It Is Our Turn to Get Cannabis High: Put Cannabinoids in Food and Health Baskets

molecules-logo“Cannabis is an annual plant with a long history of use as food, feed, fiber, oil, medicine, and narcotics. Despite realizing its true value, it has not yet found its true place. Cannabis has had a long history with many ups and downs, and now it is our turn to promote it.

Cannabis contains approximately 600 identified and many yet unidentified potentially useful compounds. Cannabinoids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and alkaloids are some of the secondary metabolites present in cannabis. However, among a plethora of unique chemical compounds found in this plant, the most important ones are phytocannabinoids (PCs).

Over hundreds of 21-22-carbon compounds exclusively produce in cannabis glandular hairs through either polyketide and or deoxyxylulose phosphate/methylerythritol phosphate (DOXP/MEP) pathways. Trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are those that first come to mind while talking about cannabis. Nevertheless, despite the low concentration, cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinodiol (CBND), and cannabinidiol (CBDL) may have potentially some medical effects.

PCs and endocannabinoids (ECs) mediate their effects mainly through CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite all concerns regarding cannabis, nobody can ignore the use of cannabinoids as promising tonic, analgesic, antipyretic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anticancer agents, which are effective for pain relief, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, and appetite stimulation.

The scientific community and public society have now increasingly accepted cannabis specifically hemp as much more than a recreational drug. There are growing demands for cannabinoids, mainly CBD, with many diverse therapeutic and nutritional properties in veterinary or human medicine. The main objective of this review article is to historically summarize findings concerning cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, towards putting these valuable compounds into food, feed and health baskets and current and future trends in the consumption of products derived from cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32899626/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/18/4036

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Antiemetic Effects of Cannabinoid Agonists in Nonhuman Primates

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics“Attenuating emesis elicited by both disease and medical treatments of disease remains a critical public health challenge.

Although cannabinergic medications have been used in certain treatment-resistant populations, FDA-approved cannabinoid antiemetics are associated with undesirable side effects, including cognitive disruption, that limit their prescription. Previous studies have shown that a metabolically stable analog of the endocannabinoid anandamide, methanandamide (mAEA), may produce lesser cognitive disruption than that associated with the primary psychoactive constituent in cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), raising the possibility that endocannabinoids may offer a therapeutic advantage over currently used medications.

The present studies were conducted to evaluate this possibility by comparing the antiemetic effects of Δ9-THC (0.032-0.1 mg/kg) and mAEA (3.2-10.0 mg/kg), against nicotine- and lithium chloride (LiCl)-induced emesis and prodromal hypersalivation in squirrel monkeys.

These studies systematically demonstrate for the first time the antiemetic effects of cannabinoid agonists in nonhuman primates. Importantly, although Δ9-THC produced superior antiemetic effects, the milder cognitive effects of mAEA demonstrated in previous studies suggests that it may provide a favorable treatment option under clinical circumstances in which antiemetic efficacy must be balanced against side-effect liability.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Emesis has significant evolutionary value as a defense mechanism against ingested toxins; however, it is also one of the most common adverse symptoms associated with both disease and medical treatments of disease. The development of improved anti-emetic pharmacotherapies has been impeded by a paucity of animal models.

The present studies systematically demonstrate for the first time the antiemetic effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and endocannabinoid-analog methanandamide in nonhuman primates.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32561684/

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/19/jpet.120.265710

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A Phase 1, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Dose Escalation Study to Investigate the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Fed Healthy Volunteers.

SpringerLink“There is increasing interest in the use of purified cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for a wide range of conditions due to its reported anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antiemetic and anticonvulsant properties.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a single ascending dose of a new lipid-based oral formulation of CBD in healthy volunteers after a high-fat meal.

RESULTS:

CBD was well tolerated in the healthy volunteers (mean age: 24.0 years) treated with a single oral dose of CBD. There were no safety concerns with increasing the dose and the safety profiles of the CBD-treated and placebo-treated subjects were similar. The most frequently reported treatment emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were headache (17%) and diarrhoea (8%). There were no reported serious adverse events (SAEs) and no clinical laboratory findings, vital signs, ECGs or physical examination findings that were reported as TEAEs or were of clinical significance during the study. After a high-fat meal, CBD was detected in plasma samples at 15 min postdose; the median time to maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) was 4 h across all three CBD dose cohorts. The CBD plasma exposure [maximum observed plasma concentration (Cmax) and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC)] increased in a dose-proportional manner and declined to levels approaching the lower level of quantification by day 8. The terminal elimination half-life was approximately 70 h, suggesting that 2-3 weeks are needed to fully eliminate CBD.

CONCLUSIONS:

This new CBD formulation demonstrated a favourable safety and tolerability profile in healthy volunteers that was consistent with the profiles reported for other purified CBD products. No severe or serious AEs were observed in this study and there were no safety concerns.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32409982

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major nonpsychoactive cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis plant that has attracted significant interest due to its anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antiemetic and anticonvulsant properties. The findings of this study contribute to the evolving knowledge of cannabidiol pharmacokinetics and indicate that this new oral lipid-based formulation of cannabidiol is generally safe and well tolerated at all doses studied. No severe or serious AEs were observed and there were no safety concerns.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13318-020-00624-6

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Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer.

cancers-logo“Cannabis has been used to relieve the symptoms of disease for thousands of years. However, social and political biases have limited effective interrogation of the potential benefits of cannabis and polarised public opinion.

Evidence is emerging for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, with potential efficacy as an analgesic and antiemetic for the management of cancer-related pain and treatment-related nausea and vomiting, respectively.

An increasing number of preclinical studies have established that ∆9-THC can inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells through the modulation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R), but clinical confirmation remains lacking.

In parallel, the anti-cancer properties of non-THC cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), are linked to the modulation of non-CB1R/CB2R G-protein-coupled receptors, neurotransmitter receptors, and ligand-regulated transcription factors, which together modulate oncogenic signalling and redox homeostasis.

Additional evidence has also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, and this may prove relevant in the context of peritumoural oedema and the tumour immune microenvironment. This review aims to document the emerging mechanisms of anti-cancer actions of non-THC cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32340151

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/12/4/1033

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A Comprehensive Patient and Public Involvement Program Evaluating Perception of Cannabis-Derived Medicinal Products in the Treatment of Acute Postoperative Pain, Nausea, and Vomiting Using a Qualitative Thematic Framework.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Cannabis-derived medicinal products (CDMPs) have antiemetic properties and in combination with opioids have synergistic analgesic effects in part signaling through the delta and kappa opioid receptors.

The objective of this patient and public involvement program was to determine perception of perioperative CDMPs in our local population to inform design of a clinical trial.

Consensus was that potential benefits of CDMPs were attractive compared with the known risk profile of opioid use. Decrease in opioid dependence was agreed to be an appropriate clinical end-point for a randomized controlled clinical trial and there was concurrence of positive opinion of a therapeutic schedule of 5 days.

The perception of postoperative CDMP therapy was overwhelmingly positive in this West London population. The data from this thematic analysis will inform protocol development of clinical trials to determine analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of CDMPs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322678

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0020

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Marijuana, Ondansetron, and Promethazine Are Perceived as Most Effective Treatments for Gastrointestinal Nausea.

 SpringerLink“Many anti-nausea treatments are available for chronic gastrointestinal syndromes, but data on efficacy and comparative effectiveness are sparse.

AIMS:

To conduct a sectional survey study of patients with chronic nausea to assess comparative effectiveness of commonly used anti-nausea treatments.

RESULTS:

One hundred and fifty-three patients completed the survey. The mean efficacy score of all anti-nausea treatments evaluated was 1.73. After adjustment, three treatments had scores statically higher than the mean, including marijuana (2.75, p < 0.0001), ondansetron (2.64, p < 0.0001), and promethazine (2.46, p < 0.0001). Several treatments, including many neuromodulators, complementary and alternative treatments, erythromycin, and diphenhydramine had scores statistically below average. Patients with more severe nausea responded better to marijuana (p = 0.036) and diphenhydramine (p < 0.001) and less so to metoclopramide (p = 0.020). There was otherwise no significant differential response by age, gender, nausea localization, underlying gastrointestinal cause of nausea, and GCSI.

CONCLUSIONS:

When treating nausea in patients with chronic gastrointestinal syndromes, clinicians may consider trying higher performing treatments first, and forgoing lower performing treatments. Further prospective research is needed, particularly with respect to highly effective treatments.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32185665

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10620-020-06195-5

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The Highs and Lows of Cannabis in Cancer Treatment and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

 Logo of rmmj“In the last decade, we have observed an increased public and scientific interest in the clinical applications of medical cannabis.

Currently, the application of cannabinoids in cancer patients is mainly due to their analgesic and anti-emetic effects.

The direct effects of phyto-cannabinoids on cancer cells are under intensive research, and the data remain somewhat inconsistent. Although anti-proliferative properties were observed in vitro, conclusive data from animal models and clinical trials are lacking.

Since immunotherapy of malignant diseases and bone marrow transplantation are integral approaches in hemato-oncology, the immuno-modulatory characteristic of cannabinoids is a fundamental aspect for consideration. The effect of cannabinoids on the immune system is presently under investigation, and some evidence for its immuno-regulatory properties has been shown.

In addition, the interaction of cannabinoids and classical cytotoxic agents is a subject for further investigation. Here we discuss the current knowledge of cannabinoid-based treatments in preclinical models and the limited data in oncological patients. Particularly, we address the possible contradiction between the direct anti-tumor and the immune-modulatory effects of cannabinoids.

Better understanding of the mechanism of cannabinoids influence is essential to design therapies that will allow cannabinoids to be incorporated into the clinic.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32017682

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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.

Image result for perioperative medicine

“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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