CANNABIDIOL

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

[Cannabidiol in cancer treatment]
Likar R, Köstenberger M and Nahler G
Cannabis was used for cancer patients as early as about 2500 years ago. Experimental studies demonstrated tumor-inhibiting activities of various cannabinoids more than 40 years ago. In view of the status of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a regulated substance, non-psychotomimetic cannabidiol (CBD) is of particular importance.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis
Maayah ZH, Takahara S, Ferdaoussi M and Dyck JRB
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in many cultures for the treatment of several ailments including pain. The benefits of cannabis are mediated largely by cannabinoids, the most prominent of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As such, THC and/or CBD have been investigated in clinical studies for the treatment of many conditions including neuropathic pain and acute or chronic inflammation. While a plethora of studies have examined the biochemical effects of purified THC and/or CBD, only a few have focused on the effects of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract. Accordingly, studies using purified THC or CBD may not accurately reflect the potential health benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extracts. Indeed, the cannabis plant produces a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive molecules which are likely to contribute to the different biological effects. The presence of all these bioactive molecules in cannabis extracts has garnered much attention of late especially with regard to their potential role in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
Antinociceptive and Immune Effects of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Cannabidiol in Male Versus Female Rats with Persistent Inflammatory Pain
Britch S, Goodman A, Wiley J, Pondelick A and Craft R
Chronic pain is the most common reason reported for using medical cannabis. The goal of this research was to determine if the two primary phytocannabinoids, THC and CBD, are effective treatments for persistent inflammatory pain. In Experiment 1, inflammation was induced in male and female rats by intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Then THC (0.0-4.0 mg/kg i.p.) or CBD (0.0-10 mg/kg i.p.) was administered twice-daily for 3 days. On day 4, vehicle, THC, or CBD was administered and allodynia, hyperalgesia, weight-bearing, locomotor activity, and hindpaw edema were assessed 0.5-4 h post-injection. In Experiment 2, CFA- or mineral oil (control)-treated rats were given vehicle, THC (2.0 mg/kg), or CBD (10 mg/kg) in the same manner as in Experiment 1. Four h post-injection on day 4, serum samples were taken for analysis of cytokines known to influence inflammatory pain: interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, interferon (IFN)-γ, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. THC dose-dependently reduced pain-related behaviors but did not reduce hindpaw edema, and little tolerance developed to THC's effects. In contrast, CBD effects on inflammatory pain were minimal. THC produced little-to-no change in serum cytokines, whereas CBD decreased IL-1β, IL-10, and IFN-γ, and increased IL-6. Few sex differences in antinociception or immune modulation were observed with either drug, but adjuvant-induced immune activation was greater in males than females. These results suggest that THC may be more beneficial than CBD for reducing inflammatory pain, in that THC maintains its efficacy with short-term treatment in both sexes, and does not induce immune activation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: CBDs and THCs pain-relieving effects are examined in male and female rats with persistent inflammatory pain to determine if individual phytocannabinoids could be a viable treatment for men and women with chronic inflammatory pain. Additionally, sex differences in the immune response to an adjuvant and to THC and CBD are characterized to provided preliminary insight into immune-related effects of cannabinoid-based therapy for pain.
Cannabinoids, Blood-Brain Barrier, and Brain Disposition
Calapai F, Cardia L, Sorbara EE, Navarra M, Gangemi S, Calapai G and Mannucci C
Potential therapeutic actions of the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are based on their activity as analgesics, anti-emetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-seizure compounds. THC and CBD lipophilicity and their neurological actions makes them candidates as new medicinal approaches to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases. However, they show differences about penetrability and disposition in the brain. The present article is an overview about THC and CBD crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and their brain disposition. Several findings indicate that CBD can modify the deleterious effects on BBB caused by inflammatory cytokines and may play a pivotal role in ameliorating BBB dysfunction consequent to ischemia. Thus supporting the therapeutic potential of CBD for the treatment of ischemic and inflammatory diseases of CNS. Cannabinoids positive effects on cognitive function could be also considered through the aspect of protection of BBB cerebrovascular structure and function, indicating that they may purchase substantial benefits through the protection of BBB integrity. Delivery of these cannabinoids in the brain following different routes of administration (subcutaneous, oral, and pulmonary) is illustrated and commented. Finally, the potential role of cannabinoids in drug-resistance in the clinical management of neurological or psychiatric diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia is discussed on the light of their crossing the BBB.
Cannabis Use in Children With Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration
Wilson JL, Gregory A, Wakeman K, Freed A, Rai P, Roberts C, Hayflick SJ and Hogarth P
Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration is characterized by severe, progressive dystonia. This study aims to describe the reported usage of cannabis products among children with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration.
Nutrition and immunology in mental health: Precision medicine and integrative approaches to address unmet clinical needs in psychiatric treatments
Chang JP and Su KP
The 'monoamine hypothesis' is insufficient in approaching the aetiology of psychiatric disorders or in developing novel therapies. Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory regulation plays an important role in pathophysiology and therapeutic mechanism across the major psychiatric disorders. "Inflammation theory" might not be the full answer for the big picture of mental disorders, but it might explain high occurrence of somatic symptoms and comorbidity of physical illness in certain subtypes of the heterogeneous groups. Due to the complexity of clinical manifestations and bio-psycho-social etiology, each single treatment shows only small effectiveness with limited effect sizes when compared with placebo. Unfortunately, clinicians are still struggling with trial-and-error practice without any reliable clinical or biological markers to predict therapeutic responses. Therefore, it is important to open up our minds to integrative approaches such dietary modification and nutraceutical prescription. In this special issue, we included 15 papers discussing the role of nutrition (blueberries, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, melatonergic agonist, S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine, Cannabidiol and Kratom) in the context of immunoregulation across different psychiatric disorders from depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia to alcohol-induced dementia and anorexia nervosa. Moreover, we also included research in perinatal depression that highlight the role of estradiol and the component of breast milk and the association with the neurodevelopment of the offspring. In addition, several articles focused on the role of microbiota in mental health and pain as recent research has pointed to the gut-brain axis as a main regulator of brain, behaviour and immunity. Lastly, inflammatory mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders including alcohol induced dementia and anorexia nervosa are also highlighted in the special issue.
The molecular mechanisms that underpin the biological benefit of full spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain and inflammation
Maayah ZH, Takahara S, Ferdaoussi M and Dyck JRB
Cannabis has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases. The biological effect of cannabis is mainly attributed to two major cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. In the majority of studies to-date, a purified tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone or in combination have been extensively examined in many studies for the treatment of numerous disorders including pain and inflammation. However, few studies have investigated the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract. Given that cannabis is known to generate a large number of cannabinoids along with numerous other biologically relevant products including terpenes, studies involving purified tetrahydrocannabinol and/or cannabidiol may not precisely consider the potential biological benefits of the full-spectrum cannabis extracts. This may be especially true in the role of cannabis as a treatment of pain and inflammation. Herein, we review the pre-clinical physiological and molecular mechanisms in biological systems that are affected by cannabis.
A cautious hope for cannabidiol (CBD) in rheumatology care
Fitzcharles MA, Clauw DJ and Hauser W
Cannabidiol (CBD), a major metabolite of Cannabis sativa, is popularized as a medicinal product, with potential for analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. CBD may hold promise as a treatment in rheumatic diseases, but evidence to date remains preclinical. Preclinical effects on pain and inflammation is encouraging, but clinical study is lacking with only a single study in knee osteoarthritis reporting promising effect on symptoms. CBD products are freely available over the counter and marketed as food supplements or wellness products. The World Health Organization has identified pure CBD as safe and without abuse potential, but products are not subject to drug regulatory standards leading to inconsistency in manufacturing practices and quality of products. Not only have molecular concentrations of CBD been identified as inaccurate, but there are concerns for contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides, microbes and mycotoxins, as well as added THC. Drug-drug interactions pose a potential risk due to metabolism via the CYP P450 enzyme pathway. Patients wishing to use CBD should obtain a product with certification of Good Manufacturing Practices, initiate treatment with a nighttime low dose and have defined outcome goals within a reasonable time frame. Treatments should not be managed by non-medical dispensary personnel. The hope that CBD may be a useful therapy must be substantiated by sound scientific study.
NFKF is a synthetic fragment derived from rat hemopressin that protects mice from neurodegeneration
Heimann AS, Giardini AC, Sant'Anna MB, Dos Santos NB, Gewehr MCF, Munhoz CD, Castro LM, Picolo G, Remer RA and Ferro ES
Previous studies suggested the pharmacological potential of rat hemopressin (PVNFKFLSH) and its shorter synthetic peptide NFKF, to protect from pilocarpine-induced seizures in mice. Orally administered NFKF was shown to be hundred times more potent than cannabidiol in delaying the first seizure induced by pilocarpine in mice. Here, using an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis we have shown that C57BL/6 J mice orally administrated with NFKF (500 μg/kg) presented better EAE clinical scores and improved locomotor activity compared to saline administrated control mice. NFKF blocked the production of IL-1beta and IL-6, and has high scores binding cannabinoid type 2 receptors. Therefore, NFKF is an exciting new possibility to neurodegenerative diseases therapeutics.
The nephrologist's guide to cannabis and cannabinoids
Rein JL
Cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot, ganja, Mary Jane) is the most commonly used federally illicit drug in the United States. The present review provides an overview of cannabis and cannabinoids with relevance to the practice of nephrology so that clinicians can best take care of patients.
Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol oromucosal spray in resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity: consistency of response across subgroups from the SAVANT randomized clinical trial
Meuth SG, Henze T, Essner U, Trompke C and Vila Silván C
To determine whether differences in disability status, spasticity severity, and spasticity duration at treatment start in patients with resistant multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity might influence response to add-on tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray (nabiximols) versus further re-adjustment of optimized first-line antispasticity medication. Using the database from the Sativex as Add-on therapy Vs. further optimized first-line ANTispastics (SAVANT) study, this post hoc analysis evaluated spasticity severity (0-10 numerical rating scale [NRS] scores) and pain severity (0-10 NRS scores) evolution from randomization (baseline) to week 12 (end of double-blind treatment) in defined subgroups: Expanded disability status scale [EDSS] score subgroups (<6 and ≥6); spasticity severity 0-10 NRS score subgroups (4 to ≤6 and >6), and spasticity duration subgroups (<5 and ≥5 years). THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) halved mean severity scores for spasticity and pain in all subgroups. Active treatment significantly improved mean spasticity severity scores versus placebo from week 4 onwards in both EDSS subgroups, in the severe spasticity subgroup, and in both spasticity duration subgroups. Active treatment significantly improved mean pain severity scores versus placebo in the ≥6 EDSS subgroup, in the severe spasticity subgroup and in both spasticity duration subgroups. Add-on THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) consistently relieves resistant spasticity across subgroups defined by baseline EDSS score, spasticity severity NRS score and spasticity duration. Patients with moderate resistant MS spasticity benefit numerically from treatment; patients with severe resistant spasticity achieve significant therapeutic gains. Spasticity-associated pain often improves similarly in the same subgroups.
