Cannabis and multiple sclerosis.

BMJ Journals

“Patients with multiple sclerosis have long turned to complementary therapies to manage symptoms that licensed products can only partially control. Around half of patients with multiple sclerosis admit to previous or current cannabis use for medicinal purposes and would endorse legalisation. Despite many governments worldwide relaxing regulations around medicinal cannabis, there remain many unanswered questions as to how clinicians should prescribe or recommend products, and access to pharmaceutical-grade products remains highly restricted. Here we address what adult neurologists need to know about cannabis and its use in multiple sclerosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31201234

https://pn.bmj.com/content/early/2019/06/14/practneurol-2018-002137

“There are many anectodal reports of multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers using the drug and reporting beneficial effects on spasticity, pain, tremor and mood.”  https://pn.bmj.com/content/2/3/154?int_source=trendmd&int_campaign=usage-042019&int_medium=cpc

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Cannabinoid receptors as therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases: where do we stand?

Drug Discovery Today

“Described during the late 1980s and 1990s, cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by endogenous ligands and cannabinoid drug compounds, such as Δ9-THC. Whereas CB1R has a role in the regulation of neurotransmission in different brain regions and mainly mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, CB2R is found predominantly in the cells and tissues of the immune system and mediates anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory processes. Studies have demonstrated that CB1R and CB2R can affect the activation of T cells, B cells, monocytes, and microglial cells, inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression and upregulating proresolution mediators. Thus, in this review, we summarize the mechanisms by which CBRs interact with the autoimmune environment and the potential to suppress the development and activation of autoreactive cells. Finally, we highlight how the modulation of CB1R and CB2R is advantageous in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31158514

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359644618304847?via%3Dihub

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[Medicinal cannabis].

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“The use of cannabis products for medical purposes is rapidly increasing in the Netherlands. Studies suggest that these products have positive effects in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, multiple-sclerosis-related spasticity, certain epilepsy syndromes and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31120212

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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

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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

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

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“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.”
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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

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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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