Therapeutic Potential and Predictive Pharmaceutical Modeling of Stilbenes in Cannabis sativa

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“Cannabis sativa is a plant used for recreational and therapeutic purposes; however, many of the secondary metabolites in the plant have not been thoroughly investigated. Stilbenes are a class of compounds with demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are present in cannabis. Many stilbenes present in cannabis have been investigated for their therapeutic effects. Fourteen stilbenes have been identified to be present in cannabis, all of which are structurally dihydrostilbenoids, with half possessing a prenylated moiety. The stilbenes summarized in this analysis show varying degrees of therapeutic benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-cancer to antioxidant effects. Many of the identified stilbenes have been researched to a limited extent for potential health benefits. In addition, predictive in silico modeling was performed on the fourteen identified cannabis-derived stilbenes. This modeling provides prospective activity, pharmacokinetic, metabolism, and permeability data, setting the groundwork for further investigation into these poorly characterized compounds.”

“In conclusion, fourteen bibenzyl stilbenes have been identified in Cannabis sativa so far, though with the number of compounds identified in the plant ever increasing, more are likely to be characterized over time. The fourteen stilbenes have various degrees of investigational research into their therapeutic potential, with some members, such as dihydroresveratrol and gigantol, being very well characterized due to their presence in other plant sources, while others have just recently been discovered. These compounds show promise as therapeutic agents that could be developed into novel medications for a variety of conditions with further research and development.”

The Exploration of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Therapies for Migraine

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“Purpose of review: There is increasing interest in the use of cannabis and cannabinoid therapies (CCT) by the general population and among people with headache disorders, which results in a need for healthcare professionals to be well versed with the efficacy and safety data. In this manuscript, we review cannabis and cannabinoid terminology, the endocannabinoid system and its role in the central nervous system (CNS), the data on efficacy, safety, tolerability, and potential pitfalls associated with use in people with migraine and headache disorders. We also propose possible mechanisms of action in headache disorders and debunk commonly held myths about its use.

Recent findings: Preliminary studies show that CCT have evidence for the management of migraine. While this evidence exists, further randomized, controlled studies are needed to better support its clinical use. CCT can be considered an integrative treatment added to mainstream medicine for people with migraine who are refractory to treatment and/or exhibit disability and/or interest in trying these therapies. Further studies are warranted to specify appropriate formulation, dosage, and indication(s). Although not included in guidelines or the AHS 2021 Consensus Statement on migraine therapies, with the legalization of CCT for medical or unrestricted use across the USA, recent systematic reviews highlighting the preliminary evidence for its use in migraine, it is vital for clinicians to be well versed in the efficacy, safety, and clinical considerations for their use. This review provides information which can help people with migraine and clinicians who care for them make mutual, well-informed decisions on the use of cannabis and cannabinoid therapies for migraine based on the existing data.”

Canada’s cannabis legalization and adult crime patterns, 2015-2021: A time series study

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“Background and aim: A central goal of the Cannabis Act (October 17, 2018) – Canada’s national cannabis legalization framework – aimed to reduce cannabis-related criminalization and consequent impact on the Canadian criminal justice system. We assessed whether Canada’s cannabis legalization was associated with changes in adult police-reported cannabis-related, property, or violent criminal incidents.

Design: Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) time series models evaluated relations between legalization and adult cannabis-related, property, and violent crimes, using criminal incident data from the Canadian Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR-2; January 1, 2015-December 31, 2021).

Primary sample: National police-reported adult cannabis-related offenses (n = 247,249), property crimes (n = 2,299,777), and violent crimes (n = 1,903,762).

Findings: Implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with decreases in adult police-reported cannabis-related offenses: females, -13.2 daily incidents (95% CI, -16.4; -10.1; p < 0.001) – a reduction of 73.9% [standard error (se), 30.6%]; males, -69.4 daily offenses (95% CI, -81.5; -57.2; p < 0.001) – a drop of 83.2% (se, 21.2%). Legalization was not associated with significant changes in the adult property-crime or violent-crime series.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Canada’s cannabis legalization was successful in reducing cannabis-related criminalization among adults. There was also a lack of evidence for spillover effects of cannabis legalization on adult property or violent crimes.”

Novel Molecular Consortia of Cannabidiol with Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Inhibit Emerging Coronaviruses’ Entry

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“The COVID-19 pandemic provoked a global health crisis and highlighted the need for new therapeutic strategies. In this study, we explore the potential of the molecular consortia of cannabidiol (CBD) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as novel antiviral dual-target agents against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. CBD is a natural compound with a wide range of therapeutic activities, including antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, while NSAIDs are commonly used to mitigate the symptoms of viral infections. Chemical modifications of CBD with NSAIDs were performed to obtain dual-target agents with enhanced activity against SARS-CoV-2. The synthesised compounds were characterised using spectroscopic techniques. The biological activity of three molecular consortia (CBD-ibuprofen, CBD-ketoprofen, and CBD-naproxen) was evaluated in cell lines transduced with vesicular stomatitis virus-based pseudotypes bearing the SARS-CoV-1 or SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins or infected with influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34. The results showed that some CBD-NSAID molecular consortia have superior antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, but not against the influenza A virus. This may suggest a potential therapeutic role for these compounds in the treatment of emerging coronavirus infections. Further studies are needed to investigate the efficacy of these compounds in vivo, and their potential use in clinical settings. Our findings provide a promising new approach to combatting current and future viral emergencies.”

Determining Antioxidant Activity of Cannabis Leaves Extracts from Different Varieties-Unveiling Nature’s Treasure Trove

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“Cannabis leaves contain a diverse range of antioxidants, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, which offer significant health benefits. Utilising cannabis leaves as a source of antioxidants presents a cost-effective approach because they are typically discarded during the cultivation of cannabis plants for their seeds or fibres. Therefore, this presented study aimed to assess the antioxidant activity of the leaves of selected hemp cultivars, such as Białobrzeska, Tygra, and Henola, based on the results obtained with the 2,2′-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid, ferric reducing antioxidant power, cupric reducing antioxidant capacity, and 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assays. The cannabinoid profile was analysed for the antioxidant activity to the contents of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), and cannabichromene (CBC), determined based on chromatographic assays. The following variables were tested: the impact of various extractants (methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol), and their mixtures (50:50, v/v, as well as extraction methods (maceration and ultra-sound-assisted extraction) significant in obtaining hemp extracts characterised by different cannabinoid profiles. The results revealed that the selection of extractant and extraction conditions significantly influenced the active compounds’ extraction efficiency and antioxidant activity. Among the tested conditions, ultrasound-assisted extraction using methanol yielded the highest cannabinoid profile: CBD = 184.51 ± 5.61; CBG = 6.10 ± 0.21; Δ9-THC = 0.51 ± 0.01; and CBC = 0.71 ± 0.01 μg/g antioxidant potential in Białobrzeska leaf extracts.”

“Cannabis leaves are known to contain a wide range of antioxidants, and this also includes cannabinoids, which have been shown to have significant health benefits. Using cannabis leaves as an antioxidant source can be a cost-effective option as they are often discarded during the cultivation of cannabis plants for their seeds or fibres. Moreover, the use of cannabis leaves as a source of antioxidants may also have environmental benefits as it can reduce waste and promote sustainable agriculture practices. This current study illuminates that not only the flowers and seeds of cannabis possess potential health benefits, but also the leaves; moreover, a comprehensive understanding is fostered regarding the diverse therapeutic potential inherent in this plant. “

Genome-Scale Metabolic Reconstruction, Non-Targeted LC-QTOF-MS Based Metabolomics Data, and Evaluation of Anticancer Activity of Cannabis sativa Leaf Extracts

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“Over the past decades, Colombia has suffered complex social problems related to illicit crops, including forced displacement, violence, and environmental damage, among other consequences for vulnerable populations. Considerable effort has been made in the regulation of illicit crops, predominantly Cannabis sativa, leading to advances such as the legalization of medical cannabis and its derivatives, the improvement of crops, and leaving an open window to the development of scientific knowledge to explore alternative uses. It is estimated that C. sativa can produce approximately 750 specialized secondary metabolites. Some of the most relevant due to their anticancer properties, besides cannabinoids, are monoterpenes, sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, essential oils, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. However, despite the increase in scientific research on the subject, it is necessary to study the primary and secondary metabolism of the plant and to identify key pathways that explore its great metabolic potential. For this purpose, a genome-scale metabolic reconstruction of C. sativa is described and contextualized using LC-QTOF-MS metabolic data obtained from the leaf extract from plants grown in the region of Pesca-Boyaca, Colombia under greenhouse conditions at the Clever Leaves facility. A compartmentalized model with 2101 reactions and 1314 metabolites highlights pathways associated with fatty acid biosynthesis, steroids, and amino acids, along with the metabolism of purine, pyrimidine, glucose, starch, and sucrose. Key metabolites were identified through metabolomic data, such as neurine, cannabisativine, cannflavin A, palmitoleic acid, cannabinoids, geranylhydroquinone, and steroids. They were analyzed and integrated into the reconstruction, and their potential applications are discussed. Cytotoxicity assays revealed high anticancer activity against gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS), melanoma cells (A375), and lung carcinoma cells (A549), combined with negligible impact against healthy human skin cells.”

Active peptides with hypoglycemic effect obtained from hemp (Cannabis sativa L) protein through identification, molecular docking, and virtual screening

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“Hemp (Cannabis sativa L) seeds are rich in proteins of high nutritional value, which makes the study of beneficial properties of hemp seed proteins and peptides, such as hypotensive and hypoglycemic effects, increasingly attractive. The present results confirm the good processability and stability of the hemp protein hydrolysate obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis of non-dehulled hemp seed meal (NDHM). Six peptides with potential hypoglycemic activity were obtained by ethanol-graded precipitation, Nano LC-Q-Orbitrap-MS/MS mass spectrometry, and computerized virtual screening. Further, validation experiments for in vitro synthesis showed that TGLGR, SPVI, FY, and FR exhibited good α-glucosidase inhibitory activity, respectively. Animal experiments showed that the hemp protein peptides modulated blood glucose and blood lipids in hyperglycemic rats. These results indicate that hemp protein peptides can reduce blood glucose levels in hyperglycemic rats, suggesting that hemp proteins may be a promising natural source for the prevention and treatment of hyperglycemia.”

Efficacy and tolerance of cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy in patients with Rett syndrome

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“We aim to assess the efficacy and tolerance of cannabidiol as adjunctive therapy for Rett syndrome (RTT) patients with epilepsy. We conducted a longitudinal observational study through a monocentric cohort of 46 patients with RTT. Patients were recruited from March 2020 to October 2022 and were treated with Epidyolex® (cannabidiol, CBD, 100 mg/ml oral solution). In our cohort, 26 patients had associated epilepsy (26/46 (56%)), and 10/26 (38%) were treated with CBD, in combination with clobazam in 50% of cases. The median dose at their last follow-up was 15 mg/kg/d. The median treatment duration was 13 months (range, 1-32 mo.). CBD reduced the incidence of seizures in seven out of ten patients (70%) with one seizure-free patient, two patients with a reduction of seizures of more than 75%, and four patients with a decrease of more than 50%. No aggravation of symptoms or adverse effects were observed. Only one patient experienced a transitory drooling and somnolence episode at the CBD initiation. Half of the patients showed a reduction in agitation and/or anxiety attacks, and an improvement in spasticity was reported in 4/10 (40%) of patients. CBD appears to have potential therapeutic value for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in Rett syndrome. CBD is well tolerated and, when used in combination with clobazam, may increase the effectiveness of clobazam alone.”

Cannabis use to manage opioid cravings among people who use unregulated opioids during a drug toxicity crisis

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“Background: Accumulating evidence has indicated that cannabis substitution is often used as a harm reduction strategy among people who use unregulated opioids (PWUO) and people living with chronic pain. We sought to investigate the association between cannabis use to manage opioid cravings and self-reported changes in opioid use among structurally marginalized PWUO.

Methods: The data were collected from a cross-sectional questionnaire administered to PWUO in Vancouver, Canada. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze the association between cannabis use to manage opioid cravings and self-reported changes in unregulated opioid use.

Results: A total of 205 people who use cannabis and opioids were enrolled in the present study from December 2019 to November 2021. Cannabis use to manage opioid cravings was reported by 118 (57.6%) participants. In the multivariable analysis, cannabis use to manage opioid cravings (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] = 2.13, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07, 4.27) was significantly associated with self-reported reductions in opioid use. In the sub-analyses of pain, cannabis use to manage opioid cravings was only associated with self-assessed reductions in opioid use among people living with moderate to severe pain (aOR = 4.44, 95% CI: 1.52, 12.97). In the sub-analyses of males and females, cannabis use to manage opioid cravings was only associated with self-assessed reductions in opioid use among females (aOR = 8.19, 95% CI: 1.20, 55.81).

Conclusions: These findings indicate that cannabis use to manage opioid cravings is a prevalent motivation for cannabis use among PWUO and is associated with self-assessed reductions in opioid use during periods of cannabis use. Increasing the accessibility of cannabis products for therapeutic use may be a useful supplementary strategy to mitigate exposure to unregulated opioids and associated harm during the ongoing drug toxicity crisis.”

Offering an Alternative to Persons with Chronic Pain: How Access to Cannabis May Provide an Off-Ramp from Undesired Prescription Opioid Use

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“Background: Chronic pain (CP) is experienced by as many as 50 million Americans and can negatively impact physical and mental health. Prescribing opioids is the most common approach to address moderate to severe CP though these potent analgesics are associated with a significant number of side effects. One alternative some Americans are turning to for CP management is cannabis. In addition to serving as an alternative, many individuals with CP use cannabis in addition to using prescription opioids. This study examined individuals with CP who enrolled in the state of Illinois’ opioid diversion program, the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program (OAPP), which offers individuals aged 21 and older a separate pathway to access medical cannabis if they have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a licensed physician.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 450 participants. We described participants and compared those who use only cannabis with those who use cannabis and opioids.

Results: While 16% of the respondents were cannabis-only users, 84% of the respondents were co-users of opioids and cannabis. Both groups considered opioid use risky (100% cannabis-only, 89% co-users,). The majority (73%) of respondents sought to completely stop or never start using opioids for CP. Cannabis-only users reported lower levels of pain compared to co-users. Co-users (85%) were more likely to have their routine provider as a cannabis certifying physician than cannabis-only users (69%).

Conclusion: With increasing clinical evidence, legalization and acceptance, researchers should continue to examine how cannabis may be a viable alternative to reduce the risk of prescription opioid side effects, misuse, or dependence. Our findings also inform health care providers and state policymakers who increasingly are being asked to consider how cannabis may reduce the potential for harmful outcomes among persons with CP who use prescription opioids.”