Characteristics of Dispensary Patients that Limit Alcohol after Initiating Cannabis.

Publication Cover “Many patients have reported that they decrease their use of opioids after starting medical cannabis (MC) but less is known for alcohol.

The objective of this exploratory study was to identify any factors which differentiate alcohol abaters from those that do not modify their alcohol use after starting MC (non-abaters).

Comparisons were made to identify any demographic, dosing, or health history characteristics which differentiated alcohol abaters (N = 47) from non-abaters (N = 65). Respondents selected from among a list of 37 diseases/health conditions (e.g. diabetes, sleep disorders).

Abaters and non-abaters were indistinguishable in terms of sex, age, or prior drug history. A greater percentage of abaters (59.6%) than non-abaters (40.6%, p < .05) reported using MC two or more times per day. Abaters were more likely to be employed (68.1%) than non-abaters (51.1%, p < .05). Abaters also reported having significantly more health conditions and diseases (3.3 ± 2.0) than non-abaters (2.4 ± 1.4, p < .05).

This small study offers some insights into the profile of patients whose self-reported alcohol intake decreased following initiation of MC. Additional prospective or controlled research into the alcohol abatement phenomenon following MC may be warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31813342

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2019.1694199?journalCode=ujpd20

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Attenuates Endothelin-1-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Rat Ventricular Myocytes.

Image result for Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.“Evidence suggests that activation of the endocannabinoid system offers cardioprotection.

Aberrant energy production by impaired mitochondria purportedly contributes to various aspects of cardiovascular disease. We investigated whether cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation would attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction induced by endothelin-1 (ET1).

Acute exposure to ET1 (4 h) in the presence of palmitate as primary energy substrate induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization, and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics and expression of genes related to fatty acid oxidation (i.e. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1α, a driver of mitochondrial biogenesis, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT)-1β, facilitator of fatty acid uptake).

A CB1/CB2 dual agonist with limited brain penetration, CB-13, corrected these parameters. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an important regulator of energy homeostasis, mediated the ability of CB-13 to rescue mitochondrial function. In fact, the ability of CB-13 to rescue fatty acid oxidation-related bioenergetics, as well as expression of PGC-1α and CPT-1β, was abolished by pharmacological inhibition of AMPK using compound C and shRNA knockdown of AMPKα1/α2, respectively.

Interventions that target CB/AMPK signaling might represent a novel therapeutic approach to address the multi-factorial problem of cardiovascular disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31815823

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005344-900000000-98463

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The Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist WIN55,212-2 Ameliorates Hippocampal Neuronal Damage After Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion Possibly Through Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and ASK1-p38 Signaling.

 “Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is a major contributor to cognitive decline and degenerative processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and aging. However, the delicate mechanism of CCH-induced neuronal damage, and therefore proper treatment, remains unclear.

WIN55,212-2 (WIN) is a nonselective cannabinoid receptor agonist that has been shown to have effects on hippocampal neuron survival. In this study, we investigated the potential roles of WIN, as well as its underlying mechanism in a rat CCH model of bilateral common carotid artery occlusion.

These findings indicated that WIN may be a potential therapeutic agent for ischemic neuronal damage, involving a mechanism associated with the suppression of oxidative stress and ASK1-p38 signaling.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31808139

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12640-019-00141-8

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Cannabis Exposure is Associated With a Lower Likelihood of Neurocognitive Impairment in People Living With HIV.

Image result for ovid journal “Aging and HIV have adverse effects on the central nervous system, including increased inflammation and neural injury and confer risk of neurocognitive impairment (NCI).

Previous research suggests the nonacute neurocognitive effects of cannabis in the general population are adverse or null. However, in the context of aging and HIV, cannabis use may exert beneficial effects due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In the current study, we examined the independent and interactive effects of HIV and cannabis on NCI and the potential moderation of these effects by age.

METHODS:

Participants included 679 people living with HIV (PLHIV) and 273 people living without HIV (HIV-) (18-79 years old) who completed neurocognitive, neuromedical, and substance use assessments. NCI was defined as a demographically corrected global deficit score ≥ 0.5. Logistic regression models examined the effects of age, HIV, cannabis (history of cannabis substance use disorder and cannabis use in past year), and their 2-way and 3-way interactions on NCI.

RESULTS:

In logistic regression models, only a significant interaction of HIV X cannabis was detected (P = 0.02). Among PLHIV, cannabis was associated with a lower proportion of NCI (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval = 0.33-0.85) but not among HIV- individuals (P = 0.40). These effects did not vary by age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest cannabis exposure is linked to a lower odds of NCI in the context of HIV. A possible mechanism of this result is the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis, which may be particularly important for PLHIV. Further investigations are needed to refine the effects of dose, timing, and cannabis compound on this relationship, which could inform guidelines for cannabis use among populations vulnerable to cognitive decline.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31809361

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00126334-202001010-00008

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An Open-Label Pilot Study Testing the Feasibility of Assessing Total Symptom Burden in Trials of Cannabinoid Medications in Palliative Care.

View details for Journal of Palliative Medicine cover image“There is considerable interest in the use of cannabinoids for symptom control in palliative care, but there is little high-quality evidence to guide clinical practice.

Objectives: Assess the feasibility of using global symptom burden measures to assess response to medicinal cannabis, to determine median tolerated doses of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and to document adverse events (AEs).

Design: Prospective two-arm open-label pilot trial of escalating doses of CBD and THC oil.

Setting/Subjects: Participants had advanced cancer and cancer-related symptoms in a palliative and supportive care service in an Australian cancer center.

Measurements: The main outcome measures were the number of participants screened and randomized over the time frame, the number of participants completing days 14 and 28 and providing total symptom distress scores (TSDSs) (measured using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale), and the change from baseline of the TSDS at day 14.

Results: Of the 21 participants enrolled (CBD, n = 16; THC, n = 5), 18 (86%) completed the primary outcome measure at day 14 and 8 completed at day 28. The median maximum tolerated doses were CBD, 300 mg/day (range 100-600 mg); THC, 10 mg/day (range 5-30 mg). Nine of 21 patients (43%) met the definition of response (≥6 point reduction in TSDS). Drowsiness was the most common AE.

Conclusions: Trials of medicinal cannabis in advanced cancer patients undergoing palliative care are feasible. The doses of THC and CBD used in this study were generally well tolerated and the outcome measure of total symptom distress is promising as a measure of overall symptom benefit.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31800354

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2019.0540

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Long-term benefit from immune modulation and anti-inflammatory treatment in metastatic mesothelioma.

Respiratory Medicine Case Reports“A 64 year old male heating engineer was investigated for a persistent cough and found to have epithelioid mesothelioma with pleural effusion, lung nodules and increased thoracic lymph nodes. He declined standard of care treatment following his own research and he was enrolled in a named patient programme of IMM-101. He was advised to correct his low vitamin D3 level and to start using anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, bromelain and low dose Naltrexone. At review one year later a CT scan showed no change and he continued on the regimen. Four years after the diagnosis a CT scan showed that there was a modest but definite progression of the left malignant pleural thickening, and a new right-sided effusion, enlargement of several intrathoracic nodes which had been noted on the early scans. The chest wall lump eventually broke down and required local radiotherapy. He then developed abdominal pain and found to have peritoneal disease. Last year he obtained the cannabinoids CBD and THC which slowed down the disease and a CT scan after he had been on this for six months, showed that his disease was fairly stable with marginal progression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31788420

“The patient gave his full written consent for this report and is keen that others can benefit from this treatment.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213007119303168?via%3Dihub

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Has Cannabis Use Among Youth Increased After Changes in Its Legal Status? A Commentary on Use of Monitoring the Future for Analyses of Changes in State Cannabis Laws.

“As US states move toward various forms of adult access to cannabis, there has been a great interest in measuring the impact of such changes on adolescent cannabis use.

Using the Washington Health Youth Survey, we estimate that after recreational cannabis legalization past 30-day cannabis use prevalence in grade 8 decreased by 22.0%, in grade 10 prevalence decreased by 12.7%, and no effect in grade 12.