Cannabidiol increases the nociceptive threshold in a preclinical model of Parkinson's disease
Crivelaro do Nascimento G, Ferrari DP, Guimaraes FS, Del Bel EA, Bortolanza M and Ferreira-Junior NC
Medications that improve pain threshold can be useful in the pharmacotherapy of Parkinson's disease (PD). Pain is a prevalent PD's non-motor symptom with a higher prevalence of analgesic drugs prescription for patients. However, specific therapy for PD-related pain are not available. Since the endocannabinoid system is expressed extensively in different levels of pain pathway, drugs designed to target this system have promising therapeutic potential in the modulation of pain. Thus, we examined the effects of the 6-hydroxydopamine- induced PD on nociceptive responses of mice and the influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nociception. Further, we investigated the pathway involved in the analgesic effect of the CBD through the co-administration with a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor, increasing the endogenous anandamide levels, and possible targets from anandamide, i.e., the cannabinoid receptors subtype 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1). We report that 6-hydroxydopamine- induced parkinsonism decreases the thermal and mechanical nociceptive threshold, whereas CBD (acute and chronic treatment) reduces this hyperalgesia and allodynia evoked by 6-hydroxydopamine. Moreover, ineffective doses of either FAAH inhibitor or TRPV1 receptor antagonist potentialized the CBD-evoked antinociception while an inverse agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptor prevented the antinociceptive effect of the CBD. Altogether, these results indicate that CBD can be a useful drug to prevent the parkinsonism-induced nociceptive threshold reduction. They also suggest that CB1 and TRPV1 receptors are important for CBD-induced analgesia and that CBD could produce these analgesic effects increasing endogenous anandamide levels.
Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand
Gulbransen G, Xu W and Arroll B
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-euphoriant component of cannabis. In 2017, the New Zealand Misuse of Drugs Regulations (1977) were amended, allowing doctors to prescribe CBD. Therapeutic benefit and tolerability of CBD remains unclear.
CBD for Pain: Is Cannabidiol a Natural Alternative to Opioid Drugs?
Meletis C
No Abstract Available.
Pharmacokinetics of Sativex® in Dogs: Towards a Potential Cannabinoid-Based Therapy for Canine Disorders
Fernández-Trapero M, Pérez-Díaz C, Espejo-Porras F, de Lago E and Fernández-Ruiz J
The phytocannabinoid-based medicine Sativex is currently marketed for the treatment of spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis patients and is being investigated for other central and peripheral pathological conditions. It may also serve in Veterinary Medicine for the treatment of domestic animals, in particular for dogs affected by different pathologies, including human-like pathological conditions. With the purpose of assessing different dosing paradigms for using Sativex in Veterinary Medicine, we investigated its pharmacokinetics when administered to naïve dogs via sublingual delivery. In the single dose arm of the study, adult Beagle dogs were treated with 3 consecutive sprays of Sativex, and blood samples were collected at 12 intervals up to 24 h later. In the multiple dose arm of the study, Beagle dogs received 3 sprays daily for 14 days, and blood samples were collected for 24 h post final dose. Blood was used to obtain plasma samples and to determine the levels of cannabidiol (CBD), Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-THC) and its metabolite 11-hydroxy-Δ-THC. Maximal plasma concentrations of both Δ-THC (C = 18.5 ng/mL) and CBD (C = 10.5 ng/mL) were achieved 2 h after administration in the single dose condition and at 1 h in the multiple dose treatment (Δ-THC: C = 24.5 ng/mL; CBD: C = 15.2 ng/mL). 11hydroxy-Δ-THC, which is mainly formed in the liver from Δ-THC, was almost undetected, which is consistent with the use of sublingual delivery. A potential progressive accumulation of both CBD and Δ-THC was detected following repeated exposure, with maximum plasma concentrations for both cannabinoids being achieved following multiple dose. Neurological status, body temperature, respiratory rate and some hemodynamic parameters were also recorded in both conditions, but in general, no changes were observed. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that single or multiple dose sublingual administration of Sativex to naïve dogs results in the expected pharmacokinetic profile, with maximal levels of phytocannabinoids detected at 1-2 h and suggested progressive accumulation after the multiple dose treatment.
Use of cannabinoid-based medicine among older residential care recipients diagnosed with dementia: study protocol for a double-blind randomised crossover trial
Timler A, Bulsara C, Bulsara M, Vickery A, Smith J and Codde J
Dementia is a neurological condition that affects the cognitive and functional ability of the brain and is the leading cause of disability among those aged 65 years and above. More effective ways to manage dementia symptoms are needed because current treatment options (antidepressants and antipsychotics) can be ineffective and are associated with substantial side effects, including increased rate of mortality. Cannabinoid-based medicine (CBM) has shown an ability to inhibit some symptoms associated with dementia, and the adverse effects are often minimal; yet, little research has explored the use of CBM among this population.
Efficacy and safety of a supplement combination for hand osteoarthritis pain: protocol for an internet-based randomised placebo-controlled trial (The RADIANT study)
Liu X, Robbins S, Eyles J, Fedorova T, Virk S, Deveza LA, McLachlan A and Hunter D
Hand osteoarthritis (HOA) is a highly prevalent disabling joint disease. The current management regimens are limited. Potentially as a consequence, many people turn to complementary and alternative medicines for symptomatic relief. A combination of two or more supplements is common in clinical practice; however, evidence for the efficacy of this approach is lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a supplement combination for treating symptomatic HOA in comparison to placebo.
Social media surveillance for perceived therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products
Tran T and Kavuluru R
CBD products have risen in popularity given CBD's therapeutic potential and lack of legal oversight, despite lacking conclusive scientific evidence for widespread over-the-counter usage for many of its perceived benefits. While medical evidence is being generated, social media surveillance offers a fast and inexpensive alternative to traditional surveys in ascertaining perceived therapeutic purposes and modes of consumption for CBD products.
Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Back Pain
Kim TE, Townsend RK, Branch CL, Romero-Sandoval EA and Hsu W
Marijuana is increasingly utilized for the treatment of multiple medical problems, including back pain, in the United States. Although there is strong preclinical evidence supporting the promise of cannabinoids in the treatment of back pain, there is a paucity of clinical data supporting their use in clinical practice. Opioids are an important medication for the treatment of acute and chronic back pain, but utilization of opioid-based regimens have likely contributed to the growing opioid epidemic. The significant risk of morbidity, mortality, and dependence secondary to opioid medications have increased the interest in nonopioid medications, including cannabinoid-based pain regimens, in treating back pain. This review will provide an overview on the pharmacology, drug delivery methods, clinical evidence, and safety considerations critical to understanding the potential role of cannabinoids in the treatment of back pain.
Cannabis Use and Cognition in Adults Prescribed Opioids for Persistent Pain
Wildes M, Bigand TL, Layton ME and Wilson M
Adults with persistent pain frequently report cannabis use to help manage their symptoms. The impact of cannabis use on cognition in the presence of concurrent symptoms of depression and anxiety is poorly understood.
A role for cannabinoids in the treatment of myotonia? Report of compassionate use in a small cohort of patients
Montagnese F, Stahl K, Wenninger S and Schoser B
The symptomatic treatment of myotonia and myalgia in patients with dystrophic and non-dystrophic myotonias is often not satisfactory. Some patients anecdotally report symptoms' relief through consumption of cannabis.
Tetrahydrocannabinol - friend or foe? - Debate
Temple LM and Leikin JB
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has been used to treat various conditions. However, due to various adverse effects, its widespread promotion and use has been controversial. It is this aspect (encouraged by various state legislatures) that forms the basis for an edited debate between an Integrative Family Medicine physician and a Medical Toxicologist. Pro/Con debate with literature review and commentary. Medical THC is beneficial for various conditions (especially pain relief). However the dosing, titration and delivery system has of yet to be precisely defined. There is a paucity of studies focusing on cannabidiol (CBD) efficacy without THC, which further complicates medical cannabis clinical studies. Cannabis toxicity tends to be cumulative, which makes it more difficult to identify at the bedside. There is conflicting data regarding the efficacy and toxicity of medical use of THC.
Use of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Products in the Perioperative Period Around Primary Unilateral Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty
Runner RP, Luu AN, Nassif NA, Scudday TS, Patel JJ, Barnett SL and Gorab RS
Given the opioid crisis in America, patients are trying alternative medications including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabidiol (CBD) containing products in the perioperative period, especially in states where these products are legal. This study sought to analyze usage rates of CBD/THC products in the perioperative period for primary unilateral total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA) patients and identify a possible association with post-operative opioid use.
Cannabidiol As A Novel Therapeutic Strategy For Oral Inflammatory Diseases: A Review Of Current Knowledge And Future Perspectives
Klein M, Gonçalves Salum F, Cherubini K and Zancanaro de Figueiredo MA
The high frequency and painful profile of inflammatory oral lesions and the lack of an effective drug protocol for their management stimulate the search for pharmacological alternatives for the treatment of these conditions. Cannabidiol is the major non-psychotropic constituent of Cannabis sativa, receiving lately scientific interest because of its potential in the treatment of inflammatory disorders such as asthma, colitis and arthritis. There is little published in the current literature about the use of cannabidiol in oral health. Among its many protective functions, the ability to attenuate inflammation through the modulation of cytokines and its antiedema and analgesic effects may be important features in the treatment of oral lesions. In this review, we suggest that cannabidiol can be useful in the management of oral inflammatory disorders.
An evaluation of the anti-hyperalgesic effects of cannabidiolic acid-methyl ester in a preclinical model of peripheral neuropathic pain
Zhu YF, Linher-Melville K, Niazmand MJ, Sharma M, Shahid A, Zhu KL, Parzei N, Sidhu J, Haj C, Mechoulam R and Singh G
Chronic neuropathic pain (NEP) is associated with growing therapeutic cannabis use. To promote quality of life without psychotropic effects, cannabinoids other than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabidiol, including cannabidiol and its precursor cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), are being evaluated. Due to its instability, CBDA has been understudied, particularly as an anti-nociceptive agent. Adding a methyl ester group (CBDA-ME) significantly enhances its stability, facilitating analyses of its analgesic effects in vivo. This study examines early treatment efficacy of CBDA-ME in a rat model of peripherally induced NEP and evaluates sex as a biological variable.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Consumption and Perceived Impact on Extrahepatic Symptoms in Patients with Autoimmune Hepatitis
Mathur K, Vuppalanchi V, Gelow K, Vuppalanchi R and Lammert C
Utilization and safety of cannabidiol (CBD) in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are currently unknown. We aimed to identify the frequency of CBD use, impact on symptoms, and safety profile.
