Continuous Intrathecal Infusion of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists Attenuates Nerve Ligation-Induced Pain in Rats.

 

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“Cannabinoid receptors (CB1R/CB2R) are known to play important roles in pain transmission.

In this study, we investigated the effects of continuous intrathecal infusion of CB1/2R agonists in the L5/6 spinal nerve ligation pain model.

Continuous intrathecal infusion of CB1/2R agonists elicits antinociception in the pain model.

The mechanisms might involve their actions on neurons and glial cells. CB2R, but not CB1R, seems to play an important role in the regulation of nerve injury-induced neuroinflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28492437

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Cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs – a cross-sectional study

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“The use of medical cannabis is increasing, most commonly for pain, anxiety and depression. Emerging data suggest that use and abuse of prescription drugs may be decreasing in states where medical cannabis is legal. The aim of this study was to survey cannabis users to determine whether they had intentionally substituted cannabis for prescription drugs.

A total of 1,248 (46%) respondents reported using cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs. The most common classes of drugs substituted were narcotics/opioids (35.8%), anxiolytics/benzodiazepines (13.6%) and antidepressants (12.7%). A total of 2,473 substitutions were reported or approximately two drug substitutions per affirmative respondent.

These patient-reported outcomes support prior research that individuals are using cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs, particularly, narcotics/opioids, and independent of whether they identify themselves as medical or non-medical users. This is especially true if they suffer from pain, anxiety and depression. Additionally, this study suggests that state laws allowing access to, and use of, medical cannabis may not be influencing individual decision-making in this area.”

https://www.dovepress.com/cannabis-as-a-substitute-for-prescription-drugs-ndash-a-cross-sectiona-peer-reviewed-article-JPR

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Combined cannabinoid therapy via an oromucosal spray.

“Extensive basic science research has identified the potential therapeutic benefits of active compounds extracted from the Cannabis sativa L. plant (the cannabinoids). It is recognized that a significant proportion of patients suffering with the debilitating symptoms of pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis or other conditions smoke cannabis despite the legal implications and stigma associated with this controlled substance. GW Pharmaceuticals have developed Sativex (GW- 1000-02), a combined cannabinoid medicine that delivers and maintains therapeutic levels of two principal cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), via an oromucosal pump spray, that aims to minimize psychotropic side effects.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16969427

“Sativex has proved to be well tolerated and successfully self-administered and self-titrated in both healthy volunteers and patient cohorts. Clinical assessment of this combined cannabinoid medicine has demonstrated efficacy in patients with intractable pain (chronic neuropathic pain, pain due to brachial plexus nerve injury, allodynic peripheral neuropathic pain and advanced cancer pain), rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis (bladder problems, spasticity and central pain), with no significant intoxication-like symptoms, tolerance or withdrawal syndrome.”  https://journals.prous.com/journals/servlet/xmlxsl/pk_journals.xml_summaryn_pr?p_JournalId=4&p_RefId=1021517

“Sativex(®) (nabiximols, USAN name) oromucosal spray contains the two main active constituents of Cannabis sativa, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in a 1:1 molecular ratio, and acts as an endocannabinoid system modulator.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21449855

“Abuse potential and psychoactive effects of δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol oromucosal spray (Sativex), a new cannabinoid medicine. Evidence to date suggests that abuse or dependence on Sativex is likely to occur in only a very small proportion of recipients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21542664

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Cannabinoid CB2 receptor ligand profiling reveals biased signalling and off-target activity

“The cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R) represents a promising therapeutic target for various forms of tissue injury and inflammatory diseases. There is a great interest in the development of selective type-2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) agonists as potential drug candidates for various pathophysiological conditions, which include chronic and inflammatory pain, pruritus, diabetic neuropathy and nephropathy, liver cirrhosis, and protective effects after ischaemic-reperfusion injury.” https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13958

“Pain relief without the high. Researchers at Leiden University led by Mario van der Stelt (Leiden Institute for Chemistry) have set ‘gold standards’ for developing new painkillers based on the medicinal effects of cannabis.”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170104103916.htm

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Anti-inflammatory effects of the cannabidiol derivative dimethylheptyl-cannabidiol – studies in BV-2 microglia and encephalitogenic T cells

“Preparations derived from Cannabis sativa (marijuana and hashish) have become widespread since ancient times, both as therapeutic agents and in recreational smoking.

Among the more than 60 phytocannabinoids identified in Cannabis extracts, the two most abundant are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychotropic constituent, and cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive component.

Cannabinoids were shown to exert a wide range of therapeutic effects, and many of the cannabinoids, especially CBD, were shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. In addition, it was shown that several cannabinoids have pro-apoptotic, neuroprotective, and antitumor properties

Dimethylheptyl-cannabidiol (DMH-CBD), a non-psychoactive, synthetic derivative of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been reported to be anti-inflammatory in RAW macrophages. Here, we evaluated the effects of DMH-CBD at the transcriptional level in BV-2 microglial cells as well as on the proliferation of encephalitogenic T cells.

The results show that DMH-CBD has similar anti-inflammatory properties to those of CBD. DMH-CBD downregulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines and protects the microglial cells by inducing an adaptive cellular response against inflammatory stimuli and oxidative injury. In addition, DMH-CBD decreases the proliferation of pathogenic activated TMOG cells.

Several CBD derivatives were also shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties.

The results show that DMH-CBD induces similar anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and stress response effects to those previously observed for CBD.”

https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jbcpp.2016.27.issue-3/jbcpp-2015-0071/jbcpp-2015-0071.xml

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Substitution of medical cannabis for pharmaceutical agents for pain, anxiety, and sleep.

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“A prior epidemiological study identified a reduction in opioid overdose deaths in US states that legalized medical cannabis (MC). One theory to explain this phenomenon is a potential substitution effect of MC for opioids. This study evaluated whether this substitution effect of MC for opioids also applies to other psychoactive medications.

New England dispensary members ( n = 1,513) completed an online survey about their medical history and MC experiences. Among respondents that regularly used opioids, over three-quarters (76.7%) indicated that they reduced their use since they started MC. This was significantly ( p < 0.0001) greater than the patients that reduced their use of antidepressants (37.6%) or alcohol (42.0%). Approximately two-thirds of patients decreased their use of anti-anxiety (71.8%), migraine (66.7%), and sleep (65.2%) medications following MC which significantly ( p < 0.0001) exceeded the reduction in antidepressants or alcohol use. The patient’s spouse, family, and other friends were more likely to know about their MC use than was their primary care provider.

In conclusion, a majority of patients reported using less opioids as well as fewer medications to treat anxiety, migraines, and sleep after initiating MC. A smaller portion used less antidepressants or alcohol. Additional research is needed to corroborate these self-reported, retrospective, cross-sectional findings using other data sources.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28372506

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Antihyperalgesic Activities of Endocannabinoids in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain.

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“Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are the cornerstone of the antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). However, their use is sometimes limited by the development of a painful sensory neuropathy, which does not respond well to drugs.

Smoked cannabis has been reported in clinical trials to have efficacy in relieving painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy.

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the expression of endocannabinoid system molecules is altered during NRTI-induced painful neuropathy, and also whether endocannabinoids can attenuate NRTI-induced painful neuropathy.

Conclusion: These data show that ddC induces thermal hyperalgesia, which is associated with dysregulation of the mRNA expression of some endocannabinoid system molecules. The endocannabinoids AEA and 2-AG have antihyperalgesic activity, which is dependent on cannabinoid receptor and GPR55 activation. Thus, agonists of cannabinoid receptors and GPR55 could be useful therapeutic agents for the management of NRTI-induced painful sensory neuropathy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28373843

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Comparative antinociceptive effect of arachidonylcyclopropylamide, a cannabinoid 1 receptor agonist & lignocaine, a local anaesthetic agent, following direct intrawound administration in rats.

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“Treatment of inflammatory pain with opioids is accompanied by unpleasant and, at times, life-threatening side effects.

Cannabis produces antinociception as well as psychotropic effects. It was hypothesized that peripheral cannabinoid receptors outside the central nervous system could be selectively activated for relief of pain.

This study was undertaken to measure the antinociceptive effect of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1r) agonist arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA) in a rat model of inflammatory pain after intrawound administration and the effects were compared with lignocaine.

Lignocaine attenuated evoked pain behaviour whereas ACPA decreased guarding score. This difference was likely due to blockade of sodium ion channels and the activation of peripheral CB1r, respectively. Central side effects were absent after ACPA treatment. Further studies need to be done to assess the effect of ACPA treatment in clinical conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28361827

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Opioid-sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

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“Cannabinoids, when co-administered with opioids, may enable reduced opioid doses without loss of analgesic efficacy (ie an opioid-sparing effect). The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review to determine the opioid-sparing potential of cannabinoids.

Eligible studies included pre-clinical and clinical studies for which the outcome was either analgesia or opioid dose requirements. Clinical studies included controlled studies and case series. We searched Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Medline, and Embase. Nineteen pre-clinical and nine clinical studies met the search criteria. Seventeen of the 19 pre-clinical studies provided evidence of synergistic effects from opioid and cannabinoid co-administration. Our meta-analysis of pre-clinical studies indicated that the median effective dose (ED50) of morphine administered in combination with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) is 3.6 times lower (95% CI 1.95, 6.76; n=6) than the ED50 of morphine alone. In addition, the ED50 for codeine administered in combination with delta-9-THC was 9.5 times lower (95% CI 1.6, 57.5, n=2) than the ED50 of codeine alone. One case series (n=3) provided very low-quality evidence of a reduction in opioid requirements with cannabinoid co-administration. Larger controlled clinical studies showed some clinical benefits of cannabinoids; however, opioid dose changes were rarely reported and mixed findings were observed for analgesia.

In summary, pre-clinical studies provide robust evidence of the opioid-sparing effect of cannabinoids, while one of the nine clinical studies identified provided very low-quality evidence of such an effect. Prospective high-quality controlled clinical trials are required to determine the opioid-sparing effect of cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28327548

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Fatty-acid-binding protein inhibition produces analgesic effects through peripheral and central mechanisms.

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“Fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are intracellular carriers for endocannabinoids, N-acylethanolamines, and related lipids. Previous work indicates that systemically administered FABP5 inhibitors produce analgesia in models of inflammatory pain. It is currently not known whether FABP inhibitors exert their effects through peripheral or central mechanisms. Here, we examined FABP5 distribution in dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord and examined the analgesic effects of peripherally and centrally administered FABP5 inhibitors.

Results: Immunofluorescence revealed robust expression of FABP5 in lumbar dorsal root ganglia. FABP5 was distributed in peptidergic calcitonin gene-related peptide-expressing dorsal root ganglia and non-peptidergic isolectin B4-expressing dorsal root ganglia. In addition, the majority of dorsal root ganglia expressing FABP5 also expressed transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and peripherin, a marker of nociceptive fibers. Intraplantar administration of FABP5 inhibitors reduced thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in the complete Freund’s adjuvant model of chronic inflammatory pain. In contrast to its robust expression in dorsal root ganglia, FABP5 was sparsely distributed in the lumbar spinal cord and intrathecal administration of FABP inhibitor did not confer analgesic effects. Administration of FABP inhibitor via the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) route reduced thermal hyperalgesia. Antagonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha blocked the analgesic effects of peripherally and i.c.v. administered FABP inhibitor while antagonism of cannabinoid receptor 1 blocked the effects of peripheral FABP inhibition and a TRPV1 antagonist blocked the effects of i.c.v. administered inhibitor. Although FABP5 and TRPV1 were co-expressed in the periaqueductal gray region of the brain, which is known to modulate pain, knockdown of FABP5 in the periaqueductal gray using adeno-associated viruses and pharmacological FABP5 inhibition did not produce analgesic effects.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that FABP5 is highly expressed in nociceptive dorsal root ganglia neurons and FABP inhibitors exert peripheral and supraspinal analgesic effects. This indicates that peripherally restricted FABP inhibitors may serve as a new class of analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28326944

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