These trends are consistent with those in states without recreational cannabis laws, suggesting that legalization did not impact adolescent use prevalence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31792712

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11121-019-01068-4

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Short-term effects of cannabis consumption on cognitive performance in medical cannabis patients.

Publication Cover “This observational study examined the acute cognitive effects of cannabis.

We hypothesized that cognitive performance would be negatively affected by acute cannabis intoxication.

Contrary to expectations, performance on neuropsychological tests remained stable or even improved during the acute intoxication stage (THC; d: .49-.65, medium effect), and continued to increase during Recovery (d: .45-.77, medium-large effect).

Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no psychometric evidence for a decline in cognitive ability following THC intoxication.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31790276

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23279095.2019.1681424?journalCode=hapn21

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Cannabis for pain in orthopedics: a systematic review focusing on study methodology

Image result for Can J Surg. journal“Medical cannabis use is an emerging topic of interest in orthopedics. Although there is a large amount of literature on medical cannabis use for managing various types of pain, few studies have focused on orthopedic conditions. There is little high-quality evidence in core orthopedic areas. The objective of this study was to summarize the literature on the efficacy of cannabis use for pain related to orthopedic conditions.

METHODS:

We conducted a systematic review of the literature on the use of cannabinoids for pain management in core orthopedic conditions. Two independent reviewers extracted information on reporting quality, risk of bias, drugs, population, control, duration of study, pain outcomes and the authors’ conclusions regarding efficacy for pain outcomes.

RESULTS:

We identified 33 orthopedic studies, including 21 primary studies and 12 reviews. Study quality was generally low to moderate. Six of the included studies had a control group and 15 were noncontrolled studies. Methodologies, drugs and protocols of administration varied greatly across studies. Study conclusions were generally positive in noncontrolled studies and mixed in controlled studies. Studies using higher doses tended to conclude that cannabis use was effective, but the potential for harmful effects may also be increased with higher doses.

CONCLUSION:

Variability in the methodologies used in cannabis research makes it challenging to draw conclusions about dosing, routes and frequency of administration. Most of the existing evidence suggests that medical cannabis use is effective, but this efficacy has been demonstrated only when either there is no comparator or cannabis is compared with placebo. Studies using an active comparator have not demonstrated efficacy. Future research should focus on improving study reporting and methodologic quality so that protocols that optimize pain control while minimizing harmful effects can be determined.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31782292

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Cannabinoid-2 receptor activation ameliorates hepatorenal syndrome.

Free Radical Biology and Medicine“Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a life-threatening complication of end-stage liver disease characterized by the rapid decline of kidney function. Herein, we explored the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2-R) utilizing a commonly used mouse model of liver fibrosis and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), induced by bile duct ligation (BDL).

KEY RESULTS:

We found that liver injury triggered marked inflammation and oxidative stress also in the kidneys of BDL-operated mice. We detected pronounced histopathological alterations with tubular injury paralleled with increased inflammation, oxidative/nitrative stress and fibrotic remodeling both in hepatic and renal tissues as well as endothelial activation and markedly impaired renal microcirculation. This was accompanied by increased CB2-R expression in both liver and the kidney tissues of diseased animals. A selective CB2-R agonist, HU-910, markedly decreased numerous markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis both in the liver and in the kidneys. HU-910 also attenuated markers of kidney injury and improved the impaired renal microcirculation in BDL-operated mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and microvascular dysfunction are key events in the pathogenesis of BDL-associated renal failure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting the CB2-R by selective agonists may represent a promising new avenue to treat HRS by attenuating tissue and vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, fibrosis and consequent microcirculatory dysfunction in the kidneys.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31770583

“Bile duct ligation (BDL) causes hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Oxidative damage/inflammation drives liver and kidney injury following BDL. Cannabinoid-2 receptor (CB2-R) activation attenuates hepatic damage in BDL. CB2-R activation mitigates the renal inflammation and oxidative damage in BDL. CB2-R activation attenuates renal microcirculatory dysfunction in BDL.”

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