Cannabinoid 1 Receptor (CB1R) Antagonists Play a Neuroprotective Role in Chronic Alcoholic Hippocampal Injury Related to Pyroptosis Pathway

 Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research“Alcohol use disorders affect millions of people worldwide and there is growing evidence that excessive alcohol intake causes severe damage to the brain of both humans and animals.

Numerous studies on chronic alcohol exposure in animal models have identified that many functional impairments are associated with the hippocampus, which is a structure exhibiting substantial vulnerability to alcohol exposure. However, the precise mechanisms that lead to structural and functional impairments of the hippocampus are poorly understood.

Herein, we report a novel cell death type, namely pyroptosis, which accounts for alcohol neurotoxicity in mice.

Conclusions: Alcohol induces hippocampal pyroptosis, which leads to neurotoxicity thereby indicating that pyroptosis may be an essential pathway involved in chronic alcohol-induced hippocampal neurotoxicity. Further, cannabinoid receptors are regulated during this process, which suggests promising therapeutic strategies against alcohol-induced neurotoxicity through pharmacologic inhibition of CB1R.”

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Cannabidiol Prevents the Expression of the Locomotor Sensitization and the Metabolic Changes in the Nucleus Accumbens and Prefrontal Cortex Elicited by the Combined Administration of Cocaine and Caffeine in Rats

 SpringerLink“In the last years, clinical and preclinical researchers have increased their interest in non-psychotomimetic cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), as a strategy for treating psychostimulant use disorders. However, there are discrepancies in the pharmacological effects and brain targets of CBD.

We evaluated if CBD was able to prevent the locomotor sensitization elicited by cocaine and caffeine co-administration. The effect of CBD on putative alterations in the metabolic activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc), and its respective subregions (cingulated, prelimbic, and infralimbic cortices, and NAc core and shell) associated to the behavioral response, was also investigated.

Rats were intraperitoneally and repeatedly treated with CBD (20 mg/kg) or its vehicle, followed by the combination of cocaine and caffeine (Coc+Caf; 5 mg/kg and 2.5 mg/kg, respectively) or saline for 3 days. After 5 days of withdrawal, all animals were challenged with Coc+Caf (day 9). Locomotor activity was automatically recorded and analyzed by a video-tracking software.

The metabolic activity was determined by measuring cytochrome oxidase-I (CO-I) staining. Locomotion was significantly and similarly increased both in Veh-Coc+Caf- and CBD-Coc+Caf-treated animals during the pretreatment period (3 days); however, on day 9, the expression of the sensitization was blunted in CBD-treated animals. A hypoactive metabolic response and a hyperactive metabolic response in mPFC and NAc subregions respectively were observed after the behavioral sensitization.

CBD prevented almost all these changes.

Our findings substantially contribute to the understanding of the functional changes associated with cocaine- and caffeine-induced sensitization and the effect of CBD on this process.”

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State Medical Cannabis Laws Associated With Reduction in Opioid Prescriptions by Orthopaedic Surgeons in Medicare Part D Cohort.

Current Issue Cover Image“Opioid prescriptions and abuse remain a significant national concern.

Cannabinoids offer a potentially attractive nonopioid analgesic option for orthopaedic patients, and 32 US states have passed medical cannabis laws (MCLs), legalizing patient access to cannabinoids.

We examine the association between implementation of state cannabis laws and prescribing patterns for opioids by orthopaedic surgeons in Medicare Part D patients between 2013 and 2017.


State MCLs were associated with a statistically significant reduction in aggregate opioid prescribing of 144,000 daily doses (19.7% reduction) annually (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.535 to -0.024 million; P < 0.01). States with MCLs allowing access to in-state dispensaries had a statistically significant reduction in total opioid prescriptions of 96,000 daily doses (13.1%) annually (95% CI, -0.165 to -0.026 million; P < 0.01). Specifically, MCLs were associated with a statistically significant reduction of 72,000 daily doses of hydrocodone annually (95% CI, -0.164 to -0.019 million; P < 0.01). No significant association between recreational marijuana legalization and opioid prescribing was found.


Orthopaedic surgeons are among the highest prescribers of opioids, highlighting the importance of providing nonopioid analgesic alternatives in efforts to reduce opioid use in the patient cohort. This study is the first to examine the association between implementation of state cannabis laws and prescribing patterns for opioids by orthopaedic surgeons in Medicare Part D patients.”

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Cross-Generational THC Exposure Alters Heroin Reinforcement in Adult Male Offspring.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence“An emerging area of preclinical research has investigated whether drug use in parents prior to conception influences drug responsivity in their offspring.

The present work sought to further characterize such effects with cannabis by examining whether a parental THC history modified locomotor sensitization to morphine and self-administration of heroin in adult progeny.


Germline THC exposure had no effect on morphine locomotor sensitization. However, F1-THC males displayed a reduced motivation to self-administer heroin relative to F1-Veh males.


The present data indicate that parental THC exposure alters the reinforcing properties of heroin in a sex-specific manner. As such, mild to moderate cannabis use during adolescence may alter heroin abuse liability for males in the subsequent generation, but have limited effects on females.”

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The impact of naturalistic cannabis use on self-reported opioid withdrawal.

