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Another Medical Use For Marijuana Is Discovered Without The High Effect

By KJ Mullins     Jun 25, 2008 in Health
It's not just the THC in marijuana that is beneficial for medical use scientists have discovered, cannabinoid helps combat inflammation without getting you high. The active ingredient of the plant could help sufferers of arthritis and other ailments.
It's long been known that THC, a property of marijuana can help with pain and nausea. The concerns though from some have been the fact that it can also get you "high." Researchers have now found another property of marijuana that could do much of the same thing without the added high effect.
Researchers say that cannabinoid, called beta-caryophyllene, or (E)-BCP helps battle inflammation without making a person have a fit of the giggles.
The average person is already consuming (E)-BCP in their daily diet. The property is found in black pepper, oregano, basil, lime, cinnamon, carrots, and celery. The essential oils of the cannabis plant contain up to 35 percent of the property.
According to a report in the National Geographic;
"This is because the focus was on the classical cannabinoids [rather than (E)-BCP]," said lead study author Jürg Gertsch of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Cannabinoids affect two of the molecular receptors in the human body. One of those is the CB1 receptor in the brain and central nervous system. Those receptors are where the drug interacts to give the "high" feeling. Now in the CB2 receptor which is found in the tissues of the rest of the body, the drug attacks inflammation.
"Targeting the CB2 receptor could be a therapeutic strategy to prevent or treat diseases like Crohn's disease [inflammation of the intestinal tract], liver cirrhosis, osteoarthritis, and atherosclerosis."
THC activated both the receptors while (E)-BCP only works on the CB2 ones. This means that the medical community has a new possible natural drug in the fight of inflammation.
A study using mice was just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
By engineering a strain of mice that lacked the CB2 receptor researchers were able to conclude that (E)-BCP does indeed work at producing anti-inflammatory effects via that receptor.
Can they be further developed and modified into better anti-inflammatory drugs?" Stephen Safe, director of the Texas A&M University's Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine asked. "Maybe. [(E)-BCP] could be a new model [compound] for drug design."
Still in the research process there could be hope to many on the horizon.
More about Marijuana, Thc, -bcp