The Impact of Medical Cannabis on Intermittent and Chronic Opioid Users with Back Pain: How Cannabis Diminished Prescription Opioid Usage

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“To determine if cannabis may be used as an alternative or adjunct treatment for intermittent and chronic prescription opioid users.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: A single-center cannabis medical practice site in California.

Patients: A total of 180 patients who had a chief complaint of low back pain were identified (International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, code M54.5). Sixty-one patients who used prescription opioids were analyzed.

Interventions: Cannabis recommendations were provided to patients as a way to mitigate their low back pain.

Outcome Measures: Number of patients who stopped opioids and change in morphine equivalents.

Results: There were no between-group differences based on demographic, experiential, or attitudinal variables. We found that 50.8% were able to stop all opioid usage, which took a median of 6.4 years (IQR=1.75–11 years) after excluding two patients who transitioned off opioids by utilizing opioid agonists. For those 29 patients (47.5%) who did not stop opioids, 9 (31%) were able to reduce opioid use, 3 (10%) held the same baseline, and 17 (59%) increased their usage. Forty-eight percent of patients subjectively felt like cannabis helped them mitigate their opioid intake but this sentiment did not predict who actually stopped opioid usage. There were no variables that predicted who stopped opioids, except that those who used higher doses of cannabis were more likely to stop, which suggests that some patients might be able to stop opioids by using cannabis, particularly those who are dosed at higher levels.

Conclusions: In this long-term observational study, cannabis use worked as an alternative to prescription opioids in just over half of patients with low back pain and as an adjunct to diminish use in some chronic opioid users.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/can.2019.0039

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Can prescribed medical cannabis use reduce the use of other more harmful drugs?

SAGE Journals“There is growing recognition of the potential utility of medical cannabis as a harm reduction intervention.

Although used for this indication in other countries, there is an absence of UK clinical guidelines that supports such an approach. We administered a short survey to gain a better understanding of the potential role of medical cannabis by 39 people who were currently using illicit cannabis and accessing a specialist substance misuse treatment service.

It was identified that 36 (92.3%) respondents found that cannabis positively impacted upon their physical and/or mental wellbeing and 56.4% reported that they used less of other substances which are known to be more harmful as a result.

Therefore, while we acknowledge the small sample size, given the notable potential positive impact that medical cannabis could have as a harm reduction intervention, we propose that the use should be trialled within a specialist drug treatment setting.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050324519900067 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Neuroprotective and Neuromodulatory Effects Induced by Cannabidiol and Cannabigerol in Rat Hypo-E22 cells and Isolated Hypothalamus.

antioxidants-logo “Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are non-psychotropic terpenophenols isolated from Cannabis sativa, which, besides their anti-inflammatory/antioxidant effects, are able to inhibit, the first, and to stimulate, the second, the appetite although there are no studies elucidating their role in the hypothalamic appetite-regulating network. Consequently, the aim of the present research is to investigate the role of CBD and CBG in regulating hypothalamic neuromodulators. Comparative evaluations between oxidative stress and food intake-modulating mediators were also performed.

RESULTS:

Both CBD and CBG inhibited NPY and POMC gene expression and decreased the 3-HK/KA ratio in the hypothalamus. The same compounds also reduced hypothalamic NE synthesis and DA release, whereas the sole CBD inhibited 5-HT synthesis.

CONCLUSION:

The CBD modulates hypothalamic neuromodulators consistently with its anorexigenic role, whereas the CBG effect on the same mediators suggests alternative mechanisms, possibly involving peripheral pathways.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31941059

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/1/71

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Modulates Maturation of Dendritic Cells and Their Capacity to Induce Hapten-Induced Contact Hypersensitivity.

ijms-logo“Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is an established animal model for allergic contact dermatitis. Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in the sensitization phase of CHS by initiating T cell responses to topically applied haptens. The cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) modulate DC functions and inflammatory skin responses, but their influence on the capacity of haptenized DCs to induce CHS is still unknown. We found lower CHS responses to 2,4-dinitro-1-fluorobenzene (DNFB) in wild type (WT) mice after adoptive transfer of haptenized Cnr2-/- and Cnr1-/-/Cnr2-/- bone marrow (BM) DCs as compared to transfer of WT DCs. In contrast, induction of CHS was not affected in WT recipients after transfer of Cnr1-/- DCs. In vitro stimulated Cnr2-/- DCs showed lower CCR7 and CXCR4 expression when compared to WT cells, while in vitro migration towards the chemokine ligands was not affected by CB2. Upregulation of MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules was also reduced in Cnr2-/- DCs. This study demonstrates that CB2 modulates the maturation phenotype of DCs but not their chemotactic capacities in vitro. These findings and the fact that CHS responses mediated by Cnr2-/- DCs are reduced suggest that CB2 is a promising target for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31940843

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/2/475

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Nose-to-brain Delivery of Natural Compounds for the Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders.

“Several natural compounds have demonstrated potential for the treatment of central nervous system disorders such as ischemic cerebrovascular disease, glioblastoma, neuropathic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis and migraine.

