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 for Pain and Headaches: Primer.

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“Marijuana has been used both medicinally and recreationally since ancient times and interest in its compounds for pain relief has increased in recent years. The identification of our own intrinsic, endocannabinoid system has laid the foundation for further research.

Synthetic cannabinoids are being developed and synthesized from the marijuana plant such as dronabinol and nabilone. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of dronabinol and nabilone for chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) wasting. Nabiximols is a cannabis extract that is approved for the treatment of spasticity and intractable pain in Canada and the UK. Further clinical trials are studying the effect of marijuana extracts for seizure disorders.

Phytocannabinoids have been identified as key compounds involved in analgesia and anti-inflammatory effects.  Other compounds found in cannabis such as flavonoids and terpenes are also being investigated as to their individual or synergistic effects.

This article will review relevant literature regarding medical use of marijuana and cannabinoid pharmaceuticals with an emphasis on pain and headaches.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28281107

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist attenuates pain related behavior in rats with chronic alcohol/high fat diet induced pancreatitis

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“Chronic Pancreatitis (CP) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome. Many contributing factors result in development of dysfunctional pain in a significant number of patients. Drugs developed to treat a variety of pain states fall short of providing effective analgesia for patients with chronic pancreatitis, often providing minimal to partial pain relief over time with significant side effects.

Recently, availability of selective pharmacological tools has enabled great advances in our knowledge of the role of the cannabinoid receptors in pathophysiology. In particular, cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has emerged as an attractive target for management of chronic pain, as demonstrated in several studies with inflammatory and neuropathic preclinical pain models. In this study, the analgesic efficacy of a novel, highly selective CB2 receptor agonist, LY3038404 HCl, is investigated in a chronic pancreatitis pain model, induced with an alcohol/high fat (AHF) diet.

LY3038404 HCl, a potent CB2 receptor agonist, possesses tissue protective and analgesic properties without effects on higher brain function. Thus, activation of CB2 receptors is suggested as a potential therapeutic target for visceral inflammation and pain management.

The major finding of the present study is that LY3038404 HCl, a potent CB2 receptor agonist, possesses tissue protective and analgesic properties. No effects on higher brain functions were observed including the diminished fear responses induced by the alcohol diet. Thus, activation of CB2 receptors is suggested as a potential therapeutic target for pancreas protection and pain management.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4242547/

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Effects on Spasticity and Neuropathic Pain of an Oral Formulation of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Patients With Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

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“The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of an oral formulation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (ECP002A) in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS).

Pain was significantly reduced when measured directly after administration of ECP002A in the clinic but not when measured in a daily diary. A similar pattern was observed in subjective muscle spasticity. Other clinical outcomes were not significantly different between active treatment and placebo. Cognitive testing indicated that there was no decline in cognition after 2 or 4 weeks of treatment attributable to ECP002A compared with placebo.

Implications This study specifically underlines the added value of thorough investigation of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic associations in the target population. Despite the complex interplay of psychoactive effects and analgesia, the current oral formulation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol may play a role in the treatment of spasticity and pain associated with MS because it was well tolerated and had a stable pharmacokinetic profile.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189366

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The central cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2) and chronic pain.

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“Cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2, CB2 Receptor, or CB2-R) mediates analgesia, via two mechanisms. CB2 receptors contained in peripheral immune tissue mediates analgesia by altering cytokine profiles, and thus has little adverse effects on central nervous systems. CB2 is also expressed in the neurons and glial cells of the Central Nervous System (CNS). This neuronal expression may also contribute to pain attenuation. The CB2 receptor has been proposed as a potential target in treating chronic pain of several etiologies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27842450

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NSAIDs, Opioids, Cannabinoids and the Control of Pain by the Central Nervous System.

