Cannabinoid Use in Patients With Gastroparesis and Related Disorders: Prevalence and Benefit.

 

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“Gastroparesis (Gp) can be a challenging disorder to manage due to the paucity of treatment options. We do not know how frequently patients with Gp symptoms resort to cannabinoids to address their symptoms. This study (i) determines the prevalence of cannabinoid use in patients with Gp symptoms, (ii) describes the patients with Gp symptoms using cannabinoids, and (iii) assesses the patients’ perceived benefit of cannabinoids for Gp symptoms.

METHODS:

Consecutive outpatients with symptoms suggestive of Gp seen on follow-up at our academic center from June 2018 to September 2018 filled out questionnaires on their symptoms and the current treatments.

RESULTS:

Of 197 patients, nearly half (n = 92, 46.7%) reported current (35.5%) or past (11.2%) use of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (n = 63), dronabinol (n = 36), and/or cannabidiol (n = 16). Of these, most perceived improvement in Gp symptoms from cannabinoids (93.5% with tetrahydrocannabinol, 81.3% with cannabidiol, and 47.2% with dronabinol). Cannabinoids were used most commonly via smoking (n = 46). Patients taking cannabinoids were younger (41.0 ± 15.4 vs 48.0 ± 15.9 years; P < 0.01) and had a higher Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index total score (3.4 ± 1.0 vs 2.8 ± 1.3; P < 0.01) compared with patients with no history of cannabinoid use.

CONCLUSIONS:

A third of patients with Gp symptoms actively use cannabinoids for their chronic symptoms. Most of these patients perceive improvement in their symptoms with cannabinoids. Patients taking cannabinoids were younger and more symptomatic than those not taking cannabinoids. Further studies on the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids in Gp will be useful.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30865015

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Cannabis and Turmeric as Complementary Treatments for IBD and Other Digestive Diseases.

 “Complementary therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have earned growing interest from patients and investigators alike, with a dynamic landscape of research in this area. In this article, we review results of the most recent studies evaluating the role of cannabis and turmeric for the treatment of IBD and other intestinal illnesses.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Cannabinoids are well-established modulators of gut motility and visceral pain and have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials suggest that there may be a therapeutic role for cannabinoid therapy in the treatment of IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, and GI motility disorders. Recent reports of serious adverse effects from synthetic cannabinoids highlight the need for additional investigation of cannabinoids to establish their efficacy and safety. Turmeric trials have demonstrated some promise as adjuvant treatment for IBD, though not in other GI disease processes. Evidence suggests that the use of cannabis and turmeric is potentially beneficial in IBD and IBS; however, neither has been compared to standard therapy in IBD, and thus should not be recommended as alternative treatment for IBD. For cannabis in particular, additional investigation regarding appropriate dosing and timing, given known adverse effects of its chronic use, and careful monitoring of potential bleeding complications with synthetic cannabinoids are imperative.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30635796

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11894-019-0670-0

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Reduced prevalence of alcoholic gastritis in hospitalized individuals who consume cannabis.

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“Alcoholic gastritis, a superficial erosive disease of the stomach, is a common manifestation of risky alcohol use. In contrast, cannabis which is frequently co-used with alcohol suppresses gastric acidity and might counteract the deleterious effect of alcohol on the gastric mucosa.

RESULTS:

Our study revealed that among risky alcohol users, cannabis co-users have a lower prevalence of alcoholic gastritis compared to non-cannabis users (1,289[1,169-1,421] vs. 1,723[1,583-1,875] per 100,000 hospitalizations for risky alcohol use), resulting in a 25% decreased probability of alcoholic gastritis (aRR:0.75[0.66-0.85]; p-value:<0.0001). Furthermore, dependent cannabis usage resulted in a lower prevalence of alcoholic gastritis when compared to both non-dependent-cannabis users (0.72[0.52-0.99]), and to non-cannabis-users (0.56[0.41-0.76]).

CONCLUSIONS:

We reveal that risky alcohol drinking combined with cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of alcohol-associated gastritis in patients. Given increased cannabis legislation globally, understanding if and how the specific ingredients in cannabis plant extract can be used in the treatment of alcoholic gastritis is paramount. In this regard, further molecular mechanistic studies are needed to delineate the mechanisms of our novel findings not only for alcoholic gastritis but also gastritis from other causes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30536396

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.13930

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The novel peripherally active cannabinoid type 1 and serotonin type 3 receptor agonist AM9405 inhibits gastrointestinal motility and reduces abdominal pain in mouse models mimicking irritable bowel syndrome.

European Journal of Pharmacology

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a crucial role in numerous physiological processes in the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, selective cannabinoid (CB) receptor agonists exert potent inhibitory actions on motility and pain signalling. In the present study, we used mouse models of diarrhea, hypermotility, and abdominal pain to examine whether a novel synthetic CB1 receptor agonist AM9405 [(2-(2,6-dihydroxy-4-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenyl)-1,3-dimethyl-1H-benzo[d]imidazol-3-ium bromide); also known as GAT379] exhibits effects of potential therapeutic relevance. AM9405 significantly slowed mouse intestinal motility in physiological conditions. Moreover, AM9405 reversed hypermotility and reduced pain in mouse models mimicking symptoms of functional GI disorders, such as stress-induced diarrhoea and writhing test. Interestingly, some of the effects of AM9405 were blocked by a 5-HT3 antagonist suggesting interaction with 5-HT3 receptors. In our study we show that combining CB1 agonism with 5-HT3 agonism may alter physiological functions and experimental pathophysiologies in a manner that make such compounds promising drugs for the future treatment of functional GI disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30121173

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299918304734?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoid pharmacology and therapy in gut disorders.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Cannabis sp and their products (marijuana, hashish…), in addition to their recreational, industrial and other uses, have a long history for their use as a remedy for symptoms related with gastrointestinal diseases.

