The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

 SpringerLink“Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in many cultures for the treatment of several ailments including pain.

The benefits of cannabis are mediated largely by cannabinoids, the most prominent of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As such, THC and/or CBD have been investigated in clinical studies for the treatment of many conditions including neuropathic pain and acute or chronic inflammation.

While a plethora of studies have examined the biochemical effects of purified THC and/or CBD, only a few have focused on the effects of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract. Accordingly, studies using purified THC or CBD may not accurately reflect the potential health benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.

Indeed, the cannabis plant produces a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive molecules which are likely to contribute to the different biological effects. The presence of all these bioactive molecules in cannabis extracts has garnered much attention of late especially with regard to their potential role in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.:

Herein, the current knowledge about the potential beneficial effects of existing products of full-spectrum cannabis extract in clinical studies involving patients with multiple sclerosis is extensively reviewed. In addition, the possible adverse effects associated with cannabis use is discussed along with how the method of extraction and the delivery mechanisms of different cannabis extracts contribute to the pharmacokinetic and biological effects of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32239248

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00011-020-01341-1

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Perspectives on Cannabis-Based Therapy of Multiple Sclerosis: A Mini-Review.

Image result for frontiers in cellular neuroscience“The consistency, efficacy, and safety of cannabis-based medicines have been demonstrated in humans, leading to the approval of the first cannabis-based therapy to alleviate spasticity and pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Indeed, the evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for the management of pathological events related to this disease is ever increasing.

Different mechanisms of action have been proposed for cannabis-based treatments in mouse models of demyelination, such as Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) and Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus-Induced Demyelinating Disease (TMEV-IDD). Cells in the immune and nervous system express the machinery to synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids, as well as their CB1 and CB2 receptors, each mediating different intracellular pathways upon activation. Hence, the effects of cannabinoids on cells of the immune system, on the blood-brain barrier (BBB), microglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons, potentially open the way for a plethora of therapeutic actions on different targets that could aid the management of MS.

As such, cannabinoids could have an important impact on the outcome of MS in terms of the resolution of inflammation or the potentiation of endogenous repair in the central nervous system (CNS), as witnessed in the EAE, TMEV-IDD and toxic demyelination models, and through other in vitro approaches. In this mini review article, we summarize what is currently known about the peripheral and central effects of cannabinoids in relation to the neuroinflammation coupled to MS. We pay special attention to their effects on remyelination and axon preservation within the CNS, considering the major questions raised in the field and future research directions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32140100

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2020.00034/full

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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Cannabinoid Oromucosal Spray Use for the Management of Spasticity in Subjects with Multiple Sclerosis.

 SpringerLink“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a highly symptomatic disease, with a wide range of disabilities affecting many bodily functions, even in younger persons with a short disease history.

The availability of a cannabinoid oromucosal spray (Sativex) for the management of treatment-resistant MS spasticity has provided a new opportunity for many patients.

OBJECTIVE:

Our study aimed to assess the cost effectiveness of Sativex in Italian patients with treatment-resistant MS spasticity. The analysis was based on the real-world data of a large registry of Italian patients.

CONCLUSION:

The use of Sativex could improve the quality of life of patients with a reasonable incremental cost resulting as a cost-effective option for patients with MS-resistant spasticity. These results could help clinicians and decision makers to develop improved management strategies for spasticity in patients with MS, optimizing the use of available resources.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32130684

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40261-020-00895-6

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Application of Cannabinoids in Neurosciences: Considerations and Implications.

 Current Issue Cover Image“Medicinal cannabinoid use continues to evolve across the United States, although legitimate federal recognition for medicinal purpose is lacking. Variability exists across states within the United States with respect to legislation, and health care institutions encounter challenges when patients present with a history of medicinal cannabinoid use. Emerging evidence in the field of neurosciences suggests a role of cannabinoids for neurologic medical conditions such as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. We aim to provide an overview of cannabinoids including a historical perspective, pharmacology, applications in neurosciences, and challenges in health care and academia. Knowledge of the appropriate role of cannabinoids in the clinical setting is essential for all health care practitioners including nursing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32084064

https://journals.lww.com/ccnq/Abstract/2020/04000/Application_of_Cannabinoids_in_Neurosciences_.9.aspx

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Cannabis use in people with multiple sclerosis and spasticity: A cross-sectional analysis.

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders Home

“Growing evidence supports that cannabinoids relieve MS-related spasticity but little is known about cannabis use among people with MS (PwMS) and spasticity.

 

OBJECTIVE:

To characterize cannabis use among PwMS and spasticity.

METHODS:

As part of baseline data collection for a spasticity intervention trial in Oregon, PwMS and self-reported spasticity answered questions about cannabis use.

RESULTS:

54% reported ever using cannabis and 36% currently use. 79% use multiple routes of administration, 58% use at least daily. 79% find cannabis helpful for spasticity and 26% use cannabis and prescribed oral antispasticity medications.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many PwMS and spasticity use cannabis and report it helps their spasticity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32086163

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2211034820300857

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Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol oromucosal spray in resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity: consistency of response across subgroups from the SAVANT randomized clinical trial.

 Publication Cover“To determine whether differences in disability status, spasticity severity, and spasticity duration at treatment start in patients with resistant multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity might influence response to add-on tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray (nabiximols) versus further re-adjustment of optimized first-line antispasticity medication.

