Acute effect of vaporized Cannabis on sleep and electrocortical activity.

Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior

“The use of Cannabis for medical purposes is rapidly expanding and is usually employed as a self-medication for the treatment of insomnia disorder.

However, the effect on sleep seems to depend on multiple factors such as composition of the Cannabis, dosage and route of administration. Vaporization is the recommended route for the administration of Cannabis for medical purposes; however, there is no published research about the effects of vaporized Cannabis on sleep, neither in laboratory animals, nor in humans.

Because previous reports suggested that low doses of THC have sedating effects, the aim of the present study was to characterize in rats, the acute effects on sleep induced by the administration of low doses of THC by means of vaporization of a specific type of Cannabis (THC 11.5% and negligible amounts of other cannabinoids).

For this purpose, polysomnographic recordings in chronically prepared rats were performed during 6 h in the light and dark phases. Animals were treated with 0 (control), 40, 80 and 200 mg of Cannabis immediately before the beginning of recordings; the THC plasma concentrations with these doses were low (up to 6.7 ng/mL with 200 mg). A quantitative EEG analyses by means of the spectral power and coherence estimations was also performed for the highest Cannabis dose.

Compared to control, 200 mg of Cannabis increased NREM sleep time during the light phase, but only during the first hour of recording. Interestingly, no changes on sleep were observed during the dark (active) phase or with lower doses of Cannabis. Cannabis 200 mg also produced EEG power reductions in different cortices, mainly for high frequency bands during W and REM sleep, but only during the light phase. On the contrary, a reduction in the sleep spindles intra-hemispheric coherence was observed during NREM sleep, but only during the dark phase.

In conclusion, administration of low doses of THC by vaporization of a specific type of Cannabis produced a small increment of NREM sleep, but only during the light (resting) phase. This was accompanied by subtle modifications of high frequency bands power (during the light phase) and spindle coherence (during the dark phase), which are associated with cognitive processing.

Our results reassure the importance of exploring the sleep-promoting properties of Cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30822492

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305718304714?via%3Dihub

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Spontaneous, anecdotal, retrospective, open-label study on the efficacy, safety and tolerability of cannabis galenical preparation (Bedrocan).

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“Our main aim was to investigate the short-term therapeutic effects, safety/tolerability and potential side effects of the cannabis galenical preparation (Bedrocan) in patients with a range of chronic conditions unresponsive to other treatments.

METHODS:

In this retrospective, ‘compassionate use’, observational, open-label study, 20 patients (age 18-80 years) who had appealed to our ‘Second Opinion Medical Consulting Network’ (Modena, Italy), were instructed to take sublingually the galenical oil twice a day for 3 months of treatment. The usual starting dose was low (0.5 ml/day) and gradually titrated upward to the highest recommended dose (1 ml/day). Tolerability and adverse effects were assessed at baseline and monthly thereafter during the treatment period through direct contact (email or telephone) or visit if required. Patients’ quality of life was evaluated at baseline and 3 months using the medical outcome short-form health survey questionnaire (SF-36).

KEY FINDINGS:

From baseline to 6 months post-treatment, SF-36 scores showed: reductions in total pain (P < 0.03); improvements in the physical component (P < 0.02); vitality (P < 0.03); social role functioning (P < 0.02); and general health state (P < 0.02). No changes in role limitations (P = 0.02) due to emotional state (e.g. panic, depression, mood alteration) were reported. Monthly reports of psychoactive adverse effects showed significant insomnia reduction (P < 0.03) and improvement in mood (P < 0.03) and concentration (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that a cannabis galenical preparation may be therapeutically effective and safe for the symptomatic treatment of some chronic diseases. Further studies on the efficacy of cannabis as well as cannabinoid system involvement in the pathophysiology are warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30768819

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ijpp.12514

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Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high.”

A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population.

DESIGN:

A large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Sleep and anxiety scores, using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment.

RESULTS:

The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.

CONCLUSION:

Cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders. Controlled clinical studies are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624194

http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2019/winter/6960-cannabis.html

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Medical Cannabis for Older Patients.

“Interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is mounting worldwide. Fueled by enthusiastic media coverage, patients perceive cannabinoids as a natural remedy for many symptoms. Cannabinoid use is of particular interest for older individuals who may experience symptoms such as chronic pain, sleep disturbance, cancer-related symptoms and mood disorders, all of which are often poorly controlled by current drug treatments that may also incur medication-induced side effects. This review provides a summary of the evidence for use of cannabinoids, and medical cannabis in particular, for this age group, with attention to efficacy and harms. Evidence of efficacy for relief of an array of symptoms is overall scanty, and almost all study participants are aged < 60 years. The risk of known and potential adverse effects is considerable, with concerns for cognitive, cardiovascular and gait and stability effects in older adults. Finally, in light of the paucity of clinical evidence and increasing patient requests for information or use, we propose a pragmatic clinical approach to a rational dialogue with older patients, highlighting the importance of individual benefit-risk assessment and shared patient-clinician decision making.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30488174

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40266-018-0616-5

“Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. Cannabis use may decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29398248

“Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids: study” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-medical-cannabis-significantly-safer-elderly.html
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Cannabidiol affects circadian clock core complex and its regulation in microglia cells.