The Void in Clinician Counseling of Cannabis Use
Calcaterra SL, Cunningham CO and Hopfer CJ
As more states legalize cannabis for medical use, people increasingly use cannabis to treat medical conditions. Well-documented harms of cannabis use include increased risk of fatal auto accidents, neurocognitive deficits, and increased risk of addiction. Observational data supports the use of cannabis for pain, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms. Given potential harms versus benefits of cannabis use, how should physicians counsel patients regarding their cannabis use? This paper briefly reviews the evidence supporting medical cannabis use for pain. We consider cannabis use as a harm reduction strategy for pain management. We encourage routine, longitudinal assessments of cannabis use among patients. We discuss the commercialization of cannabis for financial gain, contributing to potent and addictive cannabis. We highlight the concerning phenomena of cannabis dispensary workers as proxy clinicians. Finally, we present three strategies to reduce public harms associated with potent cannabis use including required testing and reporting of tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol concentrations, rigorous study of high-potency cannabis available for purchase in dispensaries across the USA, and large-scale efforts to measure cannabis consumption in medical records so prospective, longitudinal studies can be conducted to correlate consumption measures with medical and psychiatric outcomes.
Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders
Cristino L, Bisogno T and Di Marzo V
Anecdotal evidence that cannabis preparations have medical benefits together with the discovery of the psychotropic plant cannabinoid Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) initiated efforts to develop cannabinoid-based therapeutics. These efforts have been marked by disappointment, especially in relation to the unwanted central effects that result from activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), which have limited the therapeutic use of drugs that activate or inactivate this receptor. The discovery of CB2 and of endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligands (endocannabinoids) raised new possibilities for safe targeting of this endocannabinoid system. However, clinical success has been limited, complicated by the discovery of an expanded endocannabinoid system - known as the endocannabinoidome - that includes several mediators that are biochemically related to the endocannabinoids, and their receptors and metabolic enzymes. The approvals of nabiximols, a mixture of THC and the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol, for the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and of purified botanical cannabidiol for the treatment of otherwise untreatable forms of paediatric epilepsy, have brought the therapeutic use of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in neurological diseases into the limelight. In this Review, we provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome before discussing their involvement in and clinical relevance to a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy and glioblastoma.
Source of cannabinoids: what is available, what is used, and where does it come from?
Specchio N, Pietrafusa N and Cross HJ
Cannabis sativa L. is an ancient medicinal plant wherefrom over 120 cannabinoids are extracted. In the past two decades, there has been increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis-based treatments for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, and there is now evidence for the medical use of cannabis and its effectiveness for a wide range of diseases. Cannabinoid treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (Nabiximols) have been approved in several countries. Cannabidiol (CBD), in contrast to tetra-hydro-cannabidiol (THC), is not a controlled substance in the European Union, and over the years there has been increasing use of CBD-enriched extracts and pure CBD for seizure disorders, particularly in children. No analytical controls are mandatory for CBD-based products and a pronounced variability in CBD concentrations in commercialized CBD oil preparations has been identified. Randomized controlled trials of plant-derived CBD for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) have provided evidence of anti-seizure effects, and in June 2018, CBD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an add-on antiepileptic drug for patients two years of age and older with LGS or DS. Medical cannabis, with various ratios of CBD and THC and in different galenic preparations, is licensed in many European countries for several indications, and in July 2019, the European Medicines Agency also granted marketing authorisation for CBD in association with clobazam, for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or DS. The purpose of this article is to review the availability of cannabis-based products and cannabinoid-based medicines, together with current regulations regarding indications in Europe (as of July 2019). The lack of approval by the central agencies, as well as social and political influences, have led to significant variation in usage between countries.
Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review
Sarris J, Sinclair J, Karamacoska D, Davidson M and Firth J
Medicinal cannabis has received increased research attention over recent years due to loosening global regulatory changes. Medicinal cannabis has been reported to have potential efficacy in reducing pain, muscle spasticity, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and intractable childhood epilepsy. Yet its potential application in the field of psychiatry is lesser known.
Medical cannabis and insomnia in older adults with chronic pain: a cross-sectional study
Sznitman SR, Vulfsons S, Meiri D and Weinstein G
Medical cannabis (MC) is increasingly being used for treatment of chronic pain symptoms. Among patients there is also a growing preference for the use of MC to manage sleep problems. The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between use of whole plant cannabis and sleep problems among chronic pain patients.
Hyperkinetic reaction to dihydrocodeine
van Oppen JD, Patel N and Tarique A
A young man was using dihydrocodeine analgesia for ear pain having had suppurative otitis media. He attended the emergency department with restlessness and twitching movements in his arms and legs. He had fever with otherwise normal vital signs. He had no signs of cerebellar pathology. Investigations were normal. The working diagnosis was of hyperkinetic reaction to dihydrocodeine. Symptoms resolved within 48 hours of withdrawing the drug. Serotonin toxicity is a rare side effect of dihydrocodeine. There is a theoretical basis for increased side effects when taken with cannabidiol-based substances.
Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Use in an Outpatient Palliative Medicine Population
Highet BH, Lesser ER, Johnson PW and Kaur JS
Palliative medicine physicians are challenged by lack of guidance regarding effectiveness and dosing of cannabis products in the setting of their emerging popularity.
The Role of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Chronic Pain Management: An Assessment of Current Evidence
Boyaji S, Merkow J, Elman RNM, Kaye AD, Yong RJ and Urman RD
Given the growing challenges in chronic pain management coupled with the ongoing consequences of the opioid epidemic, pain management practitioners are looking into more effective, innovative, and safer alternatives to treat pain. Cannabis-based medicine had been described for hundreds of years but only recently have we seen the more scientific, evidence-based approach to its use, and ongoing investigations continue to explore its potential medical benefits. While historically more attention has been paid to the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there have been fewer scientific studies on the medical use of the cannabidiol (CBD) - a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids and Opioids in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Kienzl M, Storr M and Schicho R
In traditional medicine, Cannabis sativa has been prescribed for a variety of diseases. Today, the plant is largely known for its recreational purpose, but it may find a way back to what it was originally known for: a herbal remedy. Most of the plant's ingredients, such as Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and others, have demonstrated beneficial effects in preclinical models of intestinal inflammation. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have shown a regulatory role in inflammation and mucosal permeability of the gastrointestinal tract where they likely interact with the gut microbiome. Anecdotal reports suggest that in humans, Cannabis exerts antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antidiarrheal properties. Despite these reports, strong evidence on beneficial effects of Cannabis in human gastrointestinal diseases is lacking. Clinical trials with Cannabis in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have shown improvement in quality of life but failed to provide evidence for a reduction of inflammation markers. Within the endogenous opioid system, mu opioid receptors may be involved in anti-inflammation of the gut. Opioids are frequently used to treat abdominal pain in IBD; however, heavy opioid use in IBD is associated with opioid dependency and higher mortality. This review highlights latest advances in the potential treatment of IBD using Cannabis/cannabinoids or opioids.
Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study
Capano A, Weaver R and Burkman E
: Chronic pain is highly prevalent in most of the industrialized nations around the world. Despite the documented adverse effects, opioids are widely used for pain management. Cannabinoids, and specifically Cannabidiol, is proposed as an opioid alternative, having comparable efficacy with better safety profile.: We aim to investigate the impact of full hemp extract cannabidiol (CBD) on opioid use and quality of life indicators among chronic pain patients.: An initial sample of 131 patients was recruited from a private pain management center's investigative population. Ninety-seven patients completed the 8-week study. The primary inclusion criteria included patients between 30 and 65 years old with chronic pain who have been on opioids for at least 1 year. Data were collected at three different time points: baseline, 4, and 8 weeks. Opioid and other medication use were evaluated via the medication and psychiatric treatment receipt. Improvement was evaluated using four indices: Pain Disability Index (PDI-4); Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Pain Intensity and Interference (PEG); and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4).: Over half of chronic pain patients (53%) reduced or eliminated their opioids within 8 weeks after adding CBD-rich hemp extract to their regimens. Almost all CBD users (94%) reported quality of life improvements. The results indicated a significant relationship between CBD and PSQI (p = 0.003), and PEG (p = 0.006). There was a trend toward improvement but no significant relationship between CBD use and PHQ and PDI.: CBD could significantly reduce opioid use and improve chronic pain and sleep quality among patients who are currently using opioids for pain management.: This is a prospective, single-arm cohort study for the potential role of cannabinoids as an alternative for opioids. The results indicate that using the CBD-rich extract enabled our patients to reduce or eliminate opioids with significant improvement in their quality of life indices.
A Warning against the Negligent Use of Cannabidiol in Professional and Amateur Athletes
Lachenmeier DW and Diel P
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, widely marketed to athletes for claimed effects such as decreased anxiety, fear memory extinction, anti-inflammatory properties, relief of pain and for post-exercise recovery. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has excluded CBD from its list of prohibited substances. Nevertheless, caution is currently advised for athletes intending to use the compound-except CBD, all other cannabinoids are still on the prohibited list. CBD products, specifically non-medicinal, so-called full-spectrum cannabis extracts, may contain significant levels of these substances, but also contaminations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (>2.5 mg/day in >30% of products on the German market) potentially leading to positive doping tests. Labelled claims about CBD content and absence of THC are often false and misleading. Contaminations with the psychoactive THC can result in adverse effects on cognition and, in general, the safety profile of CBD with respect to its toxicity is a controversial topic of discussion. For these reasons, we would currently advise against the use of over-the-counter CBD products, especially those from dubious internet sources without quality control.
Myrcene and terpene regulation of TRPV1
Jansen C, Shimoda LMN, Kawakami JK, Ang L, Bacani AJ, Baker JD, Badowski C, Speck M, Stokes AJ, Small-Howard AL and Turner H
Nociceptive Transient Receptor Potential channels such as TRPV1 are targets for treating pain. Both antagonism and agonism of TRP channels can promote analgesia, through inactivation and chronic desensitization. Since plant-derived mixtures of cannabinoids and the component myrcene have been suggested as pain therapeutics, we screened terpenes found in for activity at TRPV1. We used inducible expression of TRPV1 to examine TRPV1-dependency of terpene-induced calcium flux responses. Terpenes contribute differentially to calcium fluxes via TRPV1 induced by -mimetic cannabinoid/terpenoid mixtures. Myrcene dominates the TRPV1-mediated calcium responses seen with terpenoid mixtures. Myrcene-induced calcium influx is inhibited by the TRPV1 inhibitor capsazepine and Myrcene elicits TRPV1 currents in the whole-cell patch-clamp configuration. TRPV1 currents are highly sensitive to internal calcium. When Myrcene currents are evoked, they are distinct from capsaicin responses on the basis of I and their lack of shift to a pore-dilated state. Myrcene pre-application and residency at TRPV1 appears to negatively impact subsequent responses to TRPV1 ligands such as Cannabidiol, indicating allosteric modulation and possible competition by Myrcene. Molecular docking studies suggest a non-covalent interaction site for Myrcene in TRPV1 and identifies key residues that form partially overlapping Myrcene and Cannabidiol binding sites. We identify several non- plant-derived sources of Myrcene and other compounds targeting nociceptive TRPs using a data mining approach focused on analgesics suggested by non-Western Traditional Medical Systems. These data establish TRPV1 as a target of Myrcene and suggest the therapeutic potential of analgesic formulations containing Myrcene.
Oral medicinal cannabinoids to relieve symptom burden in the palliative care of patients with advanced cancer: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial of efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD)
Good P, Haywood A, Gogna G, Martin J, Yates P, Greer R and Hardy J
Despite improvements in medical care, patients with advanced cancer still experience substantial symptom distress. There is increasing interest in the use of medicinal cannabinoids, but there is little high quality evidence to guide clinicians. This study aims to define the role of cannabidiol (CBD) in the management of symptom burden in patients with advanced cancer undergoing standard palliative care.
