Loss of appetite

Not included in the list of indications

Cannabis sativa and the endogenous cannabinoid system: therapeutic potential for appetite regulation
Farrimond JA, Mercier MS, Whalley BJ, Williams CM
School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, UK; School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK. [email protected]
The herb Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) has been used in China and on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years as a medicine. However, since it was brought to the UK and then the rest of the western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy. Indeed, its psychotropic side effects are well reported but only relatively recently has scientific endeavour begun to find valuable uses for either the whole plant or its individual components. Here, we discuss evidence describing the endocannabinoid system, its endogenous and exogenous ligands and their varied effects on feeding cycles and meal patterns. Furthermore we also critically consider the mounting evidence which suggests non-?(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids play a vital role in C. sativa-induced feeding pattern changes. Indeed, given the wide range of phytocannabinoids present in C. sativa and their equally wide range of intra-, inter- and extra-cellular mechanisms of action, we demonstrate that non-?(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids retain an important and, as yet, untapped clinical potential

The multiple functions of the endocannabinoid system: a focus on the regulation of food intake

Laboratory of Cardiovascular Investigation, Oswaldo Cruz Institute/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [email protected]
BACKGROUND: Cannabis sativa (also known as marijuana) has been cultivated by man for more than 5,000 years. However, there was a rise in its use in the 20th century for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. The main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, whose structure was identified in the 1960's, is Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol. On the other hand, the discovery of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous agonists took place only very recently. In fact, the first cannabinoid receptor (CB1) was cloned in 1990, followed 3 years later by the characterization of a second cannabinoid receptor (CB2). Since the 19th century, the use of cannabis has been reported to stimulate appetite and increase the consumption of sweet and tasty food, sometimes resulting in significant weight gain. The recent description of the endocannabinoid system, not only in the central nervous system but also in peripheral tissues, points to its involvement in the regulation of appetite, food intake and energy metabolism. Consequently, the pharmacological modulation of the over-activity of this system could be useful in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: The endocannabinoid system has important physiological functions not only in the central nervous system but also in peripheral tissues. The activation of central CB1 receptors, particularly in hypothalamic nuclei and in the limbic system, is involved in the regulation of feeding behavior, and especially in the control of the intake of palatable food. In the periphery, cannabinoid receptors are present in adipocytes, skeletal muscle, gastrointestinal tract and liver, modulating energy metabolism