Methods: Using the database from the Sativex® as Add-on therapy Vs. further optimized first-line ANTispastics (SAVANT) study, this post hoc analysis evaluated spasticity severity (0-10 Numerical Rating Scale [NRS] scores) and pain severity (0-10 NRS scores) evolution from randomization (baseline) to week 12 (end of double-blind treatment) in defined subgroups: Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score subgroups (< 6 and ≥6); spasticity severity 0-10 NRS score subgroups (4 to ≤6 and >6), and spasticity duration subgroups (< 5 and ≥5 years).

Results: THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) halved mean severity scores for spasticity and pain in all subgroups. Active treatment significantly improved mean spasticity severity scores versus placebo from week 4 onwards in both EDSS subgroups, in the severe spasticity subgroup, and in both spasticity duration subgroups. Active treatment significantly improved mean pain severity scores versus placebo in the ≥6 EDSS subgroup, in the severe spasticity subgroup and in both spasticity duration subgroups.

Conclusion: Add-on THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) consistently relieves resistant spasticity across subgroups defined by baseline EDSS score, spasticity severity NRS score and spasticity duration. Patients with moderate resistant MS spasticity benefit numerically from treatment; patients with severe resistant spasticity achieve significant therapeutic gains. Spasticity-associated pain often improves similarly in the same subgroups.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32065006

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207454.2020.1730832?journalCode=ines20

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Source of cannabinoids: what is available, what is used, and where does it come from?

John Libbey Eurotext“Cannabis sativa L. is an ancient medicinal plant wherefrom over 120 cannabinoids are extracted. In the past two decades, there has been increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis-based treatments for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, and there is now evidence for the medical use of cannabis and its effectiveness for a wide range of diseases.

Cannabinoid treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (Nabiximols) have been approved in several countries. Cannabidiol (CBD), in contrast to tetra-hydro-cannabidiol (THC), is not a controlled substance in the European Union, and over the years there has been increasing use of CBD-enriched extracts and pure CBD for seizure disorders, particularly in children. No analytical controls are mandatory for CBD-based products and a pronounced variability in CBD concentrations in commercialized CBD oil preparations has been identified.

Randomized controlled trials of plant-derived CBD for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) have provided evidence of anti-seizure effects, and in June 2018, CBD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an add-on antiepileptic drug for patients two years of age and older with LGS or DS. Medical cannabis, with various ratios of CBD and THC and in different galenic preparations, is licensed in many European countries for several indications, and in July 2019, the European Medicines Agency also granted marketing authorisation for CBD in association with clobazam, for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or DS.

The purpose of this article is to review the availability of cannabis-based products and cannabinoid-based medicines, together with current regulations regarding indications in Europe (as of July 2019). The lack of approval by the central agencies, as well as social and political influences, have led to significant variation in usage between countries.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31941643

https://www.jle.com/fr/revues/epd/e-docs/source_of_cannabinoids_what_is_available_what_is_used_and_where_does_it_come_from__316043/article.phtml

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Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders.

 Related image“Anecdotal evidence that cannabis preparations have medical benefits together with the discovery of the psychotropic plant cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) initiated efforts to develop cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

These efforts have been marked by disappointment, especially in relation to the unwanted central effects that result from activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), which have limited the therapeutic use of drugs that activate or inactivate this receptor.

The discovery of CB2 and of endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligands (endocannabinoids) raised new possibilities for safe targeting of this endocannabinoid system. However, clinical success has been limited, complicated by the discovery of an expanded endocannabinoid system – known as the endocannabinoidome – that includes several mediators that are biochemically related to the endocannabinoids, and their receptors and metabolic enzymes.

The approvals of nabiximols, a mixture of THC and the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol, for the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and of purified botanical cannabidiol for the treatment of otherwise untreatable forms of paediatric epilepsy, have brought the therapeutic use of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in neurological diseases into the limelight.

In this Review, we provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome before discussing their involvement in and clinical relevance to a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy and glioblastoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31831863

“The existence of the endocannabinoidome explains in part why some non-euphoric cannabinoids, which affect several endocannabinoidome proteins, are useful for the treatment of neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41582-019-0284-z

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NICE recommends cannabis based drugs for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis

Image result for the bmj journal“In final appraisal documents the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended the use of cannabidiol with clobazam for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The decision comes after NICE initially rejected the use of cannabidiol in draft appraisal documents released in August because of concerns over a lack of data on the drug’s long term effectiveness.

However, in its latest documents NICE has recommended the drug for people aged 2 or over, reporting that clinical trials had shown that, in comparison with usual care, cannabidiol reduced the number of drop and non-drop seizures and the number of convulsive and non-convulsive seizures.

The final appraisal documents are out for consultation until 27 November, and final approval is expected on 18 December.

The documents were released alongside NICE’s final guideline on cannabis based medicinal products. In this, NICE also recommends the use of nabiximols for patients with multiple sclerosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31712197

https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6453

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Cannabidiol Regulates Gene Expression in Encephalitogenic T cells Using Histone Methylation and noncoding RNA during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

 Scientific Reports“Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown by our laboratory to attenuate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In this study, we used microarray and next generation sequencing (NGS)-based approaches to determine whether CBD would alter genome-wide histone modification and gene expression in MOG sensitized lymphocytes.

In summary, this study demonstrates that CBD suppresses inflammation through multiple mechanisms, from histone methylation to miRNA to lncRNA.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31673072

“Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has many biologically active compounds and its medicinal value has been known for centuries. CBD has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in several animal models. In immune system, studies from our lab as well as those from others have shown that both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties. ”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-52362-8

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