like diseases by preventing inflammation in the spinal cord and brain.

For this particular study the researcher's, Drs. Ewa Kozela, Ana Juknat, Neta Rimmerman and Zvi Vogel of Tel Aviv University's, and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson from the Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, took immune cells isolated from paralyzed mice that specifically target and harm the brain and spinal cord, and treated them with either CBD or THC.

In both instances, the laboratory mice's immune cells created fewer inflammatory molecules, principally one referred to as interleukin 17, or IL-17, which is powerfully related to multiple sclerosis and quite destructive to nerve cells.

"Inflammation is part of the body's natural immune response, but in cases like MS it gets out of hand," Dr. Kozela explained. "Our study looks at how compounds isolated from marijuana can be used to regulate inflammation to protect the nervous system and its functions."

The study's researchers determined that the manifestation of CBD or THC confines the immune cells from prompting the production of inflammatory molecules and in turn limits the molecules' capacity to reach and damage the spinal cord and/or brain.

Although further research is necessary to exhibit the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating multiple sclerosis in humans, the study's researchers claim their latest findings give good reason to be optimistic.

"When used wisely, cannabis has huge potential," Dr. Kozela declared. "We're just beginning to understand how it works."

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