Cannabis May Help Combat Herpes Viruses

“The compound in marijuana that produces a high, delta-9 tetrahydrocannbinol or THC, may block the spread of several forms of cancer causing herpes viruses, University of South Florida College of Medicine scientists report.

Once a person is infected with herpes, the viruses can remain dormant for long periods within white blood cells before they burst out and begin replicating. This reactivation of the virus boosts the number of cells infected thereby increasing the chances that the cells will become cancerous.

The USF team found that this sudden reactivation was prevented if infected cells were grown in the presence of THC. Furthermore, the researchers showed that THC acts specifically on gamma herpes viruses. The chemical had no effect on another related virus, herpes simplex-1, which causes cold sores and genital herpes.

Small concentrations of THC were found to be more potent and selective against gamma herpes viruses than the commonly used antiviral drugs on the market.

The findings, published Sept. 15 in the online journal BMC Medicine, could lead to the creation of antiviral drugs based on nonpsychoactive derivatives of THC.”

http://stdlabtest.com/2009/06/30/cannabis-may-help-combat-herpes-viruses/

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Patent: CA 2771800 A1: Herbal medication for cold sores and genital herpes and preparation thereof

“The present invention generally relates to herbal medications. More particularly, it relates to formulations to treat cold sores and genital herpes. The ingredients of this formulation are cannabis oil and cannabis roots, which are used to treat genital herpes, cold sores and other viral diseases.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The disclosed formulation comprises cannabis oil and cannabis root fibres. The person with herpes surrounds the lesion with the cannabis oil such that the lesion is completely covered. The root fibres are then applied over the oil-covered lesions.

Finally, medical gauze is applied over the treated areas and secured to the skin. Within 24 hours, the gauze may be removed. The herpes lesions heal and, of significance, outbreaks do not recur.
An individual genital herpes treatment comprises 1 gram of oil and 0.5 gram of root fibres.
CLAIMS
1. A formulation of cannabis oil and cannabis root powder to treat viral diseases, whereby there is no recurrence of the disease after one treatment.”
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MARIJUANA INGREDIENT KILLS HERPES VIRUSES IN TEST-TUBE STUDY

“Marijuana’s active ingredient killed herpes viruses in test-tube experiments…

University of South Florida microbiologist Gerald Lancz said his study may help scientists discover new anti-herpes medicines.

Lancz said it might be possible to find substances related to THC that don’t affect the mind but do kill viruses.

Lancz and his colleagues incubated THC and various viruses in test tubes.

They found that, in doses somewhat higher than found in the blood of regular marijuana users, THC killed herpes simplex virus 1, which causes the cold sores that typify oral herpes.

The scientists didn’t test THC against herpes simplex 2, the genital herpes virus. But Lancz said the drug almost certainly will kill the genital herpes virus because it is so similar to the oral herpes virus.

The study found THC also killed cytomegalovirus, a herpes virus that causes flu-like symptoms in adults and is the most common infectious cause of birth defects in the United States.”

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1990/Marijuana-Ingredient-Kills-Herpes-Viruses-in-Test-Tube-Study/id-767b0693c14381d912e5cc89baf71b68

 

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Cannabis May Help Combat Cancer-causing Herpes Viruses

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

“The compound in marijuana that produces a high, delta-9 tetrahydrocannbinol or THC, may block the spread of several forms of cancer causing herpes viruses, University of South Florida College of Medicine scientists report.

The findings, published Sept. 15 in the online journal BMC Medicine, could lead to the creation of antiviral drugs based on nonpsychoactive derivatives of THC.

The gamma herpes viruses include Kaposi’s Sarcoma Associated Herpes virus, which is associated with an increased risk of cancer that is particularly prevalent in AIDS sufferers. Another is Epstein-Barr virus, which predisposes infected individuals to cancers such as Burkitt’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease.

Once a person is infected, these viruses can remain dormant for long periods within white blood cells before they burst out and begin replicating. This reactivation of the virus boosts the number of cells infected thereby increasing the chances that the cells will become cancerous.

The USF team, led by virologist Peter Medveczky, MD, found that this sudden reactivation was prevented if infected cells were grown in the presence of THC. While cells infected with a mouse gamma herpes virus normally died when the virus was reactivated, these same cells survived when cultured in the laboratory along with the cannabinoid compound – further evidence that THC prevents viral reactivation.

Furthermore, the researchers showed that THC acts specifically on gamma herpes viruses. The chemical had no effect on another related virus, herpes simplex-1, which causes cold sores and genital herpes.

Small concentrations of THC were more potent and selective against gamma herpes viruses than the commonly used antiviral drugs acyclovir, gancicyclovir and foscamet, said Dr. Medveczky, a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

The USF researchers suggest that THC selectively inhibits the spread of gamma herpes viruses by targeting a gene these viruses all share called ORF50.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040923092627.htm

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Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines.

Drug Testing and Analysis

“Cannabis was extensively used as a medicine throughout the developed world in the nineteenth century but went into decline early in the twentieth century ahead of its emergence as the most widely used illicit recreational drug later that century. Recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology alongside the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have re-ignited interest in cannabis-based medicines.

