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Cannabis for Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease most commonly found in hot and humid climates such as the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe. Leishmania parasites are spread by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies. Due to the lack of research and funding, on top of the fact that Leishmaniasis typically affects people in poorer regions of the world, means that the condition is considered a neglected tropical disease (NTG).

Interestingly, phlebotomine sand flies enjoy feeding on cannabis plants. This suggests that compounds from cannabis can be combined with some form of pesticide (preferably a non-toxic one!) to control sand fly populations in areas affected by Leishmaniasis. There is also considerable interest in the terpenes alpha- and beta-pinene for their anti-Leishmania activity.

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