Reductions in alcohol use following medical cannabis initiation: results from a large cross-sectional survey of medical cannabis patients in Canada

 International Journal of Drug Policy“Evidence details how cannabis can influence the use of other psychoactive substances, including prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, but very little research has examined the factors associated with these changes in substance use patterns. This paper explores the self-reported use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol among a Canadian medical cannabis patient population.

Results: Overall, 419 (44%) participants reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days, 323 (34%) decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week, and 76 (8%) reported no alcohol use at all in the 30 days prior to the survey. Being below 55 years of age and reporting higher rates of alcohol use in the pre-period were both associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use, and an intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing and ceasing alcohol use altogether.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that medical cannabis initiation may be associated with self-reported reductions and cessation of alcohol use among medical cannabis patients. Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in North America, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33068830/

“Following medical cannabis initiation, 44% of participants reported decreases in alcohol use frequency over 30 days, and 34% decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week. Younger age (<55 years old) and higher rates of alcohol use prior to medical cannabis initiation were associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol. Specific intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption resulted in greater odds of reducing and/or ceasing use altogether.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395920303017?via%3Dihub

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A Literature Analysis on Medicinal Use and Research of Cannabis in the Meiji Era of Japan

 Journal of Pharmacopuncture“Cannabis is a historical plant which has been used as a medicine in East Asia.

 

Cannabis was prescribed in Meiji era of Japan to alleviate pain and cure the digestive, respiratory, urinary, and nervous system diseases such as indigestion, asthma, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and its complications, insomnia, and nervous prostration.

Cannabis was medically used in Meiji era of Japan and the reporting and sharing of its clinical effect was published on the medical journals like present days.

There were already Cannabis regulations in that era, but its medicinal use was more liberated than nowadays.

It may be a chance to reconsider the current legal system, which strictly controls the use of Cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072412/

http://www.journal-jop.org/journal/view.html?doi=10.3831/KPI.2020.23.3.142

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Medical Marijuana Effects in Movement Disorders, Focus on Huntington Disease; A Literature Review

“We aimed to comprehensively evaluate the effects of medical marijuana on symptoms that are relevant to movement disorders with a focus on Huntington disease (HD).

A systematic review by literature search through PubMed and EBSCO electronic databases was conducted for relevant studies reported after 2002 on the effects of medical marijuana or cannabis use on tremor, spasm, spasticity, chorea, sleep quality and HD-specific rating scales. Study selection, quality assessment and data extraction was performed by three reviewers. Outcome measures were changes in psychomotor, and sleep related symptoms. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated.

Results: A total of 22 studies were reviewed. There was strong evidence for significant improvement in the neurologic symptoms of spasms, tremors, spasticity, chorea, and quality of sleep following treatment with medical marijuana. Analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremors and rigidity. Furthermore, all pretreatment and post-treatment measures indicated a significant increase in average number of hours slept.

Conclusion: Larger scale studies are warranted to test the benefits of medical marijuana in HD patients. In the meanwhile, clinicians may consider prescribing medical marijuana as part of their strategy for better symptomatic treatment of patients with HD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33064979/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/30967

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Medical Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain: Outcomes and Prediction of Response

Although studied in a few randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the efficacy of medical cannabis (MC) for chronic pain remains controversial. Using an alternative approach, this multicenter, questionnaire-based prospective cohort was aimed to assess the long-term effects of MC on chronic pain of various etiologies and to identify predictors for MC treatment success.

Results: 1045 patients completed the baseline questionnaires and initiated MC treatment, and 551 completed the 12 month follow-up. At one year, average pain intensity declined from baseline by 20% [-1.97 points (95%CI= -2.13 to -1.81; p<0.001)]. All other parameters improved by 10-30% (p<0.001). A significant decrease of 42% [reduction of 27mg; (95%CI= -34.89 to -18.56, p<0.001)] from baseline in morphine equivalent daily dosage of opioids was also observed. Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious. Presence of normal to long sleep duration, lower body mass index (BMI) and lower depression score predicted relatively higher treatment success, whereas presence of neuropathic pain predicted the opposite.

Conclusions: This prospective study provides further evidence for the effects of MC on chronic pain and related symptoms, demonstrating an overall mild to modest long-term improvement of the tested measures and identifying possible predictors for treatment success.

Significance: This “real world” paper shows that MC mildly to modestly attenuates chronic pain and related symptoms. MC treatment can also cause frequent, but mostly non-serious adverse effects, although central nervous system (CNS)-related AEs that can impair the ability to drive vehicles are not uncommon. This study is novel in identifying possible predictors for treatment success, including normal to long sleep duration, lower BMI and lower depression scores. In contrast to current beliefs the diagnosis of neuropathic pain predicts a less favorable outcome. These findings provide physicians with new data to support decision making on recommendations for MC treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33065768/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejp.1675

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Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Relationship With Chronic Pain: A Narrative Review

CB1-versus-CB2-receptors “The burden of chronic pain has affected many individuals leading to distress and discomfort, alongside numerous side effects with conventional therapeutic approaches.

Cannabinoid receptors are naturally found in the human body and have long been an interest in antinociception. These include CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are promising candidates for the treatment of chronic inflammatory pain.

The mechanism of action of the receptors and how they approach pain control in inflammatory conditions show that it can be an adjunctive approach towards controlling these symptoms. Numerous studies have shown how the targeted approach towards these receptors has activated them promoting a release in cytokines, all leading to anti-inflammatory effects and immune system regulation.

