Special Issue "Medical Marijuana"
A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2012)
Dr. Emmanuel S. Onaivi (Website)
Department of Biology, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, 07470, USA
Interests: cannabinoids; endocannabinoid system; cannabinoid genetics and epigenetics; drug addiction; medical marijuana and cannabinoid pharmacogenomics
Medical marijuana is rapidly moving beyond a patient driven phenomenon as new research is unraveling compelling scientific basis for the use of cannabis as medicine and has transformed cannabinoid research into mainstream science. Cannabinoids are the active constituents in marijuana and recent advances indicate the existence of the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of endocannabinoids (eCBs), their synthesizing and degrading enzymes and cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), (CB1-R, CB2-R…CBn-R). These components of the ECS are coded in our genes and CB1-Rs and CB2-Rs are encoded in chromosomes 6 and 1 respectively. With the ubiquitous distribution of the components of the ECS in most biological systems, it is not surprising that the most abundant binding sites in the human brain are for cannabis and cannabinoids. As a result of the ubiquitous distribution and the fundamental role that the ECS plays in the regulation of a number of human physiological processes, drugs that are targeted to different aspects of this system are already benefiting cancer patients and those with AIDS, autoimmune disorders and metabolic syndromes. The medical and recreational use of marijuana has been clouded by stigma that persists. However, recent advances are providing a deeper understanding of the underlying biology that is essential to improving diagnosis and identification of new therapeutic targets in many conditions of ECS dysfunction. Thus the future of medical marijuana is robust with comparative efficacies with other medicines in many diseases where marijuana-cannabinoids are indicated. This special issue covers some of the discoveries in marijuana-cannabinoid research that is providing the scientific bases for the use of marijuana as medicine: from basic science to the clinic.
Dr. Emmanuel S. Onaivi
- autoimmune disorders
- crohn’s disease
- inflammatory bowel disease
- muscular dystrophy
- neurodegenerative diseases
- neuropathic pain
- seizure disorders