Assessment of clinical outcomes of medicinal cannabis therapy for depression: Analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry

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“Background: Although pre-clinical experiments associate cannabinoids with reduced depressive symptoms, there is a paucity of clinical evidence. This study aimed to analyze the health-related quality of life changes and safety outcomes in patients prescribed cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) for depression.

Methods: An uncontrolled case series of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analyzed. Primary outcomes were changes from baseline in the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), and EQ-5D-5L at 1, 3, and 6 months. Secondary outcomes included adverse events incidence.

Results: 129 patients were identified for inclusion. Median PHQ-9 at baseline was 16.0 (IQR: 9.0-21.0). There were reductions in PHQ-9 at 1-month (median: 8.0; IQR: 4.0-14.0; p<0.001), 3-months (7.0; 2.3-12.8; p<0.001), and 6-months (7.0; 2.0-9.5; p<0.001). Improvements were also observed in GAD-7, SQS, and EQ-5D-5L Index Value at 1, 3, and 6 months (p<0.050). 153 (118.6%) adverse events were recorded by 14.0% (n=18) of participants, 87% (n=133) of which were mild or moderate.

Conclusion: CBMP treatment was associated with reductions in depression severity at 1, 3, and 6 months. Limitations of the study design mean that a causal relationship cannot be proven. This analysis provides insights for further study within clinical trial settings.”

“This study reports that treatment with CBMPs was associated with improvements in PHQ-9 (p<0.050) after 1, 3, and 6 months in a case series of patients with a primary diagnosis of depression on the UKMCR. This suggests that CBMPs could have antidepressant effects, although the limitations of the study design mean that a causal relationship cannot be proven. CBMP use was also associated with improvements in anxiety, sleep quality, and overall HRQoL (p<0.050).”

Safety and Tolerability of Oral Cannabinoids in People Living with HIV on Long-Term ART: A Randomized, Open-Label, Interventional Pilot Clinical Trial (CTNPT 028)


“Background: With anti-inflammatory properties, cannabinoids may be a potential strategy to reduce immune activation in people living with HIV (PLWH) but more information on their safety and tolerability is needed.

Methods: We conducted an open-label interventional pilot study at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. PLWH were randomized to oral Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): cannabidiol (CBD) combination (THC 2.5 mg/CBD 2.5 mg) or CBD-only capsules (CBD 200 mg). Individuals titrated doses as tolerated to a maximum daily dose THC 15 mg/CBD 15 mg or 800 mg CBD, respectively, for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was the percentage of participants without any significant toxicity based on the WHO toxicity scale (Grades 0-2 scores).

Results: Out of ten individuals, eight completed the study. Two from the CBD-only arm were withdrawn for safety concerns: phlebotomy aggravating pre-existing anemia and severe hepatitis on 800 mg CBD with newly discovered pancreatic adenocarcinoma, respectively. Seven did not have any significant toxicity. Cannabinoids did not alter hematology/biochemistry profiles. CD4 count, CD4/CD8 ratio, and HIV suppression remained stable. Most adverse effects were mild-moderate.

Conclusions: In PLWH, cannabinoids seem generally safe and well-tolerated, though larger studies are needed. Screening for occult liver pathology should be performed and hepatic enzymes monitored, especially with high CBD doses.”

Therapeutic Molecular Insights into the Active Engagement of Cannabinoids in the Therapy of Parkinson’s Disease: A Novel and Futuristic Approach


“Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which is characterised mostly by loss of dopaminergic nerve cells throughout the nigral area mainly as a consequence of oxidative stress. Muscle stiffness, disorganised bodily responses, disturbed sleep, weariness, amnesia, and voice impairment are all symptoms of dopaminergic neuron degeneration and existing symptomatic treatments are important to arrest additional neuronal death.

Some cannabinoids have recently been demonstrated as robust antioxidants that might protect the nerve cells from degeneration even when cannabinoid receptors are not triggered. Cannabinoids are likely to have property to slow or presumably cease the steady deterioration of the brain’s dopaminergic systems, a condition for which there is now no treatment.

The use of cannabinoids in combination with currently available drugs has the potential to introduce a radically new paradigm for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, making it immensely useful in the treatment of such a debilitating illness.”

Structural analysis of cannabinoids against EGFR-TK leads a novel target against EGFR-driven cell lines

Current Research in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery

“Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the ErbB family of proteins and are involved in downstream signal transduction, plays prominent roles in cell growth regulation, proliferation, and the differentiation of many cell types. They are correlated with the stage and severity of cancer. Therefore, EGFRs are targeted proteins for the design of new drugs to treat cancers that overexpress these proteins. Currently, several bioactive natural extracts are being studied for therapeutic purposes.

Cannabis has been reported in many studies to have beneficial medicinal effects, such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects, and antitumor activity. However, it is unclear whether cannabinoids reduce intracellular signaling by inhibiting tyrosine kinase phosphorylation. In this study, cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, and CBN) were simulated for binding to the EGFR-intracellular domain to evaluate the binding energy and binding mode based on molecular docking simulation.

The results showed that the binding site was almost always located at the kinase active site. In addition, the compounds were tested for binding affinity and demonstrated their ability to inhibit kinase enzymes. Furthermore, the compounds potently inhibited cellular survival and apoptosis induction in either of the EGFR-overexpressing cell lines.”

“Cannabinoids reduced cell viability in EGFR-positive cells A431 and A549 by decreasing the tyrosine-kinase phosphorylation activity of EGFR.•

In silico analysis shows that cannabinoids bind to the active site of the EGFR-tyrosine kinase by the hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bonding.•

CBD and CBG significantly induce cancer cells apoptosis in EGFR-positive cell A431.•

The consistent findings suggested that CBD and CBG could be developed as natural tumor-targeting agents for EGFR-positive cancers.

These findings demonstrate that the cannabinoids could be transformed into unique natural compounds for use in the development of anti-EGFR-positive cancer therapies.”

A zebrafish HCT116 xenograft model to predict anandamide outcomes on colorectal cancer

Cell Death & Disease

“Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In recent years, cannabinoids have been extensively studied for their potential anticancer effects and symptom management. Several in vitro studies reported anandamide’s (AEA) ability to block cancer cell proliferation and migration, but evidence from in vivo studies is still lacking. Thus, in this study, the effects of AEA exposure in zebrafish embryos transplanted with HCT116 cells were evaluated.

Totally, 48 hpf xenografts were exposed to 10 nM AEA, 10 nM AM251, one of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) antagonist/inverse agonists, and to AEA + AM251, to verify the specific effect of AEA treatment. AEA efficacy was evaluated by confocal microscopy, which demonstrated that these xenografts presented a smaller tumor size, reduced tumor angiogenesis, and lacked micrometastasis formation.

To gain deeper evidence into AEA action, microscopic observations were completed by molecular analyses. RNA seq performed on zebrafish transcriptome reported the downregulation of genes involved in cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and the immune system. Conversely, HCT116 cell transcripts resulted not affected by AEA treatment. In vitro HCT116 culture, in fact, confirmed that AEA exposure did not affect cell proliferation and viability, thus suggesting that the reduced tumor size mainly depends on direct effects on the fish rather than on the transplanted cancer cells.

AEA reduced cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis, as suggested by socs3 and pcnp mRNAs and Vegfc protein levels, and exerted anti-inflammatory activity, as indicated by the reduction of il-11a, mhc1uba, and csf3b mRNA. Of note, are the results obtained in groups exposed to AM251, which presence nullifies AEA’s beneficial effects.

In conclusion, this study promotes the efficacy of AEA in personalized cancer therapy, as suggested by its ability to drive tumor growth and metastasis, and strongly supports the use of zebrafish xenograft as an emerging model platform for cancer studies.”

“Collectively, our data suggest a pivotal role of AEA in the anti-angiogenic, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammatory process in intercellular tumor-endothelial cell communication resulting in the containment of tumor and evidenced that zebrafish larvae xenografts constitute a promising fast assay for precision medicine, bridging the gap between genotype and phenotype in an in vivo setting.”

