Therapeutic impact of orally administered cannabinoid oil extracts in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis animal model of multiple sclerosis

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Aug 20;516(2):373-380. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.06.033. Epub 2019 Jun 15.


There is a growing surge of investigative research involving the beneficial use of cannabinoids as novel interventional alternatives for multiple sclerosis (MS) and associated neuropathic pain (NPP). Using an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model of MS, we demonstrate the therapeutic effectiveness of two cannabinoid oil extract formulations (10:10 & 1:20 - tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol) treatment. Our research findings confirm that cannabinoid treatment produces significant improvements in neurological disability scoring and behavioral assessments of NPP that directly result from their ability to reduce tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) production and enhance brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production. Henceforth, this research represents a critical step in advancing the literature by scientifically validating the merit for medical cannabinoid use and sets the foundation for future clinical trials.

Keywords: BDNF; Cannabinoid oil extracts; Multiple sclerosis; Neurological disability; Neuropathic pain; TNF-α.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Cannabinoids / administration & dosage*
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Compounding
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / genetics
  • Female
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Cannabinoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha