Insights into the role of cannabis in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.

Image result for therapeutic advances in gastroenterology“Cannabis, a drug made up of the flowers and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been used therapeutically for centuries. Ancient Chinese cultures have reported use in their medical practices, dating back as early as 2700 BC.  Although widely used recreationally during the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of medical cannabis has exploded over the last decade, as a result of mainstream cultural acceptance and legalization in several countries around the world.

Over the last decade, interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its constituents (e.g. cannabidiol) in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has escalated. Cannabis has been increasingly approved for a variety of medical conditions in several jurisdictions around the world.

In animal models, cannabinoids have been shown to improve intestinal inflammation in experimental models of IBD through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system. However, the few randomized controlled trials of cannabis or cannabidiol in patients with IBD have not demonstrated efficacy in modulating inflammatory disease activity.

Cannabis may be effective in the symptomatic management of IBD. Given the increasing utilization and cultural acceptance of cannabis, physicians need to be aware of its safety and efficacy in order to better counsel patients. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the role of cannabis in the management of patients with IBD.

There is emerging evidence that cannabis may play a role in the management of patients with IBD. Many patients are already using cannabis to help manage symptoms associated with the disease, and physicians cannot ignore this when taking histories and managing their patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31523278

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1756284819870977

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Cannabinoids in Gynecological Diseases

Related image“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a multifunctional homeostatic system involved in many physiological and pathological conditions. The ligands of the ECS are the endo­cannabinoids, whose actions are mimicked by exogenous cannabinoids, such as phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. Responses to the ligands of the ECS are mediated by numerous receptors like the classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) as well as ECS-related receptors, e.g., G protein-coupled receptors 18 and 55 (GPR18 and GPR55), transient receptor potential ion channels, and nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The ECS regulates almost all levels of female reproduction, starting with oocyte production through to parturition. Dysregulation of the ECS is associated with the development of gynecological disorders from fertility disorders to cancer. Cannabinoids that act at the ECS as specific agonists or antagonists may potentially influence dysregulation and, therefore, represent new therapeutic options for the therapy of gynecological disorders.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/499164

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Evaluation of the effects of cannabinoids CBD and CBG on human ovarian cancer cells in vitro

University of Huddersfield“Ovarian cancer, with over a 90% reoccurrence within 18 months of treatment, and approximately a 30% mortality rate after 5 years, is the leading cause of death in cases of gynaecological malignancies. Acquired resistance, and toxic side effects by clinically used agents are major challenges associated with current treatments, indicating the need for new approaches in ovarian cancer treatment.

Increased tumour cell proliferation associated with upregulation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors has been observed in ovarian cancer. As cannabinoids reported to bind to CB receptors, and can potentially modulate their downstream signalling, this raises the possibility of cannabinoids as potential anticancer drugs for ovarian cancer treatment.

Amongst the cannabinoids, non-psychoactive CBD and CBG have been shown to have anticancer activities towards prostate and colon cancer cells through multiple mechanisms of action. However, CBD and CBG have yet to be investigated in relation to ovarian cancer therapy either in vitro or in vivo.

Aim:

The aims of this study were to evaluate the potential cytotoxic effects of CBD and CBG in human ovarian cancer cells, their ability to potentiate existing clinically used agents for ovarian cancer, and to perform initial mode of action studies in vitro.

Conclusions:

Both CBD and CBG showed preferential cytotoxicity against the ovarian cancer cells analysed compared to the non-cancer cells; however, this was less than for carboplatin. Importantly, in contrast to carboplatin, CBD and CBG showed similar activity towards cisplatin sensitive and cisplatin resistant cells indicating distinctive mechanisms of action to platinum drugs.

Preferential cytotoxicity towards cancer cells in vitro and ability to potentiate carboplatin and overcome cisplatin resistance identify CBD and CBG as promising candidates that warrant further investigation, both in terms of detailed mechanism of action studies and also in vivo studies to assess whether this promising activity translates into an in vivo setting and their potential for further progression towards the clinic.”

http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34866/

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Modulation of the endocannabinoid system: vulnerability factor and new treatment target for stimulant addiction

Image result for frontiers in psychiatry“Interestingly, increasing recent evidence points toward the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECBS) in the neurobiological processes related to stimulant addiction.

This article presents an up-to-date review with deep insights into the pivotal role of the ECBS in the neurobiology of stimulant addiction and the effects of its modulation on addictive behaviors. This article aims to: (1) review the role of cannabis use and ECBS modulation in the neurobiological substrates of psychostimulant addiction and (2) evaluate the potential of cannabinoid-based pharmacological strategies to treat stimulant addiction.