Cannabinoid activation of glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) models also showed efficacy in pain management. Chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis were shown to also benefit from this considerable treatment. However, it is unclear how the cannabinoid system works in relation with the pain pathway. Therefore, in this review we aim to analyse the role of the cannabinoid system in chronic inflammatory pain.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072446/

https://www.cureus.com/articles/39887-cannabinoid-receptors-and-their-relationship-with-chronic-pain-a-narrative-review

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Cannabinoid Receptors: An Update on Cell Signaling, Pathophysiological Roles and Therapeutic Opportunities in Neurological, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Diseases

ijms-logo “The identification of the human cannabinoid receptors and their roles in health and disease, has been one of the most significant biochemical and pharmacological advancements to have occurred in the past few decades. In spite of the major strides made in furthering endocannabinoid research, therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system has often been a challenging task.

An impaired endocannabinoid tone often manifests as changes in expression and/or functions of type 1 and/or type 2 cannabinoid receptors. It becomes important to understand how alterations in cannabinoid receptor cellular signaling can lead to disruptions in major physiological and biological functions, as they are often associated with the pathogenesis of several neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases.

This review focuses mostly on the pathophysiological roles of type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors, and it attempts to integrate both cellular and physiological functions of the cannabinoid receptors. Apart from an updated review of pre-clinical and clinical studies, the adequacy/inadequacy of cannabinoid-based therapeutics in various pathological conditions is also highlighted. Finally, alternative strategies to modulate endocannabinoid tone, and future directions are also emphasized.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33080916/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/20/7693

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Cannabinoid Combination Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

molecules-logo“This study evaluated the synergistic anti-cancer potential of cannabinoid combinations across the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids were combined and their synergistic interactions were evaluated using median effect analysis.

The most promising cannabinoid combination (C6) consisted of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBD), and displayed favorable dose reduction indices and limited cytotoxicity against the non-cancerous breast cell line, MCF-10A. C6 exerted its effects in the MCF-7 cell line by inducing cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase, followed by the induction of apoptosis.

Morphological observations indicated the induction of cytoplasmic vacuolation, with further investigation suggesting that the vacuole membrane was derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, lipid accumulation, increased lysosome size, and significant increases in the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) expression were also observed.

The selectivity and ability of cannabinoids to halt cancer cell proliferation via pathways resembling apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis shows promise for cannabinoid use in standardized breast cancer treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33066359/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/20/4682

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Cannabidiol (CBD) modulation of apelin in acute respiratory distress syndrome

“Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes.

In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system.

CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33058425/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid that regulates immune responses in multiple experimental disease models, including work by our laboratory showing a benefit following ARDS‐like injury in mice. Consistent with our findings, a recent commentary, based on anecdotal reports, supports the therapeutic use of CBD in COVID‐19‐infected patients. Our data demonstrate that CBD improves lung structure and exerts a potent anti‐inflammatory effect following experimental ARDS.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.15883

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Industrial, CBD, and Wild Hemp: How Different Are Their Essential Oil Profile and Antimicrobial Activity?

molecules-logo“Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is currently one of the most controversial and promising crops. This study compared nine wild hemp (C. sativa spp. spontanea V.) accessions with 13 registered cultivars, eight breeding lines, and one cannabidiol (CBD) hemp strain belonging to C. sativa L.

The first three groups had similar main essential oil (EO) constituents, but in different concentrations; the CBD hemp had a different EO profile. The concentration of the four major constituents in the industrial hemp lines and wild hemp accessions varied as follows: β-caryophyllene 11-22% and 15.4-29.6%; α-humulene 4.4-7.6% and 5.3-11.9%; caryophyllene oxide 8.6-13.7% and 0.2-31.2%; and humulene epoxide 2, 2.3-5.6% and 1.2-9.5%, respectively.

The concentration of CBD in the EO of wild hemp varied from 6.9 to 52.4% of the total oil while CBD in the EO of the registered cultivars varied from 7.1 to 25%; CBD in the EO of the breeding lines and in the CBD strain varied from 6.4 to 25% and 7.4 to 8.8%, respectively. The concentrations of δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the EO of the three groups of hemp were significantly different, with the highest concentration being 3.5%.

The EO of wild hemp had greater antimicrobial activity compared with the EO of registered cultivars.

This is the first report to show that significant amounts of CBD could be accumulated in the EO of wild and registered cultivars of hemp following hydro-distillation. The amount of CBD in the EO can be greater than that in the EO of the USA strain used for commercial production of CBD. Furthermore, this is among the first reports that show greater antimicrobial activity of the EO of wild hemp vs. the EO of registered cultivars.

The results suggest that wild hemp may offer an excellent opportunity for future breeding and the selection of cultivars with a desirable composition of the EO and possibly CBD-rich EO production.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33053634/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/20/4631

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Acute Effects of Cannabis on Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Journal of Affective Disorders“Background: Little is known about the the acute effects of cannabis on symptoms of OCD in humans. Therefore, this study sought to: 1) examine whether symptoms of OCD are significantly reduced after inhaling cannabis, 2) examine predictors (gender, dose, cannabis constituents, time) of these symptom changes and 3) explore potential long-term consequences of repeatedly using cannabis to self-medicate for OCD symptoms, including changes in dose and baseline symptom severity over time.

Results: Patients reported a 60% reduction in compulsions, a 49% reduction in intrusions, and a 52% reduction in anxiety from before to after inhaling cannabis. Higher concentrations of CBD and higher doses predicted larger reductions in compulsions. The number of cannabis use sessions across time predicted changes in intrusions, such that later cannabis use sessions were associated with smaller reductions in intrusions. Baseline symptom severity and dose remained fairly constant over time.

Conclusions: Inhaled cannabis appears to have short-term beneficial effects on symptoms of OCD. However, tolerance to the effects on intrusions may develop over time.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33049434/

“Inhaled cannabis reduced the severity of compulsions by 60% and intrusions by 49%.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032720328202?via%3Dihub

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