Monthly Archives: July 2017
Integrating Endocannabinoid Signaling and Cannabinoids into the Biology and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
“Exposure to stress is an undeniable, but in most cases surmountable, part of life. However, in certain individuals, exposure to severe or cumulative stressors can lead to an array of pathological conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), characterized by debilitating trauma-related intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, as well as depressed mood and anxiety.
In the context of the rapidly changing political and legal landscape surrounding use of cannabis products in the United States, there has been a surge of public and research interest in the role of cannabinoids in the regulation of stress-related biological processes and in their potential therapeutic application for stress-related psychopathology.
Here we review the current state of knowledge regarding the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in PTSD and the preclinical and clinical literature on the effects of cannabinoids and endogenous cannabinoid signaling systems in the regulation of biological processes related to the pathogenesis of PTSD.
Potential therapeutic implications of the reviewed literature are also discussed. Lastly, we propose that a state of endocannabinoid deficiency could represent a stress-susceptibility endophenotype predisposing to the development of trauma-related psychopathology and provide biologically plausible support for the self-medication hypotheses used to explain high rates of cannabis use in patients with trauma-related disorders.”
The endocannabinoid system expression in the female reproductive tract is modulated by estrogen.
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in several physiological events that resulted in a growing interest in its modulation. Moreover, the uterine levels of anandamide (AEA), the major endocannabinoid, must be tightly regulated to create proper embryo implantation conditions. However, there are no evidences about the regulation of AEA in uterus by estrogen.
Thus, the aim of this study is to elucidate whether estradiol benzoate (EB) and tamoxifen (TAM) administration to ovariectomized (OVX) rats can induce changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors and AEA-metabolic enzymes in uterus by evaluating gene transcription and protein levels by qPCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry.
In summary, these data collectively indicate that the expression of ECS components, as well as, the AEA and PGE2 levels in rat uterus is modulated by EB. Thus, estradiol may have a direct regulatory role in the modulation of ECS in female reproductive tissues.”
Cannabidiol reduces seizure frequency in Dravet syndrome
“Cannabidiol is effective in treating drug-resistant seizures in Dravet syndrome, according to a new clinical trial. For the first time, a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has confirmed controversial anecdotal evidence supporting the efficacy of cannabinoids in epilepsy.” https://www.nature.com/nrneurol/journal/v13/n7/full/nrneurol.2017.86.html
“Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome” http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618
“Cannabinoids for Epilepsy — Real Data, at Last” http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1702205
Fewer Seizures With Cannabidiol in Catastrophic Epilepsy
“Cannabidiol reduced the frequency of convulsive seizures compared with placebo in Dravet syndrome, a childhood epilepsy disorder with a high mortality rate and no approved treatment in the United States, reported a clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.” http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2645099
“Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome” http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618#t=abstract
“EPILEPSY AND MARIJUANA: CANNABIS DRUG REDUCES DRAVET SYNDROME SEIZURES IN LARGE-SCALE CLINICAL TRIAL” http://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-marijuana-dravet-syndrome-epilepsy-clinical-trial-614982
The effect of Pro NanoLipospheres (PNL) formulation containing natural absorption enhancers on the oral bioavailability of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a rat model.
“The lipophilic phytocannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) show therapeutic efficacy in various medical conditions. Both molecules are poorly water soluble and subjected to extensive first pass metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to a limited oral bioavailability of approximately 9%. We have developed an advanced lipid based Self-Emulsifying Drug Delivery System termed Advanced Pro-NanoLiposphere (PNL) pre-concentrate. The PNL is composed of lipid and emulsifying excipients of GRAS status and are known to increase solubility and reduce Phase I metabolism of lipophilic active compounds. Advanced PNLs are PNLs with an incorporated natural absorption enhancers. These molecules are natural alkaloids and phenolic compounds which were reported to inhibit certain phase I and phase II metabolism processes. Here we use piperine, curcumin and resveratrol to formulate the Advanced-PNL formulations. Consequently, we have explored the utility of these Advanced-PNLs on CBD and THC oral bioavailability. Oral administration of CBD-piperine-PNL resulted in 6-fold in AUC compared to CBD solution, proving to be the most effective of the screened formulations. The same trend was found in pharmacokinetic experiments of THC-piperine-PNL with resulted in a 9.3-fold increase in AUC as compared to THC solution. Our Piperine-PNL can be used as a platform for synchronized delivery of piperine and CBD or THC to the enterocyte site. This co-localization provides an increase in CBD and THC bioavailability by its effect at the pre-enterocyte and the enterocyte levels of the absorption process. The extra augmentation in the absorption of CBD and THC by incorporating piperine into PNL is attributed to the inhibition of Phase I and phase II metabolism by piperine in addition to the Phase I metabolism and P-gp inhibition by PNL. These novel results pave the way to utilize piperine-PNL delivery system for other poorly soluble, highly metabolized compounds that currently cannot be administered orally.”
Associations between Adolescent Cannabis Use and Neuropsychological Decline: A Longitudinal Co-Twin Control Study.
“This study tested whether adolescents who used cannabis or met criteria for cannabis dependence showed neuropsychological impairment prior to cannabis initiation and neuropsychological decline from before to after cannabis initiation.
Short-term cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to cause IQ decline or impair executive functions, even when cannabis use reaches the level of dependence. Family background factors explain why adolescent cannabis users perform worse on IQ and executive function tests.”
Longitudinal study of hippocampal volumes in heavy cannabis users.
“Cannabis exposure, particularly heavy cannabis use, has been associated with neuroanatomical alterations in regions rich with cannabinoid receptors such as the hippocampus in some but not in other (mainly cross-sectional) studies. However, it remains unclear whether continued heavy cannabis use alters hippocampal volume, and whether an earlier age of onset and/or a higher dosage exacerbate these changes.
Compared to controls, cannabis users did not show hippocampal volume alterations at either baseline or follow-up. Hippocampal volumes increased over time in both cannabis users and controls, following similar trajectories of increase. Cannabis dose and age of onset of cannabis use did not affect hippocampal volumes.
Continued heavy cannabis use did not affect hippocampal neuroanatomical changes in early adulthood. This contrasts with prior evidence on alterations in this region in samples of older adult cannabis users. In young adults using cannabis at this level, cannabis use may not be heavy enough to affect hippocampal neuroanatomy.”
Compared to high and low cannabis use, moderate use is associated with fewer cognitive deficits in psychosis.
“Literature on the relationship of cannabis use and cognition in schizophrenia provides the paradoxical view that cannabis use is sometimes linked with less severe impairment in neurocognition.
This paper explored the possibility that this is a reflection of a dose related response between lifetime cannabis use and two forms of cognition, neurocognition and metacognition, in schizophrenia. It was hypothesized that three groups of patients could be differentiated, those with (1) little to no cannabis use with poor levels of cognition, (2) moderate cannabis use and relatively better levels of cognition and (3) high cannabis use with relatively poorer levels of cognition.
Consistent with our hypothesis, participants with high and moderate lifetime cannabis use had lesser impairment of neurocognition and metacognition compared to low lifetime cannabis use. Participants with moderate lifetime cannabis use also had lesser impairment of metacognition compared to low and heavy use.
These findings suggest that a dose related relationship exists between cannabis use and cognition. Results could be due to an influence of pre-existing cognitive level on likelihood of lifetime cannabis use, or to an interaction between use and cognitive function.”
Cannabis use in people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis: A web-based investigation.
“Cannabis has been used for medicinal purpose for thousands of years; however the positive and negative effects of cannabis use in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are mostly unknown. Our aim was to assess cannabis use in PD and MS and compare results of self-reported assessments of neurological disability between current cannabis users and non-users.
Current users reported high efficacy of cannabis, 6.4 (SD 1.8) on a scale from 0 to 7 and 59% reported reducing prescription medication since beginning cannabis use. Current cannabis users were younger and less likely to be classified as obese. Cannabis users reported lower levels of disability, specifically in domains of mood, memory, and fatigue.
Cannabis may have positive impacts on mood, memory, fatigue, and obesity status in people with PD and MS. Further studies using clinically and longitudinally assessed measurements of these domains are needed to establish if these associations are causal and determine the long-term benefits and consequences of cannabis use in people with PD and MS.”