A growing number of studies support a critical role of the ECBS and its modulation by synthetic or natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulants addiction. Thus, cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulants addiction, and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.

Interestingly, emerging human data supports a role for ECBS modulation in vulnerability to psychostimulant addiction, and more significantly in addictive behaviors among dependent individuals. Accumulating evidence thus points to the ECBS as a critical target for the development of pharmacotherapies for the treatment of addiction to psychostimulants.

Given the various neuropharmacological actions of exogenous cannabinoids, and their ability to modulate the acute reinforcing effects of drugs, data on Δ9-THC and CBD is particularly promising as to the potential use of cannabinoids in relapse prevention strategies for psychostimulant-dependent individuals.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00109/full

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Reduced urinary opioid levels from pain management patients associated with marijuana use

Future Medicine Logo“Aim: Marijuana use has been postulated to modulate opioid use, dependence and withdrawal. Broad target drug testing results provide a unique perspective to identify any potential interaction between marijuana use and opioid use.

Materials & methods: Using a dataset of approximately 800,000 urine drug test results collected from pain management patients of a time from of multiple years, creatinine corrected opioid levels were evaluated to determine if the presence of the primary marijuana marker 11-nor-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) was associated with statistical differences in excreted opioid concentrations.

Results & conclusion: For each of the opioids investigated (codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine), marijuana use was associated with statistically significant lower urinary opiate levels than in samples without indicators of marijuana use.”

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/pmt-2019-0017

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Endocannabinoid modulation of inflammatory hyperalgesia in the IFN-α mouse model of depression.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity“Depression is a well-recognised effect of long-term treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-α), a widely used treatment for chronic viral hepatitis and malignancy. In addition to the emotional disturbances, high incidences of painful symptoms such as headache and joint pain have also been reported following IFN-α treatment.

The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in emotional and nociceptive processing, however it is unknown whether repeated IFN-α administration induces alterations in this system.

The present study investigated nociceptive responding in the IFN-α-induced mouse model of depression and associated changes in the endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, the effects of modulating peripheral endocannabinoid tone on inflammatory pain-related behaviour in the IFN-α model was examined.

In summary, increasing peripheral endocannabinoid tone attenuates inflammatory hyperalgesia induced following repeated IFN-α administration. These data provide support for the endocannabinoid system in mediating and modulating heightened pain responding associated with IFNα-induced depression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31505257

“Inflammatory hyperalgesia is associated with altered endocannabinoid levels. Enhancing peripheral endocannabinoid tone attenuates IFN-α related hyperalgesia.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159119306063?via%3Dihub

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State marijuana laws and opioid overdose mortality.

Image result for Injury Epidemiology “The opioid epidemic in the United States is a national public health crisis.

In recent years, marijuana legalization has been increasingly adopted by state governments as a policy intervention to control the opioid epidemic under the premise that marijuana and opioids are substitutive substances.

The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize the empirical evidence regarding the impact of state marijuana laws on opioid overdose mortality and other opioid-related health outcomes.

RESULTS:

Of the 16 eligible studies, 4 assessed the association of state marijuana law status with opioid overdose mortality, 7 with prescription opioids dispensed, and the remaining with nonmedical use and opioid-related hospitalizations. Random effects modeling based on pooled data revealed that legalizing marijuana for medical use was associated with a statistically non-significant 8% reduction in opioid overdose mortality (95% confidence interval: - 0.21 to 0.04; p = 0.201) and a 7% reduction in prescription opioids dispensed (95% confidence interval: - 0.13 to - 0.01; p = 0.017). Legalizing marijuana for recreational use was associated with an additional 7% reduction in opioid overdose mortality in Colorado and 6% reduction in opioid prescriptions among fee-for-service Medicaid and managed care enrollees.

CONCLUSIONS:

Legalizing marijuana might contribute to a modest reduction in opioid prescriptions. Evidence about the effect of marijuana legalization on opioid overdose mortality is inconsistent and inconclusive. If any, the effectiveness of state marijuana laws in reducing opioid overdose mortality appears to be rather small and limited to states with operational marijuana dispensaries. It remains unclear whether the presumed benefit of legalizing marijuana in reducing opioid-related harms outweighs the policy’s externalities, such as its impact on mental health and traffic safety.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31497489

“Legalizing marijuana might contribute to a modest reduction in opioid prescriptions.”

https://injepijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40621-019-0213-z

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The effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain control efficacy and safety: A systematic review and network meta-analysis.