The effect of medical cannabis in inflammatory bowel disease: analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry

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“Objectives: Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) have shown promising preclinical activity in inflammatory bowel disease. However, clinical trials have not demonstrated significant effects on active inflammation. This study aims to analyze changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and adverse events in IBD patients prescribed CBMPs.

Methods: A case series from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was performed. Primary outcomes included changes from baseline in the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Single-Item Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), and EQ-5D-5L Index score at 1 and 3 months. Statistical significance was defined using p<0.050. Secondary outcomes included incidence of adverse events.

Results: Seventy-six patients with Crohn’s disease (n=51; 67.11%) and ulcerative colitis (n=25; 32.89%) were included. The median baseline SIBDQ score improved at 1 and 3 months. EQ-5D-5L index values, GAD-7 and SQS also improved after 3 months (p<0.050). Sixteen (21.05%) patients reported adverse events with the majority being classified as mild to moderate in severity. No life-threatening AEs were reported.

Conclusion: Patients treated with CBMPs for refractory symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis demonstrated a short-term improvement in IBD-specific and general HRQoL. Prior cannabis consumers reported greater improvement compared to cannabis-naïve individuals.”

Dysmenorrhoea: Can Medicinal Cannabis Bring New Hope for a Collective Group of Women Suffering in Pain, Globally?


“Dysmenorrhoea effects up to 90% of women of reproductive age, with medical management options including over-the-counter analgesia or hormonal contraception. There has been a recent surge in medicinal cannabis research and its analgesic properties.

This paper aims to critically investigate the current research of medicinal cannabis for pain relief and to discuss its potential application to treat dysmenorrhoea.

Relevant keywords, including medicinal cannabis, pain, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, dysmenorrhoea, and clinical trial, have been searched in the PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library (Wiley) databases and a clinical trial website ( To identify the relevant studies for this paper, 84 papers were reviewed and 20 were discarded as irrelevant.

This review critically evaluated cannabis-based medicines and their mechanism and properties in relation to pain relief. It also tabulated all clinical trials carried out investigating medicinal cannabis for pain relief and highlighted the side effects. In addition, the safety and toxicology of medicinal cannabis and barriers to use are highlighted. Two-thirds of the clinical trials summarised confirmed positive analgesic outcomes, with major side effects reported as nausea, drowsiness, and dry mouth.

In conclusion, medicinal cannabis has promising applications in the management of dysmenorrhoea. The global medical cannabis market size was valued at USD 11.0 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.06% from 2022 to 2030. This will encourage academic as well as the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to study the application of medical cannabis in unmet clinical disorders.”

“Dysmenorrhoea is a medical term used to describe painful menstruation. Cannabis-based products are entering both healthcare and commercial markets with a surge in availability. With further research, cannabis-based medicines may become the norm in the management of severe or treatment-resistant dysmenorrhoea.”

Cannabis sativa CBD Extract Exhibits Synergy with Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics against Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar typhimurium


“New generation antibiotics are needed to combat the development of resistance to antimicrobials. One of the most promising new classes of antibiotics is cannabidiol (CBD). It is a non-toxic and low-resistance chemical that can be used to treat bacterial infections.

The antibacterial activity of Cannabis sativa L. byproducts, specifically CBD, has been of growing interest in the field of novel therapeutics. As research continues to define and characterize the antibacterial activity that CBD possesses against a wide variety of bacterial species, it is important to examine potential interactions between CBD and common therapeutics such as broad-spectrum antibiotics.

In this study it is demonstrated that CBD-antibiotic (combination of CBD and antibiotic) co-therapy can effectively fight Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium) via membrane integrity disruption. This research serves to examine the potential synergy between CBD and three broad-spectrum antibiotics (ampicillin, kanamycin, and polymyxin B) for potential CBD-antibiotic co-therapy. In this study, it is revealed that S. typhimurium growth is inhibited at very low dosages of CBD-antibiotic.

This interesting finding demonstrates that CBD and CBD-antibiotic co-therapies are viable novel alternatives to combating S. typhimurium.”

