Advocates of cannabis have long cited the drug’s benefits in pain management. Now, new research from Imperial College London could help to explain these effects, by showing how one of the key active compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), acts on nerve cells.
A team led by Mikael Sodergren found that rat neurons cultured in the lab could be made less sensitive to capsaicin—the compound which gives chilis their heat.
They found CBD blocked pain signaling pathways, with treated nerve cells seeing an influx of calcium and reduced levels of cAMP (a key signaling molecule in pain pathway), compared to untreated neurons.
According to the researchers, these findings shine a light on how cannabis compounds directly act on neurons, and may explain the therapeutic effect of CBD in patients with acute and chronic pain.
Read the full paper in the Journal of Pain Research: "CBD Effects on TRPV1 Signaling Pathways in Cultured DRG Neurons"
- This press release was originally published on the Imperial College London website