Cannabinoids for the treatment of mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Black N, Stockings E, Campbell G, Tran LT, Zagic D, Hall WD, Farrell M and Degenhardt L
Medicinal cannabinoids, including medicinal cannabis and pharmaceutical cannabinoids and their synthetic derivatives, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have been suggested to have a therapeutic role in certain mental disorders. We analysed the available evidence to ascertain the effectiveness and safety of all types of medicinal cannabinoids in treating symptoms of various mental disorders.
Cannabinoid interactions with ion channels and receptors
Watkins AR
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, acts on a diverse selection of membrane proteins with promising therapeutic potential in epilepsy and chronic pain. One such protein is the voltage-gated sodium channel (Na). CBD shows a lack of specificity for sodium channels; however, the method of interaction is still unknown. In this review, we will outline the studies that report reproducible results of CBD and other cannabinoids changing membrane channel function, with particular interest on Na. Na are implicated in fatal forms of epilepsy and are also associated with chronic pain. This makes Na potential targets for CBD interaction since it has been reported to reduce pain and seizures. One potential method of interaction that is of interest in this review is whether CBD affects channel function by altering lipid bilayer properties, independent of any possible direct interaction with membrane channels. CBD's ability to interact with its targets is a novel and important discovery. This discovery will not only prompt further research towards CBD's characterization, but also promotes the application of cannabinoids as potentially therapeutic compounds for diseases like epilepsy and pain.
Cannabidiol (CBD) for Treatment of Neurofibromatosis-related Pain and Concomitant Mood Disorder: A Case Report
Hegazy O and Platnick H
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disorder. Pain is a major symptom of this disease which can be secondary to the development of plexiform and subcutaneous neurofibromas, musculoskeletal symptoms (such as scoliosis and pseudoarthrosis), and headaches. Visible neurofibromas add significant psychosocial distress for NF1 patients. Along with the chronic pain, psychosocial distress contributes to associated mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Cannabis has been the focus of many studies for treating multiple conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism disease, and many chronic pain conditions. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychotropic component of cannabis. CBD has shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, as well as having mood stabilizer and anxiolytic effects. In this report, we present the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the management of chronic pain and concomitant mood disorder in an NF1 patient.
The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities
Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M and Fang Y
Peripheral neuropathy can significantly impact the quality of life for those who are affected, as therapies from the current treatment algorithm often fail to deliver adequate symptom relief. There has, however, been an increasing body of evidence for the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic, noncancer pain. The efficacy of a topically delivered cannabidiol (CBD) oil in the management of neuropathic pain was examined in this four-week, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.
Orally consumed cannabinoids provide long-lasting relief of allodynia in a mouse model of chronic neuropathic pain
Abraham AD, Leung EJY, Wong BA, Rivera ZMG, Kruse LC, Clark JJ and Land BB
Chronic pain affects a significant percentage of the United States population, and available pain medications like opioids have drawbacks that make long-term use untenable. Cannabinoids show promise in the management of pain, but long-term treatment of pain with cannabinoids has been challenging to implement in preclinical models. We developed a voluntary, gelatin oral self-administration paradigm that allowed male and female mice to consume ∆-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, or morphine ad libitum. Mice stably consumed these gelatins over 3 weeks, with detectable serum levels. Using a real-time gelatin measurement system, we observed that mice consumed gelatin throughout the light and dark cycles, with animals consuming less THC-gelatin than the other gelatin groups. Consumption of all three gelatins reduced measures of allodynia in a chronic, neuropathic sciatic nerve injury model, but tolerance to morphine developed after 1 week while THC or CBD reduced allodynia over three weeks. Hyperalgesia gradually developed after sciatic nerve injury, and by the last day of testing, THC significantly reduced hyperalgesia, with a trend effect of CBD, and no effect of morphine. Mouse vocalizations were recorded throughout the experiment, and mice showed a large increase in ultrasonic, broadband clicks after sciatic nerve injury, which was reversed by THC, CBD, and morphine. This study demonstrates that mice voluntarily consume both cannabinoids and opioids via gelatin, and that cannabinoids provide long-term relief of chronic pain states. In addition, ultrasonic clicks may objectively represent mouse pain status and could be integrated into future pain models.
Cannabis Use Preferences and Decision-making Among a Cross-sectional Cohort of Medical Cannabis Patients with Chronic Pain
Boehnke KF, Scott JR, Litinas E, Sisley S, Clauw DJ, Goesling J and Williams DA
Cannabis is commonly used to manage chronic pain, but cannabis use patterns among individuals with chronic pain, has not been well-characterized. We report cannabinoid, administration route, and product selection preferences among medical cannabis users with chronic pain from an ongoing, online survey. We also examined whether these preferences are affected by differences in sex, intentions behind use (medical only [MED] vs medical + recreational [MEDREC]), and experience with cannabis (novice: <1 year vs experienced: ≥1 year). The survey was completed by 1,321 participants (59% female) 76.5% of whom used cannabis every day. 93.4% used 2 or more administration routes and 72.5% used 3 or more. Female, MED, and novice users were less likely to smoke or vaporize (all P < .0001), but more likely to rank edibles, tinctures, and topicals as a first-choice administration route than their counterparts. Female and MED users also preferred low THC: high cannabidiol ratios significantly more than their counterparts. Overall, only 2.6% of participants selected cannabis products with input from a medical professional, although 54.9% relied on advice from dispensary employees. More male, MEDREC, and experienced users selected products based on factors that reflected greater comfort with cannabis (eg, smell, visual properties, cannabis variety). The wide variability in cannabis use among these different groups indicates the need for further research to investigate how specific use routines relate to clinical outcomes. PERSPECTIVE: Medical cannabis users with chronic pain show distinct differences in cannabinoid preferences and administration associated with user sex, intentions behind use, and experience with cannabis. This article highlights the wide variability in cannabis preferences among medical cannabis users with chronic pain, which may be relevant for clinical outcomes.
Intraperitoneal cannabidiol attenuates neonatal germinal matrix hemorrhage-induced neuroinflamation and perilesional apoptosis
Abrantes De Lacerda Almeida T, Santos MV, Da Silva Lopes L, Goel G, Leonardo De Freitas R, De Medeiros P, Crippa JA and Machado HR
. As the survival of preterm infants has increased significantly, germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH) has become an important public health issue. Nevertheless, treatment strategies for the direct neuronal injury are still scarce. The present study aims to analyze the neuroprotective properties of cannabidiol in germinal matrix hemorrhage. . 112 Wistar rat pups (P7) were submitted to an experimental collagenase induced model of GMH. Inflammatory response and neuronal death were analyzed both at the perilesional area as at the distant ipsilateral CA1 hippocampal area. Immunohistochemistry for GFAP and caspase 3 was used. The ipsilateral free water content was assessed for stimation of cerebral edema, and neurodevelopment and neurofunctional tests were conducted. . Reduction of reactive astrocytosis was observed both in the perilesional area 24 hours and 14 days after the hemorrhage lesion (p < 0.001) and in the of the ipsilateral hippocampal CA1 14 days after the hemorrhage lesion (p < 0.05) in the treated groups. Similarly, there was a reduction in the number of Caspase 3-positive astrocytes in the perilesional area in the treated groups 24 hours after the hemorrhage lesion (p < 0.001). Finally, we found a significant increase in the weight of the rats treated with cannabidiol. . The treatment of GMH with cannabidiol significantly reduced the number of apoptotic cells and reactive astrocytes in the perilesional area and the ipsilateral hippocampus. In addition, this response was sustained 14 days after the hemorrhage. These results corroborate our hypothesis that cannabidiol is a potential neuroprotective agent in the treatment of germinal matrix hemorrhage.
Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial
Nitecka-Buchta A, Nowak-Wachol A, Wachol K, Walczyńska-Dragon K, Olczyk P, Batoryna O, Kempa W and Baron S
(1) Background: The healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) have been known for centuries. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the myorelaxant effect of CBD after the transdermal application in patients with myofascial pain. (2) Methods: The Polish version of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD Ia and Ib) was used. A total of 60 patients were enrolled in the study and were randomly divided into two groups: Group1 and Group2. The average age in Group1 was 23.2 years (SD) = 1.6 years) and in Group2, it was 22.6 years (SD = 1.86). This was a parallel and double-blind trial. Group1 received CBD formulation, whereas Group2 received placebo formulation for topical use. The masseter muscle activity was measured on days 0 and 14, with surface electromyography (sEMG) (Neurobit Optima 4, Neurobit System, Gdynia, Poland). Pain intensity in VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) was measured on days 0 and 14. (3) Results: in Group1, the sEMG masseter activity significantly decreased (11% in the right and 12.6% in the left masseter muscles). In Group2, the sEMG masseter activity was recorded as 0.23% in the right and 3.3% in the left masseter muscles. Pain intensity in VAS scale was significantly decreased in Group1: 70.2% compared to Group2: 9.81% reduction. Patients were asked to apply formulation twice a day for a period of 14 days. (4) Conclusion: The application of CBD formulation over masseter muscle reduced the activity of masseter muscles and improved the condition of masticatory muscles in patients with myofascial pain.
Cannabis and cannabinoids
Study protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the Efficacy of cannabis-based Medicine Extract in slowing the disease pRogression of Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis or motor neurone Disease: the EMERALD trial
Urbi B, Broadley S, Bedlack R, Russo E and Sabet A
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder with no known cure and with an average life expectancy of 3-5 years post diagnosis. The use of complementary medicine such as medicinal cannabis in search for a potential treatment or cure is common in ALS. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoids in extending the survival and slowing of disease progression in animal models with ALS. There are anecdotal reports of cannabis slowing disease progression in persons with ALS (pALS) and that cannabis alleviated the symptoms of spasticity and pain. However, a clinical trial in pALS with these objectives has not been conducted.
The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology
Sheriff T, Lin MJ, Dubin D and Khorasani H
Cannabis is increasingly being used world-wide to treat a variety of dermatological conditions. Medicinal cannabis is currently legalized in Canada, 31 states in America and 19 countries in Europe. The authors reviewed the literature on the pharmacology and use of cannabinoids in treating a variety of skin conditions including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, skin cancer, pruritus, and pain. Cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, anti-ageing, and antimalignancy properties by various mechanisms including interacting with the newly found endocannabinoid system of the skin thereby providing a promising alternative to traditional treatments.
