Antiemetic Effects of Cannabinoid Agonists in Nonhuman Primates

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics“Attenuating emesis elicited by both disease and medical treatments of disease remains a critical public health challenge.

Although cannabinergic medications have been used in certain treatment-resistant populations, FDA-approved cannabinoid antiemetics are associated with undesirable side effects, including cognitive disruption, that limit their prescription. Previous studies have shown that a metabolically stable analog of the endocannabinoid anandamide, methanandamide (mAEA), may produce lesser cognitive disruption than that associated with the primary psychoactive constituent in cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), raising the possibility that endocannabinoids may offer a therapeutic advantage over currently used medications.

The present studies were conducted to evaluate this possibility by comparing the antiemetic effects of Δ9-THC (0.032-0.1 mg/kg) and mAEA (3.2-10.0 mg/kg), against nicotine- and lithium chloride (LiCl)-induced emesis and prodromal hypersalivation in squirrel monkeys.

These studies systematically demonstrate for the first time the antiemetic effects of cannabinoid agonists in nonhuman primates. Importantly, although Δ9-THC produced superior antiemetic effects, the milder cognitive effects of mAEA demonstrated in previous studies suggests that it may provide a favorable treatment option under clinical circumstances in which antiemetic efficacy must be balanced against side-effect liability.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Emesis has significant evolutionary value as a defense mechanism against ingested toxins; however, it is also one of the most common adverse symptoms associated with both disease and medical treatments of disease. The development of improved anti-emetic pharmacotherapies has been impeded by a paucity of animal models.

The present studies systematically demonstrate for the first time the antiemetic effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and endocannabinoid-analog methanandamide in nonhuman primates.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32561684/

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/19/jpet.120.265710

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Evaluation of Repeated or Acute Treatment With Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) or CBDA Methyl Ester (HU-580) on Nausea and/or Vomiting in Rats and Shrews

 SpringerLink“Rationale: When acutely administered intraperitoneally, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), its acidic precursor cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and a stable methyl ester of CBDA (HU-580) reduce lithium chloride (LiCl)-induced conditioned gaping in male rats (a selective preclinical model of acute nausea) via activation of the serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptor.

Objectives: To utilise these compounds to manage nausea in the clinic, we must determine if their effectiveness is maintained when injected subcutaneously (s.c) and when repeatedly administered. First, we compared the effectiveness of each of these compounds to reduce conditioned gaping following repeated (7-day) and acute (1-day) pretreatments and whether these anti-nausea effects were mediated by the 5-HT1A receptor. Next, we assessed whether the effectiveness of these compounds can be maintained when administered prior to each of 4 conditioning trials (once per week). We also evaluated the ability of repeated CBD (7 days) to reduce LiCl-induced vomiting in Suncus murinus. Finally, we examined whether acute CBD was equally effective in male and female rats.

Results: Both acute and repeated (7 day) s.c. administrations of CBD (5 mg/kg), CBDA (1 μg/kg) and HU-580 (1 μg/kg) similarly reduced LiCl-induced conditioned gaping, and these effects were blocked by 5HT1A receptor antagonism. When administered over 4 weekly conditioning trials, the anti-nausea effectiveness of each of these compounds was also maintained. Repeated CBD (5 mg/kg, s.c.) maintained its anti-emetic efficacy in S. murinus. Acute CBD (5 and 20 mg/kg, s.c.) administration reduced LiCl-induced conditioned gaping similarly in male and female rats.

Conclusion: When administered repeatedly (7 days), CBD, CBDA and HU-580 did not lose efficacy in reducing nausea and continued to act via agonism of the 5-HT1A receptor. When administered across 4 weekly conditioning trials, they maintained their effectiveness in reducing LiCl-induced nausea. Repeated CBD also reduced vomiting in shrews. Finally, CBD’s anti-nausea effects were similar in male and female rats. This suggests that these cannabinoids may be useful anti-nausea and anti-emetic treatments for chronic conditions, without the development of tolerance.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32488349/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-020-05559-z

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A Comprehensive Patient and Public Involvement Program Evaluating Perception of Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Products in the Treatment of Acute Postoperative Pain, Nausea, and Vomiting Using a Qualitative Thematic Framework.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Cannabis-derived medicinal products (CDMPs) have antiemetic properties and in combination with opioids have synergistic analgesic effects in part signaling through the delta and kappa opioid receptors.