“To determine the effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain and adverse euphoria events.

Randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of cannabis or cannabinoids on pain reduction.

RESULTS:

A total of 25 studies involving 2270 patients were included. We found that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (THC/CBD) (oromucosal route), THC (oromucosal route), and standardized dried cannabis (with THC; SCT; inhalation route) could reduce neuropathic pain score (SMD -0.41, 95% CI -0.7 to -0.1; -0.61, 95% CI -1.2 to -0.02; and -0.77, 95% CI -1.4 to -0.2; respectively). For nociceptive pain, only standardized cannabis extract (with THC; SCET) via oral route could reduce pain score (SMD -1.8, 95% C; -2.4 to -1.2). In cancer pain, THC/CBD via oromucosal route and THC via oral or oromucosal route could reduce pain score (SMD -0.7, 95% CI -1.2 to -0.2; and -2.1, 95% CI -2.8 to -1.4; respectively). No study was observed for THC/CBD via oral route or inhalation or THC via inhalation for cancer and nociceptive pain, SCET via oromucosal route or inhalation for neuropathic and cancer pain, THC via oromucosal route for nociceptive pain, and SCT via oromucosal or oral route for neuropathic, cancer, and nociceptive pain. Statistically significant increased risks of euphoria were observed in THC/CBD (oromucosal), THC (oromucosal), and SCT (inhalation).

CONCLUSION:

The use of cannabis and cannabinoids via certain administration routes could reduce different types of pain. Product developers could consider our findings as part of their product design so that the effective route of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain control can be achieved.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31495691

https://www.japha.org/article/S1544-3191(19)30353-X/fulltext

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Combination of Cannabinoids, Δ9- Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol, Ameliorates Experimental Multiple Sclerosis by Suppressing Neuroinflammation Through Regulation of miRNA-Mediated Signaling Pathways.

 Image result for frontiers in immunology“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and disabling disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by neuroinflammation leading to demyelination.

Recently a combination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from Cannabis has been approved in many parts of the world to treat MS-related spasticity. THC+CBD combination was also shown to suppresses neuroinflammation, although the mechanisms remain to be further elucidated.

In the current study, we demonstrate that THC+CBD combination therapy (10 mg/kg each) but not THC or CBD alone, attenuates murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by reducing neuroinflammation and suppression of Th17 and Th1 cells.

Collectively, this study suggests that combination of THC+CBD suppresses neuroinflammation and attenuates clinical EAE development and that this effect is associated with changes in miRNA profile in brain-infiltrating cells.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31497013

“Combination of THC+CBD has been used to treat human MS. This treatment is known to decrease not only muscle spasticity but also suppress neuroinflammation.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01921/full

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Cannabis use and risk of Clostridioides difficile infection: Analysis of 59,824 hospitalizations.

Anaerobe“The prevalence of Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI), the most notorious hospital acquired disease, and of excessive cannabis use (cannabis use disorder (CUD)) have both been steadily rising.

Although cannabidiol, an active ingredient of cannabis, maintains gut integrity and suppresses entero-toxins from Clostridioides difficile, the relationship between CUD and CDI has not been studied.

RESULTS:

Among the matched hospitalizations (n = 59,824), cannabis usage was associated with a reduced prevalence of CDI (prevalence: 455.5 [95% CI: 385.1-538.8] vs. 636.4 [95% CI: 549.9-736.5] per 100,000 hospitalizations), resulting in a 28% reduced risk of CDI (relative risk: 0.72 [95% CI: 0.58-0.88]; p = 0002). Non-dependent and dependent CUD respectively had 23% and 80% reduced likelihood of CDI when compared to non-cannabis users (0.77 [95% CI: 0.60-0.95] and 0.20 [95% CI: 0.06-0.54]; p < 0.05). Furthermore, dependent users had less risk of CDI compared to non-dependent users (0.26 [95% CI: 0.08-0.88]; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

CUD was associated with a decreased risk of CDI amongst hospitalized patients. Prospective and molecular mechanistic studies are required to elucidate how cannabis and its contents impacts CDI.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31493498

“Cannabis use was associated with diminished risk of Clostridioides difficile (CDI) amongst hospitalized individuals. Dependent Cannabis users seemed to be the most protected from CDI.”  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1075996419301556?via%3Dihub

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