Uso medico dei cannabinoidi esogeni

Prospettive future

Nonostante molteplici studi clinici dimostrino l’efficacia dell’uso di THC e di derivati del THC nel trattamento di numerose condizioni patologiche, il problema dell’elevato livello di tossicità e la potenzialità di queste molecole di sviluppare abuso ne limita notevolmente l’effettivo utilizzo a scopi terapeutici. Nuove linee di ricerca sono orientate verso l’individuazione di molecole in grado di modulare indirettamente il sistema endocannabinoide, piuttosto che di attivarlo direttamente, come fanno gli agonisti. Un’azione modulatoria nel sito di interesse potrebbe far perdere gli effetti indesiderati che si osservano con gli agonisti i quali, una volta somministrati, attivano in modo generalizzato tutto il sistema cannabinoide.
Un’altra opportunità è quella di sviluppare in laboratorio dei cannabinoidi sintetici in grado di attivare i recettori cannabinoidi CB1 ma non in grado di attraversare la barriera ematoencefalica. Questo potrebbe costituire un nuovo approccio terapeutico che sfrutterebbe l’azione di queste molecole attraverso l’attivazione dei recettori espressi nel sistema periferico per trattare patologie ad esso correlate, senza però raggiungere il cervello, dove l’azione produr­rebbe gli effetti psicotropici indesiderati (Gerra et al., 2010).

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