The objective of this patient and public involvement program was to determine perception of perioperative CDMPs in our local population to inform design of a clinical trial.

Consensus was that potential benefits of CDMPs were attractive compared with the known risk profile of opioid use. Decrease in opioid dependence was agreed to be an appropriate clinical end-point for a randomized controlled clinical trial and there was concurrence of positive opinion of a therapeutic schedule of 5 days.

The perception of postoperative CDMP therapy was overwhelmingly positive in this West London population. The data from this thematic analysis will inform protocol development of clinical trials to determine analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of CDMPs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322678

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0020

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Marijuana, Ondansetron, and Promethazine Are Perceived as Most Effective Treatments for Gastrointestinal Nausea.

 SpringerLink“Many anti-nausea treatments are available for chronic gastrointestinal syndromes, but data on efficacy and comparative effectiveness are sparse.

AIMS:

To conduct a sectional survey study of patients with chronic nausea to assess comparative effectiveness of commonly used anti-nausea treatments.

RESULTS:

One hundred and fifty-three patients completed the survey. The mean efficacy score of all anti-nausea treatments evaluated was 1.73. After adjustment, three treatments had scores statically higher than the mean, including marijuana (2.75, p < 0.0001), ondansetron (2.64, p < 0.0001), and promethazine (2.46, p < 0.0001). Several treatments, including many neuromodulators, complementary and alternative treatments, erythromycin, and diphenhydramine had scores statistically below average. Patients with more severe nausea responded better to marijuana (p = 0.036) and diphenhydramine (p < 0.001) and less so to metoclopramide (p = 0.020). There was otherwise no significant differential response by age, gender, nausea localization, underlying gastrointestinal cause of nausea, and GCSI.

CONCLUSIONS:

When treating nausea in patients with chronic gastrointestinal syndromes, clinicians may consider trying higher performing treatments first, and forgoing lower performing treatments. Further prospective research is needed, particularly with respect to highly effective treatments.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32185665

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10620-020-06195-5

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Effect of combined doses of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid and cannabidiolic acid on acute nausea in male Sprague-Dawley rats.

 “This study evaluated the potential of combined cannabis constituents to reduce nausea.

CONCLUSION:

Combinations of very low doses of CBD + THC or CBDA + THCA robustly reduce LiCl-induced conditioned gaping. Clinical trials are necessary to determine the efficacy of using single or combined cannabinoids as adjunct treatments with existing anti-emetic regimens to manage chemotherapy-induced nausea.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31897571

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-019-05428-4

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Cannabis-based medicines and the perioperative physician.

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“Cannabis use for medicinal purposes was first documented in 2900 BC in China, when Emperor Shen Nong described benefit for rheumatism and malaria and later in Ancient Egyptian texts.

Discussion in medical journals, the mainstream and social media around the use of cannabis for medicinal and non-medicinal purposes has increased recently, especially following the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use in Canada and the UK government’s decision to make cannabis-based medicines (CBMs) available for prescription by doctors on the specialist register.

The actual, social and economic legitimisation of cannabis and its medicinal derivatives makes it likely increasing numbers of patients will present on this class of medicines. Perioperative physicians will require a sound understanding of their pharmacology and evidence base, and may wish to exploit this group of compounds for therapeutic purposes in the perioperative period.

The increasing availability of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes means that anaesthetists will encounter an increasing number of patients taking cannabis-based medications. The existing evidence base is conflicted and incomplete regarding the indications, interactions and long-term effects of these substances.

Globally, most doctors have had little education regarding the pharmacology of cannabis-based medicines, despite the endocannabinoid system being one of the most widespread in the human body.

Much is unknown, and much is to be decided, including clarifying definitions and nomenclature, and therapeutic indications and dosing. Anaesthetists, Intensivists, Pain and Perioperative physicians will want to contribute to this evidence base and attempt to harness such therapeutic benefits in terms of pain relief and opiate-avoidance, anti-emesis and seizure control.

We present a summary of the pharmacology of cannabis-based medicines including anaesthetic interactions and implications, to assist colleagues encountering these medicines in clinical practice.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31827774

“In summary, cannabinoids may improve pain relief as part of multi-modal approach. As the evidence base increases, CBMs could become part of the perioperative teams’ armamentarium to help provide an opiate sparing multimodal analgesia regime as well as having a role in the management of common post-operative complications such as nausea and vomiting.”

 https://perioperativemedicinejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13741-019-0127-x
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Δ9-THC and related cannabinoids suppress substance P- induced neurokinin NK1-receptor-mediated vomiting via activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor.

European Journal of Pharmacology

“Δ9-THC suppresses cisplatin-induced vomiting through activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors.

Cisplatin-evoked emesis is predominantly due to release of serotonin and substance P (SP) in the gut and the brainstem which subsequently stimulate their corresponding 5-HT3-and neurokinin NK1-receptors to induce vomiting. Δ9-THC can inhibit vomiting caused either by the serotonin precursor 5-HTP, or the 5-HT3 receptor selective agonist, 2-methyserotonin.

In the current study, we explored whether Δ9-THC and related CB1/CB2 receptor agonists (WIN55,212-2 and CP55,940) inhibit vomiting evoked by SP (50 mg/kg, i.p.) or the NK1 receptor selective agonist GR73632 (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Behavioral methods were employed to determine the antiemetic efficacy of cannabinoids in least shrews.

Our results showed that administration of varying doses of Δ9-THC (i.p. or s.c.), WIN55,212-2 (i.p.), or CP55,940 (i.p.) caused significant suppression of SP-evoked vomiting in a dose-dependent manner. When tested against GR73632, Δ9-THC also dose-dependently reduced the evoked emesis.

The antiemetic effect of Δ9-THC against SP-induced vomiting was prevented by low non-emetic doses of the CB1 receptor inverse-agonist/antagonist SR141716A (<10 mg/kg). We also found that the NK1 receptor antagonist netupitant can significantly suppress vomiting caused by a large emetic dose of SR141716A (20 mg/kg).

In sum, Δ9-THC and related cannabinoids suppress vomiting evoked by the nonselective (SP) and selective (GR73632) neurokinin NK1 receptor agonists via stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31738934

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299919307587?via%3Dihub

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Perception of Benefits and Harms of Medical Cannabis among Seriously Ill Patients in an Outpatient Palliative Care Practice.

View details for Journal of Palliative Medicine cover image

“Patients with serious illness often have pain, uncontrolled symptoms, and poor quality of life. Evidence continues to evolve regarding the role of cannabis to treat chronic pain, nausea, and anorexia. Little is known about how patients with serious illness perceive its benefits and harms. Given that an increasing number of clinicians across the United States are treating patients with medical cannabis, it is important for providers to understand patient beliefs about this modality. We assessed patient perceptions of benefits and harms of cannabis who obtained a medical cannabis card within an ambulatory palliative care (APC) practice.

Results: All 101 patients invited to participate completed the survey. A majority had cancer (76%) and were married (61%), disabled or retired (75%), older than 50 years of age (64%), and men (56%). Most patients ingested (61%) or vaporized (49%) cannabis products. A majority of respondents perceived cannabis to be important for their pain (96%) management. They reported that side effects were minimally bothersome, and drowsiness was the most commonly reported bothersome harm (28%). A minority of patients reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms (19%) and concerns for dependency (14%). The majority of patients were using concurrent prescription opioids (65%). Furthermore, a majority of cancer patients reported cannabis as being important for cancer cure (59%).

Conclusion: Patients living with serious illnesses who use cannabis in the context of a multidisciplinary APC practice use cannabis for curative intent and for pain and symptom control. Patients reported improved pain, other symptoms, and a sense of well-being with few reported harms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31539298

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2019.0211

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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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Cannabinoids: the lows and the highs of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

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“Despite remaining one of the most widely abused drugs worldwide, Cannabis sativa exhibits remarkable medicinal properties. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, reduce nausea and vomiting, particularly during chemotherapy. This is attributed to their ability to reduce the release of serotonin from enterochromaffin cells in the small intestine, which would otherwise orchestrate the vomiting reflex. Although there are many preclinical and clinical studies on the effects of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol during nausea and vomiting, little is known about the role that cannabidiol plays in this scenario. Since cannabidiol does not induce psychotropic effects, in contrast to other cannabinoids, its use as an anti-emetic is of great interest. This review aims to summarize the available literature on cannabinoid use, with a specific focus on the nonpsychotropic drug cannabidiol, as well as the roles that cannabinoids play in preventing several other adverse side effects of chemotherapy including organ toxicity, pain and loss of appetite.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30720344

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/fon-2018-0530

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