Beneficial effects of a Cannabis sativa extract treatment on diabetes-induced neuropathy and oxidative stress

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Abstract

Neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes and it is still considered to be relatively refractory to most of the analgesics. The aim of the present study was to explore the antinociceptive effect of a controlled cannabis extract (eCBD) in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain. Repeated treatment with cannabis extract significantly relieved mechanical allodynia and restored the physiological thermal pain perception in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats without affecting hyperglycemia. In addition, the results showed that eCBD increased the reduced glutathione (GSH) content in the liver leading to a restoration of the defence mechanism and significantly decreased the liver lipid peroxidation suggesting that eCBD provides protection against oxidative damage in STZ-induced diabetes that also strongly contributes to the development of neuropathy. Finally, the nerve growth factor content in the sciatic nerve of diabetic rats was restored to normal following the repeated treatment with eCBD, suggesting that the extract was able to prevent the nerve damage caused by the reduced support of this neurotrophin. These findings highlighted the beneficial effects of cannabis extract treatment in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain, possibly through a strong antioxidant activity and a specific action upon nerve growth factor. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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