Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – An observational, longitudinal study.

Cover image volume 40, Issue 5

“The objective of this observational study was to evaluate the efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of refractory epilepsy.

Fifty-seven patients (age 1-20 years) with epilepsy of various etiologies were treated with Cannabis oil extract (CBD/THC ratio of 20:1) for at least 3 months (Median follow up time-18 months). Forty-Six Patients were included in the efficacy analysis. Average CBD dose was11.4 mg/kg/d.

Twenty-six patients (56%) had ≤50% reduction in mean monthly seizure frequency. There was no statistically significant difference in response rate among various epilepsy etiologies, and cannabis strain used.

Younger age at treatment onset (<10 years) and higher CBD dose (>11 mg/kg/d) were associated with better response to treatment. Adverse reactions were reported in 46% of patients and were the main reason for treatment cessation.

Our results suggest that adding CBD-enriched cannabis extract to the treatment regimen of patients with refractory epilepsy may result in a significant reduction in seizure frequency according to parental reports.”

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Cannabidiol inhibits endocannabinoid signaling in autaptic hippocampal neurons.

Molecular Pharmacology

“Δ9-THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are two main cannabinoid constituents of marijuana and hashish. The pharmacology of Δ9-THC has been extensively studied, while our understanding of the pharmacology of CBD has remained limited, despite excitement in CBD’s potential role in treating certain pediatric epilepsies and its reputation for attenuating some Δ9-THC-induced effects.

It was established early on that CBD binds poorly to the orthosteric site of CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors and its actions were commonly attributed to other non-cannabinoid receptor mechanisms. However, recent evidence suggests that CBD does indeed act at cannabinoid CB1 receptors as a negative allosteric modulator (NAM) of CB1 signaling. By altering the orthosteric signaling of a GPCR, allosteric modulators greatly increase the richness of GPCR pharmacology.

We have recently surveyed candidate CB1 NAMs in autaptic hippocampal neurons, a well-characterized neuronal model of endogenous cannabinoid signaling, and have now tested CBD in this model. We find that while CBD has no direct effect on excitatory transmission it does inhibit two forms of endogenous cannabinoid-mediated retrograde synaptic plasticity: depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and metabotropic suppression of excitation (MSE), while not affecting signaling via GABA-B receptors.

These results are consistent with the recently described NAM activity of CBD and suggest interesting possible mechanisms for CBD’s therapeutic actions.”

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A Naturalistic Examination of the Perceived Effects of Cannabis on Negative Affect

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“Cannabis is commonly used to alleviate symptoms of negative affect. However, a paucity of research has examined the acute effects of cannabis on negative affect in everyday life.

The current study provides a naturalistic account of perceived changes in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress as a function of dose and concentration of Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Cannabis is commonly used to alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. Indeed, one of the most commonly reported motives for cannabis use is to cope with stress, with 72% of daily cannabis users reporting use of cannabis to relax or relieve tension.

Results from the present study indicate that medical cannabis users report a substantial and significant reduction in symptoms of negative affect shortly after using cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29656267

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032718303100

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The use of cannabis in supportive care and treatment of brain tumor

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“Anticancer Effects of Cannabinoids may be able to Prolong Life.

Cannabinoids are multitarget substances. Currently available are dronabinol (synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC), synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) the respective substances isolated and purified from cannabis, a refined extract, nabiximols (THC:CBD = 1.08:1.00); and nabilone, which is also synthetic and has properties that are very similar to those of THC.

Cannabinoids have a role in the treatment of cancer as palliative interventions against nausea, vomiting, pain, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. THC and nabilone are also used for anorexia and weight loss, whereas CBD has no orexigenic effect. The psychotropic effects of THC and nabilone, although often undesirable, can improve mood when administered in low doses. CBD has no psychotropic effects; it is anxiolytic and antidepressive.

Of particular interest are glioma studies in animals where relatively high doses of CBD and THC demonstrated significant regression of tumor volumes (approximately 50% to 95% and even complete eradication in rare cases). Concomitant treatment with X-rays or temozolomide enhanced activity further. Similarly, a combination of THC with CBD showed synergistic effects. Although many questions, such as on optimized treatment schedules, are still unresolved, today’s scientific results suggest that cannabinoids could play an important role in palliative care of brain tumor patients.

THC, a partial CB1, CB2 agonist, has the stigma of psychotropic effects that are mediated by CB1 stimulation. However, CB1 stimulation is necessary for improving mood and appetite and many other effects. At present, it is hard to imagine a better approach than adjusting THC doses individually to balance wanted versus unwanted effects. Generally, higher doses are needed to achieve analgesic and antiemetic effects. Even much higher, supraphysiologic oral doses would be needed to combat tumors.

Combinations were synergistic under many circumstances such as in pain and antitumor studies. Cannabinoids differ in their antitumor activities and probably in their mechanisms and targets, which is a rationale for combinations. However, for many pharmacological effects (except against tumors) roughly 10-times higher daily doses are needed for CBD compared to THC.

