Tetrahydrocannabinol: cannabidiol oromucosal spray for treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis spasticity: newest evidence

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“Proceedings of an Almirall-sponsored satellite symposium held at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis in Berlin, Germany, 10 October 2018.” https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0048

“Newest evidence for tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol oromucosal spray from postapproval pragmatic studies. Postapproval studies have an essential role in demonstrating that an intervention is effective and well tolerated during use in daily clinical practice. Numerous large observational and registry studies of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray have been conducted subsequent to its approval in Europe in 2011. Collectively, these studies provide valuable insight into various aspects of THC:CBD spray during real-world use in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity, including its long-term effectiveness and tolerability. The Italian Medicines Agency’s web-based registry is the largest observational study of THC:CBD oromucosal spray conducted to date, reporting on more than 1600 patients prescribed THC:CBD spray since it was introduced in Italy in 2013, and further supporting its effectiveness and tolerability profile.” https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0049

“Newest evidence for tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol oromucosal spray from randomized clinical trials. Subsequent to EMA approval of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray based on results of various studies, including an enriched-design clinical trial, two newer postapproval randomized trials have confirmed its efficacy and safety for treating resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity, while simultaneously addressing specific authorities’ concerns. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase IV trial, conducted as part of the EMA’s risk management plan, found no effect of THC:CBD spray on cognition and mood after 50 weeks of treatment. In the Sativex® as add-on therapy versus further optimized first-line ANTispastics (SAVANT)  study, add-on THC:CBD spray was significantly more effective than readjusting standard antispasticity therapy and provided new evidence of efficacy as requested by German authorities. SAVANT results support practical recommendations for treating resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity in daily practice.”  https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/nmt-2018-0050

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Discovering the pharmacodynamics of conolidine and cannabidiol using a cultured neuronal network based workflow.

Scientific Reports“Determining the mechanism of action (MOA) of novel or naturally occurring compounds mostly relies on assays tailored for individual target proteins.

Conolidine and cannabidiol are plant-derivatives with known antinociceptive activity but unknown MOA.

We used principal component analysis (PCA) and multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) to compare network activity profiles of conolidine/cannabidiol to a series of well-studied compounds with known MOA.

Network activity profiles evoked by conolidine and cannabidiol closely matched that of ω-conotoxin CVIE, a potent and selective Cav2.2 calcium channel blocker with proposed antinociceptive action suggesting that they too would block this channel. To verify this, Cav2.2 channels were heterologously expressed, recorded with whole-cell patch clamp and conolidine/cannabidiol was applied.

Remarkably, conolidine and cannabidiol both inhibited Cav2.2, providing a glimpse into the MOA that could underlie their antinociceptive action.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30644434

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37138-w

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Cannabis and Mood Disorders.

 “The present review will provide an overview of the neurobiology, epidemiology, clinical impact, and treatment of cannabis use disorder (CUD) in mood disorders.

Patients with mood disorders including major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) have higher rates of cannabis use, and CUD compared to the general population. Reasons for this association are not clear, nor are the putative therapeutic effects of cannabis use, or its components delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in these illnesses.

Cannabis use may be associated mood disorders, but more research is needed to increase our understanding of the mechanisms for this association, and to develop more effective treatments for this comorbidity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30643708

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40429-018-0214-y

“Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Results of this study show that Delta(9)-THC and other cannabinoids exert antidepressant-like actions, and thus may contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20332000

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∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, a major marijuana component, enhances the anesthetic effect of pentobarbital through the CB1 receptor.

 “∆9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), major psychoactive constituents of marijuana, induce potentiation of pentobarbital-induced sleep in mice.

We have elucidated the mechanism of enhancement of the anesthetic effect of pentobarbital by cannabinoids.

These results suggest that binding of ∆9-THC to the CB1 receptor is involved in the synergism with pentobarbital, and that potentiating effect of CBD with pentobarbital may differ from that of ∆9-THC. We successfully demonstrated that ∆9-THC enhanced the anesthetic effect of pentobarbital through the CB1 receptor.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30636988

“The pharmacological results indicate the effect of ∆9-THC co-administered with pentobarbital was a synergistic, but not additive, action in mice. Further evidence suggests the CB1 receptor plays an important role as a trigger in potentiating pentobarbital-induced sleep by ∆9-THC.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11419-018-0457-2

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Preclinical safety and efficacy of cannabidivarin for early life seizures.

Neuropharmacology

“A significant proportion of neonatal and childhood seizures are poorly controlled by existing anti-seizure drugs (ASDs), likely due to prominent differences in ionic homeostasis and network connectivity between the immature and mature brain. In addition to the poor efficacy of current ASDs, many induce apoptosis, impair synaptic development, and produce behavioral deficits when given during early postnatal development.

There is growing interest in new targets, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and its propyl analog cannabidivarin (CBDV) for early life indications. While CBD was recently approved for treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies, little is known about the efficacy or safety of CBDV.

Here, we addressed this gap through a systematic evaluation of CBDV against multiple seizure models in postnatal day (P) 10 and 20 animals. We also evaluated the impact of CBDV on acute neurotoxicity in immature rats.

CBDV (50-200 mg/kg) displayed an age and model-specific profile of anticonvulsant action.

Finally, CBDV treatment generally avoided induction of neuronal degeneration in immature rats.

