2020 issue 3


Volume 36, issue 3

Review article

Current state of knowledge on the use of medical marijuana in some neurological diseases

Katarzyna Ziętal1, Ilona Joniec-Maciejak1, Dagmara Mirowska-Guzel1
1. Katedra i Zakład Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej, Centrum Badań Przedklinicznych i Techno­logii (CePT), Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2020, 36 (3), 205-225
Date of publication: 07-10-2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.33450/fpn.2020.08.003
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, cannabinoids, marijuana


Cannabinoids are a group of compounds found naturally in animal and plant organisms, and in the human body. Cannabinoids can be extracted from cannabis varieties, differing in morphological structure. In addition to cannabinoids, cannabis contains a number of active compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, phenanthrenes, spiroindanes, and dihydrostilbens.

Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are neurological diseases the symptoms of which dramatically impair patients’ quality of life. If standard pharmacotherapy does not bring the expected results, attempts are made to introduce alternative methods of therapy. One of them is the use of cannabis-based preparations containing two main active substances, i.e. THC and CBD. Preliminary results of clinical trials with cannabis-based preparations indicate a potential therapeutic effect in reducing the frequency of seizures in drug-resistant epilepsy among children. However, this needs to be proven in further properly planned studies. In patients with MS, their use may reduce pain and spasticity. In Parkinson’s disease, most of the data on the potential benefits of cannabis-based preparations comes from preclinical studies.

The purpose of the studies was to confirm the effectiveness of the use of “medical cannabis.” However, the results of the studies are not clear. On this account, cannabis use is still not a legalised method of therapy in most countries. However, cannabis is more and more often used in severe cases of resistance to treatment.

The aim of this paper is to critically analyse contemporary scientific data on the possible use of medical cannabis.

Address for correspondence:
dr hab. Ilona Joniec-Maciejak
Katedra i Zakład Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej
Centrum Badań Przedklinicznych i Technologii (CePT)
Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
ul. Banacha 1b, 02-097 Warszawa, Poland
email: ilona.joniec@wum.edu.pl