Editorial: Brain Mediators of the Cannabis-Prodromal Psychosis Connection
Lange N
The article "Cannabis-Associated Psychotic-like Experiences Are Mediated by Developmental Changes in the Parahippocampal Gyrus" by Yu and Jia et al. in this issue investigates the role of a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus called the right uncus ("hook") as a possible mediator of the known increase of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) due to the consumption of cannabinoids (ie, cannabis). The authors chose a pattern of plausible inference worthy of pursuit. Cannabis continues to be one of the most widely used drugs globally, only behind alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco; 188 million people used cannabis worldwide in 2017. In January 2019, the WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recommended that cannabis be no longer classified as a Schedule IV drug (its medical potential is now deemed to outweigh its abuse potential). It should be noted that cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that has medicial uses in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addiction. As more world governments legalize cannabis for recreational use, and owing to the widening availability of higher tetrahydrocannabinol content variants of cannabis, the number of cannabis users is increasing rapidly, which in turn increases the number of people having PLEs worldwide. Schizophrenia is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide. The estimated prevalence of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in the United States in 2005 ranged from 0.25% to 0.64%; a meta-analysis a decade later found the lifetime prevalence worldwide to be 0.48% with interquartile range 0.34% to 0.85%. The high variability of sampling domains, diagnostic criteria, data availability and analytic methods employed preclude reliable estimates of incidence and prevalence increases of schizophrenia at present.
[Cannabis-derived medicines for the treatment of chronic pain : Problems resulting from medical appraisals in the experience of the Medical Advisory Board of the Statutory Health Insurance Funds North]
Heidbreder M and van Treeck B
On March 10th 2017, the law amending narcotic and other regulations was expanded, thereby allowing physicians, irrespective of their specialization, to prescribe cannabis-derived medicines as magistral formulas or proprietary medicinal products at the expense of the German statutory health insurance (GKV). First prescription requires approval from the respective health insurance, which in turn commissions the Medical Advisory Board of the Statutory Health Insurance Funds (MDK) to prepare a medico-legal report.
The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain
Li X, Vigil JM, Stith SS, Brockelman F, Keeling K and Hall B
The prior medical literature offers little guidance as to how pain relief and side effect manifestation may vary across commonly used and commercially available cannabis product types. We used the largest dataset in the United States of real-time responses to and side effect reporting from patient-directed cannabis consumption sessions for the treatment of pain under naturalistic conditions in order to identify how cannabis affects momentary pain intensity levels and which product characteristics are the best predictors of therapeutic pain relief. Between 06/06/2016 and 10/24/2018, 2987 people used the ReleafApp to record 20,513 cannabis administration measuring cannabis' effects on momentary pain intensity levels across five pain categories: musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, nerve, headache-related, or non-specified pain. The average pain reduction was -3.10 points on a 0-10 visual analogue scale (SD = 2.16, d = 1.55, p < .001). Whole Cannabis flower was associated with greater pain relief than were other types of products, and higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were the strongest predictors of analgesia and side effects prevalence across the five pain categories. In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) levels generally were not associated with pain relief except for a negative association between CBD and relief from gastrointestinal and non-specified pain. These findings suggest benefits from patient-directed, cannabis therapy as a mid-level analgesic treatment; however, effectiveness and side effect manifestation vary with the characteristics of the product used.
Medical cannabis and cannabinoids in rheumatology: where are we now?
Sarzi-Puttini P, Batticciotto A, Atzeni F, Bazzichi L, Di Franco M, Salaffi F, Marotto D, Ceribelli A, Ablin JN and Hauser W
: Clinicians involved in pain management can finally include cannabis or cannabis-related products in their therapeutic armamentarium as a growing number of countries have approved them for pain relief. Despite the several benefits attributed to analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of cannabinoids, there are still significant areas of uncertainty concerning their use in many fields of medicine. The biosynthesis and inactivation of cannabinoids are regulated by a complex signaling system of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (the endogenous ligands of cannabinoid receptors) and enzymes, with a variety of interactions with neuroendocrinological and immunological systems. : A review of studies carried out during clinical development of cannabis and cannabis medical products in systemic rheumatic diseases was performed, highlighting the aspects that we believe to be relevant to clinical practice. : The growing public opinion, pushing toward the legalization of the use of cannabis in chronic pain and various rheumatological conditions, makes it necessary to have educational programs that modify the concerns and widespread preconceptions related to this topic in the medical community by increasing confidence. More extensive basic and clinical research on the mechanisms and clinical utility of cannabis and derivatives in various diseases and their long-term side effects is necessary.
Patterns of Medical Cannabis Use among Cancer Patients from a Medical Cannabis Dispensary in New York State
Kim A, Kaufmann CN, Ko R, Li Z and Han BH
Research on the patterns of use of medical cannabis among cancer patients is lacking. To describe patterns of medical cannabis use by patients with cancer, and how patterns differ from patients without cancer. We performed secondary data analysis using data from a medical cannabis licensee in New York State, analyzing demographic information, qualifying conditions, and symptoms, and the medical cannabis product used, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD) ratios. Adults age ≥18 who used New York State medical cannabis licensee products between January 2016 and December 2017. There were a total of 11,590 individuals with 1990 (17.2%) having cancer who used at least one cannabis product. Patients with cancer using cannabis were older and more likely to be female. The most common qualifying symptom for both cancer and noncancer patients was severe or chronic pain. Cancer patients were more likely to use the sublingual tincture form of cannabis ( = 1098, 55.2%), while noncancer patients were more likely to use the vaporization form ( = 4222, 44.0%). Over time, across all patients, there was an increase in the THC daily dose by a factor of 0.20 mg/week, yielding a corresponding increase in the THC:CBD daily ratio. Compared with noncancer patients, these trends were not different in the cancer group for THC daily dose, but there were less pronounced increases in the THC:CBD daily ratio over time among cancer patients. Our study found some key differences in demographics and medical cannabis product use between patients with cancer and without cancer.
[High-dose dronabinol treatment vs. medicinal cannabis flowers]
Wendelmuth C and Gastmeier K
This article reports a case of pronounced, chronic lumboischialgia, which was not satisfactorily controlled by conventional analgesic treatment. The level of pain under high-dose dronabinol treatment with oral and inhalative administration as well as the way to reimburse the cost of medicinal cannabis flowers, the treatment success and criteria of the economic prescription procedure are presented.
Benefit of Tetrahydrocannabinol versus Cannabidiol for Common Palliative Care Symptoms
Casarett DJ, Beliveau JN and Arbus MS
To determine the relative contributions of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) to patients' self-ratings of efficacy for common palliative care symptoms. This is an electronic record-based retrospective cohort study. Model development used logistic regression with bootstrapped confidence intervals (CIs), with standard errors clustered to account for multiple observations by each patient. This is a national Canadian patient portal. A total of 2,431 patients participated. Self-ratings of efficacy of cannabis, defined as a three-point reduction in neuropathic pain, anorexia, anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, insomnia, and post-traumatic flashbacks. We included 26,150 observations between October 1, 2017 and November 28, 2018. Of the six symptoms, response was associated with increased THC:CBD ratio for neuropathic pain (odds ratio [OR]: 3.58; 95% CI: 1.32-9.68;  = 0.012), insomnia (OR: 2.93; 95% CI: 1.75-4.91;  < 0.001), and depressive symptoms (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.07-2.49;  = 0.022). Increased THC:CBD ratio was not associated with a greater response of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related flashbacks (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 0.60-3.41;  = 0.415) or anorexia (OR: 1.61; 95% CI: 0.70-3.73;  = 0.265). The response for anxiety symptoms was not significant (OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 0.77-1.64;  = 0.53), but showed an inverted U-shaped curve, with maximal benefit at a 1:1 ratio (50% THC). These preliminary results offer a unique view of real-world medical cannabis use and identify several areas for future research.
Cannabis Teratology Explains Current Patterns of Coloradan Congenital Defects: The Contribution of Increased Cannabinoid Exposure to Rising Teratological Trends
Reece AS and Hulse GK
Rising Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentrations in modern cannabis invites investigation of the teratological implications of prenatal cannabis exposure. Data from Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs (CRCSN), National Survey of Drug Use and Health, and Drug Enforcement Agency was analyzed. Seven, 40, and 2 defects were rising, flat, and falling, respectively, and 10/12 summary indices rose. Atrial septal defect, spina bifida, microcephalus, Down's syndrome, ventricular septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus rose, and along with central nervous system, cardiovascular, genitourinary, respiratory, chromosomal, and musculoskeletal defects rose 5 to 37 times faster than the birth rate (3.3%) to generate an excess of 11 753 (22%) major anomalies. Cannabis was the only drug whose use grew from 2000 to 2014 while pain relievers, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco did not. The correlation of cannabis use with major defects in 2014 (2019 dataset) was = .77, = .0011. Multiple cannabinoids were linked with summary measures of congenital anomalies and were robust to multivariate adjustment.
High-Frequency Medical Cannabis Use Is Associated With Worse Pain Among Individuals With Chronic Pain
Boehnke KF, Scott JR, Litinas E, Sisley S, Williams DA and Clauw DJ
Cannabis is widely used for chronic pain. However, there is some evidence of an inverse dose-response relationship between cannabis effects and pain relief that may negatively affect analgesic outcomes. In this cross-sectional survey, we examined whether daily cannabis use frequency was associated with pain severity and interference, quality of life measures relevant to pain (eg, anxiety and depressive symptoms), and cannabis use preferences (administration routes and cannabinoid ratio). Our analysis included 989 adults who used cannabis every day for chronic pain. Participant use was designated as light, moderate, and heavy (1-2, 3-4, and 5 or more cannabis uses per day, respectively). The sample was also subgrouped by self-reported medical-only use (designated MED, n = 531, 54%) versus medical use concomitant with a past-year history of recreational use (designated MEDREC, n = 458, 46%). In the whole sample, increased frequency of use was significantly associated with worse pain intensity and interference, and worse negative affect, although high-frequency users also reported improved positive affect. Subgroup analyses showed that these effects were driven by MED participants. Heavy MED participant consumption patterns showed greater preference for smoking, vaporizing, and high tetrahydrocannabinol products. In contrast, light MED participants had greater preference for tinctures and high cannabidiol products. Selection bias, our focus on chronic pain, and our cross-sectional design likely limit the generalizability of our results. Our findings suggest that lower daily cannabis use frequency is associated with better clinical profile as well as lower risk cannabis use behaviors among MED participants. Future longitudinal studies are needed to examine how high frequency of cannabis use interacts with potential therapeutic benefits. PERSPECTIVE: Our findings suggest that lower daily cannabis use frequency is associated with better clinical profile as well as safer use behaviors (eg, preference for cannabidiol and noninhalation administration routes). These trends highlight the need for developing cannabis use guidelines for clinicians to better protect patients using cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) use in psychiatric disorders: A systematic review
Bonaccorso S, Ricciardi A, Zangani C, Chiappini S and Schifano F
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most represented phytocannabinoids in Cannabis sativa plants. However, CBD may present with a different activity compared with the psychotomimetic THC. Most typically, CBD is reported to be used in some medical conditions, including chronic pain. Conversely, the main aim of this systematic review is to assess and summarise the available body of evidence relating to both efficacy and safety of CBD as a treatment for psychiatric disorders, alone and/or in combination with other treatments. Eligible studies included randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing the effect of CBD in a range of psychopathological conditions, such as substance use; psychosis, anxiety, mood disturbances, and other psychiatric (e.g., cognitive impairment; sleep; personality; eating; obsessive-compulsive; post-traumatic stress/PTSD; dissociative; and somatic) disorders. For data gathering purposes, the PRISMA guidelines were followed. The initial search strategy identified some n = 1301 papers; n = 190 studies were included after the abstract's screening and n = 27 articles met the inclusion criteria. There is currently limited evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of CBD for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, available trials reported potential therapeutic effects for specific psychopathological conditions, such as substance use disorders, chronic psychosis, and anxiety. Further large-scale RCTs are required to better evaluate the efficacy of CBD in both acute and chronic illnesses, special categories, as well as to exclude any possible abuse liability.
Clinicians' Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils
VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA and Mauck KF
Cannabidiol (CBD) oils are low tetrahydrocannabinol products derived from Cannabis sativa that have become very popular over the past few years. Patients report relief for a variety of conditions, particularly pain, without the intoxicating adverse effects of medical marijuana. In June 2018, the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of rare, severe epilepsy, further putting the spotlight on CBD and hemp oils. There is a growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence to support use of CBD oils for many conditions, suggesting its potential role as another option for treating challenging chronic pain or opioid addiction. Care must be taken when directing patients toward CBD products because there is little regulation, and studies have found inaccurate labeling of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol quantities. This article provides an overview of the scientific work on cannabinoids, CBD, and hemp oil and the distinction between marijuana, hemp, and the different components of CBD and hemp oil products. We summarize the current legal status of CBD and hemp oils in the United States and provide a guide to identifying higher-quality products so that clinicians can advise their patients on the safest and most evidence-based formulations. This review is based on a PubMed search using the terms CBD, cannabidiol, hemp oil, and medical marijuana. Articles were screened for relevance, and those with the most up-to-date information were selected for inclusion.
A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations
Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ and O'Sullivan SE
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis-derived medicinal product with potential application in a wide-variety of contexts; however, its effective dose in different disease states remains unclear. This review aimed to investigate what doses have been applied in clinical populations, in order to understand the active range of CBD in a variety of medical contexts.
The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials
Kuhathasan N, Dufort A, MacKillop J, Gottschalk R, Minuzzi L and Frey BN
Cannabis and its pharmacologically active constituents, phytocannabinoids, have long been reported to have multiple medicinal benefits. One association often reported by users is sedation and subjective improvements in sleep. To further examine this association, we conducted a critical review of clinical studies examining the effects of cannabinoids on subjective and objective measures of sleep. PubMED, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched using terms and synonyms related to cannabinoids and sleep. Articles chosen included randomized controlled trials and open label studies. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess the quality of trials that compared cannabinoids with control interventions. The current literature focuses mostly on the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of chronic health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain. Sleep is often a secondary, rather than primary outcome in these studies. Many of the reviewed studies suggested that cannabinoids could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency. While many of the studies did show a positive effect on sleep, there are many limiting factors such as small sample sizes, examining sleep as a secondary outcome in the context of another illness, and relatively few studies using validated subjective or objective measurements. This review also identified several questions that should be addressed in future research. These questions include further elucidation of the dichotomy between the effects of THC and CBD, as well as identifying any long-term adverse effects of medicinal cannabinoid use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain
Wong H and Cairns BE
This study investigated whether local intramuscular injection of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and their combinations can decrease nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced masticatory muscle sensitization in female rats.
Cannabis's chemical synergies
Worth T
[Medical Cannabis-Related Relapse in a Patient with a History of Alcohol Abuse]
Flöther L, Peitek K, Bucher M and Benndorf RA
In this report, a 60-year old patient with a history of mixed nociceptive and neuropathic chronic pain after successful removal of oral squamous cell cancer is described who received outpatient pain treatment in our clinic. Moreover, the patient presented with a history of alcohol abuse as well as anorexia and weight loss.
Therapeutic impact of orally administered cannabinoid oil extracts in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis animal model of multiple sclerosis
Zhou T, Ahmad TK, Alrushaid S, Pozdirca M, Ethans K, Intrater H, Le T, Burczynski F, Kong J and Namaka M
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.
Cannabis and multiple sclerosis
Ingram G and Pearson OR
Patients with multiple sclerosis have long turned to complementary therapies to manage symptoms that licensed products can only partially control. Around half of patients with multiple sclerosis admit to previous or current cannabis use for medicinal purposes and would endorse legalisation. Despite many governments worldwide relaxing regulations around medicinal cannabis, there remain many unanswered questions as to how clinicians should prescribe or recommend products, and access to pharmaceutical-grade products remains highly restricted. Here we address what adult neurologists need to know about cannabis and its use in multiple sclerosis.
[Progress in cannabis research from a pharmaceutical chemist's point of view]
Müller CE
Preparations of hemp, Cannabis sativa, have been used for thousands of years as recreational and therapeutic drugs. The most important constituents are the psychoactive (-)-trans-∆-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a partial agonist at cannabinoid (CB) receptors CB and CB, and the non-psychoactive pleiotropic cannabidiol (CBD). Both compounds are highly lipophilic, like the endogenous CB receptor agonists, the arachidonic acid derivatives anandamide and arachidonoyl glycerol. The CB receptors belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors, and the first X‑ray crystal structures of both CB receptors subtypes have recently been obtained, which will facilitate the rational design of novel synthetic ligands. Besides the already largely established indications such as chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced vomiting, multiple sclerosis-associated spasms, and cachexia, there is preliminary evidence for several further cannabinoid effects, which will have to be confirmed by clinical studies.
Eicosanoid mediation of cannabinoid actions
Burstein SH
Interactions between cannabinoids and eicosanoids have been observed for the last several decades and account for a variety of cannabinoid actions. These were seen both in vitro and in vivo and may provide a molecular basis for these actions. Some of the topics included in this review are; effects on adenylate cyclase activity, alteration of behavioral responses, reduction of pain sensation, reduction and resolution of inflammation, hypotensive and vasorelaxant responses, anti-cancer and anti-metastatic activities, reduction of intraocular pressure and others. The most widely studied cannabinoids so far are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. However, synthetic agents such as CP55,940, ajulemic acid, JWH-133 and WIN-55,212-2 were also investigated for interaction with eicosanoids. The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol have been examined as well. Among the eicosanoids mediating cannabinoid actions are PGE, 15-deoxy-Δ-prostaglandin-J, lipoxin A, lipoxin B, and leukotriene B. Enzyme activities involved include monoacylglycerylipase, adenylatecyclase, phospholipase A, cyclooxygenases-1, 2 and 5, lipoxygenases-12 and 15. Receptors involved include CB1, CB2 and the EP3 and EP3 prostanoid receptors. While not all cannabinoid activities can be accounted for, many are best explained by eicosanoid participation. The recent surge in interest in "medical marijuana" makes understanding mechanisms of cannabinoid actions particularly important.
The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD)
Corroon J and Felice JF
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an extensive endogenous signaling system with multiple elements, the number of which may be increasing as scientists continue to elucidate its role in human health and disease. The ECS is seemingly ubiquitous in animal species and is modulated by diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and a multitude of other factors, including exposure to phytocannabinoids, like Cannabidiol (CBD). Modulating the activity of this system may offer tremendous therapeutic promise for a diverse scope of diseases, ranging from mental health disorders, neurological and movement disorders, pain, autoimmune disease, spinal cord injury, cancer, cardiometabolic disease, stroke, TBI, osteoporosis, and others.
Analog Derivatization of Cannabidiol for Improved Ocular Permeation
Taskar P, Adelli G, Patil A, Lakhani P, Ashour E, Gul W, ElSohly M and Majumdar S
Cannabidiol (CBD), active component of plant , has anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially help treat diabetic retinopathy-induced pain and inflammation. However, CBD is a lipophilic molecule making its topical delivery to back of the eye challenging. This study aims at improving ocular penetration of CBD by means of analog derivatization. Analogs were designed using various ligands, such as amino acids (AAs) and dicarboxylic acids (DCAs) and their combinations. Select analogs were screened with respect to their stability in ocular tissue homogenates. Based on stability, analogs were selected for testing. Formulations containing these compounds were tested in rabbits to determine ocular tissue disposition of CBD and the analogs after topical application. The rabbits were sacrificed 90 min post-topical application and the aqueous humor, vitreous humor (VH), iris-ciliary bodies (IC), and retina-choroid (RC) were analyzed for CBD and analog content. CBD-divalinate-dihemisuccinate (CBD-Di-VHS) and CBD-divalinate (CBD-Di-Val) were stable in the ocular tissue homogenates. Post-topical application, CBD and CBD-Di-Val analog levels were detected only in RC. Dosing of CBD-Di-VHS nanoemulsion generated analog levels both in the VH and in the RC, respectively. In contrast, post dosing of CBD-monovalinate-monohemisuccinate (CBD-Mono-VHS), both the analog and CBD were detected in the IC and RC. The analogs demonstrated superior penetration into ocular tissues in comparison with CBD. CBD-Di-VHS and CBD-Mono-VHS exhibited better permeation properties, possibly due to improved stability and physicochemical characteristics imparted by AA and DCA combination derivatives.
A Hemp oil, CBD, and Marijuana Primer: Powerful Pain, Insomnia, and Anxiety-relieving Tools!
Teitelbaum J
No Abstract Available.
Cannabis and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Updated Review
Chayasirisobhon S
Cannabis plant has the scientific name called Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis plant has many species, but there are three main species including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Over 70 compounds isolated from cannabis species are called cannabinoids (CBN). Cannabinoids produce over 100 naturally occurring chemicals. The most abundant chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychotropic chemical that makes people feel "high" while CBD is nonpsychotropic chemical. However, cannabinoid chemicals are not found only in the cannabis plant, they are also produced by the mammalian body, called endocannabinoids and in the laboratory, called synthesized cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system including brain and peripheral nervous system. There are at least two types of endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are G-protein coupled receptors. CB1 receptors are particularly abundant in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, hypothalamus and cerebellum, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. They are present in inhibitory GABA-ergic neurons and excitatory glutamatergic neurons. CB2 receptor is most abundantly found on cells of the immune system, hematopoietic cells and glia cells. CB2 is mainly expressed in the periphery under normal healthy condition, but in conditions of disease or injury, this upregulation occurs within the brain, and CB2 is therefore expressed in the brain in unhealthy states. Cannabis and cannabinoid are studied in different medical conditions. The therapeutic potentials of both cannabis and cannabinoid are related to the effects of THC, CBD and other cannabinoid compounds. However, the "high" effect of THC in cannabis and cannabinoid may limit the clinical use, particularly, the study on the therapeutic potential of THC alone is more limited. This review emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD and CBD with THC. CBD has shown to have benefit in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, psychosis, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, HIV, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, hypoxic-ischemic injury and epilepsy. CBD is generally well tolerated. Most common adverse events are diarrhea and somnolence. CBD also shows significantly low abuse potential.
Should Oncologists Recommend Cannabis?
