The Cannabinoids Switch of Oxidative Stress: A Double-Edged Sword
Marina Borro, Paola Frati, Natale Mario Di Luca, Maurizio Simmaco and Stefano Ferracuti
Affiliation: Department NESMOS, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome; Rome, Italy.
Oxidative Stress, deriving from a perturbation of the cellular balance between pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant
molecules, has been involved in the patho-physiology of multiple diseases, and anti-oxidant supplementation are largely
studied for therapeutic purposes. The Cannabis sativa derivates, the cannabinoids (CBs), are widely used as a recreational
drug, but pharmacological activities also prompt to therapeutic use. Exposure to CBs rises physical and psychic effects
which can evolve in both short-term and long-term toxicity. High inter-individual variation exists in the susceptibility to
these effects. Many evidences show a complex modulator action of CBs on cellular oxidative stress, with different
outcomes according to cellular type, microenvironment, time and dose of exposition. The subtle balance between
anti-oxidant or pro-oxidant action of CBs should be taken into account to achieve a more accurate comprehension of the
molecular mechanisms involved in toxicity, considering that OS is not merely a damaging factor, but is also involved in
Keywords: Cannabis, cannabinoids, genomics, oxidative stress, polymorphisms, psychosis.
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