Role of cannabis in digestive disorders.

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“Cannabis sativa, a subspecies of the Cannabis plant, contains aromatic hydrocarbon compounds called cannabinoids.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most abundant cannabinoid and is the main psychotropic constituent.

Cannabinoids activate two types of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors: cannabinoid type 1 receptor and cannabinoid type 2 receptor.

There has been ongoing interest and development in research to explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol exerts biological functions on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Cannabis has been used for the treatment of GI disorders such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.

The endocannabinoid system (i.e. endogenous circulating cannabinoids) performs protective activities in the GI tract and presents a promising therapeutic target against various GI conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (especially Crohn’s disease), irritable bowel syndrome, and secretion and motility-related disorders.

The present review sheds light on the role of cannabis in the gut, liver, and pancreas and also on other GI symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, anorexia, weight loss, and chronic abdominal pain.

Although the current literature supports the use of marijuana for the treatment of digestive disorders, the clinical efficacy of cannabis and its constituents for various GI disorders remains unclear.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27792038

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Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis.

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“Enteric glial cells (EGC) actively mediate acute and chronic inflammation in the gut; EGC proliferate and release neurotrophins, growth factors, and pro-inflammatory cytokines which, in turn, may amplify the immune response, representing a very important link between the nervous and immune systems in the intestine.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an interesting compound because of its ability to control reactive gliosis in the CNS, without any unwanted psychotropic effects.

Therefore the rationale of our study was to investigate the effect of CBD on intestinal biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and from intestinal segments of mice with LPS-induced intestinal inflammation.

Our results therefore indicate that CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.

The results of the present study correlate and expand the findings suggesting CBD as a potent compound that is able to modulate experimental gut inflammation.

In this study we demonstrate that during intestinal inflammation, CBD is able to control the inflammatory scenario and the subsequent intestinal apoptosis through the restoration of the altered glia-immune homeostasis.

CBD is therefore regarded as a promising therapeutic agent that modulates the neuro-immune axis, which can be recognised as a new target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232190/

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Cannabis improves night vision: a case study of dark adaptometry and scotopic sensitivity in kif smokers of the Rif mountains of northern Morocco.

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“Previous reports have documented an improvement in night vision among Jamaican fishermen after ingestion of a crude tincture of herbal cannabis, while two members of this group noted that Moroccan fishermen and mountain dwellers observe an analogous improvement after smoking kif, sifted Cannabis sativa mixed with tobacco (Nicotiana rustica).

Field-testing of night vision has become possible with a portable device, the LKC Technologies Scotopic Sensitivity Tester-1 (SST-1).

This study examines the results of double-blinded graduated THC administration 0-20 mg (as Marinol) versus placebo in one subject on measures of dark adaptometry and scotopic sensitivity.  Analogous field studies were performed in Morocco with the SST-1 in three subjects before and after smoking kif.

In both test situations, improvements in night vision measures were noted after THC or cannabis. It is believed that this effect is dose-dependent and cannabinoid-mediated at the retinal level.

Further testing may assess possible clinical application of these results in retinitis pigmentosa or other conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15182912

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Overlapping molecular pathways between cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 and estrogens/androgens on the periphery and their involvement in the pathogenesis of common diseases (Review).

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“The physiological and pathophysiological roles of sex hormones have been well documented and the modulation of their effects is applicable in many current treatments.

On the other hand, the physiological role of endocannabinoids is not yet clearly understood and the endocannabinoid system is considered a relatively new therapeutic target.

The physiological association between sex hormones and cannabinoids has been investigated in several studies; however, its involvement in the pathophysiology of common human diseases has been studied separately.

Herein, we present the first systematic review of molecular pathways that are influenced by both the cannabinoids and sex hormones, including adenylate cyclase and protein kinase A, epidermal growth factor receptor, cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein, vascular endothelial growth factor, proto-oncogene serine/threonine-protein kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, C-Jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases 1/2.

Most of these influence cell proliferative activity.

Better insight into this association may prove to be beneficial for the development of novel pharmacological treatment strategies for many common diseases, including breast cancer, endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.

The associations between cannabinoids, estrogens and androgens under these conditions are also presented and the molecular interactions are highlighted.”

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Cannabinoid derivatives exert a potent anti-myeloma activity both in vitro and in vivo.

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“Although hematopoietic and immune system show high levels of the cannabinoid receptor CB2, the potential effect of cannabinoids on hematologic malignancies has been poorly determined.

Here we have investigated their anti-tumor effect in multiple myeloma (MM).

We demonstrate that cannabinoids induce a selective apoptosis in MM cell lines and in primary plasma cells of MM patients, while sparing normal cells from healthy donors, including hematopoietic stem cells.

Remarkably, blockage of the CB2 receptor also inhibited cannabinoid-induced apoptosis.

