Friday, June 16, 2006

Cannabinoid Lowers Blood Pressure

An article originally published in the Jerusalem Post discusses this year's Kaye Innovation Awards which are given annually to encourage Hebrew University faculty, staff and students to develop methods and inventions that have good chances for commercialization to benefit the university and society. Yehoshua Maor got one of the awards for his work under the supervision of Prof. Raphael Mechoulam on cannbinoids and blood pressure. Some might ask with so many medicines on the market why is this research necessary?

Not all patients respond well to conventional hypertension drugs.

But the cannabis plant, through its chemical compounds, has been shown to have a beneficial, hypotensive effect.

But a drawback in the therapeutic use of cannabinoids has been the undesirable psychotropic properties such as hallucinatory effects.

Attempts to separate the hypotensive action from their psychotropic properties have been only partially successful until now.
Of course for some the psychotropic effects are a feature, not a defect. In any case what was developed was
...a synthetic version of a minor cannabis constituent named cannabigerol, which is devoid of psychotropic activity. In laboratory experiments with rats, in collaboration with Prof. Michal Horowitz, it was found that this novel compound reduced blood pressure when administered in relatively low doses.

Additional testing also showed that the compound also brought about another beneficial effect - relaxation of the blood vessels.

A further beneficial property observed in work carried out with Prof. Ruth Gallily was that the compounds produced an anti-inflammatory response.

Maor says these qualities could be combined to create a valuable new clinical drug with major market potential, especially for diabetic patients suffering from hypertension, since reductions in blood pressure can decrease the risk of diabetes complications and in others with metabolic irregularities.
Which fits in quite nicely with another recent report of mine Pot Treats Diabetes.

Update: 20 June '06 1439z

Grand Rounds hosted by Dr. Deborah Serani links.

Grand Rounds readers (and others) might find the following links of interest: PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis is the Best Medicine

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1 comment:

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I so think cannabis should be legalized. You highlight more reasons for it.