Use of cannabinoids in cancer patients: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) clinical practice statement.

Gynecologic Oncology“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) affect the human endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoids reduce chemotherapy induced nausea or vomiting (CINV) and neuropathic pain.

Each state has its own regulations for medical and recreational cannabis use.

Effects of cannabinoids on chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and tumor growth remain under investigation.

Providers should focus indications, alternatives, risks and benefits of medical cannabis use to make appropriate referrals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31932107

https://www.gynecologiconcology-online.net/article/S0090-8258(19)31805-0/fulltext

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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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Marijuana Use in Patients with Symptoms of Gastroparesis: Prevalence, Patient Characteristics, and Perceived Benefit.

“Marijuana may be used by some patients with gastroparesis (Gp) for its potential antiemetic, orexigenic, and pain-relieving effects.

The aim of this study was to describe the use of marijuana by patients for symptoms of Gp, assessing prevalence of use, patient characteristics, and patients’ perceived benefit on their symptoms of Gp.

RESULTS:

Fifty-nine of 506 (11.7%) patients with symptoms of Gp reported current marijuana use, being similar among patients with delayed and normal gastric emptying and similar in idiopathic and diabetic patients. Patients using marijuana were younger, more often current tobacco smokers, less likely to be a college graduate, married or have income > $50,000. Patients using marijuana had higher nausea/vomiting subscore (2.7 vs 2.1; p = 0.002), higher upper abdominal pain subscore (3.5 vs 2.9; p = 0.003), more likely to be using promethazine (37 vs 25%; p = 0.05) and dronabinol (17 vs 3%; p < 0.0001). Of patients using marijuana, 51% had been using it for more than 2 years, 47% were using this once or more per day, and 81% of marijuana users rated their benefit from marijuana as better or much better.

CONCLUSIONS:

A subset of patients (12%) with symptoms of Gp use marijuana. Patients with severe nausea and abdominal pain were more likely to use marijuana and perceive it to be beneficial for their symptoms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31758430

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10620-019-05963-2

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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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Non-prescription cannabis use for symptom management amongst women with gynecologic malignancies.

Gynecologic Oncology Reports“To evaluate interest in and patterns of use of non-prescription cannabis products for symptom management amongst gynecologic cancer patients living in states with legal access to medical and recreational marijuana.

Sixty-two percent reported that they have used or would be interested in using cannabis products for symptom management; 60 (26.7%) are using non-prescription cannabis for treatment of cancer related symptoms, and 80 (35.6%) are interested in using cannabis derivatives under direction of their oncologist. Reasons cited for use of cannabis included: pain control (n = 41, 68.3), insomnia (n = 33, 55.0%), anxiety (n = 29, 48.3%), nausea (n = 26, 43.3%), and appetite stimulation (n = 21, 35.0%). Of the women using cannabis products, almost half report decreased prescription narcotic use after initiation of cannabis products (n = 27, 45.0%).

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Women with gynecologic cancer report a strong interest in the use of non-prescription cannabis products for management of cancer-related symptoms. Practitioners in the field of gynecologic oncology should be aware of the frequency of use of non-prescription cannabis amongst their patients as well as the growing desire for guidance about the use of cannabis derivatives. A substantial number of patients report decreased reliance on opioids when using cannabis derivatives for pain control.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31692541

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352578919300864?via%3Dihub

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Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis.

 “The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The predominant psychotropic component is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), while the major non-psychoactive ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds have been shown to be partial agonists or antagonists at the prototypical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The therapeutic actions of Δ9-THC and CBD include an ability to act as analgesics, anti-emetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-seizure compounds and as protective agents in neurodegeneration. However, there is a lack of well-controlled, double blind, randomized clinical trials to provide clarity on the efficacy of either Δ9-THC or CBD as therapeutics. Moreover, the safety concerns regarding the unwanted side effects of Δ9-THC as a psychoactive agent preclude its widespread use in the clinic. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31332738

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-21737-2_8

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Antitumor Cannabinoid Chemotypes: Structural Insights.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, and pain. For this reason, cannabinoids have been successfully used in the treatment of some of the unwanted side effects caused by cancer chemotherapy.

Besides their palliative effects, research from the past two decades has demonstrated their promising potential as antitumor agents in a wide variety of tumors.

Cannabinoids of endogenous, phytogenic, and synthetic nature have been shown to impact the proliferation of cancer through the modulation of different proteins involved in the endocannabinoid system such as the G protein-coupled receptors CB1, CB2, and GRP55, the ionotropic receptor TRPV1, or the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).

In this article, we aim to structurally classify the antitumor cannabinoid chemotypes described so far according to their targets and types of cancer. In a drug discovery approach, their in silico pharmacokinetic profile has been evaluated in order to identify appropriate drug-like profiles, which should be taken into account for further progress toward the clinic.

This analysis may provide structural insights into the selection of specific cannabinoid scaffolds for the development of antitumor drugs for the treatment of particular types of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31214034

“The first report on the antitumor activity of phytocannabinoids was published over four decades ago. During these last years, significant research has been focused on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to manage palliative effects in cancer patients. Besides such palliative applications, some cannabinoids have shown anticancer properties. Since inflammation is a common risk factor for cancer, and some cannabinoids have shown anti-inflammatory properties, they could play a role in chemoprevention.” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00621/full
“Antitumor effects of THC.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11097557
“Antitumor effects of cannabidiol” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14617682
“Anti-tumour actions of cannabinoids.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30019449
“Extensive preclinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29940172
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Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy.

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“Cannabinoids (CBs) from Cannabis sativa provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients.

Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients.

Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models.

The effects of CBs on signaling pathways in cancer cells are conferred via G-protein coupled CB-receptors (CB-Rs), CB1-R and CB2-R, but also via other receptors, and in a receptor-independent way.

THC is a partial agonist for CB1-R and CB2-R; CBD is an inverse agonist for both.

In breast cancer, CB1-R expression is moderate, but CB2-R expression is high, which is related to tumor aggressiveness. CBs block cell cycle progression and cell growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting constitutive active pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, such as the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway.

They reduce angiogenesis and tumor metastasis in animal breast cancer models. CBs are not only active against estrogen receptor-positive, but also against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, blocking protein kinase B- and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling via CB2-R prevents tumor progression and metastasis.

Furthermore, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), including tamoxifen, bind to CB-Rs; this process may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of SERMs in cancer cells lacking the estrogen receptor.

In summary, CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.”

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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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