Disentangling longitudinal relations between youth cannabis use, peer cannabis use, and conduct problems: developmental cascading links to cannabis use disorder.

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“To determine whether cannabis use during adolescence can increase risk not only for cannabis use disorder (CUD) but also for conduct problems, potentially mediated by exposure to peers who use cannabis.

Change in cannabis use did not predict changes in conduct problems or peer cannabis use over time, controlling for gender, race-ethnicity and socio-economic status.

Cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to lead to greater conduct problems or association with cannabis-using peers apart from pre-existing conduct problems.

Instead, adolescents who (1) increasingly affiliate with cannabis-using peers or (2) have increasing levels of conduct problems are more likely to use cannabis, and this cascading chain of events appears to predict cannabis use disorder in emerging adulthood.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30457181

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.14456

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Lipid nanocapsules decorated and loaded with cannabidiol as targeted prolonged release carriers for glioma therapy: in vitro screening of critical parameters.

 European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has been truly constrained heretofore due to their strong psychoactive effects and their high lipophilicity. In this context, precisely due to the lack of psychoactive properties, cannabidiol (CBD), the second major component of Cannabis sativa, arises as the phytocannabinoid with the most auspicious therapeutic potential.

Hence, the incorporation of CBD in lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) will contribute to overcome the dosing problems associated with cannabinoids.

Herein, we have prepared LNCs decorated and loaded with CBD for glioma therapy and screened in vitro their critical parameters. On the one hand, we have encapsulated CBD into the oily core of LNCs to test their in vitro efficacy as extended-release carriers against the human glioblastoma cell line U373MG. The in vitro antitumor effect was highly dependent on the size of LNCs due to its pivotal role in the extent of CBD release.

Effectively, a comparison between two differently-sized LNCs (namely, 20-nm and 50-nm sized carriers) showed that the smaller LNCs reduced by 3.0-fold the IC50 value of their 50-nm sized counterparts. On the other hand, to explore the potential of this phytocannabinoid to target any of the cannabinoid receptors overexpressed in glioma cells, we decorated the LNCs with CBD. This functionalization strategy enhanced the in vitro glioma targeting by 3.4-fold in comparison with their equally-sized undecorated counterparts.

Lastly, the combination of CBD-loading with CBD-functionalization further reduced the IC50 values. Hence, the potential of these two strategies of CBD incorporation into LNCs deserves subsequent in vivo evaluation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30472144

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939641118311366?via%3Dihub

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Patients’ and clinicians’ perspectives of co-use of cannabis and opioids for chronic non-cancer pain management in primary care.

International Journal of Drug Policy

“The prevalence of opioid-associated morbidity and mortality underscores the need for research on non-opioid treatments for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP). Pain is the most common medical condition for which patients request medical cannabis. Limited research indicates that patients are interested in cannabis as a potential addition to or replacement for opioid medication. This analysis reports on CNCP patient and clinician perceptions about the co-use of cannabis and opioids for CNCP management.

METHODS:

We interviewed 23 clinicians and 46 CNCP patients, using semi-structured interview guides, from six safety-net clinics across the San Francisco Bay Area, and 5 key stakeholders involved in CNCP management. We used a modified grounded theory approach to code and analyze transcripts.

RESULTS:

CNCP patients described potential benefits of co-use of cannabis and opioids for pain management and concerns about dosing and addictive potential. Patients reported seeking cannabis when unable to obtain prescription opioids. Clinicians stated that their patients reported cannabis being helpful in managing pain symptoms. Clinicians expressed concerns about the potential exacerbation of mental health issues resulting from cannabis use.

CONCLUSION:

Clinicians are hampered by a lack of clinically relevant information about cannabis use, efficacy and side-effects. Currently no guidelines exist for clinicians to address opioid and cannabis co-use, or to discuss the risk and benefits of cannabis for CNCP management, including side effects. Cannabis and opioid co-use was commonly reported by patients in our sample, yet rarely addressed during clinical CNCP care. Further research is needed on the risks and benefits of cannabis and opioid co-use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30472467

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918302287

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Impact of recreational and medicinal marijuana on surgical patients: A review.