Abrams DI
Cannabis is a useful botanical with a wide range of therapeutic potential. Global prohibition over the past century has impeded the ability to study the plant as medicine. However, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been developed as a stand-alone pharmaceutical initially approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in 1986. The indication was expanded in 1992 to include treatment of anorexia in patients with the AIDS wasting syndrome. Hence, if the dominant cannabinoid is available as a schedule III prescription medication, it would seem logical that the parent botanical would likely have similar therapeutic benefits. The system of cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) has likely developed to help us modulate our response to noxious stimuli. Phytocannabinoids also complex with these receptors, and the analgesic effects of cannabis are perhaps the best supported by clinical evidence. Cannabis and its constituents have also been reported to be useful in assisting with sleep, mood, and anxiety. Despite significant in vitro and animal model evidence supporting the anti-cancer activity of individual cannabinoids-particularly THC and cannabidiol (CBD)-clinical evidence is absent. A single intervention that can assist with nausea, appetite, pain, mood, and sleep is certainly a valuable addition to the palliative care armamentarium. Although many healthcare providers advise against the inhalation of a botanical as a twenty-first century drug-delivery system, evidence for serious harmful effects of cannabis inhalation is scant and a variety of other methods of ingestion are currently available from dispensaries in locales where patients have access to medicinal cannabis. Oncologists and palliative care providers should recommend this botanical remedy to their patients to gain first-hand evidence of its therapeutic potential despite the paucity of results from randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials to appreciate that it is both safe and effective and really does not require a package insert.
leaf extract facilitates oligodendrocyte development
Kim JY, Yoon JY, Sugiura Y, Lee SK, Park JD, Song GJ and Yang HJ
Treatment of multiple sclerosis is effective when anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and regenerative strategies are combined. () has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative properties, which may be beneficial for multiple sclerosis. However, there have been no reports on the effects of on myelination, which is critical for regenerative processes. To know whether benefits myelination, we checked differentiation and myelination of oligodendrocytes (OLs) in various primary culture systems treated with leaf EtOH extracts or control. extracts increased the OL membrane size in the mixed glial and pure OL precursor cell (OPC) cultures and changed OL-lineage gene expression patterns in the OPC cultures. Western blot analysis of -treated OPC cultures showed upregulation of MBP and phosphorylation of ERK1/2. In myelinating cocultures, extracts enhanced OL differentiation, followed by increased axonal contacts and myelin gene upregulations such as Myrf, CNP and PLP. Phytochemical analysis by LC-MS/MS identified multiple components from extracts, containing bioactive molecules such as quercetin, cannabidiol, etc. Our results suggest extracts enhance OL differentiation, followed by an increase in membrane size and axonal contacts, thereby indicating enhanced myelination. In addition, we found that extracts contain multiple bioactive components, warranting further studies in relation to finding effective components for enhancing myelination.
Efficacy and safety of cannabidiol followed by an open label add-on of tetrahydrocannabinol for the treatment of chronic pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis: protocol for a multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled study
Hendricks O, Andersen TE, Christiansen AA, Primdahl J, Hauge EM, Ellingsen T, Horsted TI, Bachmann AG, Loft AG, Bojesen AB, Østergaard M, Lund Hetland M, Krogh NS, Roessler KK and Petersen KH
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are chronic, systemic, inflammatory diseases, primarily in the musculoskeletal system. Pain and fatigue are key symptoms of RA and AS. Treatment presents a clinical challenge for several reasons, including the progressive nature of the diseases and the involvement of multiple pain mechanisms. Moreover, side effects of pain treatment pose an implicit risk. Currently, no well-controlled studies have investigated how medical cannabis affects pain and cognitive functions in RA and AS. The present study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis in the treatment of persistent pain in patients with RA and AS with low disease activity.
Developments in medical cannabis
Mendes A
Safety, efficacy, and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids in neurological disorders
Friedman D, French JA and Maccarrone M
In the past two decades, there has been an increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, pain, and neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabis-based treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis have been approved in some countries. Randomised controlled trials of plant-derived cannabidiol for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe childhood-onset epilepsies, provide evidence of anti-seizure effects. However, small clinical trials of cannabinoids in other neurological disorders such as Huntington's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dementia, have not found any effect. Despite positive results in these two severe epilepsy syndromes, further studies are needed to determine if the anti-seizure effects of cannabidiol extend to other forms of epilepsy, to overcome pharmacokinetic challenges with oral cannabinoids, and to uncover the exact mechanisms by which cannabidiol or other exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids exert their therapeutic effects.
Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Lowin T, Schneider M and Pongratz G
An increasing number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are using cannabis to treat their symptoms, although systematic studies regarding efficacy in RA are lacking. Within this review we will give an overview on the overall effects of cannabinoids in inflammation and why they might be useful in the treatment of RA.
[Use of cannabidiol oil in children]
Wolff D and Reijneveld SA
Useof cannabidiol oil in children The use of cannabidioloil (CBD oil), a cannabis-derived chemical, is increasing. CBD oil is freely available in the Netherlands, but its composition and quality are not monitored. However, the alternative, pharmacist-prepared oil, is more expensive and difficult to acquire. Common reasons for CBD oil use in children include impulsive behaviour, itch, epilepsy, stress, pain and sleeping problems. However, evidence of its effectiveness is scarce and focuses primarily on the effectiveness of the oil in reducing epileptic seizures. Known side-effects are vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, sleepiness, and abnormal liver function test results. We advise medical professionals who encounter young patients who may potentially be using CBD oil, to discuss its questionable quality and potential side effects and interactions. If a patient presents with poorly-understood fever, diarrhoea, vomiting or drowsiness, then the side effects of CBD oil should be considered. Finally, CBD should be differentiated from delta-THC, a cannabis-derived chemical with a psychoactive effect, the use of which should be discouraged in children.
Time to drop the stigma: cannabinoids are drugs that may alleviate pain in people with epidermolysis bullosa
Martinez AE
Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy
Kisková T, Mungenast F, Suváková M, Jäger W and Thalhammer T
Cannabinoids (CBs) from provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients. Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients. Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models. The effects of CBs on signaling pathways in cancer cells are conferred via G-protein coupled CB-receptors (CB-Rs), CB1-R and CB2-R, but also via other receptors, and in a receptor-independent way. THC is a partial agonist for CB1-R and CB2-R; CBD is an inverse agonist for both. In breast cancer, CB1-R expression is moderate, but CB2-R expression is high, which is related to tumor aggressiveness. CBs block cell cycle progression and cell growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting constitutive active pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, such as the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway. They reduce angiogenesis and tumor metastasis in animal breast cancer models. CBs are not only active against estrogen receptor-positive, but also against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, blocking protein kinase B- and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling via CB2-R prevents tumor progression and metastasis. Furthermore, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), including tamoxifen, bind to CB-Rs; this process may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of SERMs in cancer cells lacking the estrogen receptor. In summary, CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.
Patient Counseling Guidelines for the Use of Cannabis for the Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea/Vomiting and Chronic Pain
Makary P, Parmar JR, Mims N, Khanfar NM and Freeman RA
The use of cannabis medications has grown in recent years for the symptomatic relief of chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting (CINV) and chronic pain (cancer-related and non-cancer-related). As states legalize the use of cannabis, it is important for pharmacists and other health care professionals to be aware of how to counsel patients receiving prescriptions for cannabis medications. The aim of this study was to develop patient counseling guidelines for the use of cannabis products in treatment of CINV and chronic pain. A literature search was performed using Medline/PubMed resources and Google Scholar between July 2015 and August 2018 using broad search terms, e.g., cannabinoids adverse effects, cannabis, natural cannabinoids, and tetrahydrocannabinol. Using the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists patient counseling guidelines and medical information on cannabis medications gathered from drug databases, a comprehensive counseling guideline was developed. Medical evidence of the use of natural cannabis medications that are smoked or orally ingested have not been studied as extensively as oral therapeutic agents currently available. Cannabis medications have become more prevalent by approval of legislators in several states. Hence, pharmacists and health care professionals should counsel patients effectively on its use. This guideline needs to be tested to assess its utility in patients.
Effectiveness and tolerability of THC:CBD oromucosal spray as add-on measure in patients with severe chronic pain: analysis of 12-week open-label real-world data provided by the German Pain e-Registry
Ueberall MA, Essner U and Mueller-Schwefe GH
To evaluate effectiveness, tolerability and safety of an oromucosal spray containing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as add-on treatment in patients with severe chronic pain (SCP). Exploratory analysis of anonymized 12-week routine/open-label data provided by the German Pain e-Registry (GPR) on adult SCP patients treated with THC:CBD oromucosal spray in 2017. Among those 30.228 cases documented in the GPR in 2017, 800 (2.6%; 57% female, mean ± SD age: 46.3±9.7 years) received a treatment with THC:CBD. All patients fulfilled the legislative preconditions for a treatment with cannabis as medicine as defined by the German Act Amending Narcotics and Other Regulations. THC:CBD-treatment was followed by an aggregated nine-factor symptom relief (ASR-9) improvement at end of week 12 vs baseline of 39.0±26.5% (95%-CI: 36.9-41.1, median: 42, range -41 to 85). A full ASR-9 response (ie, a 50%-improvement in all 9 factors) was found for 123 patients (15.4%), while 488 patients (56.0%) presented with an ≥50% improvement in at least 5 of 9 ASR factors. With a 54.9±17.2% (median: 56%, range: -6 to 85) improvement was significantly superior in the neuropathic pain subgroup (n=497, 62.1%) vs those with mixed (n=249, 31.1%; ASR-9: 18.2±12.0, median: 19, range: -12 to 42%) or nociceptive pain (n=54, 6.8%; ASR-9: -11.9±10.5, median: -11, range: -41% to 12%; <0.001 for each). 159 patients (19.9%) reported at least one of 206 TEAEs, most of them of mild intensity (n=81.6%). Most frequently reported TEAEs were increased appetite (n=50, 6.3%) and dysgeusia (n=23, 2.9%). TEAE-related discontinuations were reported for 32 patients (4.0%). 113 (14.1%) patients discontinued due to inadequate pain relief, most of them with nociceptive pain (n=40, 74.1%), least with neuropathic pain (n=1, 0.2%; <0.001). THC:CBD oromucosal spray proved to be an effective and well-tolerated add-on treatment for patients with elsewhere refractory chronic pain - especially of neuropathic origin.
Music-Enhanced Analgesia and Antiseizure Activities in Animal Models of Pain and Epilepsy: Toward Preclinical Studies Supporting Development of Digital Therapeutics and Their Combinations With Pharmaceutical Drugs
Metcalf CS, Huntsman M, Garcia G, Kochanski AK, Chikinda M, Watanabe E, Underwood T, Vanegas F, Smith MD, White HS and Bulaj G
Digital therapeutics (software as a medical device) and mobile health (mHealth) technologies offer a means to deliver behavioral, psychosocial, disease self-management and music-based interventions to improve therapy outcomes for chronic diseases, including pain and epilepsy. To explore new translational opportunities in developing digital therapeutics for neurological disorders, and their integration with pharmacotherapies, we examined analgesic and antiseizure effects of specific musical compositions in mouse models of pain and epilepsy. The music playlist was created based on the modular progression of Mozart compositions for which reduction of seizures and epileptiform discharges were previously reported in people with epilepsy. Our results indicated that music-treated mice exhibited significant analgesia and reduction of paw edema in the carrageenan model of inflammatory pain. Among analgesic drugs tested (ibuprofen, cannabidiol (CBD), levetiracetam, and the galanin analog NAX 5055), music intervention significantly decreased paw withdrawal latency difference in ibuprofen-treated mice and reduced paw edema in combination with CBD or NAX 5055. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first animal study on music-enhanced antinociceptive activity of analgesic drugs. In the plantar incision model of surgical pain, music-pretreated mice had significant reduction of mechanical allodynia. In the corneal kindling model of epilepsy, the cumulative seizure burden following kindling acquisition was lower in animals exposed to music. The music-treated group also exhibited significantly improved survival, warranting further research on music interventions for preventing Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). We propose a working model of how musical elements such as rhythm, sequences, phrases and punctuation found in K.448 and K.545 may exert responses via parasympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Based on our findings, we discuss: (1) how enriched environment (EE) can serve as a preclinical surrogate for testing combinations of non-pharmacological modalities and drugs for the treatment of pain and other chronic diseases, and (2) a new paradigm for preclinical and clinical development of therapies leading to drug-device combination products for neurological disorders, depression and cancer. In summary, our present results encourage translational research on integrating non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions for pain and epilepsy using digital therapeutics.
