By. I.Soussis MD
Studies show that medical cannabis has a positive effect on symptoms of endometriosis and may even stop its proliferation, according to Moshe Hod, a Tel Aviv University medical school professor of obstetrics and gynecology and president of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine. Moshe Hod is also head of Gynica, an Israeli startup specializing in cannabis-based solutions in the field of women’s health.
According to Gynica, the female reproductive system contains the most endocannabinoid receptors in the human body, after the brain.
Gynica is the first company that will carry out research and development at the newly licensed Lumir Lab.
Israel is extending its reputation as a world leader in medical cannabis research with the establishment of Lumir Lab (a cannabinoid research lab) at the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Cannabinoids is one of the active ingredients unique to the cannabis plant.
The lab is headed by Czech analytic chemist Lumír Ondřej Hanuš, one of the world’s leading cannabinoids researchers.
Gynica and the Lumir Lab will collaborate on a treatment for endometriosis, a disease common in women that is defined by abnormal extrauteral growths of uterine endometrial tissue and associated with severe pain. Partly because how the abnormal growths become associated with pain is poorly understood, the pain is difficult to alleviate without resorting to hormones or surgery.
Recent studies showed that sensory and sympathetic nerve fibers sprout branches to innervate the abnormal growths. This situation, together with the knowledge that the endocannabinoid system is involved in uterine function and dysfunction and that exogenous cannabinoids were once used to alleviate endometriosis-associated pain, suggests that the endocannabinoid system is involved in both endometriosis and its associated pain.
Approximately 180 million women suffer from endometriosis worldwide.
“More research is needed in order to understand the mechanisms of action and identify which active cannabinoids most effectively eliminate endometriotic lesions, prevent recurrence and reduce pain with no negative impact on the ovulation cycle” professor Moshe Hod said.
“Currently, the vast majority of the cannabis products available in various markets have no scientific basis, which prevents the medical community from supporting the legitimacy of treatments based on cannabis,” said Hod. “We aim to provide tools and solutions that are not currently available.”
Israel has one of the world’s most progressive regulatory frameworks for medical cannabis.
Image credit: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/endometriosis2