Anhedonia, apathy, pleasure, and effort-based decision-making in adult and adolescent cannabis users and controls

CINP Journal

“Background: Cannabis use may be linked with anhedonia and apathy. However, previous studies have shown mixed results and few have examined the association between cannabis use and specific reward sub-processes. Adolescents may be more vulnerable to harmful effects of cannabis than adults. This study investigated (1) the association between non-acute cannabis use and apathy, anhedonia, pleasure, and effort-based decision-making for reward, and (2) whether these relationships were moderated by age-group.

Methods: We used data from the ‘CannTeen’ study. Participants were 274 adult (26-29 years) and adolescent (16-17 years) cannabis users (1-7 days/week use in the past three months), and gender- and age-matched controls. Anhedonia was measured with the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (n=274), and apathy was measured with the Apathy Evaluation Scale (n=215). Effort-based decision-making for reward was measured with the Physical Effort task (n=139), and subjective wanting and liking of rewards was measured with the novel Real Reward Pleasure task (n=137).

Results: Controls had higher levels of anhedonia than cannabis users (F1,258=5.35, p=.02, ηp2=.02). There were no other significant effects of User-Group and no significant User-Group*Age-Group interactions. Null findings were supported by post hoc Bayesian analyses.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that cannabis use at a frequency of three to four days per week is not associated with apathy, effort-based decision-making for reward, reward wanting, or reward liking in adults or adolescents. Cannabis users had lower anhedonia than controls, albeit at a small effect size. These findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that non-acute cannabis use is associated with amotivation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35999024/

https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ijnp/pyac056/6674260?login=false

“Cannabis users no more likely to lack motivation than non-users: Study breaks ‘stoner’ stereotype”

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-cannabis-users-lack-non-users-stoner.html

Association between cannabis use with urological cancers: A population-based cohort study and a mendelian randomization study in the UK biobank

“Background: Legislation of cannabis use has been approved in many European and North American countries. Its impact on urological cancers is unclear. This study was conducted to explore the association between cannabis use and the risk of urological cancers.

Methods: We identified 151,945 individuals with information on cannabis use in the UK Biobank from 2006 to 2010. Crude and age-standardized incidence ratios of different urological cancers were evaluated in the entire cohort and subgroups. Cox regression was performed for survival analysis.

Results: Previous use of cannabis was a significant protective factor for renal cell carcinoma (HR = 0.61, 95%CI:0.40-0.93, p = 0.021) and prostate cancer (HR = 0.82, 95%CI:0.73-0.93, p = 0.002) in multivariable analysis. The association between previous cannabis use and both renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer was only observed in females (HRRCC = 0.42, 95%CI:0.19-0.94, p = 0.034; HRBCa = 0.43, 95%CI:0.21-0.86, p = 0.018) but not in men. There was no significant association between cannabis use and testicular cancer incidence. Mendelian randomization demonstrated a potential causal effect of cannabis use on a lower incidence of renal cell carcinoma.

Conclusions: Previous use of cannabis was associated with a lower risk of bladder cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and prostate cancer. The inverse association between cannabis and both renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer was only found in females but not in males.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35975633/

“Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is the most used substance derived from Cannabis Sativa which can be used for recreational or medical purposes. Some evidence also suggested that cannabinoids might induce apoptosis of cancer cells and inhibit oncogenesis, indicating a potential treatment effect”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cam4.5132

“Previous Cannabis Use Linked to Lower Risk of Some Genitourinary Cancers”

https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/cancer-topics/urologic-cancers/genitourinary-cancers-previous-cannabis-use-lower-risk/

Cannabis Use and Sinonasal Symptoms in US Adults

Medflixs - JAMA Otolaryngology Formation

“Importance: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in the US and worldwide. Understanding the association between cannabis use and sinonasal symptoms may help clinicians and patients better understand the symptomatology associated with cannabis use.

Objective: To assess the association between frequency of cannabis use and presence of sinonasal symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US adults.

Design, setting, and participants: This population-based, retrospective cross-sectional study included adults aged 20 to 69 years who had completed data on sinonasal symptoms and substance use for the 2013 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The data were analyzed in February 2022.

Exposures: Cannabis use frequency.

Main outcomes and measures: Presence of sinonasal symptoms, demographic information, and medical history were obtained from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey questionnaires. Presence of any sinonasal symptoms was defined as responding yes to any of a series of questions assessing rhinologic symptoms. Regular cannabis users were defined as using cannabis 15 or more times within the last 30 days. Nonregular users were defined as using cannabis fewer than 15 times within the last 30 days. Multivariable models were used to examine the association between frequency of cannabis use and presence of sinonasal symptoms while adjusting for demographic characteristics and medical comorbidities.

Results: The study included 2269 adults with a mean (SD) age of 36.5 (12.4) years (1207 women [53.2%]; 330 Asian [14.5%], 739 Black [32.6%], 461 Hispanic [20.3%], and 656 White [28.9%] individuals). The prevalence of sinonasal symptoms among regular cannabis users (45.0%; 95% Cl, 38.9%-51.1%) was lower than the prevalence among never users (64.5%; 95% Cl, 58.3%-68.8%). Compared with adults who had never used cannabis, regular cannabis users were less likely to have sinonasal symptoms (odds ratio, 0.22, 95% CI, 0.10-0.50). Current tobacco smokers were more likely to have sinonasal symptoms (odds ratio, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.17-3.28). The most common sinonasal symptoms reported were nasal congestion (62.8%; 95% Cl, 60.2%-65.4%) and change in smell (17.8%; 95% Cl, 15.2%-20.9%).

Conclusions and relevance: This cross-sectional study found that the prevalence of sinonasal symptoms was lower among regular cannabis users. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the association between cannabis use and sinonasal symptoms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35900733/

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2794662

“SINONASAL SYMPTOMS LESS COMMON IN REGULAR CANNABIS USERS”

https://www.physiciansweekly.com/sinonasal-symptoms-less-common-in-regular-cannabis-users

Cannabis decriminalization and racial disparity in arrests for cannabis possession

Social Science & Medicine

“Rationale: Minorities often bear the brunt of unequal enforcement of drug laws. In the U.S., Blacks have been disproportionately more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than Whites despite a similar rate of cannabis use. Decriminalizing cannabis has been argued as a way to reduce racial disparity in cannabis possession arrests. To date, however, the empirical evidence to support this argument is almost non-existent.

Objectives: To examine whether cannabis decriminalization was associated with reduced racial disparity in arrests for cannabis possession between Blacks and Whites in the U.S.

Methods: Using FBI Uniform Crime Report data from 37 U.S. states, cannabis possession arrest rates were calculated separately for Blacks and Whites from 2000 to 2019. A difference-in-differences framework was used to estimate the association between cannabis decriminalization and racial disparity in cannabis possession arrest rates (Blacks/Whites ratio) among adults and youths.

Results: Cannabis possession arrest rates declined over 70% among adults and over 40% among youths after the implementation of cannabis decriminalization in 11 states. Among adults, decriminalization was associated with a roughly 17% decrease in racial disparity in arrest rates between Blacks and Whites. Among youths, arrest rates declined among both Blacks and Whites but there was no evidence for a change in racial disparity between Blacks and Whites following decriminalization.

Conclusions: Cannabis decriminalization was associated with substantially lower cannabis possession arrest rates among both adults and youths and among both Blacks and Whites. It reduced racial disparity between Blacks and Whites among adults but not youths. These findings suggested that cannabis decriminalization had its intended consequence of reducing arrests and may have potential to reduce racial disparity in arrests at least among adults.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34954673/

“Cannabis decriminalization decreased arrests in both adults and youths.•

Cannabis decriminalization decreased arrests in both Blacks and Whites.•

Cannabis decriminalization decreased racial disparity in arrests only in adults.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953621010042?via%3Dihub

“Cannabis Decriminalization Reduces The Racial Disparity, A New Study Suggests”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dariosabaghi/2021/12/28/cannabis-decriminalization-reduces-the-racial-disparity-a-new-study-suggests/?sh=305b32d91357


The Effectiveness and Safety of Medical Cannabis for Treating Cancer Related Symptoms in Oncology Patients

Frontiers in Pain Research (@FrontPain) / Twitter

“The use of medical cannabis (MC) to treat cancer-related symptoms is rising. However, there is a lack of long-term trials to assess the benefits and safety of MC treatment in this population. In this work, we followed up prospectively and longitudinally on the effectiveness and safety of MC treatment.

Oncology patients reported on multiple symptoms before and after MC treatment initiation at one-, three-, and 6-month follow-ups. Oncologists reported on the patients’ disease characteristics. Intention-to-treat models were used to assess changes in outcomes from baseline. MC treatment was initiated by 324 patients and 212, 158 and 126 reported at follow-ups.

Most outcome measures improved significantly during MC treatment for most patients (p < 0.005). Specifically, at 6 months, total cancer symptoms burden declined from baseline by a median of 18%, from 122 (82–157) at baseline to 89 (45–138) at endpoint (−18.98; 95%CI= −26.95 to −11.00; p < 0.001). Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious and remained stable during MC treatment.

The results of this study suggest that MC treatment is generally safe for oncology patients and can potentially reduce the burden of associated symptoms with no serious MC-related adverse effects.

The main finding of the current study is that most cancer comorbid symptoms improved significantly during 6 months of MC treatment.

Additionally, we found that MC treatment in cancer patients was well tolerated and safe.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35669038/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpain.2022.861037/full?utm_source=fweb

“Cancer Pain Treatment Using Marijuana Safe and Effective, Large Study Finds”

https://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-medicinal-cancer-patient-symptoms-pain-relief-1711981


Cannabinol inhibits oxytosis/ferroptosis by directly targeting mitochondria independently of cannabinoid receptors

“The oxytosis/ferroptosis regulated cell death pathway recapitulates many features of mitochondrial dysfunction associated with the aging brain and has emerged as a potential key mediator of neurodegeneration. It has thus been proposed that the oxytosis/ferroptosis pathway can be used to identify novel drug candidates for the treatment of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases that act by preserving mitochondrial function. Previously, we identified cannabinol (CBN) as a potent neuroprotector. Here, we demonstrate that not only does CBN protect nerve cells from oxytosis/ferroptosis in a manner that is dependent on mitochondria and it does so independently of cannabinoid receptors. Specifically, CBN directly targets mitochondria and preserves key mitochondrial functions including redox regulation, calcium uptake, membrane potential, bioenergetics, biogenesis, and modulation of fusion/fission dynamics that are disrupted following induction of oxytosis/ferroptosis. These protective effects of CBN are at least partly mediated by the promotion of endogenous antioxidant defenses and the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling. Together, our data highlight the potential of mitochondrially-targeted compounds such as CBN as novel oxytotic/ferroptotic inhibitors to rescue mitochondrial dysfunction as well as opportunities for the discovery and development of future neurotherapeutics.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34999187/

“ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN CANNABIS PROTECTS AGING BRAIN CELLS”

https://www.salk.edu/news-release/active-ingredient-in-cannabis-protects-aging-brain-cells/

Thromboembolic Outcomes in Tetrahydrocannabinol-Positive Trauma Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury

“Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Recent shifts in state legislation have increased the use of recreational and medical marijuana. While cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have known anti-inflammatory effects, the impact of preinjury THC use on clinical outcomes in the setting of severe TBI is unknown. We hypothesized that preinjury THC use in trauma patients suffering TBI would be associated with decreased thromboembolic events and adverse outcomes.

Methods: The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program was used to identify patients aged ≥18 y with TBI and severe injury (Injury Severity Score ≥ 16) in admit year 2017. Patients with smoking or tobacco history or missing or positive toxicology tests for drug and/or alcohol use other than THC were excluded. Propensity score matching was used to compare THC+ patients to similar THC- patients.

Results: A total of 13,266 patients met inclusion criteria, of which 1669 were THC+. A total of 1377 THC+ patients were matched to 1377 THC- patients. No significant differences were found in in-hospital outcomes, including mortality, length of stay, cardiac arrest, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome. No patients had ischemic stroke, and THC+ patients had significantly decreased rates of hemorrhagic stroke (0.5% versus 1.5%, P = 0.02, odds ratio 0.41 [95% confidence interval 0.18-0.86]).

Conclusions: Preinjury THC use may be associated with decreased hemorrhagic stroke in severely injured patients with TBI, but there was no difference in thromboembolic outcomes. Further research into pathophysiological mechanisms related to THC are needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35305485/

“THC linked to lower hemorrhagic stroke risk in people with traumatic brain injury”

https://vancouversun.com/cannabis-news/thc-use-may-be-associated-with-lower-hemorrhagic-stroke-risk-in-people-with-traumatic-brain-injury/wcm/a3ae3f22-2b3f-439f-987d-6364c7425eb8/amp/

Early Studies Suggest CBD May Help Prevent COVID-19

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis compound with some medicinal properties. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one CBD-based medication to treat seizure disorders; other medications are in the development and testing pipeline.

Now some early studies show that CBD could help block infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

https://covid19.nih.gov/news-and-stories/early-studies-suggest-cbd-may-help-prevent-covid19

Spinal astroglial cannabinoid receptors control pathological tremor

Nature Neuroscience“Cannabinoids reduce tremor associated with motor disorders induced by injuries and neurodegenerative disease. Here we show that this effect is mediated by cannabinoid receptors on astrocytes in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, where alternating limb movements are initiated. We first demonstrate that tremor is reduced in a mouse model of essential tremor after intrathecal injection of the cannabinoid analog WIN55,212-2. We investigate the underlying mechanism using electrophysiological recordings in spinal cord slices and show that endocannabinoids released from depolarized interneurons activate astrocytic cannabinoid receptors, causing an increase in intracellular Ca2+, subsequent release of purines and inhibition of excitatory neurotransmission. Finally, we show that the anti-tremor action of WIN55,212-2 in the spinal cords of mice is suppressed after knocking out CB1 receptors in astrocytes. Our data suggest that cannabinoids reduce tremor via their action on spinal astrocytes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33737752/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-021-00818-4

“Medical cannabis can reduce essential tremor: Turns on overlooked cells in central nervous system”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210319125519.htm

Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial

Archive of &quot;Frontiers in Psychiatry&quot;.“Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent. Patients are increasingly using medicinal cannabis products to treat these disorders, but little is known about the effects of medicinal cannabis use on symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The aim of the present observational study was to assess general health in medicinal cannabis users and non-using controls with anxiety and/or depression. 

Results: Medicinal cannabis use was associated with lower self-reported depression, but not anxiety, at baseline. Medicinal cannabis users also reported superior sleep, quality of life, and less pain on average. Initiation of medicinal cannabis during the follow-up period was associated with significantly decreased anxiety and depressive symptoms, an effect that was not observed in Controls that never initiated cannabis use. 

Conclusions: Medicinal cannabis use may reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in clinically anxious and depressed populations. Future placebo-controlled studies are necessary to replicate these findings and to determine the route of administration, dose, and product formulation characteristics to optimize clinical outcomes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34566726/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full

“Johns Hopkins: New Study Backs Claims That Cannabis Can Reduce Anxiety And Depression”  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/johns-hopkins-study-backs-claims-145005658.html

“Report Shows Cannabis is Effective in Treating Anxiety, Depression”   https://www.legalreader.com/report-shows-cannabis-is-effective-in-treating-anxiety-depression/