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.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Dronabinol oral solution in the management of anorexia and weight loss in AIDS and cancer.

“The true incidence of anorexia secondary to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and cancer is not well classified owing to the fact that there is a lack of standardized definitions and recent clinical data in these settings.

Dronabinol, or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a synthetic molecule that closely mimics the action of Cannabis sativa L., a naturally occurring compound activated in the central nervous system by cannabinoid receptors.

Dronabinol exerts its effects by directly acting on the vomiting and appetite control centers in the brain, which in turn increases appetite and prevents vomiting.

In the USA, dronabinol is currently available in two dosage formulations – oral capsule and oral solution. While the oral capsule was initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1985, the recent approval of the oral solution in 2016 presents an “easy-to-swallow” alternative for patients using or intending to use dronabinol.

Dronabinol is indicated in adult patients with HIV/AIDS for the treatment of anorexia and weight loss. However, there is no approved indication in the setting of cancer-related anorexia and weight loss. This review aims at presenting available data on the use of oral dronabinol in the management of anorexia and weight loss in HIV/AIDS and cancer, as well as characterizing and highlighting the pharmacotherapeutic considerations of the newest formulation of dronabinol.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Cover image

“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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Issue Cover

“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/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Ajulemic acid: potential treatment for chronic inflammation.

Pharmacology Research &amp; Perspectives banner

“Ajulemic acid (AJA, CT-3, IP-751, JBT-101, anabasum) is a first-in-class, synthetic, orally active, cannabinoid-derived drug that preferentially binds to the CB2 receptor and is nonpsychoactive.

In preclinical studies, and in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, AJA showed a favorable safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic profile. It also demonstrated significant efficacy in preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. It suppresses tissue scarring and stimulates endogenous eicosanoids that resolve chronic inflammation and fibrosis without causing immunosuppression.

AJA is currently being developed for use in 4 separate but related indications including systemic sclerosis (SSc), cystic fibrosis, dermatomyositis (DM), and systemic lupus erythematosus. Phase 2 clinical trials in the first 3 targets demonstrated that it is safe, is a potential treatment for these orphan diseases and appears to be a potent inflammation-resolving drug with a unique mechanism of action, distinct from the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and will be useful for treating a wide range of chronic inflammatory diseases.

It may be considered to be a disease-modifying drug unlike most NSAIDs that only provide symptomatic relief. AJA is currently being evaluated in 24-month open-label extension studies in SSc and in skin-predominant DM. A Phase 3 multicenter trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy in SSc has recently been initiated.”

“Ajulemic acid, a synthetic cannabinoid acid, induces an antiinflammatory profile of eicosanoids in human synovial cells.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18840450

“Ajulemic acid (CT3): a potent analog of the acid metabolites of THC.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10903396

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The Endocannabinoid System, Aggression, and the Violence of Synthetic Cannabinoid Use, Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Other Psychiatric Disorders

Image result for frontiers in behavioral neuroscience

“While most human research has concluded that the active ingredient of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, tends to dampen rather than provoke aggression in acute doses, recent evidence supports a relationship between the ingestion of synthetic cannabinoids and emergence of violent or aggressive behavior.

To summarize, this paper will draw upon basic and clinical research to explain how the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the genesis of aggressive behavior.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous