Cannabis, from Plant to Pill.

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“The therapeutic application of Cannabis is attracting substantial public and clinical interest. The Cannabis plant has been described as a veritable ‘treasure trove’, producing more than a hundred different cannabinoids, although the focus to date has been on the psychoactive molecule delta-9-tetraydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Other numerous secondary metabolites of Cannabis the terpenes, some of which share the common intermediary geranyl diphosphate (GPP) with the cannabinoids, are hypothesised to contribute synergistically to their therapeutic benefits, an attribute that has been described as the ‘entourage effect’.

The effective delivery of such a complex multicomponent pharmaceutical relies upon the stable genetic background and standardised growth of the plant material, particularly if the raw botanical product in the form of the dried pistillate inflorescence (flos) is the source.

Following supercritical CO2 extraction of the inflorescence (and possibly bracts), the secondary metabolites can be blended to provide a specific ratio of major cannabinoids (THC:CBD) or individual cannabinoids can be isolated, purified and supplied as the pharmaceutical. Intensive breeding strategies will provide novel cultivars of Cannabis possessing elevated levels of specific cannabinoids or other secondary metabolites.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29701252

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bcp.13618

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The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration.

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“There is a clear need for advancing the treatment of cannabis use disorders. Prior research has demonstrated that dronabinol (oral THC) can dose-dependently suppress cannabis withdrawal and reduce the acute effects of smoked cannabis.

The present study was conducted to evaluate whether high-dose dronabinol could reduce cannabis self-administration among daily users.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chronic dronabinol dosing can reduce cannabis self-administration in daily cannabis users and suppress withdrawal symptoms. Cannabinoid agonist medications should continue to be explored for therapeutic utility in the treatment of cannabis use disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29689485

https://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(18)30184-4/fulltext

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Relation of Cannabis Use and Atrial Fibrillation Among Patients Hospitalized for Heart Failure.

 The American Journal of Cardiology

“Left ventricular dysfunction triggers the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, providing inotropic support to the failing heart and concomitantly increasing the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). The cardiovascular effects of cannabis have been characterized as biphasic on the autonomic nervous system with an increased sympathetic effect at low doses and an inhibitory sympathetic activity at higher doses. It is unknown if the autonomic effect of cannabis impacts the occurrence of AF in patients with heart failure (HF).

We used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample for patients admitted with a diagnosis of HF in 2014. The outcome variable was the diagnosis of AF, with the main exposure being cannabis use. We identified a cannabis user group and a 1:1 propensity-matched non-cannabis user group, each having 3,548 patients. We then estimated the odds of AF diagnosis in cannabis users. An estimated 3,950,392 patients were admitted with a diagnosis of HF in the United States in 2014. Among these, there were 17,755 (0.45%) cannabis users. In the matched cohort, cannabis users were less likely to have AF (19.08% vs 21.39%; AOR 0.87 [0.77 to 0.98]).

In conclusion, cannabis users have lower odds of AF when compared with nonusers, which was not explained by co-morbid conditions, age, insurance type, and socioeconomic status.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29685570

“Surprising Find: Marijuana Linked with Benefits for Heart Failure Patients. Heart failure patients who used marijuana were also less likely to die in the hospital than those who didn’t use the drug, the study found.”  https://www.livescience.com/60988-marijuana-heart-failure.html

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Testing associations between cannabis use and subcortical volumes in two large population-based samples.

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“Disentangling the putative impact of cannabis on brain morphology from other comorbid substance use is critical. After controlling for the effects of nicotine, alcohol and multi-substance use, this study aimed to determine whether frequent cannabis use is associated with significantly smaller subcortical grey matter volumes.

FINDINGS:

After correcting for multiple testing (p=0.007), cannabis use was unrelated to any subcortical ROI. However, maximum nicotine use was associated with significantly smaller thalamus volumes in middle-age males.

CONCLUSIONS:

In exploratory analyses based on young adult and middle age samples, normal variation in cannabis use is statistically unrelated to individual differences in brain morphology as measured by subcortical volume.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29691937

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.14252

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[The impact of cannabinoids on the endocrine system].

 

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“Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds, derivatives of Indian hemp, in which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most important. Marijuana, hashish and hash oil are among those most commonly used in the group.

Cannabinoids (marjhuana and hashish) have been used throughout recorded history as effective drugs in treating various diseases and conditions such as: malaria, hypertension, constipation, bronchial asthma, rheumatic pains, and as natural pain relief in labour and joint pains.

