“Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, meaning the US federal government defines it as an illegal drug that has high potential for abuse and no established medical use; however, half of the states in the nation have enacted “medical marijuana” (MM) laws. Clinicians must be aware of the evidence for and against the use of MM in their patients who may consider using this substance.
Publications were identified that included patients with dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, depression, tobacco use disorder, and neuropathic pain.
There is great variety concerning which medical conditions are approved for treatment with MM for either palliative or therapeutic benefit, depending on the state law. It is important to keep an evidence-based approach in mind, even with substances considered to be illegal under US federal law. Clinicians must weigh risks and benefits of the use of MM in their patients and should ensure that patients have tried other treatment modalities with higher levels of evidence for use when available and appropriate.”
““Medical marijuana” encompasses everything from whole-plant cannabis to synthetic cannabinoids available for commercial use approved by regulatory agencies. In determining whether MM is of clinical utility to our patients, it is important to keep in mind chemical constituents, dose, delivery, and indication. Selection of the patient appropriate for MM must be carefully considered because clinical guidelines and treatment options with stronger levels of evidence should be exhausted first in most cases. There seems to be strongest evidence for the use of MM in patients with MS and in patients with neuropathic pain; moderate evidence exists to support further research in social anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, PD, and tobacco use disorder; evidence is limited for use in patients with dementia, Huntington disease, depression, and anorexia.”
“Vascular dementia (VaD) is characteristic of chronic brain ischemia and progressive memory decline, which has a high incidence in the elderly. However, there are no effective treatments for VaD, and the underlying mechanism of its pathogenesis remains unclear.
This study investigated the effects of a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) on VaD, and molecular mechanisms of the effects.
These data indicate that WIN exerts a neuroprotective effect on the cognitive deficits of VaD rats, which may be associated with the suppression of excessive autophagy and inflammation.”
“Evidence has demonstrated iron accumulation in specific brain regions of patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders, and this metal has been recognized as a contributing factor for neurodegeneration.
Using an experimental model of brain iron accumulation, we have shown that iron induces severe memory deficits that are accompanied by oxidative stress, increased apoptotic markers, and decreased synaptophysin in the hippocampus of rats.
The present study aims to characterize iron loading effects as well as to determine the molecular targets of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychomimetic compound of Cannabis sativa, on mitochondria.
Rats received iron in the neonatal period and CBD for 14 days in adulthood. Iron induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions, decreased epigenetic modulation of mtDNA, mitochondrial ferritin levels, and succinate dehydrogenase activity.
CBD rescued mitochondrial ferritin and epigenetic modulation of mtDNA, and restored succinate dehydrogenase activity in iron-treated rats.
These findings provide new insights into molecular targets of iron neurotoxicity and give support for the use of CBD as a disease modifying agent in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”
“Efficacious treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), pain and weight loss for dementia patients is desperately needed.
This review presents an up-to-date look at the literature investigating the use of cannabinoid for these symptoms in dementia.
We searched electronically for publications regarding cannabinoid use in dementia, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Seven studies and one case report have been conducted to examine the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of NPS of dementia, and three of these trials reported on the effect of cannabinoids on weight. Five studies reported decreased agitation or improvements in sleep with cannabinoid use. One crossover trial found that cannabinoids positively impacted weight, whereas a chart review study found no impact on weight with cannabinoids, but an increase in food intake. There were no trials examining the use of cannabinoids for pain in dementia.
Findings from trials with small sample sizes and various clinical populations suggest that cannabinoid use may be well tolerated and effective for treatment of NPS such as agitation as well as weight and pain management in patients with dementia. Additional studies are necessary to further elucidate the relative risks and benefits of this treatment.”
“The discovery of endocannabinoid’s role within the central nervous system and its potential therapeutic benefits have brought forth rising interest in the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The present review aimed to synthesize and evaluate the available evidences on the efficacy of cannabis and its derivatives for psychiatric, neurodegenerative and movement disorders. A systematic search of randomized controlled trials of cannabis and its derivatives were conducted via databases (PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). A total of 24 reports that evaluated the use of medical cannabis for Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa, anxiety, dementia, dystonia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis and Tourette syndrome were included in this review. Trial quality was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. There is a lack of evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dystonia. Although trials with positive findings were identified for anorexia nervosa, anxiety, PTSD, psychotic symptoms, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease, definitive conclusion on its efficacy could not be drawn. Evaluation of these low-quality trials, as rated on the Cochrane risk of bias tools, was challenged by methodological issues such as inadequate description of allocation concealment, blinding and underpowered sample size. More adequately powered controlled trials that examine the long and short term efficacy, safety and tolerability of cannabis for medical use, and the mechanisms underpinning the therapeutic potential are warranted.”
“Neurogenesis is influenced by various external factors such as enriched environments. Some researchers had postulated that neurogenesis has contributed to the hippocampal learning and memory. This project was designed to observe the effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) in cognitive performance that influenced by the neurogenesis.
Different doses of ∆9-THC were used for observing the neurogenesis mechanism occurs in the hippocampus of rats. The brains were stained with antibodies, namely BrdU, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), nestin, doublecortin (DCX) and class III β-tubulin (TuJ-1). The cognitive test was used novel-object discrimination test (NOD) while the proteins involved, DCX and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), were measured.
Throughout this study, ∆9-THC enhanced the markers involved in all stages of neurogenesis mechanism. Simultaneously, the cognitive behaviour of rat also showed improvement in learning and memory functions observed in behavioural test and molecular perspective.
Administration of ∆9-THC was observed to enhance the neurogenesis in the brain, especially in hippocampus thus improved the cognitive function of rats.”
“The balance between detrimental, pro-aging, often stochastic processes and counteracting homeostatic mechanisms largely determines the progression of aging. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the latter system because it modulates the physiological processes underlying aging.
The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the brain tissues of older animals and the levels of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lower. However, a direct link between endocannabinoid tone and aging symptoms has not been demonstrated.
Here we show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density.
THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months. The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC.
Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments.”
“CAN MARIJUANA RESTORE MEMORY? NEW STUDY SHOWS CANNABIS CAN REVERSE COGNITIVE DECLINE IN MICE” http://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-marijuana-restores-memory-learning-cognitive-decline-596160
“A little cannabis every day might keep brain ageing at bay” https://www.newscientist.com/article/2130257-a-little-cannabis-every-day-might-keep-brain-ageing-at-bay/
“Low-dose cannabinoid THC restores memory and learning in old mice” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317342.php
“Daily Dose Of Cannabis May Protect And Heal The Brain From Effects Of Aging” https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2017/05/08/daily-dose-of-cannabis-may-protect-and-heal-the-brain-from-effects-of-aging/#70ef658f2e44
“Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-cannabis-reverses-aging-brain.html
“Future dementia cure – Chemical in cannabis could REVERSE the ageing process” http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/801827/dementia-cure-cannabis-THC-chemical-memory
“This work was conducted to prepare β-caryophyllene-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex (HPβCD/BCP) and investigate its effects and mechanisms on cognitive deficits in vascular dementia (VD) rats.
Overall, the findings demonstrated the protective effects of HPβCD/BCP against cognitive deficits induced by chronic cerebral ischemia and suggested the potential of HPβCD/BCP in the therapy of vascular dementia in the future.”
“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
“The endocannabinoid system has been shown to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases and dementia.
We review the preclinical and clinical data on cannabinoids and four neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and vascular dementia (VD).
Numerous studies have demonstrated an involvement of the cannabinoid system in neurotransmission, neuropathology and neurobiology of dementias. In addition, several candidate compounds have demonstrated efficacy in vitro.
However, some of the substances produced inconclusive results in vivo. Therefore, only few trials have aimed to replicate the effects seen in animal studies in patients. Indeed, the literature on cannabinoid administration in patients is scarce.
While preclinical findings suggest causal treatment strategies involving cannabinoids, clinical trials have only assessed the suitability of cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists and cannabidiol for the symptomatic treatment of dementia.
Further research is needed, including in vivo models of dementia and human studies.”