Safety, efficacy, and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids in neurological disorders.

The Lancet Neurology

“In the past two decades, there has been an increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, pain, and neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabis-based treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis have been approved in some countries. Randomised controlled trials of plant-derived cannabidiol for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe childhood-onset epilepsies, provide evidence of anti-seizure effects. Despite positive results in these two severe epilepsy syndromes, further studies are needed to determine if the anti-seizure effects of cannabidiol extend to other forms of epilepsy, to overcome pharmacokinetic challenges with oral cannabinoids, and to uncover the exact mechanisms by which cannabidiol or other exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids exert their therapeutic effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30910443

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(19)30032-8/fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Daily Practice Managing Resistant Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity With Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: Cannabidiol Oromucosal Spray: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies.

 Image result for journal of central nervous system disease“Spasticity is one of the most common symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Conventional anti-spasticity agents have limitations in their efficacy and tolerability.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol: cannabidiol (THC:CBD) spray, a cannabinoid-based medicine, is approved as an add-on therapy for MS spasticity not adequately controlled by other anti-spasticity medications. The results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated a reduction in the severity of spasticity and associated symptoms. However, RCTs do not always reflect real-life outcomes. We systematically reviewed the complementary evidence from non-interventional real-world studies.

METHODS:

A systematic literature review was conducted to identify all non-RCT publications on THC:CBD spray between 2011 and 2017. Data on study design, patient characteristics, effectiveness, and safety outcomes were extracted from those publications meeting our inclusion criteria.

RESULTS:

In total, we reviewed 14 real-world publications including observational studies and treatment registries. The proportion of patients reaching the threshold of minimal clinical important difference (MCID), with at least a 20% reduction of the spasticity Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score after 4 weeks ranged from 41.9% to 82.9%. The reduction in the mean NRS spasticity score after 4 weeks was maintained over 6-12 months. The average daily dose was five to six sprays. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol: cannabidiol was well tolerated in the evaluated studies in the same way as in the RCTs. No new or unexpected adverse events or safety signals were reported in everyday clinical practice.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data evaluated in this systematic review provide evidence for the efficacy and safety of THC:CBD in clinical practice and confirm results obtained in RCTs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30886530

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1179573519831997

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoid system: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Related image

“Cannabis sativa, is also popularly known as marijuana, has been cultivated and used for recreational and medicinal purposes for many centuries.

The main psychoactive content in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to plant cannabis sativa, there are two classes of cannabinoids—the synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., WIN55212–2) and the endogenous cannabinoids (eCB), anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

The biological effects of cannabinoids are mainly mediated by two members of the G-protein-coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2 (CB2R). The endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes/proteins responsible for their biosynthesis, degradation, and re-updating constitute the endocannabinoid system.

In recent decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target in numerous physiological conditions, such as in energy balance, appetite stimulation, blood pressure, pain modulation, embryogenesis, nausea and vomiting control, memory, learning and immune response, as well as in pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The major goal of this Special Issue is to discuss and evaluate the current progress in cannabis and cannabinoid research in order to increase our understanding about cannabinoid action and the underlying biological mechanisms and promote the development cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies.

 Overall, the present special issue provides an overview and insight on pharmacological mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and eCB system. I believe that this special issue will promote further efforts to apply cannabinoid ligands as the therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of diseases.”
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Tetrahydrocannabinol: cannabidiol oromucosal spray for treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis spasticity: newest evidence

Future Medicine Logo

“Proceedings of an Almirall-sponsored satellite symposium held at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis in Berlin, Germany, 10 October 2018.” https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0048

“Newest evidence for tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol oromucosal spray from postapproval pragmatic studies. Postapproval studies have an essential role in demonstrating that an intervention is effective and well tolerated during use in daily clinical practice. Numerous large observational and registry studies of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray have been conducted subsequent to its approval in Europe in 2011. Collectively, these studies provide valuable insight into various aspects of THC:CBD spray during real-world use in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity, including its long-term effectiveness and tolerability. The Italian Medicines Agency’s web-based registry is the largest observational study of THC:CBD oromucosal spray conducted to date, reporting on more than 1600 patients prescribed THC:CBD spray since it was introduced in Italy in 2013, and further supporting its effectiveness and tolerability profile.” https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0049

“Newest evidence for tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol oromucosal spray from randomized clinical trials. Subsequent to EMA approval of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray based on results of various studies, including an enriched-design clinical trial, two newer postapproval randomized trials have confirmed its efficacy and safety for treating resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity, while simultaneously addressing specific authorities’ concerns. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase IV trial, conducted as part of the EMA’s risk management plan, found no effect of THC:CBD spray on cognition and mood after 50 weeks of treatment. In the Sativex® as add-on therapy versus further optimized first-line ANTispastics (SAVANT)  study, add-on THC:CBD spray was significantly more effective than readjusting standard antispasticity therapy and provided new evidence of efficacy as requested by German authorities. SAVANT results support practical recommendations for treating resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity in daily practice.”  https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0050

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Assessment of Efficacy and Tolerability of Medicinal Cannabinoids in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Image result for jama network open

“Cannabinoids have antispastic and analgesic effects; however, their role in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms is not well defined.

OBJECTIVE:

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy and tolerability of medicinal cannabinoids compared with placebo in the symptomatic treatment of patients with MS.

