Adolescent cannabinoid exposure induces irritability-like behavior and cocaine cross-sensitization without affecting the escalation of cocaine self-administration in adulthood.

Scientific Reports

“In summary, these results suggest that psychoactive cannabinoid exposure during adolescence is unlikely to have a major effect on the escalation of cocaine intake or the development of compulsive-like responding per se in adulthood in a rat model of cocaine self-administration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30224774

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31921-5

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Emerging Evidence for Cannabis’ Role in Opioid Use Disorder.

 Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image “The opioid epidemic has become an immense problem in North America, and despite decades of research on the most effective means to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and relapse remains pervasive.

Although there are a number of FDA-approved opioid replacement therapies and maintenance medications to help ease the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and aid in relapse prevention, these medications are not risk free nor are they successful for all patients. Furthermore, there are legal and logistical bottlenecks to obtaining traditional opioid replacement therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine, and the demand for these services far outweighs the supply and access.

To fill the gap between efficacious OUD treatments and the widespread prevalence of misuse, relapse, and overdose, the development of novel, alternative, or adjunct OUD treatment therapies is highly warranted. In this article, we review emerging evidence that suggests that cannabis may play a role in ameliorating the impact of OUD. Herein, we highlight knowledge gaps and discuss cannabis’ potential to prevent opioid misuse (as an analgesic alternative), alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms, and decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Conclusion: The compelling nature of these data and the relative safety profile of cannabis warrant further exploration of cannabis as an adjunct or alternative treatment for OUD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30221197

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0022

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Role of the endocannabinoid system in drug addiction.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder that produces a dramaticglobal health burden worldwide. Not effective treatment of drug addiction is currently available probably due to the difficulties to find an appropriate target to manage this complex disease raising the needs for further identification of novel therapeutic approaches.

The endocannabinoid system has been found to play a crucial role in the neurobiological substrate underlying drug addiction.

Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are widely expressed in the main areas of the mesocorticolimbic system that participate in the initiation and maintenance of drug consumption and in the development of compulsion and loss of behavioral control occurring during drug addiction.

The identification of the important role played by CB1 cannabinoid receptors in drug addiction encouraged the possible used of an early commercialized CB1 receptor antagonist for treating drug addiction.

However, the incidence of serious psychiatric adverse events leaded to the sudden withdrawal from the market of this CB1 antagonist and all the research programs developed by pharmaceutical companies to obtain new CB1 antagonists were stopped.

Currently, new research strategies are under development to target the endocannabinoid system for drug addiction avoiding these side effects, which include allosteric negative modulators of CB1 receptors and compounds targeting CB2 receptors.

Recent studies showing the potential role of CB2 receptors in the addictive properties of different drugs of abuse have open a promising research opportunity to develop novel possible therapeutic approaches.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30217570

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295218303952

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Cannabidiol prevents haloperidol-induced vacuos chewing movements and inflammatory changes in mice via PPARγ receptors.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“The chronic use of drugs that reduce the dopaminergic neurotransmission can cause a hyperkinetic movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD). The pathophysiology of this disorder is not entirely understood but could involve oxidative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in Cannabis sativa plant, could be a possible therapeutic alternative for TD. This phytocannabinoid shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic properties and decreases the acute motor effects of classical antipsychotics.

The present study investigated if CBD would attenuate orofacial dyskinesia, oxidative stress and inflammatory changes induced by chronic administration of haloperidol in mice. Furthermore, we verified in vivo and in vitro (in primary microglial culture) whether these effects would be mediated by PPARγ receptors.

The results showed that the male Swiss mice treated daily for 21 days with haloperidol develop orofacial dyskinesia. Daily CBD administration before each haloperidol injection prevented this effect.

Mice treated with haloperidol showed an increase in microglial activation and inflammatory mediators in the striatum. These changes were also reduced by CBD. On the other hand, the levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased in the striatum of animals that received CBD and haloperidol.

Regarding oxidative stress, haloperidol induced lipid peroxidation and reduced catalase activity. This latter effect was attenuated by CBD. The combination of CBD and haloperidol also increased PGC-1α mRNA expression, a co-activator of PPARγ receptors. Pretreatment with the PPARγ antagonist, GW9662, blocked the behavioural effect of CBD in our TD model. CBD also prevented LPS-stimulated microglial activation, an effect that was also antagonized by GW9662.

In conclusion, our results suggest that CBD could prevent haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia by activating PPARγ receptors and attenuating neuroinflammatory changes in the striatum.”

“Haloperidol, marketed under the trade name Haldol among others, is a typical antipsychotic medication. Haloperidol is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, tics in Tourette syndromemania in bipolar disorder, nausea and vomiting, delirium, agitation, acute psychosis, and hallucinations in alcohol withdrawal”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haloperidol
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Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.

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“Comprehensive literature reviews of historical perspectives and evidence supporting cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, including migraine and headache, with associated neurobiological mechanisms of pain modulation have been well described.

Most of the existing literature reports on the cannabinoids Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabis in general. There are many cannabis strains that vary widely in the composition of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds. These components work synergistically to produce wide variations in benefits, side effects, and strain characteristics. Knowledge of the individual medicinal properties of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids is necessary to cross-breed strains to obtain optimal standardized synergistic compositions. This will enable targeting individual symptoms and/or diseases, including migraine, headache, and pain.