Marijuana acts through cannabinoid receptors CB 1 and CB2. Both receptors inhibit cAMP accummulation (through Gi/o proteins) and stimulate mitrogen- activated protein kinase. CB1 rceptors are located in CNS and in adipose tissue, digestive tract, muscles, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, gonads, prostate gland and other peripheral tissues. CB2 cannabinoid receptors are located in the peripheral nervous system (at the ends of peripheral nerves), and on the surfaces of the cells of the immunological system.

The discovery of endogenous cannabinoids has contributed to a better understanding of their role in the regulation of the intake of food, energetic homeostasis and their significant influence on the endocrine system.”

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Cannabinoid receptor 2: a potential novel therapeutic target for sepsis?

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“Sepsis is life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. It is the most common cause of death among critically ill patients in non-coronary intensive care units and the incidence continues to rise. Although advanced management was applied, the prognosis of sepsis patients remains poor.

As a G-protein coupled receptor, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) was implicated in a wide variety of diseases. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of CB2R in sepsis.

With the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, CB2R is a novel and promising therapeutic target in the management of sepsis. Indeed, specific CB2R agonists have been reported to attenuate leukocyte recruitment, oxidative burst, systemic inflammatory mediator release, bacteremia, and lung tissue damage, while improving survival in different sepsis models.

In addition, autophagy has also been implicated in the protective role of CB2R activation in sepsis. However, almost all of the current outcomes result from animal studies or in vitro cultured cells. Due to the lack of clinical evidence and the ambiguous mechanisms underlying, the clinical application of CB2R stimulation in sepsis is limited. Further studies are needed to delineate the therapeutic effect and the related-pathways of CB2R agonists in sepsis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29694303

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17843286.2018.1461754?journalCode=yacb20

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Adolescent chronic mild stress alters hippocampal CB1 receptor-mediated excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity

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“Endocannabinoids (eCBS) are involved in the stress response and alterations in eCB signaling may contribute to the etiology of mood disorders.

Exposure to chronic mild stress (CMS), a model of depression, produces downregulation of the CB1 receptor (CB1) in the hippocampus of male rats.

These results effectively demonstrate that CMS significantly alters hippocampal eCB-mediated neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827785/

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Deficiency in endocannabinoid signaling in the nucleus accumbens induced by chronic unpredictable stress.

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“The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of the reward circuitry, and dysfunction of the NAc may account for anhedonia and other symptoms of depression.

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system regulates mood, emotion, motivation, appetite, body weight, and cognition.

Here, we investigated whether alterations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling in the NAc contribute to depression-like behaviors induced by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) in mice.

These results suggest that downregulation of eCB signaling in the NAc occurs after CUS and contributes to the pathophysiology of depression.”

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Palatability and oral cavity tolerability of THC:CBD oromucosal spray and possible improvement measures in multiple sclerosis patients with resistant spasticity: a pilot study.

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“Complaints about Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex®; GW Pharma Ltd, Sailsbury, UK) in the management of multiple sclerosis spasticity include unpleasant taste and oral mucosal anomalies.

This pilot study assessed the use of sugar-free chewing gum and/or a refrigerated bottle of THC:CBD oromucosal spray to mitigate these effects.

RESULTS:

Taste perception in patients receiving chewing gum ± cold bottle intervention (Groups A and C combined) was significantly (p = 0.0001) improved from baseline to week 4 while maintaining spasticity control.

CONCLUSION:

Patient comfort, satisfaction and treatment adherence may benefit from these interventions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29683408

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2017-0056

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Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration: Yo antibody alters mitochondrial calcium buffering capacity.

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“Neurodegeneration is associated with dysfunction of calcium buffering capacity and thereby sustained cellular and mitochondrial calcium overload. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD), characterized by progressive Purkinje neuron degeneration following paraneoplastic Yo antibody internalisation and binding to cerebellar degeneration-related protein CDR2 and CDR2L, has been linked to intracellular calcium homeostasis imbalance due to calbindin D28k malfunction. Therefore, we hypothesized that Yo antibody internalisation affects not only calbindin calcium binding capacity but also calcium-sensitive mitochondrial-associated signalling, causing mitochondrial calcium overload and thereby Purkinje neuron death.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that minimising intracellular calcium overload toxicity either directly with cyclosporin-A or indirectly with cannabidiol or the ROS scavenger butylated hydroxytoluene promotes mitochondrial calcium homeostasis and may therefore be used as future neuroprotective therapy for PCD patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29679372

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nan.12492

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