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“Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act upon peripheral tissues and upon the central nervous system to produce analgesia. A major central target of NSAIDs is the descending pain control system. The rostral structures of the descending pain control system send impulses towards the spinal cord and regulate the transmission of pain messages. Key structures of the descending pain control system are the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) and the rostral ventromedial region of the medulla (RVM), both of which are critical targets for endogenous opioids and opiate pharmaceuticals. NSAIDs also act upon PAG and RVM to produce analgesia and, if repeatedly administered, induce tolerance to themselves and cross-tolerance to opioids. Experimental evidence shows that this is due to an interaction of NSAIDs with endogenous opioids along the descending pain control system. Analgesia by NSAIDs along the descending pain control system also requires an activation of the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor. Several experimental approaches suggest that opioids, NSAIDs and cannabinoids in PAG and RVM cooperate to decrease GABAergic inhibition and thus enhance the descending flow of impulses that inhibit pain.”

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Endocannabinoid mechanism for orofacial antinociception induced by electroacupuncture in acupoint St36 in rats.

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“This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating whether electroacupuncture (EA) at acupoint St36 could produce antinociception through the activation of an endocannabinoid mechanism.

CONCLUSION:

This study demonstrated for the first time that the CB1 cannabinoid receptor participates in the antinociceptive effect induced by EA.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27573715

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An analgesia circuit activated by cannabinoids.

“Although many anecdotal reports indicate that marijuana and its active constituent, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), may reduce pain sensation, studies of humans have produced inconsistent results. In animal studies, the apparent pain-suppressing effects of delta-9-THC and other cannabinoid drugs are confounded by motor deficits. Here we show that a brainstem circuit that contributes to the pain-suppressing effects of morphine is also required for the analgesic effects of cannabinoids. Inactivation of the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) prevents the analgesia but not the motor deficits produced by systemically administered cannabinoids. Furthermore, cannabinoids produce analgesia by modulating RVM neuronal activity in a manner similar to, but pharmacologically dissociable from, that of morphine. We also show that endogenous cannabinoids tonically regulate pain thresholds in part through the modulation of RVM neuronal activity. These results show that analgesia produced by cannabinoids and opioids involves similar brainstem circuitry and that cannabinoids are indeed centrally acting analgesics with a new mechanism of action.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9759727

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Sex-dependent effects of cannabis-induced analgesia.

“Preclinical studies demonstrate that cannabinoid-mediated antinociceptive effects vary according to sex; it is unknown if these findings extend to humans.

These results indicate that in cannabis smokers, men exhibit greater cannabis-induced analgesia relative to women.

As such, sex-dependent differences in cannabis’s analgesic effects are an important consideration that warrants further investigation when considering the potential therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for pain relief.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27522535

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Integrating cannabis into clinical cancer care.

“Cannabis species have been used as medicine for thousands of years; only since the 1940s has the plant not been widely available for medical use.

However, an increasing number of jurisdictions are making it possible for patients to obtain the botanical for medicinal use.

For the cancer patient, cannabis has a number of potential benefits, especially in the management of symptoms. Cannabis is useful in combatting anorexia, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, and depression.

Cannabis might be less potent than other available antiemetics, but for some patients, it is the only agent that works, and it is the only antiemetic that also increases appetite.

Inhaled cannabis is more effective than placebo in ameliorating peripheral neuropathy in a number of conditions, and it could prove useful in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy.

A pharmacokinetic interaction study of vaporized cannabis in patients with chronic pain on stable doses of sustained-release opioids demonstrated no clinically significant change in plasma opiates, while suggesting the possibility of synergistic analgesia.

Aside from symptom management, an increasing body of in vitro and animal-model studies supports a possible direct anticancer effect of cannabinoids by way of a number of different mechanisms involving apoptosis, angiogenesis, and inhibition of metastasis.

Despite an absence of clinical trials, abundant anecdotal reports that describe patients having remarkable responses to cannabis as an anticancer agent, especially when taken as a high-potency orally ingested concentrate, are circulating.

Human studies should be conducted to address critical questions related to the foregoing effects.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27022315

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