OBJECTIVE:

Review the medical literature for the use of cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of migraine, headache, facial pain, and other chronic pain syndromes, and for supporting evidence of a potential role in combatting the opioid epidemic. Review the medical literature involving major and minor cannabinoids, primary and secondary terpenes, and flavonoids that underlie the synergistic entourage effects of cannabis. Summarize the individual medicinal benefits of these substances, including analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

CONCLUSION:

There is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache. There is also supporting evidence that cannabis may assist in opioid detoxification and weaning, thus making it a potential weapon in battling the opioid epidemic. Cannabis science is a rapidly evolving medical sector and industry with increasingly regulated production standards. Further research is anticipated to optimize breeding of strain-specific synergistic ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals for predictable user effects, characteristics, and improved symptom and disease-targeted therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30152161

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Falling rates of marijuana dependence among heavy users.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence Home

“Marijuana use has become increasingly popular in the United States since the turn of the century, and typical use patterns among past-month marijuana users have intensified, raising concerns for an increase in cannabis use disorders (CUDs). Yet the population prevalence of CUDs has mostly remained flat. We analyzed trends in DSM-IV marijuana dependence among Daily/Near-Daily (DND) users, both overall and by age and gender, and considered potential explanations.

RESULTS:

Dependence among DND users fell by 39% (26.5%-16.1%; p < .001), with significant trend. No significant change is detected at the population level. Sub-group analysis shows a steep gradient for age but not for gender. Declines are robust to sub-group analysis, except for users over 50 years old. Among dependence symptoms, most showed significant declines: reducing important activities (p < .001); use despite emotional, mental, or physical problems (p < .001); failing attempts to cutback (p < .001); lots of time getting, using, or getting over marijuana (p < .01); and failing to keep limits set on use (p < .05). Reported tolerance showed no significant change.

CONCLUSIONS:

Though it is unclear why, the risk of dependence formation among heavy marijuana users appear to have declined since 2002. Further research is warranted regarding explanations related to state marijuana policies, product forms, or social context.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30077891

https://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(18)30389-2/fulltext

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Brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss?

 

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“Anandamide is a lipid mediator that acts as an endogenous ligand of CB1 receptors. These receptors are also the primary molecular target responsible for the pharmacological effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis sativa.

Several studies demonstrate that anandamide exerts an overall modulatory effect on the brain reward circuitry. Several reports suggest its involvement in the addiction-producing actions of other abused drugs, and it can also act as a behavioral reinforcer in animal models of drug abuse.

Importantly, all these effects of anandamide appear to be potentiated by pharmacological inhibition of its metabolic degradation. Enhanced brain levels of anandamide after treatment with inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase, the main enzyme responsible for its degradation, seem to affect the rewarding and reinforcing actions of many drugs of abuse.

In this review, we will provide an overview from a preclinical perspective of the current state of knowledge regarding the behavioral pharmacology of anandamide, with a particular emphasis on its motivational/reinforcing properties. We will also discuss how modulation of anandamide levels through inhibition of enzymatic metabolic pathways could provide a basis for developing new pharmaco-therapeutic tools for the treatment of substance use disorders.”

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Cannabidiol does not display drug abuse potential in mice behavior.

Image result for aps acta pharmacologica

“Recent evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may be useful for the treatment of different neuropsychiatric disorders.

However, some controversy regarding its profile as a drug of abuse hampers the further development of basic and clinical studies.

In this study, the behavioral profile of CBD as a potential drug of abuse was evaluated in C57BL/6J mice.

Taken together, these results show that CBD lacks activity as a drug of abuse and should stimulate the development of the basic and clinical studies needed to elucidate its potential therapeutic use for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and drug use disorders.”

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Medical Cannabis Legalization and Opioid Prescriptions: Evidence on US Medicaid Enrollees during 1993-2014.

Addiction banner

“While the US has been experiencing an opioid epidemic, 29 states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for medical use. This study examined whether statewide medical cannabis legalization was associated with reduction in opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.

FINDINGS:

For Schedule III opioid prescriptions, medical cannabis legalization was associated with a 29.6% (p=0.03) reduction in number of prescriptions, 29.9% (p=0.02) reduction in dosage, and 28.8% (p=0.04) reduction in related Medicaid spending. No evidence was found to support the associations between medical cannabis legalization and Schedule II opioid prescriptions. Permitting medical cannabis dispensaries was not associated with Schedule II or Schedule III opioid prescriptions after controlling for medical cannabis legalization. It was estimated that, if all the states had legalized medical cannabis by 2014, Medicaid annual spending on opioid prescriptions would be reduced by 17.8 million dollars.

CONCLUSION:

Statewide medical cannabis legalization appears to have been associated with reductions in both prescriptions and dosages of Schedule III (but not Schedule II) opioids received by Medicaid enrollees in the US.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29989239

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.14382

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Neural correlates of interactions between cannabidiol and Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol in mice: implications for medical cannabis.

BPS (Pharm)

“It has been proposed that medicinal strains of cannabis and therapeutic preparations would be safer with a more balanced concentration ratio of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD), as CBD reduces the adverse psychotropic effects of THC.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether CBD modulated the functional effects and c-Fos expression induced by THC, using a 1:1 dose ratio that approximates therapeutic strains of cannabis and nabiximols.

These data confirm that CBD modulated the pharmacological actions of THC and provide new information regarding brain regions involved in the interaction between CBD and THC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26377899

“A number of studies now support the view that cannabidiol (CBD) may reduce the negative psychotropic effects of THC while enhancing its positive therapeutic actions. Our results are consistent with the notion that cannabis plant strains that contain THC and CBD at 1:1 ratios may be preferable to street cannabis for medicinal applications because they maximize therapeutic efficacy while minimizing the adverse effects of THC.”  https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.13333

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