In summary, the endocannabinoid system is likely playing a crucial role in palliative care. The future will show whether an optimized treatment strategy with cannabinoids can also prolong life of brain tumor patients by their virtue to combat cancer cells.”

https://academic.oup.com/nop/article/4/3/151/2918616

“Cannabinoid Drug Prolongs the Life of Brain Tumor Patients in Phase II Trials”  https://labiotech.eu/gw-pharmaceuticals-brain-tumor/

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Reefer to the Rescue: The Dope on Cannabidiol as a Multi-Symptom Panacea for Dravet Syndrome

American Epilepsy Society

“Dravet syndrome (DS) is a debilitating developmental disorder typified by severe seizures and delayed onset of psychomotor deficits.

In addition to increasing the risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), the medically refractory status epilepticus in DS can be life-threatening, which makes it crucial to identify drugs to reduce seizures.

The quest for a viable drug to limit seizures in DS has intersected with the recent excitement over the potential use of cannabinoids as antiepileptic agents, leading to extensive anecdotal reports of the potential for cannabinoids to limit seizures in DS

Cannabinoids are active derivatives of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.

The study reveals a strong preclinical basis for the use of CBD in DS. They find that CBD pre-treatment reduces both duration and severity of thermally-induced behavioral seizures.

In conclusion, Kaplan and colleagues provide the first preclinical demonstration that CBD may help alleviate seizures in a mouse model of DS validating the translational potential of CBD in patients with DS.

The demonstration that CBD improves deficits in social interactions in DS launches an exciting therapeutic possibility of alleviating behavioral impairments that persist beyond the seizures and pave the way for mechanistic studies that could positively impact treatment of autism spectrum disorders.”

http://epilepsycurrents.org/doi/10.5698/1535-7597.18.2.118?code=amep-site

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Cannabis for Chronic Pain: Challenges and Considerations.

Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy banner

“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has found substantial evidence that cannabis (plant) is effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults, and moderate evidence that oromucosal cannabinoids (extracts, especially nabiximols) improve short-term sleep disturbances in chronic pain. ”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29637590

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/phar.2115

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Therapeutic cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis: immunomodulation revisited.

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Cannabinoids are compounds with pleiotropic properties that act on the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and are divided into endocannabinoids, the endogenous ligands of these receptors, synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.

The latter are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of this plant have been observed and used for centuries.

Of the over 60 compounds that are unique to Cannabis sativa, the substances that have been attributed the greatest therapeutic potential are Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both of which, used alone or combined with each other, have become approved drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29633480

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ene.13658

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Anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, in experimental allergic contact dermatitis.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

“Phytocannabinoids modulate inflammatory responses by regulating the production of cytokines in several experimental models of inflammation.

Cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor activation was shown to reduce the production of the monocyte chemotactic protein-2 (MCP-2) chemokine in polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly-(I:C)]-stimulated human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, an in vitro model of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

We investigated if non-psychotropic cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) produced similar effects in this experimental model of ACD.

This is the first demonstration of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in an experimental model of ACD.”

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No Acute Effects of Cannabidiol on the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Healthy Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component of Cannabis sativa that has a broad spectrum of potential therapeutic effects in neuropsychiatric and other disorders. However, few studies have investigated the possible interference of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a clinically anxiolytic dose of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of healthy subjects in a crossover, double-blind design.

The drug did not induce any significant effect.

Different from anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD does not seem to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers. The present findings support the proposal that CBD do not alter normal sleep architecture.

Cannabidiol may play a therapeutic role in sleep regulation.

We found no differences between CBD and placebo in respect to polysomnographic findings or cognitive and subjective measures in a sample of healthy subjects. Unlike widely used anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs, the acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD does not appear to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers. Future studies should address the effects of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of patient populations as well as evaluate the chronic effects of CBD in larger samples of patients with sleep and neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29674967

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00315/full

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Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis

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“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. The symptoms of MS are highly varied but frequently include pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation, and depression. These symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity, negatively impact functional mobility, and have a detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life.

Although recent years have seen significant advances in disease modifying therapy, none of the current treatments halts or cures MS related symptoms. As a consequence, many people with MS (PwMS) look for alternative and complementary therapies such as cannabis.

The cannabis plant contains many biologically active chemicals, including ~60 cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are typically the most concentrated chemical components of cannabis and believed to primarily drive therapeutic benefit.

There is evidence that CBD has a number of beneficial pharmacological effects. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective. The review of 132 original studies by Bergamaschi et al. describes the safety profile of CBD by highlighting that catalepsy is not induced and physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature) are not altered. Moreover, psychomotor and psychological functions are not negatively affected. High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.

Additionally, there is also evidence that CBD may reduce the negative psychotropic effects, memory impairment, and appetite stimulation, anxiety and psychotic-like states of THC while enhancing its positive therapeutic actions.

 Anecdotal reports indicate that an increasing number of PwMS use cannabis (medical marijuana) as a supplement to improve their mobility.

Based on the following considerations, it is our opinion that CBD supplementation maybe advisable for PwMS to reduce fatigue, pain, spasticity, and ultimately improve mobility. “

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00183/full

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