The ECS has emerged as an important physiological system and plausible target for new medicines. Its receptors and endogenous ligands play a vital modulatory role in diverse functions including immune response, food intake, cognition, emotion, perception, behavioural reinforcement, motor co-ordination, body temperature, wake/sleep cycle, bone formation and resorption, and various aspects of hormonal control. In disease it may act as part of the physiological response or as a component of the underlying pathology.

In the forefront of clinical research are the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and their contrasting pharmacology will be briefly outlined. The therapeutic potential and possible risks of drugs that inhibit the ECS will also be considered. This paper will then go on to review clinical research exploring the potential of cannabinoid medicines in the following indications: symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24006213

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1529/abstract

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The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.

Image result for Nat Rev Drug Discov.

“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387

http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v3/n9/full/nrd1495.html

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Cannabidiol Inhibits Growth and Induces Programmed Cell Death in Kaposi Sarcoma–Associated Herpesvirus-Infected Endothelium

“Kaposi sarcoma is the most common neoplasm caused by Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Current treatments for Kaposi sarcoma can inhibit tumor growth but are not able to eliminate KSHV from the host. When the host’s immune system weakens, KSHV begins to replicate again, and active tumor growth ensues. New therapeutic approaches are needed.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a plant-derived cannabinoid, exhibits promising antitumor effects without inducing psychoactive side effects. CBD is emerging as a novel therapeutic for various disorders, including cancer.

In this study, we investigated the effects of CBD both on the infection of endothelial cells (ECs) by KSHV and on the growth and apoptosis of KSHV-infected ECs, an in vitro model for the transformation of normal endothelium to Kaposi sarcoma….

Cannabidiol (CBD) was first isolated in 1940. It is a major component of the plant Cannabis sativa, which is also the source of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). Due to its multiple biological activities, CBD has been identified as a potential clinical agent. Moreover, CBD affects these activities without the psychoactive side effects that typify Δ9-THC. Recent studies have documented the potential antitumorigenic properties of CBD in the treatment of various neoplasms, including breast cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, glioblastoma,and leukemia.CBD induces these effects through a variety of mechanisms and signaling pathways

CBD has been evaluated clinically for the treatment of various conditions, including anxiety, psychosis, and pain. In contrast to other members of the cannabinoid family, CBD has a strong safety profile and induces no psychotropic effects.Therefore, it has become an attractive agent in the search for new anticancer therapies.Our current study demonstrated that CBD preferentially enhanced apoptosis and inhibited the proliferation of KSHV-infected endothelial cells. This selective targeting of KSHV-induced neoplasia suggests that CBD may have a desirable therapeutic index when used to treat cancer. Moreover, a recent study demonstrated that CBD can be delivered effectively by nasal and transdermal routes, which may be particularly valuable for the treatment of Kaposi sarcoma oral or skin lesions.”

Full text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3527984/

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Kaposi Sarcoma.

“Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a low-grade vascular tumor associated with Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8) infection. Kaposi sarcoma lesions predominantly present at mucocutaneous sites, but may involve all organs and anatomic locations. Recognized epidemiologic-clinical forms of KS include classic, African (endemic), AIDS-associated (epidemic), and iatrogenic KS. New clinical manifestations have been described, such as antiretroviral therapy-related KS regression or flares. Kaposi sarcoma lesions evolve from early (patch stage) macules into plaques (plaque stage) that grow into larger nodules (tumor stage). Newer histologic variants include anaplastic, hyperkeratotic, lymphangioma-like, bullous, telangiectatic, ecchymotic, keloidal, pyogenic granuloma-like, micronodular, intravascular, glomeruloid and pigmented KS, as well as KS with sarcoidlike granulomas and KS with myoid nodules. Latency-associated nuclear antigen (HHV8) is the most specific immunohistochemical marker available to help distinguish KS from its mimics. Since KS remains one of the most common AIDS-defining malignancies, it is important that pathologists be able to recognize KS and its contemporary manifestations.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23368874

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From cannabis to the endocannabinoid system: refocussing attention on potential clinical benefits.

Image result for West Indian Med J

“Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to man. Over the past four thousand years, it has been used for the treatment of numerous diseases but due to its psychoactive properties, its current medicinal usage is highly restricted. In this review, we seek to highlight advances made over the last forty years in the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the effects of cannabis on the human body and how these can potentially be utilized in clinical practice. During this time, the primary active ingredients in cannabis have been isolated, specific cannabinoid receptors have been discovered and at least five endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) have been identified. Together, these form the framework of a complex endocannabinoid signalling system that has widespread distribution in the body and plays a role in regulating numerous physiological processes within the body. Cannabinoid ligands are therefore thought to display considerable therapeutic potential and the drive to develop compounds that can be targeted to specific neuronal systems at low enough doses so as to eliminate cognitive side effects remains the ‘holy grail’ of endocannabinoid research.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23155985

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Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: 367 (1607)

“Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23108552

“Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities”  http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1607/3353.long

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