American Journal of Surgery Home

“As medicinal and recreational marijuana use broadens across the United States, knowledge of its effects on the body will become increasingly important to all health care providers, including surgeons.

DATA SOURCES:

We performed a literature review of Pubmed for articles discussing the basic science related to cannabinoids, as well as articles regarding cannabinoid medications, and cannabis use in surgical patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

The primary components in the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have been made available in numerous forms and formulations to treat multiple medical conditions, and recreational access to marijuana is increasing. Of particular importance to the surgeon may be their effects on prolonging intestinal motility, decreasing inflammation, increasing hunger, mitigating pain, and reducing nausea and vomiting. Perioperative use of medicinal or recreational marijuana will become increasingly prevalent, and the surgeon should be aware of the positive and negative effects of these cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30471810

https://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(18)31123-1/fulltext

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Cannabinoids for Treating Cardiovascular Disorders: Putting Together a Complex Puzzle.

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“Cannabinoids have been increasingly gaining attention for their therapeutic potential in treating various cardiovascular disorders. These disorders include myocardial infarction, hypertension, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, and metabolic disorders.

The aim of this review is to cover the main actions of cannabinoids on the cardiovascular system by examining the most recent advances in this field and major literature reviews.

It is well recognized that the actions of cannabinoids are mediated by either cannabinoid 1 or cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2Rs). Endocannabinoids produce a triphasic response on blood pressure, while synthetic cannabinoids show a tissue-specific and species-specific response.

Blocking cannabinoid 1 receptors have been shown to be effective against cardiometabolic disorders, although this should be done peripherally. Blocking CB2Rs may be a useful way to treat atherosclerosis by affecting immune cells. The activation of CB2Rs was reported to be useful in animal studies of myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia.

Although cannabinoids show promising effects in animal models, this does not always translate into human studies, and therefore, extensive clinical studies are needed to truly establish their utility in treating cardiovascular disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30464888

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Activating Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Protects Against Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Through Autophagy Induction.

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“Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has been reported to produce a cardio-protective effect in cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. Here in this study, we investigated the role of CB2 in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) and its underlying mechanisms.

In conclusion, we initially demonstrated that activating CB2 produced a cardio-protective effect in DCM as well as cardiomyocytes under HG challenge through inducing the AMPK-mTOR-p70S6K signaling-mediated autophagy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30459625

“Taken together, in this study, we initially showed that activating CB2 produced a cardio-protective effect in DCM as well as cardiomyocytes under HG challenge through the induction of the AMPK-mTOR-p70S6K signaling-mediated autophagy process. We believe that the findings of this study might enhance our knowledge on the understanding of the pathogenesis and progression of DCM and provide a novel insight in the development of therapeutic strategies against DCM.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01292/full

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Beta-caryophyllene alleviates diet-induced neurobehavioral changes in rats: The role of CB2 and PPAR-γ receptors.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

“Insulin resistance (IR) and obesity predispose diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP), a natural sesquiterpene, exerts neuroprotective, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects via its selective agonism to cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R). BCP was shown to have an anti-diabetic effect, however, the implication of CB2R is yet to be elucidated. A link between CB2R agonism and PPAR-γ activation has been discussed, but the exact mechanism is not well-defined.

This study was designed to examine the role of BCP in improving diet-induced metabolic (insulin resistance), neurobehavioral (anxiety, depression and memory deficit), and neurochemical (oxidative, inflammatory and neurotrophic factor) alterations in the prefrontal cortex of obese rats’ brain. The involvement of CB2R and/or PPAR-γ dependent activity was also investigated.

KEY RESULTS:

Beta-caryophyllene alleviated HFFD-induced IR, oxidative-stress, neuroinflammation and behavioral changes. The anxiolytic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of BCP were mediated by both PPAR-γ and CB2R. The effects of BCP on glycemic parameters seem to be CB2R-dependent with the non-significant role of PPAR-γ. Furthermore, BCP-evoked antidepressant and memory improvement are likely mediated only via CB2R, mainly by upregulation of PGC-1α and BDNF.

