The Use of Compounds Derived from Cannabis sativa in the Treatment of Epilepsy, Painful Conditions, and Neuropsychiatric and Neurodegenerative Disorders

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“Neurological disorders present a wide range of symptoms and challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Cannabis sativa, with its diverse chemical composition, offers potential therapeutic benefits due to its anticonvulsive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties.

Beyond cannabinoids, cannabis contains terpenes and polyphenols, which synergistically enhance its pharmacological effects. Various administration routes, including vaporization, oral ingestion, sublingual, and rectal, provide flexibility in treatment delivery.

This review shows the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis in managing neurological disorders such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, psychiatric disorders, and painful pathologies.

Drawing from surveys, patient studies, and clinical trials, it highlights the potential of cannabis in alleviating symptoms, slowing disease progression, and improving overall quality of life for patients. Understanding the diverse therapeutic mechanisms of cannabis can open up possibilities for using this plant for individual patient needs.”

A Cross-Sectional Survey Study of Cannabis Use for Fibromyalgia Symptom Management

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“Objective: To assess the use of cannabis as a symptom management strategy for patients with fibromyalgia.

Patients and methods: An electronic, cross-sectional survey was conducted among patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and treated in Integrative Medicine & Health at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. The survey was constructed with the Symptom Management Theory tool and was sent anonymously via web-based software to patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Results: Of 5234 patients with fibromyalgia sent the online survey, 1336 (25.5%) responded and met the inclusion criteria. Survey respondents had a median age of 48 (Q1-Q3: 37.5-58.0) years, and most identified as female. Nearly half of respondents (49.5%, n=661) reported cannabis use since their fibromyalgia diagnosis. The most common symptoms for which respondents reported using cannabis were pain (98.9%, n=654); fatigue (96.2%; n=636); stress, anxiety, or depression (93.9%; n=621); and insomnia (93.6%; n=619). Improvement in pain symptoms with cannabis use was reported by 82.0% (n=536). Most cannabis-using respondents reported that cannabis also improved symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression and of insomnia.

Conclusion: Considering that cannabis is a popular choice among patients for managing fibromyalgia symptoms, clinicians should have adequate knowledge of cannabis when discussing therapeutic options for fibromyalgia with their patients.”

Successful Treatment of a Fibromyalgia Patient Using a Homeopathic Preparation of Cannabis sativa

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“Background: Homeopathy has been used in observational and controlled studies to treat patients with fibromyalgia (FM), but none has previously used the remedy Cannabis sativa.

Case history: A 51-year-old female patient presenting with diffuse pain and sleep disorder was diagnosed with FM using the relevant American College of Rheumatology criteria. She reported having 18 tender points, a pain score (visual analog scale, VAS) of 9.0, and a well-being VAS of 5.0. She was prescribed Cannabis sativa 6 cH, five drops sublingually thrice a day.

Results: After 2 months, she returned asymptomatic, with 0 tender points, pain VAS of 0, and well-being VAS of 9.0. The Modified Naranjo Criteria for Homeopathy score was equal to +9, suggesting the clinical outcome was causally attributable to the medicine prescribed.

Conclusion: This case study reveals the positive role of homeopathic treatment in FM. Studies using a randomized controlled design, including pragmatic trials to determine treatment effectiveness in real-world clinical practice, are indicated in this field.”

Cannabis for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review

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“Fibromyalgia is a common disease syndrome characterized by chronic pain and fatigue in conjunction with cognitive dysfunction such as memory difficulties. Patients currently face a difficult prognosis with limited treatment options and a diminished quality of life. Given its widespread use and potential efficacy in treating other types of pain, cannabis may prove to be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. This review aims to examine and discuss current clinical evidence regarding the use of cannabis for the treatment of fibromyalgia. An electronic search was conducted on MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus using Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms on all literature published up to October 2022. A follow-up manual search included a complete verification of relevant studies. The results of four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and five observational studies (a total of 564 patients) that investigated the effects of cannabis on fibromyalgia symptoms were included in this review. Of the RCTs, only one demonstrated that cannabinoids did not have a different effect than placebo on pain responses. Overall, this analysis shows low-quality evidence supporting short-term pain reduction in people with fibromyalgia treated with cannabinoid therapeutics. Although current evidence is limited, medical cannabis appears to be a safe alternative for treating fibromyalgia.”

[Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) : A retrospective study of changes in pain, psychometric variables, and analgesic consumption during inpatient interdisciplinary multimodal pain therapy (IMPT)]

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“Background: Since March 1, 2017, medical cannabis (MC) can be prescribed nationwide in Germany. To date, there have been a number of qualitatively different studies on the effectiveness of MC in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of THC in the course of interdisciplinary multimodal pain therapy (IMPT) on pain and several psychometric variables.

Materials and methods: For the study, in the period 2017-2018, all patients in the pain ward of a clinic who were suffering from FMS and were treated in a multimodal interdisciplinary setting were selected based on inclusion criteria. The patients were examined separately according to groups with and without THC about pain intensity, various psychometric parameters and analgesic consumption during the stay.

Results: Of the 120 FMS patients included in the study, 62 patients (51.7%) were treated with THC. In the parameters of pain intensity, depression, and quality of life, there was a significant improvement in the entire group during the stay (p < 0.001), which was significantly greater through the use of THC. In five of the seven analgesic groups examined, the dose was reduced or the drug discontinued significantly more often in the patients treated with THC.

Conclusion: The results provide indications that THC can be considered as a medical alternative in addition to the substances previously recommended in various guidelines.”

The role of Cannabis in treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia women

“Background: Fibromyalgia is a complex pain-focused syndrome. Previous studies showed that Cannabis is efficacious in promoting sleep, deepening and lengthening the sleep cycle, and good pain relief (compared to SSRIs and SNRIs).

Purpose: This study aimed to use the World Health Organization Quality of Life Bref questionnaire (WhoQoL-bref) to characterize the impact of Cannabis Treatment initiation on the quality of life in women suffering from treatment-resistant fibromyalgia.

Methods: a prospective cohort study involving 30 women aged 18-70 years old diagnosed with fibromyalgia, exhausted pharmacological fibromyalgia treatment, and started Cannabis treatment. Pregnant women were excluded. WhoQoL-bref was filled before Cannabis treatment initiation and one month following treatment.

Results: Women’s average age was 46 years(±5), with a poor general quality of life (1.47±0.63), poor general health (1.47±0.78), pain and discomfort, and dependence on medication (3.77±1.3 and 3.07±1.74 respectively) prior to Cannabis intervention. Cannabis treatment for 30 days showed a marked improvement in general quality of life (1.97 scores, p < 0.01), general health (1.83, p<0.01), physical health ( 1.5, p<0.01), and psychological domain (1.3, p<0.01). Financial resources and home environment were not influenced by cannabis treatment (p=0.07, p=0.31, respectively).

Conclusion: Results suggest a potentially significant role of Cannabis in treatment-resistant Fibromyalgia women. Early Cannabis treatment may result in a beneficial short-term effect on the quality of life through its influence on pain, sleep, physical and psychological domains. Further studies are still indicated to understand this potential and its long-term beneficial impact.”

Broad-spectrum cannabis oil ameliorates reserpine-induced fibromyalgia model in mice

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

“Fibromyalgia (FM) is an idiopathic disorder characterized by generalized pain and associated symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

Cannabis sativa shows different pharmacological activities, such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory. Associated with this, the use of an oil with low concentrations of THC can reduce the psychomimetic adverse effects of the plant. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the analgesic effect of broad-spectrum cannabis oil with low THC concentration in an experimental model of FM.

Mechanical hyperalgesia, thermal allodynia, depressive- and anxious-related behavior, and locomotor activity were evaluated after reserpine (0.25 mg/kg; injected subcutaneously (s.c.) once daily for three consecutive days) administration.

Our results showed that oral administration of broad-spectrum cannabis oil (0.1, 1, and 3 mg/kg, p.o.) in a single dose on the 4th day inhibited mechanical hyperalgesia and thermal allodynia induced by reserpine. Relevantly, treatment during four days with broad-spectrum cannabis oil (0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced mechanical hyperalgesia 1 h after reserpine administration.

Intraplantar treatment with cannabis oil significantly reversed mechanical and heat thermal nociception induced by reserpine injection. Interestingly, spinal and supraspinal administration of broad-spectrum cannabis oil completely inhibited mechanical hyperalgesia and thermal sensitivity induced by reserpine. The repeated cannabis oil administration, given daily for 14 days, markedly mitigated the mechanical and thermal sensitivity during the FM model, and its reduced depressive-like behavior induced by reserpine.

In summary, broad-spectrum cannabis oil is an effective alternative to reverse the reserpine-induced fibromyalgia model.”