Addiction Biology banner

“Cannabis is often used by consumers for sleep disorders.

Our study suggests that circadian rhythm in microglial cells is deregulated by CBD but not by THC.

It is consistent with clinical observations of the use of therapeutic cannabis to treat insomnia.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30307084

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/adb.12660

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Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.

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“Among the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that does not produce the typical subjective effects of marijuana.

The aim of the present review is to describe the main advances in the development of the experimental and clinical use of cannabidiol CBD in neuropsychiatry.

CBD was shown to have anxiolytic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties. In addition, basic and clinical investigations on the effects of CBD have been carried out in the context of many other health conditions, including its potential use in epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and Parkinson.

CBD is an useful and promising molecule that may help patients with a number of clinical conditions. Controlled clinical trials with different neuropsychiatric populations that are currently under investigation should bring important answers in the near future and support the translation of research findings to clinical settings.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30298064

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009/full

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A Brief Background on Cannabis: From Plant to Medical Indications.

 Ingenta Connect

“Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years.

As a result of centuries of breeding and selection, there are now over 700 varieties of cannabis that contain hundreds of compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids are fatty compounds that are the main biological active constituents of cannabis. Terpenes are volatile compounds that occur in many plants and have distinct odors.

Cannabinoids exert their effect on the body by binding to receptors, specifically cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2. These receptors, together with endogenous cannabinoids and the systems for synthesis, transport, and degradation, are called the Endocannabinoid System.

The two most prevalent and commonly known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol.

The speed, strength, and type of effects of cannabis vary based on the route of administration. THC is rapidly distributed through the body to fatty tissues like the brain and is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is also psychoactive.

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been indicated for several medical conditions.

There is evidence of efficacy in the symptomatic treatment of nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, loss of appetite, Tourette’s syndrome, and epilepsy. Cannabis has also been associated with treatment for glaucoma, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and dystonia, but there is not good evidence to support its efficacy. Side effects of cannabis include psychosis and anxiety, which can be severe.

Here, we provided a summary of the history of cannabis, its pharmacology, and its medical uses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30139415

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Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions.

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“Background: We use a mobile software application (app) to measure for the first time, which fundamental characteristics of raw, natural medical Cannabis flower are associated with changes in perceived insomnia under naturalistic conditions.

Methods: Four hundred and nine people with a specified condition of insomnia completed 1056 medical cannabis administration sessions using the Releaf AppTM educational software during which they recorded real-time ratings of self-perceived insomnia severity levels prior to and following consumption, experienced side effects, and product characteristics, including combustion method, cannabis subtypes, and/or major cannabinoid contents of cannabis consumed. Within-user effects of different flower characteristics were modeled using a fixed effects panel regression approach with standard errors clustered at the user level.

Results: Releaf AppTM users showed an average symptom severity reduction of -4.5 points on a 0⁻10 point visual analogue scale (SD = 2.7, d = 2.10, p < 0.001). Use of pipes and vaporizers was associated with greater symptom relief and more positive and context-specific side effects as compared to the use of joints, while vaporization was also associated with lower negative effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) was associated with greater statistically significant symptom relief than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the cannabinoid levels generally were not associated with differential side effects. Flower from C. sativa plants was associated with more negative side effects than flower from C. indica or hybrid plant subtypes.

Conclusions: Consumption of medical Cannabis flower is associated with significant improvements in perceived insomnia with differential effectiveness and side effect profiles, depending on the product characteristics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29997343

http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/3/75

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Systemic Injections of Cannabidiol Enhance Acetylcholine Levels from Basal Forebrain in Rats.

Neurochemical Research

Cannabis sativa is a plant that contains more than 500 components, of which the most studied are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Several studies have indicated that CBD displays neurobiological effects, including wake promotion.

Moreover, experimental evidence has shown that injections of CBD enhance wake-related compounds, such as monoamines (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). However, no clear evidence is available regarding the effects of CBD on additional wake-related neurochemicals such as acetylcholine (ACh).

Here, we demonstrate that systemic injections of CBD (0, 5, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) at the beginning of the lights-on period, increase the extracellular levels of ACh collected from the basal forebrain and measured by microdialysis and HPLC means. Moreover, the time course effects on the contents of ACh were present 5 h post-injection of CBD.

Altogether, these data demonstrate that CBD increases ACh levels in a brain region related to wake control. This study is the first to show the effects of ACh levels in CBD-treated rats and suggests that the basal forebrain might be a site of action of CBD for wakefulness modulation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29876791

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Therapeutic Symptomatic Strategies in the Parasomnias.

Current Treatment Options in Neurology

“The purpose of this review was to discuss the currently available pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options for parasomnias.

Cannabinoids proved to be effective in some of parasomnias, as in many other neurological disorders.

Prazosin and cannabinoids are effective in nightmare disorder.”

“Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or during arousal from sleep.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasomnia
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