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests the potential effect of BCP in treating HFFD-induced metabolic and neurobehavioral alterations. BCP seems to activate PPAR-γ in a ligand-independent manner, via upregulation and activation of PGC-1α. The BCP activation of PPAR–γ seems to be CB2R-dependent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30469079

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332218370033?via%3Dihub

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Naturally occurring compounds as pancreatic cancer therapeutics.

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“Naturally occurring small molecule compounds have long been in the spotlight of pancreatic cancer research as potential therapeutics to prevent cancer progression and sensitize chemoresistant tumors. The hope is that terminal pancreatic cancer patients receiving aggressive chemotherapy can benefit from an increase in treatment efficacy without adding further toxicity by way of utilizing natural compounds. While preclinical studies on a number of natural compounds, such as resveratrol, curcumin, rapalogs and cannabinoids, show promising preclinical results, little has translated into clinical practice, though a number of other compounds hold clinical potential. Nevertheless, recent advances in compound formulation may increase the clinical utility of these compounds.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30459936

“The combination of natural products and standard of care chemotherapy has the potential to increase quality of life and lifespan in pancreatic cancer patients, even though a number of hurdles need to be overcome for routine clinical use.”  http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path[]=26234&path[]=81769

“Cannabinoids Induce Apoptosis of Pancreatic Tumor Cells via Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress–Related Genes. In conclusion, results presented here show that cannabinoids exert a remarkable antitumoral effect on pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo due to their ability to selectively induce apoptosis of these cells via activation of the p8-ATF-4-TRB3 proapoptotic pathway.”  http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/13/6748

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IMPACT OF NEUROIMMUNE ACTIVATION INDUCED BY ALCOHOL OR DRUG ABUSE ON ADOLESCENT BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.

International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience

“Evidence obtained in recent decades has demonstrated that the brain still matures in adolescence. Changes in neural connectivity occur in different regions, including cortical and subcortical structures, which undergo modifications in white and gray matter densities. These alterations concomitantly occur in some neurotransmitter systems and hormone secretion, which markedly influence the refinement of certain brain areas and neural circuits.

The immaturity of the adolescent brain makes it more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and drug abuse, whose use can trigger long-term behavioral dysfunction.

This article reviews the action of alcohol and drug abuse (cannabis, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, anabolic androgenic steroids) in the adolescent brain, and their impact on both cognition and behavioral dysfunction, including predisposition to drug abuse in later life. It also discusses recent evidence that indicates the role of the neuroimmune system response and neuroinflammation as mechanisms that participate in many actions of ethanol and drug abuse in adolescence, including the neurotoxicity and alterations in neurocircuitry that contribute to the dysfunctional behaviors associated with addiction.

The new data suggest the therapeutic potential of anti-inflammatory targets to prevent the long-term consequences of drug abuse in adolescence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30468786

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073657481830251X?via%3Dihub

“Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20191092

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Activation of GPR55 induces neuroprotection of hippocampal neurogenesis and immune responses of neural stem cells following chronic, systemic inflammation.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“New neurons are continuously produced by neural stem cells (NSCs) within the adult hippocampus. Numerous diseases, including major depressive disorder and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder, are associated with decreased rates of adult neurogenesis. A hallmark of these conditions is a chronic release of neuroinflammatory mediators by activated resident glia.

Recent studies have shown a neuroprotective role on NSCs of cannabinoid receptor activation. Yet, little is known about the effects of GPR55, a candidate cannabinoid receptor, activation on reductions of neurogenesis in response to inflammatory insult.

In the present study, we examined NSCs exposed to IL-1β in vitro to assess inflammation-caused effects on NSC differentiation and the ability of GPR55 agonists to attenuate NSC injury.

Taken together, these results suggest a neuroprotective role of GPR55 activation on NSCs in vitro and in vivo and that GPR55 provides a novel therapeutic target against negative regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis by inflammatory insult.”

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