Prescription of a THC/CBD-Based Medication to Patients with Dementia: A Pilot Study in Geneva

 

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“Dementia is increasing worldwide. No effective medication is currently available for the treatment of the underlying disease and accompanying behavioral symptoms. Cannabinoids might have a beneficial effect, but clinical studies with (low-dose) synthetic THC have not been conclusive.

Objective: To test the acceptability, practical aspects, and clinical outcomes of the introduction of a THC/CBD-based oral medication in severely demented patients in a specialized nursing home in Geneva.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study.

Results: Ten female demented patients with severe behavior problems received oral medication with on average 7.6 mg THC/13.2 mg CBD daily after 2 weeks, 8.8 mg THC/17.6 mg CBD after 1 month, and 9.0 mg THC/18.0 mg CBD after 2 months. The THC/CBD-based oil was preferred. Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory score, and a behavior problem visual analog scale decreased by 40% after 2 months, rigidity score by 50%. Half of the patients decreased or stopped other psychotropic medications. The staff appreciated the decrease in rigidity, making daily care and transfers easier, the improved direct contact with the patients, the improvement in behavior, and the decrease in constipation with less opioids. There was no withholding of the medication for reasons of side effects, and the effects persisted after 2 months.

Conclusions: An oral cannabis extract with THC/CBD, in higher dosages than in other studies, was well tolerated and greatly improved behavior problems, rigidity, and daily care in severely demented patients.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/498924

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Safety, efficacy, and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids in neurological disorders.

The Lancet Neurology

“In the past two decades, there has been an increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, pain, and neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabis-based treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis have been approved in some countries. Randomised controlled trials of plant-derived cannabidiol for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe childhood-onset epilepsies, provide evidence of anti-seizure effects. Despite positive results in these two severe epilepsy syndromes, further studies are needed to determine if the anti-seizure effects of cannabidiol extend to other forms of epilepsy, to overcome pharmacokinetic challenges with oral cannabinoids, and to uncover the exact mechanisms by which cannabidiol or other exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids exert their therapeutic effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30910443

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(19)30032-8/fulltext

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Beneficial and deleterious effects of cannabinoids in the brain: the case of ultra-low dose THC.

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“This article reviews the neurocognitive advantages and drawbacks of cannabinoid substances, and discusses the possible physiological mechanisms that underlie their dual activity. The article further reviews the neurocognitive effects of ultra-low doses of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; 3-4 orders of magnitude lower than the conventional doses) in mice, and proposes such low doses of THC as a possible remedy for various brain injuries and for the treatment of age-related cognitive decline.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30864864

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00952990.2019.1578366?journalCode=iada20

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How effective and safe is medical cannabis as a treatment of mental disorders? A systematic review.

“We conducted a review of systematic reviews (SRs) and randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) to analyze efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medication in patients with mental disorders.

Five data bases were systematically searched (2006-August 2018); 4 SRs (of 11 RCTs) and 14 RCTs (1629 participants) were included. Diagnoses were: dementia, cannabis and opioid dependence, psychoses/schizophrenia, general social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette`s disorder. Outcome variables were too heterogeneous to conduct a  meta-analysis. A narrative synthesis method was applied. The study quality was assessed using the risk-of-bias tool and SIGN-checklists.

THC- and CBD-based medicines, given as adjunct to pharmaco- and psychotherapy, were associated with improvements of several symptoms of mental disorders, but not with remission. Side effects occurred, but severe adverse effects were mentioned in single cases only. In order to provide reliable treatment recommendations, more and larger RCTs with follow-up assessments, consistent outcome measures and active comparisons are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30706168

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00406-019-00984-4

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[Endogenous Cannabinoid System of the Brain as the Target for Influences at Neurodegenerate Diseases]

“The review represents the analysis of works about role of endogenous cannabinoid (EC) system in the neuro- degenerate diseases (ND), in which the cellular death and disturbances of neuronal functions of the hippo- campus, neocortex and striatum are observed. Here, the diseases.ofAlzheimer, of Parkinson, of Hangtington, and the temporal lobe epilepsy are considered. In recent years the fundamental role of EC system in regu- lation of neuroexcitability, energy metabolism, inflammatory and many other processes has been opened in ND pathogenesis. It points to possibility of development of therapeutic approaches which use the prepara- tions for activation of EC system. In the review various mechanisms of cellular survival and their reparations provided to EC system during action of pathological factors are stated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30695519

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Indazolylketones as new multitarget cannabinoid drugs.

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

“Multitarget cannabinoids could be a promising therapeutic strategic to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

In this sense, our group has developed a new family of indazolylketones with multitarget profile including cannabinoids, cholinesterase and BACE-1 activity. A medicinal chemistry program that includes computational design, synthesis and in vitro and cellular evaluation has allowed to us to achieve lead compounds.

In this work, the synthesis and evaluation of a new class of indazolylketones have been performed. Pharmacological evaluation includes functional activity for cannabinoid receptors on isolated tissue. In addition, in vitro inhibitory assays in AChE/BuChE enzymes and BACE-1 have been carried out. Furthermore, studies of neuroprotective effects in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and studies of the mechanisms of survival/death in lymphoblasts of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been achieved.

The results of pharmacological tests have revealed that some of these derivatives (5, 6) behave as CB2 cannabinoid agonists and simultaneously show BuChE and/or BACE-1 inhibition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30685536

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0223523419300406?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoid system: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

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“Cannabis sativa, is also popularly known as marijuana, has been cultivated and used for recreational and medicinal purposes for many centuries.

The main psychoactive content in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to plant cannabis sativa, there are two classes of cannabinoids—the synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., WIN55212–2) and the endogenous cannabinoids (eCB), anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

The biological effects of cannabinoids are mainly mediated by two members of the G-protein-coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2 (CB2R). The endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes/proteins responsible for their biosynthesis, degradation, and re-updating constitute the endocannabinoid system.

In recent decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target in numerous physiological conditions, such as in energy balance, appetite stimulation, blood pressure, pain modulation, embryogenesis, nausea and vomiting control, memory, learning and immune response, as well as in pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The major goal of this Special Issue is to discuss and evaluate the current progress in cannabis and cannabinoid research in order to increase our understanding about cannabinoid action and the underlying biological mechanisms and promote the development cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies.

 Overall, the present special issue provides an overview and insight on pharmacological mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and eCB system. I believe that this special issue will promote further efforts to apply cannabinoid ligands as the therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of diseases.”
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The protective effects of β-caryophyllene on LPS-induced primary microglia M1/M2 imbalance: A mechanistic evaluation.

Life Sciences

“Neuroinflammation is observed as a routine characterization of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s diseases (AD). Scientific evidence propounds both of the neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory effects of CB2 in the immune system. β-Caryophyllene (BCP) is a dietary selective CB2 agonist, which deserves the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects at both low and high doses through activation of the CB2 receptor.

METHODS:

In this study, we investigated the protective effects of a broad range concentration of BCP against LPS-induced primary microglia cells inflammation and M1/M2 imbalance and identifying the portion of the involvement of related signaling pathways on BCP effects using pharmacological antagonists of CB2, PPAR-γ, and sphingomyelinase (SMase).

KEY FINDINGS:

The protective effects of BCP on LPS-induced microglia imbalance is provided by the M2 healing phenotype of microglia, releasing the anti-inflammatory (IL-10, Arg-1, and urea) and anti-oxidant (GSH) parameters and reducing the inflammatory (IL-1β, TNF-α, PGE2, iNOS and NO) and oxidative (ROS) biomarkers. Moreover, we showed that BCP exerts its effects through CB2receptors which overproduction of ceramides by SMase at middle to higher concentrations of BCP reduce the protective activity of BCP and results in the activation of the PPAR-γ pathway.

SIGNIFICANCE:

In conclusion, the low concentration of BCP has higher selective anti-inflammatory effects rather than high levels. On this occasion, BCP by modulating the microglia is able to have potential therapeutic effects in neuro-inflammation conditions and microglia cells such as MS and AD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620895

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320518308610?via%3Dihub

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 Agonist ACEA Improves Cognitive Deficit on STZ-Induced Neurotoxicity Through Apoptosis Pathway and NO Modulation.

“The cannabinoid system has the ability to modulate cellular and molecular mechanisms, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation, acting as a neuroprotective agent, by its relationship with signaling pathways associated to the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Recent reports have raised new perspectives on the possible role of cannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer disease’s (AD).

Our study has demonstrated a participation of the cannabinoid system in cellular survival, involving the CB1 receptor, which occurs by positive regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins, suggesting the participation of this system in neurodegenerative processes. Our data suggest that the cannabinoid system is an interesting therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30607903

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12640-018-9991-2

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Cannabinoids as Regulators of Neural Development and Adult Neurogenesis

“Neurogenesis plays an indispensable role in the formation of the nervous system during development. The discovery that the adult brain still maintains neurogenic niches that allow the continued production of new cells after birth has changed the field of neuroscience. It has also opened a new venue of opportunities for the treatment of central nervous system disorders related to neuronal loss. This chapter has reviewed the studies showing that genetic or pharmacological manipulation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) or the enzymes responsible for endocannabinoid metabolism modify/regulate cell proliferation and neurogenesis during development and in the adult brain. A better characterization of the mechanisms involved in these effects could contribute to the development of new therapeutic alternatives to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.”

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-49343-5_6?fbclid=IwAR1yxGqvrq_9Zva3HLEqjh2WrNRTxPN6Hy_IO8l2IN8v9BCNBG2jDks9N1w

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