Cannabis, a Miracle Drug with Polyvalent Therapeutic Utility: Preclinical and Clinical-Based Evidence
Cannabis sativa L. is an annual herbaceous dioecious plant which was first cultivated by agricultural human societies in Asia. Over the period of time, various parts of the plant like leaf, flower, and seed were used for recreational as well as therapeutic purposes. The main chemical components of Cannabis sativa are termed as cannabinoids, among them the key psychoactive constituent is Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (CBD) as active nonpsychotic constituent. Upon doing extensive literature review, it was found that cannabis has been widely studied for a number of disorders. Very recently, a pure CBD formulation, named Epidiolex, got a green flag from both United States Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration for 2 rare types of epilepsies. This laid a milestone in medical cannabis research. This review intends to give a basic and extensive assessment, from past till present, of the ethnological, plant, chemical, pharmacological, and legal aspects of C. sativa. Further, this review contemplates the evidence the studies obtained of cannabis components on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, emesis, epilepsy, chronic pain, and cancer as a cytotoxic agent as well as a palliative therapy. The assessment in this study was done by reviewing in extensive details from studies on historical importance, ethnopharmacological aspects, and legal grounds of C. sativa from extensive literature available on the scientific databases, with a vision for elevating further pharmaceutical research to investigate its total potential as a therapeutic agent.
Keywords: Alzheimer; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Cancer; Cannabidiol; Cannabis; Chronic pain; Emesis; Epilepsy; Marijuana; Multiple sclerosis.