“The decrease in antibiotic development over the 21st century has exacerbated the need for new antibacterial agents as well as new methodologies designed to retain the efficacy of current antibiotics. CBD extract from C. sativa has been presented as a promising antibacterial agent with in vitro efficacy against several relevant bacterial pathogens including Staphylococcus aureusStreptococcus pneumoniaeSalmonella spp. Clostridium difficileNeisseria spp., Moraxella catarrhalis, and Legionella pneumophila. This antibacterial activity achieved through membrane disruption of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species presents CBD as a unique and particularly effective class of antibacterial agents.”

Anti-Bacterial Effect of Cannabidiol against the Cariogenic Streptococcus mutans Bacterium: An In Vitro Study


“Dental caries is caused by biofilm-forming acidogenic bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans, and is still one of the most prevalent human bacterial diseases. The potential use of cannabidiol (CBD) in anti-bacterial therapies has recently emerged.

Here we have studied the anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm activity of CBD against S. mutans. We measured minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC). The bacterial growth and changes in pH values were measured in a kinetic study. The biofilm biomass was assessed by Crystal Violet staining and 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) metabolic assay. Spinning Disk Confocal Microscopy (SDCM) was used to assess biofilm structure, bacterial viability and extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production.

CBD inhibited S. mutans planktonic growth and biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner, with similar MIC and MBIC values (5 µg/mL). CBD prevented the bacteria-mediated reduction in pH values that correlated with bacterial growth inhibition. SDCM showed a decrease of 50-fold in live bacteria and EPS production. CBD significantly reduced the viability of preformed biofilms at 7.5 µg/mL with an 80 ± 3.1% reduction of metabolic activity. At concentrations above 20 µg/mL, there was almost no bacterial recovery in the CBD-treated preformed biofilms even 48 h after drug withdrawal.

Notably, precoating of the culture plate surfaces with CBD prior to incubation with bacteria inhibited biofilm development. Additionally, CBD was found to induce membrane hyperpolarization in S. mutans. Thus, CBD affects multiple processes in S. mutans including its cariogenic properties.

In conclusion, we show that CBD has a strong inhibitory effect against cariogenic bacteria, suggesting that it is a potential drug adjuvant for reducing oral pathogenic bacterial load as well as protecting against dental caries.”

“We have shown that the mode of action of CBD against S. mutans is multifactorial and attributed to: inhibition of bacterial growth and subsequently hindrance of biofilm formation, diminished biofilm metabolic activity and prevention of bacterial recovery within the biofilms following CBD treatment. Some of these effects can be attributed to the membrane hyperpolarization caused by CBD. The combined anti-bacterial and anti-metabolic effects of CBD contribute to the prevention in pH drop with implications for being a potential adjuvant drug in protecting against dental caries.”

Cannabidiol and Its Combinations with Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Induce Apoptosis and Inhibit Activation of NF-κB Signaling in Vulvar Squamous Cell Carcinoma


“Vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) is a rare malignancy with a relatively good prognosis. However, the prognosis remains poor for elderly patients and those with a significant depth of tumor invasion; thus, novel treatment modalities are needed.

The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of cannabidiol (CBD) and its combination with NSAIDs, diclofenac (DIC) and ibuprofen (IBU) on VSCC cells. In this regard, the MTT test was applied for cytotoxicity analysis. Moreover, the influence of CBD, DIC and IBU, as well as their combinations, on apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were analyzed by flow cytometry. The mechanisms of action of the analyzed compounds, including their impact on NF-κB signaling, p53 and COX-2 expression were evaluated using Western blot.

This study shows that CBD and its combinations with NSAIDs are cytotoxic to A431 cells, but they also reduce, in a dose-dependent manner, the viability of immortalized keratinocyte HaCaT cells, and human umbilical vein cell line, EA.hy926. Moreover, the compounds and their combinations induced apoptosis, diminished the NF-κB signaling activation and reduced COX-2 expression.

We conclude that CBD and its combination with DIC or IBU are promising candidates for the adjuvant treatment of high-risk VSCC patients.”

“The results of our study regarding the use of a CDB and NSAIDs, as well as the combi-treatment of CBD together with NSAIDs, provide the foundation for a new approach to therapy of VSCC.”