New study on effects of cannabis on pain and seizure control

Photo cred: Wendy McCormick

September 19, 2018
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With cannabis legalization for recreational use only a month away in Canada, many questions remain about the effects of cannabis on our bodies.

SFU researchers, in collaboration with Xenon Pharmaceuticals and Agrima Botanicals, have recently discovered one mechanism by which cannabis is thought to alleviate pain and seizures.

Co-author Peter Ruben, a professor in the department of biomedical physiology and kinesiology says, "Information within nerves is transmitted electrically, much like it is through the wire in any power cord."

He explains that the SFU/Xenon/Agrima team found that the proteins which control electrical activity are affected by cannabinoids – the chemicals found in cannabis – including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychotropic component of cannabis that gets people “high”) and cannabidiol (CBD, the primary non-psychotropic component of cannabis).

Ruben says, "This interaction between cannabinoids and the proteins in nerves helps explain how cannabis may diminish pain and control seizures."

Ongoing work at SFU will detail exactly how this works, including the molecular nature of the interaction.

Link to paper here