Preclinical and Clinical Evidence Supporting Use of Cannabidiol in Psychiatry
Calapai G, Mannucci C, Chinou I, Cardia L, Calapai F, Sorbara EE, Firenzuoli B, Ricca V, Gensini GF and Firenzuoli F
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major chemical compound present in . CBD is a nonpsychotomimetic substance, and it is considered one of the most promising candidates for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Oral Cannabidiol Prevents Allodynia and Neurological Dysfunctions in a Mouse Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Belardo C, Iannotta M, Boccella S, Rubino RC, Ricciardi F, Infantino R, Pieretti G, Stella L, Paino S, Marabese I, Maisto R, Luongo L, Maione S and Guida F
Neurological dysfunctions are the most impactful and persistent consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Indeed, previous reports suggest that an association between TBI and chronic pain syndromes, as well anxio-depressive behaviors, tends to be more common in patients with mild forms of TBI. At present, no effective treatment options are available for these symptoms. In the present study, we used a weight drop mild TBI mouse model to investigate the effect of a commercially available 10% Cannabidiol (CBD) oil on both the sensorial and neuropsychiatric dysfunctions associated with mild TBI through behavioral and biomolecular approaches. TBI mice developed chronic pain associated with anxious and aggressive behavior, followed by a late depressive-like behavior and impaired social interaction. Such behaviors were related with specific changes in neurotransmitters release at cortical levels. CBD oral treatment restored the behavioral alterations and partially normalized the cortical biochemical changes. In conclusion, our data show some of the brain modifications probably responsible for the behavioral phenotype associated with TBI and suggest the CBD as a pharmacological tool to improve neurological dysfunctions caused by the trauma.
Commercial Cannabinoid Oil-Induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Yin HY, Hadjokas N, Mirchia K, Swan R and Alpert S
To report an unusual presentation of commercial cannabidiol (CBD) oil-induced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS-TEN).
A Review of Scientific Evidence for THC:CBD Oromucosal Spray (Nabiximols) in the Management of Chronic Pain
Überall MA
The 20% prevalence of chronic pain in the general population is a major health concern given the often profound associated impairment of daily activities, employment status, and health-related quality of life in sufferers. Resource utilization associated with chronic pain represents an enormous burden for healthcare systems. Although analgesia based on the World Health Organization's pain ladder continues to be the mainstay of chronic pain management, aside from chronic cancer pain or end-of-life care, prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids to manage chronic pain is rarely sustainable. As the endocannabinoid system is known to control pain at peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal levels, interest in medical use of cannabis is growing. A proprietary blend of cannabis plant extracts containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as the principal cannabinoids is formulated as an oromucosal spray (USAN name: nabiximols) and standardized to ensure quality, consistency and stability. This review examines evidence for THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) in the management of chronic pain conditions. Cumulative evidence from clinical trials and an exploratory analysis of the German Pain e-Registry suggests that add-on THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) may have a role in managing chronic neuropathic pain, although further precise clinical trials are required to draw definitive conclusions.
The Effects of Dosage-Controlled Cannabis Capsules on Cancer-Related Cachexia and Anorexia Syndrome in Advanced Cancer Patients: Pilot Study
Bar-Sela G, Zalman D, Semenysty V and Ballan E
Cancer-related cachexia and anorexia syndrome (CACS) is a common phenomenon in cancer patients. Cannabis has been suggested to stimulate appetite but research on this issue has yielded mixed results. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of dosage-controlled cannabis capsules on CACS in advanced cancer patients. The cannabis capsules used in this study contained two fractions of oil-based compounds. The planned treatment was 2 × 10 mg per 24 hours for six months of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 9.5 mg and cannabidiol (CBD) 0.5 mg. If patients suffered from side effects, dosage was reduced to 5 mg × 2 per day (THC 4.75 mg, CBD 0.25 mg). Participants were weighed on every physician visit. The primary objective of the study was a weight gain of ≥10% from baseline. Of 24 patients who signed the consent form, 17 started the cannabis capsules treatment, but only 11 received the capsules for more than two weeks. Three of six patients who completed the study period met the primary end-point. The remaining three patients had stable weights. In quality of life quaternaries, patients reported less appetite loss after the cannabis treatment (=0.05). Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels decreased after the cannabis treatment but without statistical significance. According to patients' self-reports, improvement in appetite and mood as well as a reduction in pain and fatigue was demonstrated. Despite various limitations, this preliminary study demonstrated a weight increase of ≥10% in 3/17 (17.6%) patients with doses of 5mgx1 or 5mgx2 capsules daily, without significant side effects. The results justify a larger study with dosage-controlled cannabis capsules in CACS.
Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis
Amin MR and Ali DW
The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The predominant psychotropic component is Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-THC), while the major non-psychoactive ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds have been shown to be partial agonists or antagonists at the prototypical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The therapeutic actions of Δ-THC and CBD include an ability to act as analgesics, anti-emetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-seizure compounds and as protective agents in neurodegeneration. However, there is a lack of well-controlled, double blind, randomized clinical trials to provide clarity on the efficacy of either Δ-THC or CBD as therapeutics. Moreover, the safety concerns regarding the unwanted side effects of Δ-THC as a psychoactive agent preclude its widespread use in the clinic. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.
A Case of Vaping TCH Oil Leading to Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury: Our Approach to Its Diagnosis, Management, and Recommendations
Singh A, Tan Q, Saccone NM and Lindner DH
Vaping's popularity has grown exponentially since its introduction to the US market in 2003. Its use has sky-rocketed since the unveiling of the vaping pods in 2017 which may account for the advent of the vaping related illnesses we are now seeing. Substances such as nicotine solution, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and butane hash oil (BHC) packaged in cartridges available in various flavors and concentrations are aerosolized by the heating of metal coils in the e-cigarette/vaping devices. Cases from all over the country have recently been coming to light in which vaping has led to severe acute pulmonary disease or vaping-associated-pulmonary-injury (VAPI). A vast majority of the presenting patients in the reported cases have required hospitalization and intensive care, needing supplemental oxygen and even endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. 98% of patients present with respiratory symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, chest pain, cough, hemoptysis), 81% of patients have gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain), and 100% of patients have constitutional symptoms such as fever, chills, and fatigue/malaise on presentation. Although based on history and clinical presentation it is reasonable to have a high suspicion for VAPI, diagnostic workup to rule out alternative underlying causes such as infection, malignancy, or autoimmune process should be performed before establishing the diagnosis. Computed Tomography (CT) scans of the chest have predominantly shown ground-glass opacity in the lungs, often with areas of lobular or subpleural sparing. Although lung biopsies have been performed on a relatively low number of cases, lung injury patterns so far have shown acute fibrinous pneumonitis, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, or organizing pneumonia, usually bronchiolocentric, and accompanied by bronchiolitis. Treatment plans that have led to clinical improvement in the reported cases center around high-dose systemic steroids, although there are a lack of data regarding the best regimen and the absolute need for corticosteroids. The role of antibiotics appears to be limited once infection has definitively been ruled out. We present the case of a young male who vaped THC oil and developed severe acute pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and showed a remarkable response to high dose steroid therapy with improvement in clinical symptoms and resolution of diffuse ground glass opacity on repeat HRCT scan.
Aplicaciones terapéuticas por acción de los cannabinoides
Plancarte-Sánchez R, Mansilla-Olivares A, De Los Reyes-Pacheco VA and Meneses-González F
The interest on cannabinoids became evident between the 1940 and 1950 decades. Although the active substance of the plant was not known, a series of compounds with cannabinomimetic activity were synthesized, which were investigated in animals and clinically. The most widely tested was Δ6a, 10a-THC hexyl. Δ6a, 10a-THC dimethylheptyl (DMHP) antiepileptic effects were studied in several children, with positive results being obtained in some cases. DMHP differs from sinhexyl in that its side chain is DMHP instead of n-hexyl. The first cannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa was cannabinol, although its structure was correctly characterized several years later. Cannabidiol was isolated some years later and was subsequently characterized by Mechoulam and Shvo. In 2013, the National Academy of Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, through the Seminar of Studies on Entirety, decided to carry out a systematic review on a subject that is both complex and controversial: the relationship between marijuana and health. In recent years, studies have been conducted with cannabis in several diseases: controlled clinical trials on spasticity in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, chronic, essentially neuropathic, pain, movement disorders (Gilles de Latourette, dystonia, levodopa dyskinesia), asthma and glaucoma, as well as non-controlled clinical trials on Alzheimer's disease, neuroprotection, intractable hiccups, epilepsy, alcohol and opioid dependence and inflammatory processes.
Cannabinoids, Pain, and Opioid Use Reduction: The Importance of Distilling and Disseminating Existing Data
Hutchison KE, Hagerty SL, Galinkin J, Bryan AD and Bidwell LC
The high prevalence of chronic pain conditions combined with an over-reliance on opioid prescriptions has resulted in an opioid epidemic and a desperate need for solutions. There is some debate about whether cannabis might play a role in addressing chronic pain conditions as well as the opioid epidemic. Recent surveys suggest that a large number of people are using cannabis as a treatment for pain and to reduce use of opioids, and cannabis-derived products demonstrate at least modest efficacy in the treatment of pain in randomized controlled trials. In addition, surveillance studies from countries that have approved the use of Sativex, which is a cannabis-based product, have demonstrated that a combination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol has low potential for harm, is well tolerated, and is helpful to patients. Given the number of people in the United States who are already using cannabis to manage pain and opioid use in state-regulated markets, it is imperative to conduct additional research in these areas, and to disseminate information on how to minimize harm and maximize any benefits of using cannabinoids to mitigate pain and reduce opioid use. The purpose of this article is to call attention to the fact that cannabis is being used in the management of chronic pain. Thus, this article also provides a set of guidelines on how to approach using cannabis to treat pain.
The effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain control efficacy and safety: A systematic review and network meta-analysis
Rabgay K, Waranuch N, Chaiyakunapruk N, Sawangjit R, Ingkaninan K and Dilokthornsakul P
To determine the effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain and adverse euphoria events.
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