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

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“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

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

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“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

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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

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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

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A Review of Herbal Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

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“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

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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

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

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“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

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Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of GPR55 antagonists in LPS-activated primary microglial cells.

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“Neuroinflammation plays a vital role in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) has been reported to modulate inflammation and is expressed in immune cells such as monocytes and microglia.

Targeting GPR55 might be a new therapeutic option to treat neurodegenerative diseases with a neuroinflammatory background such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, and multiple sclerosis (MS).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30453998

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-018-1362-7

“Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20298715

“Our findings also suggest that GPR55 may be a new pharmacological target for the following C. sativa constituents: Δ9-THCV, CBDV, CBGA, and CBGV. These Cannabis sativa constituents may represent novel therapeutics targeting GPR55.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249141/

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The Endocannabinoid System and Oligodendrocytes in Health and Disease.

 Image result for frontiers in neuroscience“Cannabinoid-based interventions are being explored for central nervous system (CNS) pathologies such as neurodegeneration, demyelination, epilepsy, stroke, and trauma. As these disease states involve dysregulation of myelin integrity and/or remyelination, it is important to consider effects of the endocannabinoid system on oligodendrocytes and their precursors. In this review, we examine research reports on the effects of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) components on oligodendrocytes and their precursors, with a focus on therapeutic implications. Cannabinoid ligands and modulators of the endocannabinoid system promote cell signaling in oligodendrocyte precursor survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation, and mature oligodendrocyte survival and myelination. Agonist stimulation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) at both CB1 and CB2 receptors counter apoptotic processes via Akt/PI3K, and promote proliferation via Akt/mTOR and ERK pathways. CB1 receptors in radial glia promote proliferation and conversion to progenitors fated to become oligodendroglia, whereas CB2 receptors promote OPC migration in neonatal development. OPCs produce 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), stimulating cannabinoid receptor-mediated ERK pathways responsible for differentiation to arborized, myelin basic protein (MBP)-producing oligodendrocytes. In cell culture models of excitotoxicity, increased reactive oxygen species, and depolarization-dependent calcium influx, CB1 agonists improved viability of oligodendrocytes. In transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion models of anoxic stroke, WIN55212-2 increased OPC proliferation and maturation to oligodendroglia, thereby reducing cerebral tissue damage. In several models of rodent encephalomyelitis, chronic treatment with cannabinoid agonists ameliorated the damage by promoting OPC survival and oligodendrocyte function. Pharmacotherapeutic strategies based upon ECS and oligodendrocyte production and survival should be considered.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30416422

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00733/full

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

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“Are medicinal cannabinoids effective and well tolerated in the treatment of multiple sclerosis?

Findings  In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 randomized clinical trials including 3161 patients, cannabinoids were significantly associated with efficacy for subjective spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction compared with placebo. Cannabinoids had a higher risk of adverse events and withdrawals due to adverse events, with no statistically significant differences found for serious adverse events.

Meaning  Cannabinoids appear to be safe regarding serious adverse events, but their clinical benefit may be limited.

Cannabinoids have antispastic and analgesic effects.

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

“MEDICAL MARIJUANA USES: CANNABIS MAY EASE SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS” https://www.newsweek.com/medical-marijuana-may-ease-symptoms-multiple-sclerosis-1170416

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