STUDY SELECTION:

Randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trials evaluating the effect of medicinal cannabinoids by oral or oromucosal route of administration on the symptoms of spasticity, pain, or bladder dysfunction in adult patients with MS.

RESULTS:

Seventeen selected trials including 3161 patients were analyzed. Significant findings for the efficacy of cannabinoids vs placebo were SMD = -0.25 SD (95% CI, -0.38 to -0.13 SD) for spasticity (subjective patient assessment data), -0.17 SD (95% CI, -0.31 to -0.03 SD) for pain, and -0.11 SD (95% CI, -0.22 to -0.0008 SD) for bladder dysfunction. Results favored cannabinoids. Findings for tolerability were RR = 1.72 patient-years (95% CI, 1.46-2.02 patient-years) in the total adverse events analysis and 2.95 patient-years (95% CI, 2.14-4.07 patient-years) in withdrawals due to adverse events. Results described a higher risk for cannabinoids. The serious adverse events meta-analysis showed no statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

The results suggest a limited efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in patients with MS. Therapy using these drugs can be considered as safe.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30646241

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2706499

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Special Considerations and Assessment in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America

“Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune neurologic disorder that may affect any region of the central nervous system. Spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis can be debilitating and detrimental to the function and quality of life of patients. Treatment options include oral medications, chemodenervation, physical therapy, and modalities.

Cannabinoids in the form of a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol oro-mucosal spray has been shown to be effective in addressing spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Successful treatment of spasticity will be integrated, multimodal, and individualized.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30626509

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047965118307617?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The protective effects of β-caryophyllene on LPS-induced primary microglia M1/M2 imbalance: A mechanistic evaluation.

Life Sciences

“Neuroinflammation is observed as a routine characterization of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s diseases (AD). Scientific evidence propounds both of the neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory effects of CB2 in the immune system. β-Caryophyllene (BCP) is a dietary selective CB2 agonist, which deserves the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects at both low and high doses through activation of the CB2 receptor.

METHODS:

In this study, we investigated the protective effects of a broad range concentration of BCP against LPS-induced primary microglia cells inflammation and M1/M2 imbalance and identifying the portion of the involvement of related signaling pathways on BCP effects using pharmacological antagonists of CB2, PPAR-γ, and sphingomyelinase (SMase).

KEY FINDINGS:

The protective effects of BCP on LPS-induced microglia imbalance is provided by the M2 healing phenotype of microglia, releasing the anti-inflammatory (IL-10, Arg-1, and urea) and anti-oxidant (GSH) parameters and reducing the inflammatory (IL-1β, TNF-α, PGE2, iNOS and NO) and oxidative (ROS) biomarkers. Moreover, we showed that BCP exerts its effects through CB2receptors which overproduction of ceramides by SMase at middle to higher concentrations of BCP reduce the protective activity of BCP and results in the activation of the PPAR-γ pathway.

SIGNIFICANCE:

In conclusion, the low concentration of BCP has higher selective anti-inflammatory effects rather than high levels. On this occasion, BCP by modulating the microglia is able to have potential therapeutic effects in neuro-inflammation conditions and microglia cells such as MS and AD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620895

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320518308610?via%3Dihub

“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

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

A Review of Herbal Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

Logo of advpharmbull

“Medicinal plants have opened a new horizon in curing neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, AD and MS. literature data review indicated that herbal medicines could be effective in the treatment of MS disease and itsʼ related symptoms, by reducing the demyelination, improving remyelination and suppressing the inflammation in the CNS. On the basis of the above mentioned review, it can be concluded that the anti-inflammatory effect is the main reason of medicinal plants therapeutic effects in MS disease, through which medicinal plants ameliorate the severity of disease and reduce neuropathological changes. In addition to neuroprotective effect, medicinal plants have other beneficial effects for MS patients, such as sedation, improving sleep quality, anti-depressant effects, relief muscle stiffness and reducing bladder disturbance. The medicinal plants and their derivatives; Ginkgo biloba, Zingiber officinale, Curcuma longa, Hypericum perforatum, Valeriana officinalis, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Nigella sativa,Piper methysticum, Crocus sativus, Panax ginseng, Boswellia papyrifera, Vitis vinifera, Gastrodia elata, Camellia sinensis, Oenothera biennis, MS14 and Cannabis sativa have been informed to have several therapeutic effects in MS patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311642/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30607330

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Safety and efficacy of nabiximols on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease (CANALS): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

The Lancet Neurology

“Spasticity is a major determinant of disability and decline in quality of life in patients with motor neuron disease.

Cannabinoids have been approved for symptomatic treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis. We investigated whether cannabinoids might also reduce spasticity in patients with motor neuron disease.

Nabiximols was well tolerated, and no participants withdrew from the double-blind phase of the study. No serious adverse effects occurred.

INTERPRETATION:

In this proof-of-concept trial, nabiximols had a positive effect on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease and had an acceptable safety and tolerability profile.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30554828

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(18)30406-X/fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Exploring cannabis use by patients with multiple sclerosis in a state where cannabis is legal.

Related image

“Studies suggest cannabis may improve symptoms like pain and muscle spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). As cannabis legalization has impacted the variety of cannabis products available, there appears to be growing numbers of PwMS using cannabis, with this study’s Cannabis users (CUs) reporting use of highly efficacious products with minimal side-effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30502644

https://www.msard-journal.com/article/S2211-0348(18)30515-7/fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous