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Cannabinoids Regulate Inflammation Process

Endocannabinoids produced in human body have anti-inflammatory effect. Scientists from the University of Bonn have discovered this in experiments on mice. The study may also have implications for therapy. In animal experiments, a solution with an important component made from cannabis reduced allergic reactions of the skin.

Extracts of the hemp plant cannabis are traditionally used as a popular remedy against inflammation. At the beginning of the last century this natural remedy was even available at every chemists. But due to the intoxicating effect of the component THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the plant was taken off the chemists shelves in the 1930s.

THC acts on the cannabinoid receptors, of which there are two types, CB1 and CB2. Both receptors are made such that THC can attach itself to them. In the brain this causes the intoxicating effect of hashish, cannabis and marijuana. But why does the body have CB1 and CB2 anyway" For two decades it has been known that the human body also produces its own cannabinoids.

Like THC they can attach themselves to the receptors. The brain scientist Professor Andreas Zimmer from the Bonn Institute of Molecular Psychiatry is investigating what the function of this endocannabinoid system is. Mice without CB1 receptors show psychological abnormalities, he explains. By contrast, CB2 regulates the growth of bones, for example.

Coincidence However, according to these most recent results, endocannabinoids also seem to play an important part in regulating inflammation processes. As is often the case with important discoveries, coincidence was involved. In scientific experiments mice are given an ear clip, so that researchers can tell them apart. In most cases the mice can handle this without problems, Dr. Meliha Karsak, a member of Professor Zimmers team, explains.

With our mice this was different. The skin around the ear clips became inflamed. There are genetically modified s
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