A Case of Mutism Subsequent to Cocaine Abuse - Journal of ...“Four states have legalized medical cannabis for the purpose of treating opioid use disorder. It is unclear whether cannabinoids improve or exacerbate opioid withdrawal. A more thorough examination of cannabis and its impact on specific symptoms of opioid withdrawal is warranted.


Two hundred individuals recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk with past month opioid and cannabis use and experience of opioid withdrawal completed the survey. Participants indicated which opioid withdrawal symptoms improved or worsened with cannabis use and indicated the severity of their opioid withdrawal on days with and without cannabis.


62.5% (n = 125) of 200 participants had used cannabis to treat withdrawal. Participants most frequently indicated that cannabis improved: anxiety, tremors, and trouble sleeping. A minority of participants (6.0%, n = 12) indicated cannabis worsened opioid withdrawal, specifically symptoms of yawning, teary eyes, and runny nose. Across all symptoms, more participants indicated that symptoms improved with cannabis compared to those that indicated symptoms worsened with cannabis. Women reported greater relief from withdrawal with cannabis use than men.


These results show that cannabis may improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the size of the effect is clinically meaningful. It is important to note that symptoms are exacerbated with cannabis in only a minority of individuals. Prospectively designed studies examining the impact of cannabis and cannabinoids on opioid withdrawal are warranted.”

“Cannabis alleviates self-reported opioid withdrawal symptoms.”

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The Therapeutic Potential and Usage Patterns of Cannabinoids in People with Spinal Cord.

“People with spinal cord injuries (SCI) commonly experience pain and spasticity, but limitations of current treatments have generated interest in cannabis as a possible therapy.

We conducted this systematic review to: 1) examine usage patterns and reasons for cannabinoid use, and 2) determine the treatment efficacy and safety of cannabinoid use, in people with SCI.

Though 26 studies addressed cannabinoid usage, only 8 investigated its therapeutic potential on outcomes such as pain and spasticity.

The most common usage method was smoking. Relief of pain, spasticity and pleasure were the most common reasons for use. Statistically significant reduction of pain and spasticity was observed with cannabinoid use in 80% and 90% of experimental studies, respectively.



Current evidence suggests cannabinoids may reduce pain and spasticity in people with SCI, but its effect magnitude and clinical significance is unclear. Existing information is lacking on optimal dosage, method of use, composition and concentration of compounds. Longterm, double-blind, RCTs, assessing a wider range of outcomes should be conducted to further understanding of the effects of cannabinoid use in people with SCI.”

“Cannabis cures the spine”

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Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials.

“Considering data from in vitro and in vivo studies, cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be a promising candidate for the treatment of both somatic and psychiatric disorders.

The aim of this review was to collect dose(s), dosage schemes, efficacy and safety reports of CBD use in adults from clinical studies.

From the controlled trials, we identified anxiolytic effects with acute CBD administration, and therapeutic effects for social anxiety disorder, psychotic disorder and substance use disorders.

There was evidence to support single dose positive effect on social anxiety disorder, short medium-term effects on symptomatic improvement in schizophrenia and lack of effect in the short medium-term on cognitive functioning in psychotic disorders.

Overall, the administration was well tolerated with mild side effects.”

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Adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana following recreational legalization in Colorado and Washington.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence“There is concern that recreational marijuana legalization (RML) may lead to increased cannabis use disorder (CUD) among youth due to increased marijuana use.

This study investigates whether adolescent substance use disorder treatment admissions for marijuana use increased in Colorado and Washington following RML.


Over all states in the analysis, the rate of adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use declined significantly over the study period (β=-3.375, 95 % CI=-4.842, -1.907), with the mean rate falling nearly in half. The decline in admissions rate was greater in Colorado and Washington compared to non-RML states following RML, though this difference was not significant (β=-7.671, 95 % CI=-38.798, 23.456).


Adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use did not increase in Colorado and Washington following RML. This may be because youth marijuana use did not increase, CUD did not increase (even if use did increase), or treatment seeking behaviors changed due to shifts in attitudes and perceptions of risk towards marijuana use.”

“Youth treatment admissions in Colorado and Washington did not increase after RML. Admissions for 2008–2017 declined in both Colorado/Washington and non-RML states.”

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Cannabinoids Rescue Cocaine-Induced Seizures by Restoring Brain Glycine Receptor Dysfunction.

Cover image volume 30, Issue 12“Cannabinoids are reported to rescue cocaine-induced seizures (CISs), a severe complication in cocaine users. However, the molecular targets for cannabinoid therapy of CISs remain unclear.

Here, we report that the systemic administration of cannabinoids alleviates CISs in a CB1/CB2-receptor-independent manner.

These findings suggest that using GlyR-hypersensitive cannabinoids may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for treating CISs.”

“Cannabinoids alleviate cocaine-induced seizures (CISs) by glycine receptors (GlyRs).”

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Matched pilot study examining cannabis-based dronabinol for acute pain following traumatic injury.

BMJ Journals“To determine whether adjunctive dronabinol, a licensed form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, reduces opioid consumption when used off-label for managing acute pain following traumatic injury.


The results of this study suggest adjunctive dronabinol reduces opioid consumption following traumatic injury.

The opioid-sparing effect of dronabinol may be greater in patients who are marijuana users.”

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