This is due to their well-known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-tumor, anti-ischemic and analgesic properties. Nevertheless, many of these molecules have poor aqueous solubility, low bioavailability and extensive gastrointestinal and/or hepatic first-pass metabolism, leading to a quick elimination as well as low serum and tissue concentrations.

Thus, the intranasal route emerged as a viable alternative to oral or parenteral administration, by enabling a direct transport into the brain through the olfactory and trigeminal nerves. With this approach, the blood-brain barrier is circumvented and peripheral exposure is reduced, thereby minimizing possible adverse effects.

OBJECTIVE:

Herein, brain-targeting strategies for the nose-to-brain delivery of natural compounds, including flavonoids, cannabinoids, essential oils and terpenes, will be reviewed and discussed. Brain and plasma pharmacokinetics of these molecules will be analyzed and related to their physicochemical characteristics and formulation properties.

CONCLUSION:

Natural compounds constitute relevant alternatives for the treatment of brain diseases but often require loading into nanocarrier systems to reach the central nervous system in sufficient concentrations. Future challenges lie in a deeper characterization of their therapeutic mechanisms and in the development of effective, safe and brain-targeted delivery systems for their intranasal administration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31939728

http://www.eurekaselect.com/178321/article

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Challenges and Opportunities in Preclinical Research of Synthetic Cannabinoids for Pain Therapy.

medicina-logo“Cannabis has been used in pain management since 2900 BC.

In the 20th century, synthetic cannabinoids began to emerge, thus opening the way for improved efficacy. The search for new forms of synthetic cannabinoids continues and, as such, the aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive tool for the research and development of this promising class of drugs.

Methods for the in vitro assessment of cytotoxic, mutagenic or developmental effects are presented, followed by the main in vivo pain models used in cannabis research and the results yielded by different types of administration (systemic versus intrathecal versus inhalation). Animal models designed for assessing side-effects and long-term uses are also discussed.

In the second part of this review, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of synthetic cannabinoid biodistribution, together with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric identification of synthetic cannabinoids in biological fluids from rodents to humans are presented. Last, but not least, different strategies for improving the solubility and physicochemical stability of synthetic cannabinoids and their potential impact on pain management are discussed.

In conclusion, synthetic cannabinoids are one of the most promising classes of drugs in pain medicine, and preclinical research should focus on identifying new and improved alternatives for a better clinical and preclinical outcome.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31936616

https://www.mdpi.com/1010-660X/56/1/24

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol (CBD) for Treatment of Neurofibromatosis-related Pain and Concomitant Mood Disorder: A Case Report.

Image result for cureus journal“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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31938604

https://www.cureus.com/articles/23602-cannabidiol-cbd-for-treatment-of-neurofibromatosis-related-pain-and-concomitant-mood-disorder-a-case-report

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Use of cannabinoids in cancer patients: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) clinical practice statement.

Gynecologic Oncology“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) affect the human endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoids reduce chemotherapy induced nausea or vomiting (CINV) and neuropathic pain.

Each state has its own regulations for medical and recreational cannabis use.

Effects of cannabinoids on chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and tumor growth remain under investigation.

Providers should focus indications, alternatives, risks and benefits of medical cannabis use to make appropriate referrals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31932107

https://www.gynecologiconcology-online.net/article/S0090-8258(19)31805-0/fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Nightmares and the Cannabinoids.

“The cannabinoids, δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol and its analogue, nabilone, have been found to reliably attenuate the intensity and frequency of post-traumatic nightmares.

This essay examines how a traumatic event is captured in the mind after just a single exposure and repeatedly replicated during the nights that follow.

The adaptive neurophysiological, endocrine and inflammatory changes that are triggered by the trauma and that alter personality and behavior are surveyed. These adaptive changes, once established, can be difficult to reverse. But cannabinoids, uniquely, have been shown to interfere with all of these post-traumatic somatic adaptations.

While cannabinoids can suppress nightmares and other symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder, they are not a cure. There may be no cure.

The cannabinoids may best be employed, alone, but more likely in conjunction with other agents, in the immediate aftermath of a trauma to mitigate or even abort the metabolic changes which are set in motion by the trauma and which may permanently alter the reactivity of the nervous system. Steps in this direction have already been taken.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31934840

http://www.eurekaselect.com/178302/article

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Activation of cannabinoid receptor type 2 reduces lung ischemia reperfusion injury through PI3K/Akt pathway.

Image result for int j clin exp pathol“Cannabinoid receptor-2 activation plays a protective role against ischemic reperfusion injury (IRI) in various organs, and exerts a protective effect against paraquat-induced acute lung injury, while the role of CB2 in lung IRI remains unclear.

Hence, the present study was designed to explore the role of CB2 in lung IRI, and whether the PI3K pathway was involved.

The study suggested that activation of CB2 receptor plays a protective role against IR-induced lung injury through reducing inflammation in mice.

The PI3K/Akt pathway might be involved in the protective effect of CB2 receptors in lung IRI.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31933805

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous