The following research paper suggests that cannaboids are useful in relation to neuro-degenerative / inflammatory diseases.
The UK are funding some large scale trials into cannaboids as there is some evidence that they may ahve a neuro-protective effect -
Clinical Trials of cannabinoids as neuroprotective agents in MS
Professor John Zajicek, from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, outlined the reasons for believing that some cannabinoids (chemicals derived from the cannabis plant), may be useful in the long-term management of MS.
The believed effectiveness partly stemmed from the long-term results from the CAMS study, where people who took oral THC capsules over a 12 month period seemed not only to have less stiffness than those on placebo drugs, but also less disability.
There is now quite a lot of experimental evidence from laboratory work, both in the test tube and in animal models, showing that cannabinoids may help to protect the nervous system, and facilitate survival of both nerve cells and oligodendrocytes that produce myelin sheaths. This background evidence combined with the long-term results from the CAMS study has led to the Medical Research Council funding a new long-term study of cannabinoids known as the CUPID study (cannabinoid use in progressive inflammatory brain disease). The MS Society are also helping to fund this study, which will be starting in early 2006.
CUPID will recruit 500 people with progressive MS and ask them to take either THC or placebo capsules for 3 years, during which time measurements looking at disease impact and disability will be made by researchers and patients.