[Medical cannabis]

“Health is a human right. In order to guarantee that right, it is fundamental that all activities concerning health in different contexts (clinical, research, teaching) contribute to the construction of an efficient system that promotes excellence, equity, justice, and solidarity. In this issue, we take on alternatives regarding the use of medical cannabis from this perspective. Health research and its contribution to knowledge – in particular with respect to the development of new pharmaceuticals – represents not only a challenge related to technology and production, but also an opportunity for ensuring the autonomy of the health system.”



Anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol against lipopolysaccharides in cardiac sodium channels

“Background: Sepsis, caused by a dysregulated host response to infections, can lead to cardiac arrhythmias. However, the mechanisms underlying sepsis-induced inflammation, and how inflammation provokes cardiac arrhythmias, are not well understood. We hypothesized that CBD may ameliorate lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced cardiotoxicity via Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) and cardiac sodium channels (Nav1.5).

Methods and results: We incubated human immune cells (THP-1 macrophages) with LPS for 24 hours, then extracted the THP-1 incubation media. ELISA assay showed that LPS (1 or 5 μg/ml), in a concentration-dependent manner, or MPLA (TLR-4 agonist, 5 μg/ml) stimulated the THP-1 cells to release inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6). Prior incubation (4 hours) with cannabidiol (CBD: 5 μM) or C34 (TLR-4 antagonist: 5 μg/ml) inhibited LPS and MPLA-induced release of both IL-6 and TNF-α. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) were subsequently incubated for 24 hours in the media extracted from THP-1 cells incubated with LPS, MPLA alone, or in combination with CBD or C34. Voltage-clamp experiments showed a right shift in the voltage dependence of Nav1.5 activation, steady state fast inactivation (SSFI), increased persistent current and prolonged in silico action potential duration in hiSPC-CM incubated in the LPS or MPLA-THP-1 media. Co-incubation with CBD or C34 rescued the biophysical dysfunction caused by LPS and MPLA.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that CBD may protect against sepsis-induced inflammation and subsequent arrhythmias through (i) inhibition of the release of inflammatory cytokines, antioxidant and anti-apoptotic effects and/or (ii) direct effect on Nav1.5.”



Industrial hemp seed: from the field to value-added food ingredients

figure 1

“Industrial hemp, with low levels of the intoxicating cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is grown for fibre and seeds. The industrial hemp industry is poised for expansion. The legalisation of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and the inclusion of hemp seed in foods is helping to drive the expansion of the hemp food ingredients industry.

This paper discusses the opportunity to build an industrial hemp industry, with a focus on the prospects of hemp seed and its components in food applications. The market opportunities for industrial hemp products are examined. Various aspects of the science that underpins the development of an industrial hemp industry through the food supply chain are presented. This includes a discussion on the agronomy, on-farm and post-harvest considerations and the various types of food ingredients that can be made from hemp seed. The characteristics of hemp seed meal, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil are reviewed. Different processes for production of value-added ingredients from hemp seed, hemp seed oil and hemp seed protein, are examined. The applicability of hemp seed ingredients in food applications is reviewed. The design of hemp seed ingredients that are fit-for-purpose for target food applications, through the selection of varieties and processing methods for production of various hemp seed ingredients, needs to consider market-led opportunities. This will require an integrated through chain approach, combined with the development of on-farm and post-farm strategies, to ensure that the hemp seed ingredients and foods containing hemp seed are acceptable to the consumer.”


“Overall, the opportunity to build a whole supply chain is particularly attractive for the farm sector wishing to diversify and plant sustainable crops with potential for economic returns.”


Cannabis use does not increase actual creativity but biases evaluations of creativity

Cover image for Journal of Applied Psychology

“In this research, we examine the effects of cannabis use on creativity and evaluations of creativity. Drawing on both the broaden-and-build theory and the affect-as-information model, we propose that cannabis use would facilitate more creativity as well as more favorable evaluations of creativity via cannabis-induced joviality. We tested this prediction in two experiments, wherein participants were randomly assigned to either a cannabis use or cannabis abstinence condition.

We find support for our prediction that cannabis use facilitates joviality, which translates to more favorable evaluations of creativity of one’s own ideas and others’ ideas. However, our prediction that cannabis use facilitates creativity via joviality was not supported. Our findings suggest that cannabis use may positively bias evaluations of creativity but have no impact on creativity. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.”



Cannabidiol for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder: hope or hype?


“Rationale: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as a group of neurodevelopmental disorders whose symptoms include impaired communication and social interaction, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, and varying levels of intellectual disability. ASD is observed in early childhood and is one of the most severe chronic childhood disorders in prevalence, morbidity, and impact on society. It is usually accompanied by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and epilepsy. The treatment of ASD has low efficacy, possibly because it has a heterogeneous nature, and its neurobiological basis is not clearly understood.

