Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia.

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“Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome, characterized by chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mood disturbances. There are nearly no data on the effect of medical cannabis (MC) treatment on patients with fibromyalgia.

Data were obtained from the registries of 2 hospitals in Israel (Laniado Hospital and Nazareth Hospital) on patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia who were treated with MC. After obtaining patient consent, demographic, clinical, and laboratory parameters were documented. All the patients also completed the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire regarding the period before and after MC treatment.

Thirty patients were identified, and 26 patients were included in the study. There were 19 female patients (73%), and the mean age of the study group was 37.8 ± 7.6 years. The mean dosage of MC was 26 ± 8.3 g per month, and the mean duration of MC use was 10.4 ± 11.3 months. After commencing MC treatment, all the patients reported a significant improvement in every parameter on the questionnaire, and 13 patients (50%) stopped taking any other medications for fibromyalgia. Eight patients (30%) experienced very mild adverse effects.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Medical cannabis treatment had a significant favorable effect on patients with fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects.”

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00124743-900000000-99352

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The Role of Cannabinoid Receptor 1 in the Immunopathology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“Endocannabinoid system plays an important role in pathophysiologic processes such as immune functions and impacts on disease severity.

Our previous study showed that cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) affects clinical course of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In this study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in RSV immunopathology and its therapeutic potential in mice model.

This study and our previous finding indicated that endocannabinoid signaling regulates the inflammatory response to RSV infection, and is a potential therapeutic candidate for alleviation of RSV-associated immunopathology.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29461930

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/vim.2017.0098

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Sex differences in antinociceptive response to Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and CP 55,940 in the mouse formalin test.

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“Cannabinoids have shown promise for the treatment of intractable pain states and may represent an alternative pharmacotherapy for pain management.

A growing body of clinical evidence suggests a role for sex in pain perception and in cannabinoid response.

We examined cannabinoid sensitivity and tolerance in male and female mice expressing a desensitization-resistant form (S426A/S430A) of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R).

Mice were assessed for acute and inflammatory nociceptive behaviors in the formalin test following pretreatment with either vehicle or mixed CB1R/CB2R agonists, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ([INCREMENT]-THC) (1-6 mg/kg) or CP 55,940 (0.06-0.2 mg/kg). Tolerance to the effects of 6 mg/kg [INCREMENT]-THC or 0.1 mg/kg CP 55,940 was examined by the formalin test following chronic daily dosing.

Female mice showed decreased sensitivity to the effects of [INCREMENT]-THC and CP 55,940 compared with male mice. The S426A/S430A mutation increased the attenuation of nociceptive behaviors for both agonists in both sexes. Female mice displayed delayed tolerance to [INCREMENT]-THC compared with male mice, whereas the S426A/S430A mutation conferred a delay in tolerance to [INCREMENT]-THC in both sexes. Male S426A/S430A mutant mice also display resistance to tolerance to CP 55,940 compared with wild-type controls.

This study demonstrates sex and genotype differences in response for two different cannabinoid agonists. The results underscore the importance of including both male and female mice in preclinical studies of pain and cannabinoid pharmacology.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29461336

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00001756-900000000-98413

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Cannabis for vismodegib-related muscle cramps in a patient with advanced basal cell carcinoma

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Home“Vismodegib is a hedgehog inhibitor drug indicated for metastatic or locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) that is not fit for surgery or radiation therapy.

One of the most common side effects of vismodegib is muscle cramps which can cause a decrease in quality of life (QoL) and treatment discontinuation. Cannabis is known to improve spasticity (including muscle cramps) in multiple sclerosis patients.”

http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(18)30070-8/fulltext

“Medical marijuana for the treatment of vismodegib-related muscle spasm. We report a case of vismodegib-related muscle spasm that was successfully treated with medical marijuana (MM).” http://www.jaadcasereports.org/article/S2352-5126(17)30124-8/fulltext

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Limited Access to a High Fat Diet Alters Endocannabinoid Tone in Female Rats.

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“Emerging evidence suggest an impaired endocannabinoid activity in the pathophysiology of binge eating disorder (BED). Herein, we investigated whether endocannabinoid tone could be modified as a consequence of dietary-induced binge eating in female rats.

For this purpose, brain levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), as well as two endocannabinoid-like lipids, oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), were assessed in different brain areas involved in the hedonic feeding (i.e., prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus).

The brain density of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1) was also evaluated. Furthermore, we determined plasma levels of leptin, ghrelin, and corticosterone hormones, which are well-known to control the levels of endocannabioids and/or CB1 receptors in the brain.

To induce binge eating behavior, rats were subject to an intermittent and limited access to a high fat diet (HFD) (margarine). Three experimental groups were used, all with ad libitum access to chow: control (CTRL), with no access to margarine; low restriction (LR), with 2 h margarine access 7 days/week; high restriction (HR), with 2 h margarine access 3 days/week. Bingeing was established when margarine intake in the HR group exceeded that of the LR group.

Our results show that, compared to CTRL, AEA significantly decreased in the caudate putamen, amygdala, and hippocampus of HR group. In contrast, 2-AG significantly increased in the hippocampus while OEA decreased in the hypothalamus. Similar to the HR group, AEA and OEA decreased respectively in the amygdala and hypothalamus and 2-AG increased in the hippocampus of LR group. Moreover, LR group also had AEA decreased in the prefrontal cortex and increased in the nucleus accumbens. In both groups we found the same reduction of CB1 receptor density in the prefrontal cortex compared to CTRL. Also, LR and HR groups showed alterations in both ghrelin and corticosterone levels, while leptin remained unaltered.

In conclusion, our findings show a modified endocannabinoid tone due to margarine exposure, in several brain areas that are known to influence the hedonic aspect of food. Even if not uniquely specific to binge eating, margarine-induced changes in endocannabinoid tone could contributes to the development and maintenance of this behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29456490

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00040/full

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Heavy Cannabis Use Associated With Reduction in Activated and Inflammatory Immune Cell Frequencies in Antiretroviral Therapy–Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected Individuals

Journals

“Cannabis is a widely used drug in the United States, and the frequency of cannabis use in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected population is disproportionately high. Previous human and macaque studies suggest that cannabis may have an impact on plasma viral load; however, the relationship between cannabis use and HIV-associated systemic inflammation and immune activation has not been well defined.

Heavy cannabis users had decreased frequencies of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR+CD38+CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell frequencies, compared to frequencies of these cells in non-cannabis-using individuals. Heavy cannabis users had decreased frequencies of intermediate and nonclassical monocyte subsets, as well as decreased frequencies of interleukin 23– and tumor necrosis factor-α–producing antigen-presenting cells.

Conclusions

While the clinical implications are unclear, our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with a potentially beneficial reduction in systemic inflammation and immune activation in the context of antiretroviral-treated HIV infection.”

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cid/cix1116/4869752?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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Cannabinoids prevent depressive-like symptoms and alterations in BDNF expression in a rat model of PTSD.

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“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition highly comorbid with depression. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are suggestively involved in both disorders.

We examined whether cannabinoids can prevent the long-term depressive-like symptoms induced by exposure to the shock and situational reminders (SRs) model of PTSD. The CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (0.5 mg/kg; i.p.), the fatty acid hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle were administered 2 h after severe shock.

Cannabinoids prevented the shock/SRs-induced alterations in social recognition memory, locomotion, passive coping, anxiety-like behavior, anhedonia, fear retrieval, fear extinction and startle response as well as the decrease in BDNF levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Furthermore, significant correlations were found between depressive-like behaviors and BDNF levels in the brain.

The findings suggest that cannabinoids may prevent both depressive- and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress and that alterations in BDNF levels in the brains’ fear circuit are involved in these effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29458190

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027858461731000X

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Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Neurobiology of Suicide

Cover of The Neurobiological Basis of Suicide

“In the past decade, remarkable advances have been made in cannabinoid (CB) research. The brain endocannabinoid (eCB) system modulates several neurobiological processes and its dysfunction is suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of mood and drug use disorders.

The CB1 receptor–mediated signaling, in particular, has been shown to play a critical role in the neural circuitry that mediates mood, motivation, and emotional behaviors. This chapter presents the data pertaining to the involvement of the eCB system in depression, suicide, and alcohol addiction.

It appears that the eCB system might have a critical role in the regulation of mood and emotional responses that are impaired in patients with depression and suicidal behavior.

The data provided in this chapter support the notion that the eCB system might be an additional target for the development of a drug against alcohol use, depression, and suicidal behavior.

Among therapeutic agents, antidepressants are the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression-related disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23035286

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK107200/

“Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from cannabis sativa L. The antidepressant action of cannabis as well as the interaction between antidepressants and the endocannabinoid system has been reported. Results of this study show that Δ9-THC and other cannabinoids exert anti-depressant-like actions, and thus may contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866040/

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High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide

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“Our research examines the relationship between medical marijuana laws (hereafter MMLs) and suicides.

Our results suggest that the passage of a MML is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate.

We conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to fewer suicides among young adult males.”

https://www.cato.org/publications/research-briefs-economic-policy/high-life-medical-marijuana-laws-suicide

Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization leads to decrease in suicide rates”   https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/2/26/1068413/-Study-Medical-Marijuana-Legalization-leads-to-decrease-in-suicide-rates

“Legal Weed Appears to Cause a Sharp Reduction in Suicides”  https://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2012/02/07/legal-weed-appears-to-cause-a-sharp-reduction-in-suicides-discuss

“Marijuana Can Help Prevent Suicide, Study Suggests”  http://www.laweekly.com/news/marijuana-can-help-prevent-suicide-study-suggests-2389148

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Cannabis as an anticonvulsant

BMJ Journals“There are records of the cannabis plant being used for medicinal purposes in ancient times, and in the 19th century it was used as an effective anti-epileptic drug (AED) in children.

However, because of its abuse potential, most countries imposed laws restricting its cultivation and use, and this has greatly inhibited research into possible therapeutic uses.

Things are now changing, and cannabis derivatives are now used legally to treat, for example, pain, nausea and spasticity.

The plant contains over 100 biologically active compounds, and recently it has been possible to isolate these and identify the neurochemical mechanisms by which some of them operate: one in particular, cannabidiol”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29449212

http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2018/02/15/archdischild-2018-314921

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