Together, the efficacy and safety profile of CBDV suggest it may have therapeutic value for early life seizures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30633929

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390818306786?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer.

 Related image“In the last decades, a lot of attention has been paid to the compounds present in medicinal Cannabis sativa L., such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and their effects on inflammation and cancer-related pain.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) currently recognizes medicinal C. sativa as an effective treatment for providing relief in a number of symptoms associated with cancer, including pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and anxiety.

Several studies have described CBD as a multitarget molecule, acting as an adaptogen, and as a modulator, in different ways, depending on the type and location of disequilibrium both in the brain and in the body, mainly interacting with specific receptor proteins CB1 and CB2.

CBD is present in both medicinal and fibre-type C. sativa plants, but, unlike Δ9-THC, it is completely nonpsychoactive. Fibre-type C. sativa (hemp) differs from medicinal C. sativa, since it contains only few levels of Δ9-THC and high levels of CBD and related nonpsychoactive compounds.

In recent years, a number of preclinical researches have been focused on the role of CBD as an anticancer molecule, suggesting CBD (and CBD-like molecules present in the hemp extract) as a possible candidate for future clinical trials.

CBD has been found to possess antioxidant activity in many studies, thus suggesting a possible role in the prevention of both neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. In animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of several cancer types. Moreover, it has been found that coadministration of CBD and Δ9-THC, followed by radiation therapy, causes an increase of autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells. In addition, CBD is able to inhibit cell proliferation and to increase apoptosis in different types of cancer models.

These activities seem to involve also alternative pathways, such as the interactions with TRPV and GRP55 receptor complexes. Moreover, the finding that the acidic precursor of CBD (cannabidiolic acid, CBDA) is able to inhibit the migration of breast cancer cells and to downregulate the proto-oncogene c-fos and the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) highlights the possibility that CBDA might act on a common pathway of inflammation and cancer mechanisms, which might be responsible for its anticancer activity.

In the light of all these findings, in this review we explore the effects and the molecular mechanisms of CBD on inflammation and cancer processes, highlighting also the role of minor cannabinoids and noncannabinoids constituents of Δ9-THC deprived hemp.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30627539

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/1691428/

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Special Considerations and Assessment in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America

“Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune neurologic disorder that may affect any region of the central nervous system. Spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis can be debilitating and detrimental to the function and quality of life of patients. Treatment options include oral medications, chemodenervation, physical therapy, and modalities.

Cannabinoids in the form of a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol oro-mucosal spray has been shown to be effective in addressing spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Successful treatment of spasticity will be integrated, multimodal, and individualized.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30626509

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047965118307617?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high.”

A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population.

DESIGN:

A large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Sleep and anxiety scores, using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment.

RESULTS:

The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.

CONCLUSION:

Cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders. Controlled clinical studies are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624194

http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2019/winter/6960-cannabis.html

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Epidiolex (Cannabidiol): A New Hope for Patients With Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes.

 SAGE Journals

“OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy, safety, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex) in the treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

DATA SYNTHESIS: Pure, plant-based CBD is a pharmaceutical grade extract that exhibits clinically significant antiseizure properties, with a hypothesized multimodal mechanism of action. In the GWPCARE trial series, CBD displayed superior efficacy in reducing key seizure frequencies (convulsive seizures in DS; drop seizures in LGS) by 17% to 23% compared with placebo as adjunctive therapy to standard antiepileptic drugs in patients 2 years of age and older. Common adverse effects were somnolence, diarrhea, and elevated hepatic transaminases. Noteworthy drug-drug interactions included clobazam, valproates, and significant inducers/inhibitors of CYP2C19 and 3A4 enzymes.

Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: A discussion regarding CBD dosing, administration, adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and interactions is provided to guide clinicians. CBD offers patients with DS and LGS a new treatment option for refractory seizures.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first cannabis-derived medication with approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. This CBD formulation significantly reduces seizures as an adjunct to standard antiepileptic therapies in patients ≥2 years old with DS and LGS and is well tolerated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616356

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1060028018822124?journalCode=aopd

“Why marijuana is headed for the mainstream. The credibility of cannabis as a source of a legitimate pharmaceutical ingredient in prescription medications took a major step forward in 2018 when the FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for two types of severe seizures. Epidiolex was a stellar candidate for approval. It reduced convulsive seizures by about 40% and has a good safety profile.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620324

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Blood-brain barrier disturbances in diabetes-associated dementia: Therapeutic potential for cannabinoids.

Pharmacological Research

“Type-2 diabetes (T2D) increases the risk of dementia by ˜5-fold, however the mechanisms by which T2D increases dementia risk remain unclear. Evidence suggests that the heightened inflammation and oxidative stress in T2D may lead to disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which precedes premature cognitive decline. Studies show that vascular-targeted anti-inflammatory treatments protect the BBB by attenuating neuroinflammation, and in some studies attenuate cognitive decline. Yet, this potential pathway is understudied in T2D-associated cognitive impairment.

In recent years, therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has gained much interest. The two major cannabinoids, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, exert anti-inflammatory and vascular protective effects, however few studies report their potential for reversing BBB dysfunction, particularly in T2D. Therefore, in this review, we summarize the current findings on the role of BBB dysfunction in T2D-associated dementia and consider the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoids as a protectant of cerebrovascular BBB protection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616019

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661818314634?via%3Dihub

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