After many reports suggesting these beneficial effects, it was not surprising to discover that the gastrointestinal tract expresses endogenous cannabinoids, their receptors, and enzymes for their synthesis and degradation, comprising the so-called endocannabinoid system.

This system participates in the control of tissue homeostasis and important intestinal functions like motor and sensory activity, nausea, emesis, the maintenance of the epithelial barrier integrity, and the correct cellular microenvironment. Thus, different cannabinoid-related pharmacological agents may be useful to treat the main digestive pathologies.

To name a few examples, in irritable bowel syndrome they may normalize dysmotility and reduce pain, in inflammatory bowel disease they may decrease inflammation, and in colorectal cancer, apart from alleviating some symptoms, they may play a role in the regulation of the cell niche.

This review summarizes the main recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands and their metabolizing enzymes in normal gastrointestinal function and in disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and gastrointestinal chemotherapy-induced adverse effects (nausea/vomiting, constipation, diarrhea).”

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Localization of cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, GPR55, and PPARα in the canine gastrointestinal tract.

Histochemistry and Cell Biology

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes involved in endocannabinoid turnover.

Modulating the activity of the ECS may influence a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes.

A growing body of evidence indicates that activation of cannabinoid receptors by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may exert beneficial effects on gastrointestinal inflammation and visceral pain.

The present ex vivo study aimed to investigate immunohistochemically the distribution of cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), and peroxisome proliferation activation receptor alpha (PPARα) in the canine gastrointestinal tract.

Cannabinoid receptors showed a wide distribution in the gastrointestinal tract of the dog.

Since cannabinoid receptors have a protective role in inflammatory bowel disease, the present research provides an anatomical basis supporting the therapeutic use of cannabinoid receptor agonists in relieving motility disorders and visceral hypersensitivity in canine acute or chronic enteropathies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29882158

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00418-018-1684-7

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Cannabinoids and gastrointestinal motility: Pharmacology, clinical effects, and potential therapeutics in humans.

Neurogastroenterology &amp; Motility banner

“Cannabinoid agents and cannabis are frequently used for relief of diverse gastrointestinal symptoms.

PURPOSE:

The objective of this article is to increase the awareness of gastroenterologists to the effects of cannabinoids on gastrointestinal motility, as gastroenterologists are likely to encounter patients who are taking cannabinoids, or those with dysmotility that may be associated with cannabinoid mechanisms.

The non-selective cannabinoid agonist, dronabinol, retards gastric emptying and inhibits colonic tone and phasic pressure activity.

In summary, cannabinoid mechanisms and pharmacology are relevant to the current and future practice of clinical gastroenterology.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29745439

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nmo.13370

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Modulation of central endocannabinoid system results in gastric mucosal protection in the rat.

Brain Research Bulletin

“Previous findings showed that inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), degrading enzymes of anandamide (2-AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), reduced the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced gastric lesions.

The present study aimed to investigate: i./whether central or peripheral mechanism play a major role in the gastroprotective effect of inhibitors of FAAH, MAGL and AEA uptake, ii./which peripheral mechanism(s) may play a role in mucosal protective effect of FAAH, MAGL and uptake inhibitors.

Gastric mucosal damage was induced by acidified ethanol.

 

CONCLUSION:

Elevation of central endocannabinoid levels by blocking their degradation or uptake via stimulation of mucosal defensive mechanisms resulted in gastroprotective action against ethanol-induced mucosal injury. These findings might suggest that central endocannabinoid system may play a role in gastric mucosal defense and maintenance of mucosal integrity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29438780

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0361923017306044

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Maternal administration of cannabidiol promotes an anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal wall in a gastroschisis rat model.

SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

“Gastroschisis (GS) is an abdominal wall defect that results in histological and morphological changes leading to intestinal motility perturbation and impaired absorption of nutrients.

Due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects, cannabidiol(CBD) has been used as a therapeutic agent in many diseases.

Our aim was to test the effect of maternal CBD in the intestine of an experimental model of GS.

Maternal use of CBD had a beneficial effect on the intestinal loops of GS with decreased nitrite/nitrate and iNOS expression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29561958

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-879X2018000500607&lng=en&tlng=en

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Effects of Hemp seed soft capsule on colonic ion transport in rats.

“To investigate the effect of Hemp seed soft capsule (HSCC) on colonic ion transport and its related mechanisms in constipation rats.

CONCLUSION:

HSSC ameliorates constipation by increasing colonic secretion, which is mediated via the coaction of cAMP-dependent and Ca2+-dependent Cl channels, NKCC, Na+-HCO3 cotransporter or Cl/HCO3 exchanger.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29204056

https://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v23/i42/7563.htm

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