Drugs such as risperidone and aripiprazole are the only two drugs available that are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, primarily for treating the behavioral symptoms of this disorder. These drugs have limited efficacy and a high potential for inducing undesirable effects, compromising treatment adherence. Therefore, there is great interest in exploring the endocannabinoid system, which modulates the activity of other neurotransmitters, has actions in social behavior and seems to be altered in patients with ASD. Thus, cannabidiol (CBD) emerges as a possible strategy for treating ASD symptoms since it has relevant pharmacological actions on the endocannabinoid system and shows promising results in studies related to disorders in the central nervous system.

Objectives: Review the preclinical and clinical data supporting CBD’s potential as a treatment for the symptoms and comorbidities associated with ASD, as well as discuss and provide information with the purpose of not trivializing the use of this drug.”



Buccally Absorbed Cannabidiol Shows Significantly Superior Pain Control and Improved Satisfaction Immediately After Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blinded, Randomized Trial

SAGE Journals

“Background: Despite the widespread use and sales of cannabidiol (CBD) products in the United States, there is a paucity of literature to evaluate its effectiveness, safety, or ideal route of administration for postoperative pain.

Purpose: To evaluate the potential analgesic effects of buccally absorbed CBD in patients who have undergone arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (ARCR).

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

Methods: This was a US Food and Drug Administration-sanctioned, multicenter, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded trial conducted in patients undergoing ARCR. Patients aged from 18 to 75 years undergoing ARCR were prospectively enrolled and randomized to the control and experimental groups. The experimental group received an oral, buccally absorbed tablet containing 25 mg of CBD 3 times a day if <80 kg, or 50 mg of CBD 3 times a day if >80 kg, for 14 days postoperatively, while the control group received an identical placebo. Patients were followed up on days 1, 2, 7, and 14, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain scores, opioid consumption, and satisfaction with pain control were recorded. Additionally, liver function tests were conducted on days 7 and 14 to assess safety, and nausea was monitored. P < .05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: Overall, 100 patients were recruited, with 1 patient being excluded, for a total of 99 patients. There were no significant differences in patient demographics between the 2 groups. On day 1, the VAS pain score was significantly lower in the CBD group than in the control group (4.4 ± 3.1 vs 5.7 ± 3.2, respectively; P = .04), although this difference was no longer present on day 2 (4.7 ± 2.8 vs 5.3 ± 2.6, respectively; P = .32). On both days 1 and 2, patient satisfaction with pain control was significantly higher in the CBD group than in the control group (day 1: 7.0 ± 3.0 vs 5.6 ± 3.7, respectively [P = .04]; day 2: 7.3 ± 2.5 vs 6.0 ± 3.3, respectively [P = .03]). The quantity of opioids consumed was low in both groups, and there were no statistically significant differences in opioid consumption (P > .05). On days 7 and 14, there were no statistically significant differences in VAS scores, opioid consumption, or patient satisfaction with pain control between the CBD and control groups (P > .05 for all). There were no significant differences in liver function test results postoperatively (P > .05).

Conclusion: Buccally absorbed CBD demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and showed significant promise in the reduction of pain in the immediate perioperative period after ARCR compared with the control. Further studies are currently ongoing to confirm dosing and effectiveness in other orthopaedic conditions.”



Estimating the effects of legalizing recreational cannabis on newly incident cannabis use

Plos One | Publons

“Liberalized state-level recreational cannabis policies in the United States (US) fostered important policy evaluations with a focus on epidemiological parameters such as proportions [e.g., active cannabis use prevalence; cannabis use disorder (CUD) prevalence].

This cannabis policy evaluation project adds novel evidence on a neglected parameter-namely, estimated occurrence of newly incident cannabis use for underage (<21 years) versus older adults. The project’s study populations were specified to yield nationally representative estimates for all 51 major US jurisdictions, with probability sample totals of 819,543 non-institutionalized US civilian residents between 2008 and 2019. Standardized items to measure cannabis onsets are from audio computer-assisted self-interviews. Policy effect estimates are from event study difference-in-difference (DiD) models that allow for causal inference when policy implementation is staggered.

The evidence indicates no policy-associated changes in the occurrence of newly incident cannabis onsets for underage persons, but an increased occurrence of newly onset cannabis use among older adults (i.e., >21 years). We offer a tentative conclusion of public health importance: Legalized cannabis retail sales might be followed by the increased occurrence of cannabis onsets for older adults, but not for underage persons who cannot buy cannabis products in a retail outlet.