“In the present study, it was possible to observe that, regardless of the route of administration, broad-spectrum cannabis oil proved to be effective in reversing the mechanical hyperalgesia effects of the reserpine-induced fibromyalgia model. Furthermore, chronic treatment with broad-spectrum cannabis oil showed analgesic effects on mechanical hyperalgesia and heat allodynia and mitigated reserpine-induced passive stress-coping behavior and lower-self-care behavior in mice. Conjointly, our results point to broad-spectrum cannabis oil as a therapeutic alternative for the disorders caused by FM.”

The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target for the Treatment of Various Diseases

ijms-logo“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is primarily responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a balance in internal environment (temperature, mood, and immune system) and energy input and output in living, biological systems.

In addition to regulating physiological processes, the ECS directly influences anxiety, feeding behaviour/appetite, emotional behaviour, depression, nervous functions, neurogenesis, neuroprotection, reward, cognition, learning, memory, pain sensation, fertility, pregnancy, and pre-and post-natal development.

The ECS is also involved in several pathophysiological diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the ECS has gained significant interest in medicine, research, and drug discovery and development.

The distribution of the components of the ECS system throughout the body, and the physiological/pathophysiological role of the ECS-signalling pathways in many diseases, all offer promising opportunities for the development of novel cannabinergic, cannabimimetic, and cannabinoid-based therapeutic drugs that genetically or pharmacologically modulate the ECS via inhibition of metabolic pathways and/or agonism or antagonism of the receptors of the ECS. This modulation results in the differential expression/activity of the components of the ECS that may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of diseases.

This manuscript in-depth review will investigate the potential of the ECS in the treatment of various diseases, and to put forth the suggestion that many of these secondary metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. (hereafter referred to as “C. sativa L.” or “medical cannabis”), may also have potential as lead compounds in the development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals for a variety of diseases.”


“Cannabis sativa L. as a Natural Drug Meeting the Criteria of a Multitarget Approach to Treatment”

Ingestion of a THC-Rich Cannabis Oil in People with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

Issue Cover “Objective: To determine the benefit of a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich cannabis oil on symptoms and quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.

Conclusions: Phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy to reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia. Future studies are still needed to assess long-term benefits, and studies with different varieties of cannabinoids associated with a washout period must be done to enhance our knowledge of cannabis action in this health condition.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the benefit of cannabis oil—a THC-rich whole plant extract—on symptoms and on quality of life of people with fibromyalgia. We conclude that phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy for symptom relief and quality of life improvement in these patients, and we suggest that this therapy could be included as an herbal medicine option for the treatment of this condition”

Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of fibromyalgia

Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology “Fibromyalgia is a complex disease process that is as prevalent as it is poorly understood. Research into the pathophysiology is ongoing, and findings will likely assist in identifying new therapeutic options to augment those in existence today that are still insufficient for the care of a large population of patients.

Recent evidence describes the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

This study provides a systematic, thorough review of the evidence alongside a review of the seminal data regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and current treatment options.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread chronic pain, fatigue, and depressive episodes without an organic diagnosis, which may be prevalent in up to 10% of the population and carries a significant cost in healthcare utilization, morbidity, a reduced quality of life, and productivity. It is frequently associated with psychiatric comorbidities. The diagnosis is clinical and usually prolonged, and diagnostic criteria continue to evolve. Some therapies have been previously described, including neuropathic medications, milnacipran, and antidepressants. Despite some level of efficacy, only physical exercise has strong evidence to support it.

Cannabis has been used historically to treat different pain conditions since ancient times.

Recent advances allowed for the isolation of the active substances in cannabis and the production of cannabinoid products that are nearly devoid of psychoactive influence and provide pain relief and alleviation of other symptoms. Many of these, as well as cannabis itself, are approved for use in chronic pain conditions.

Evidence supporting cannabis in chronic pain conditions is plentiful; however, in fibromyalgia, they are mostly limited. Only a handful of randomized trials exists, and their objectivity has been questioned. However, many retrospective trials and patient surveys suggest the significant alleviation of pain, improvement in sleep, and abatement of associated symptoms.

Evidence supporting the use of cannabis in chronic pain and specifically in fibromyalgia is being gathered as the use of cannabis increases with current global trends. While the current evidence is still limited, emerging data do suggest a positive effect of cannabis in fibromyalgia.

Cannabis use is not without risks, including psychiatric, cognitive, and developmental as well as the risks of addiction. As such, clinical judgment is warranted to weigh these risks and prescribe to patients who are more likely to benefit from this treatment. Further research is required to define appropriate patient selection and treatment regimens.”