Cannabinoid derivative WIN-55 enhanced the anti-myeloma activity of dexamethasone and melphalan overcoming resistance to melphalan in vitro. Finally, administration of cannabinoid WIN-55 to plasmacytoma-bearing mice significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo.

Together, our data suggest that cannabinoids may be considered as potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of MM.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27778331

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/multiple-myeloma/

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Preclinical and Clinical Assessment of Cannabinoids as Anti-Cancer Agents.

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“Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with 1.7 million new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2016. This disease remains a formidable clinical challenge and represents a substantial financial burden to the US health care system. Therefore, research and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer is of high priority.

Cannabinoids and their derivatives have been utilized for their medicinal and therapeutic properties throughout history.

Cannabinoid activity is regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, transporters, and enzymes involved in cannabinoid synthesis and breakdown.

More recently, cannabinoids have gained special attention for their role in cancer cell proliferation and death. However, many studies investigated these effects using in vitro models which may not adequately mimic tumor growth and metastasis.

As such, this article aims to review study results which evaluated effects of cannabinoids from plant, synthetic and endogenous origins on cancer development in preclinical animal models and to examine the current standing of cannabinoids that are being tested in human cancer patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27774065

“The studies reviewed herein indicate that cannabinoids elicit activity through cannabinoid receptor dependent and independent pathways. The evidence generated in these human studies are still informative and, when taken together with the strong in vivo animal data demonstrating anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids, offer promise for a clinical role for cannabinoids in the eradication of tumors. Hence, these investigations shed light on the role of cannabinoids on tumor growth in vivo and may ultimately pave the way for the development of novel cannabinoid therapeutics for cancer treatment.”  http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphar.2016.00361/full
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Cortical and spinal excitability in patients with multiple sclerosis and spasticity after oromucosal cannabinoid spray.

 

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“Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex®) has been recently approved for the management of treatment-resistant multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity.

Although the symptomatic relief of Sativex® on MS-spasticity has been consistently demonstrated, the pathogenetic implications remain unclear and the few electrophysiological studies performed to address this topic yielded controversial results.

We therefore aimed to investigate the mechanisms underpinning the modulation of spastic hypertonia by Sativex®, at both central and spinal levels, through an extensive neurophysiological battery in patients with MS.

Our results confirm the clinical benefit of Sativex® on spastic hypertonia and demonstrate that it might modulate both cortical and spinal circuits, arguably in terms of both excitation and inhibition.

We suggest that the clinical benefit was likely related to a net increase of inhibition at cortical level that, in turn, might have influenced spinal excitability.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27772772

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Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function

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“To date, few studies have investigated the potential impact of MMJ use on cognitive performance, despite a well-documented association between recreational marijuana (MJ) use and executive dysfunction. The current study assessed the impact of 3 months of MMJ treatment on executive function, exploring whether MMJ patients would experience improvement in cognitive functioning, perhaps related to primary symptom alleviation.

Results suggest that in general, MMJ patients experienced some improvement on measures of executive functioning, including the Stroop Color Word Test and Trail Making Test, mostly reflected as increased speed in completing tasks without a loss of accuracy.

On self-report questionnaires, patients also indicated moderate improvements in clinical state, including reduced sleep disturbance, decreased symptoms of depression, attenuated impulsivity, and positive changes in some aspects of quality of life. Additionally, patients reported a notable decrease in their use of conventional pharmaceutical agents from baseline, with opiate use declining more than 42%.

Data from the current investigation provide preliminary evidence that after 3 months of treatment, MMJ users did not experience executive functioning deficits, which are often observed in regular, recreational MJ users. In fact, MMJ patients evidenced improvement in certain aspects of performance on these measures, particularly with regard to time required to complete tasks.”

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphar.2016.00355/full

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Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report.

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“Anxiety and sleep disorders are often the result of posttraumatic stress disorder and can contribute to an impaired ability to focus and to demonstration of oppositional behaviors.

CASE PRESENTATION:

These symptoms were present in our patient, a ten-year-old girl who was sexually abused and had minimal parental supervision as a young child under the age of five. Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of cannabidiol oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.

DISCUSSION:

Cannabidiol oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of cannabidiol oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with posttraumatic stress disorder.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768570

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Experimental cannabidiol treatment reduces early pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes.

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“Destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in type 1 diabetes (T1D) is induced by invasion of immune cells causing pancreatic inflammation.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid, derived from the plant, Cannabis sativa, was shown to lower the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, an animal model of spontaneous T1D development.

The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of experimental CBD treatment on early pancreatic inflammation in T1D by intravital microscopy (IVM) in NOD mice.

CBD-treated NOD mice developed T1D later and showed significantly reduced leukocyte activation and increased FCD in the pancreatic microcirculation.

Experimental CBD treatment reduced markers of inflammation in the microcirculation of the pancreas studied by intravital microscopy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27767974

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