Cannabis policy research does not yet qualify as a mature science. We argue that modeling newly incident cannabis use might be more informative than the modeling of prevalences when evaluating policy effects and provide evidence of the advantages of the event study model over regression methods that seek to adjust for confounding factors.”



Cannabigerol (CBG) attenuates mechanical hypersensitivity elicited by chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

“Background: Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid produced by the plant Cannabis sativa with affinity to various receptors involved in nociception. As a result, CBG is marketed as an over-the-counter treatment for many forms of pain. However, there is very little research-based evidence for the efficacy of CBG as an anti-nociceptive agent.

Methods: To begin to fill this knowledge gap, we assessed the anti-nociceptive effects of CBG in C57BL/6 mice using three different models of pain; cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy, the formalin test, and the tail-flick assay.

Results: Using the von Frey test, we found that CBG attenuated mechanical hypersensitivity evoked by cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy in both male and female mice. Additionally, we observed that this CBG-induced reduction in mechanical hypersensitivity was attenuated by the α2 -adrenergic receptor antagonist atipamezole (3 mg/kg, i.p.) and the CB1 R antagonist, AM4113 (3 mg/kg, i.p.), and blocked by the CB2 R antagonist/inverse agonist, SR144528 (10 mg/kg, i.p.). We found that the TRPV1 antagonist, SB705498 (20 mg/kg, i.p.) was unable to prevent CBG actions. Furthermore, we show that CBG:CBD oil (10 mg/kg, i.p.) was more effective than pure CBG (10 mg/kg) at reducing mechanical hypersensitivity in neuropathic mice. Lastly, we show that pure CBG and CBG:CBD oil were ineffective at reducing nociception in other models of pain, including the formalin and tail flick assays.

Conclusions: Our findings support the role of CBG in alleviating mechanical hypersensitivity evoked by cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy, but highlight that these effects may be limited to specific types of pain.”



Drug-Drug Interaction Between Orally Administered Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen and Inhalation of Cannabis Smoke: A Case Report

SAGE Journals

“Objective: To determine if a 2-day protocol measuring pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics can demonstrate drug-drug interactions when smoked cannabis is added to orally administered hydrocodone/acetaminophen combination products.

Case summary: A 51-year-old non-Hispanic white male with chronic pain diagnoses participated in a 2-day pilot protocol. The participant attended two 7-hour in-lab days where he received 10 blood draws each day and completed self-administered pain and anxiety surveys. For both days, the participant took his prescribed dose of hydrocodone/acetaminophen (1/2 tablet of 7.5 mg/325 mg combination product) with the addition of 1 smoked pre-rolled marijuana cigarette (labeled as 0.5 g; 22.17% Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol; 0.12% cannabidiol) on Day 2. Blood specimens were analyzed using mass spectrometry to quantify the difference of plasma hydrocodone levels between Day 1 and Day 2.

Results: Compared to Day 1, lower levels of pain and anxiety were reported during Day 2 with the addition of cannabis to oral hydrocodone/acetaminophen. Day 2 pharmacokinetic analysis also revealed more rapid absorption and overall lower levels of hydrocodone in plasma.

Discussion: Lower hydrocodone plasma levels in Day 2 may indicate cannabis’s effect on metabolism and reduce the risk of opioid toxicity. The quicker absorption rate of hydrocodone could explain lower pain and anxiety scores reported on the second day.

Conclusion and relevance: A 2-day protocol was able to capture differences across time in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic measurements. Larger studies can be designed to better characterize the potential drug-drug interaction of cannabis and opioids.”



Antiviral activity of medicinal plant-derived products against SARS-CoV-2

SAGE Journals

“This review presents information from several studies that have demonstrated the antiviral activity of extracts (Andrographis paniculataArtemisia annuaArtemisia afraCannabis sativaCurcuma longaEchinacea purpureaOlea europaeaPiper nigrum, and Punica granatum) and phytocompounds derived from medicinal plants (artemisinins, glycyrrhizin, and phenolic compounds) against SARS-CoV-2.

A brief background of the plant products studied, the methodology used to evaluate the antiviral activity, the main findings from the research, and the possible mechanisms of action are presented.

These plant products have been shown to impede the adsorption of SARS-CoV-2 to the host cell, and prevent multiplication of the virus post its entry into the host cell. In addition to antiviral activity, the plant products have also been demonstrated to exert an immunomodulatory effect by controlling the excessive release of cytokines, which is commonly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections.”



“Antimicrobial and Antiviral (SARS-CoV-2) Potential of Cannabinoids and Cannabis sativa: A Comprehensive Review”


“Anti-Inflammatory and Antiviral Effects of Cannabinoids in Inhibiting and Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection”


“Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants”