A new study published by the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology has found that cannabis can treat multiple sclerosis by preventing inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
“Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response, but in cases like MS it gets out of hand,” says Drs. Ewa Kozela, co-author of the study. “Our study looks at how compounds isolated from marijuana can be used to regulate inflammation to protect the nervous system and its functions.”
For the study researchers took isolated immune cells (which target and harm the brain and spinal cord) from paralyzed mice, and treated them with either CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). In both cases the immune cells produced fewer inflammatory molecules, especially one molecule called interleukin 17, which is associated with multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that the use of CBD or THC restrained the immune cells from triggering the production of inflammatory molecules, and limited the molecules’ ability to damage the brain and spinal cord.
“When used wisely, cannabis has huge potential,” says Kozela, “We’re just beginning to understand how it works.”
The study’s abstract can be found by clicking here.