Is there a legitimate role for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids for symptom management in chronic kidney disease?

“Chronic pain is a common and debilitating symptom experienced in the context of numerous other physical and emotional symptoms by many patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Management of pain with opioids in CKD can be problematic given the prominence of adverse effects of opioids in CKD, which may exacerbate symptoms, such as nausea, anorexia, pruritus, and insomnia, all of which impact negatively on patients’ health-related quality of life.

Novel therapeutic approaches for pain and symptom management in CKD are required.

Recent research in the area of cannabinoids (CBs) is legitimizing the use of cannabis-based medicine.

In this review, we describe the symptom burden borne by patients with CKD and review some of the key basic science and clinical literature to evaluate the potential use of CBs for the management of overall symptom burden in CKD.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21269798

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Cannabis-Based Medicine Reduces Multiple Pathological Processes in AβPP/PS1 Mice.

“Several recent findings suggest that targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system can be considered as a potential therapeutic approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The present study supports this hypothesis demonstrating that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) botanical extracts, as well as the combination of both natural cannabinoids, which are the components of an already approved cannabis-based medicine, preserved memory in AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice when chronically administered during the early symptomatic stage.

Moreover, THC + CBD reduced learning impairment in AβPP/PS1 mice.

…suggesting a cannabinoid-induced reduction in the harmful effect of the most toxic form of the Aβ peptide.

Among the mechanisms related with these positive cognitive effects, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids may also play a relevant role…

In summary, the present findings show that the combination of THC and CBD exhibits a better therapeutic profile than each cannabis component alone and support the consideration of a cannabis-based medicine as potential therapy against AD.”

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Cannabis as painkiller

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

“Cannabis-based medications have been demonstrated to relieve pain.

Cannabis medications can be used in patients whose symptoms are not adequately alleviated by conventional treatment.

The clinical effect of the various cannabis-based medications rests primarily on activation of endogenous cannabinoid receptors.

Consumption of therapeutic amounts by adults does not lead to irreversible cognitive impairment.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120807101232.htm

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/pain-2/

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Cannabis Science extracts benefit squamous cell carcinoma cancer and skin cancer patients

“We stumbled upon this news a couple weeks back regarding Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCBB:CBIS.OB) reported the continuing successful progress by two patients who have been topically self-administering Cannabis Science extracts for Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cancer and Skin Cancer.

According to their earlier press releases, these patients have photo-documented dramatic results that the Company will release to the public once treatment is completed and has been properly vetted by clinical biopsy. The Company, in conjunction with several Colorado-licensed dispensaries and physicians, consults with a number of cancer patients who are seeking to inform themselves of the current peer-reviewed scientific literature, regarding modern and historical use of cannabis preparations for treating cancers so that they can make informed decisions regarding their self-directed cancer treatment.

Cannabis has an outstanding safety profile as determined in 1988 by Federal Administrative Law Judge Francis Young who recommended cannabis be removed from Schedule I. The refusal of the DEA to follow this recommendation has resulted in 16 states allowing some form of medical marijuana access for their citizens. Numerous other states are moving in this direction. Consequently, patients in states with medical marijuana laws are able to make an informed decisions to try various state-legal cannabis preparations and to determine what is most effective for their particular condition. As a result, there is an unprecedented accumulation of “anecdotal” data.

Cannabis Science went on to mention that it’s making cannabis-based medicines available to the public as rapidly as possible.”

More: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120107/Cannabis-Science-extracts-benefit-squamous-cell-carcinoma-cancer-and-skin-cancer-patients.aspx

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Cannabis for better sleep

“The use of both natural cannabinoids and cannabis extracts are associated with improved sleep in patients with various debilitating illnesses, according to a review of clinical trial data published in the journal Chemistry & Biodiversity.

“Cannabis … has been utilized for [the] treatment of pain and sleep disorders since ancient times,” authors wrote. “Modern clinical trials indicate that patients administered cannabis extracts report experiencing “more restful sleep, [an] increase [in] their daytime level of function, and [a] markedly improve[d] … quality of life.”

According to available data, of the 2,000 subjects that have been administered cannabis extracts in clinical trials, most “demonstrate marked improvement in subjective sleep parameters.”

Trial volunteers have not reported developing tolerance to the drug, even after using it for several years.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis, pain, and sleep: Lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine,” appears in the journal Chemistry & Biodiversity.”

http://azarius.net/news/193/Cannabis_for_better_sleep/

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Cost effectiveness of oromucosal cannabis-based medicine (sativex®) for spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

“Spasticity is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is a major contributor to disability. Sativex®, an oromucosal spray containing cannabis-based medicinal products, has been found to be effective in reducing spasticity symptoms.

Our objective was to estimate the cost effectiveness of Sativex® plus oral anti-spasticity medicines compared with the current standard treatment for moderate or severe spasticity in MS in the UK.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30 000 per QALY, Sativex® appears unlikely to be considered cost effective by UK funders of healthcare for spasticity in MS. This is unfortunate, since it appears that Sativex® use is likely to benefit some patients in the management of this common consequence of MS.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23072659

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Hope for cannabis-based drug for Alzheimer’s

“A compound derived from marijuana might one day help fight the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

“Researchers have shown that a synthetic drug similar to cannabis can help older rats perform better on a spatial memory task.

Over a period of three weeks, Gary Wenk at Ohio State University in Columbus, US, and colleagues injected the brains of young and old rats with an inflammatory molecule that created an immune response in the animals’ brains which mimics that seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

During the same period the researchers also injected some of the rats with a synthetic drug similar to cannabis, called WIN-55212-2, which stimulates the brain receptors that normally respond to cannabis compounds.

The rats that received WIN-55212-2 in both age groups found the platform faster than their control counterparts. However, the difference between the treated and untreated animals’ performance was greatest among the older rats. The brains of rats receiving the synthetic drug also showed less sign of inflammation.

The results are impressive particularly because of the low dose of drug used in the experiment, comments Ken Mackie at the University of Washington in Seattle, US, who was not involved in the study.

“They gave them a relatively low dose, even for a rat.” Mackie says that this aspect of the study makes the prospect of developing a similar treatment for humans with Alzheimer’s disease “more promising”.

Wenk cautions, however, that WIN-55212-2 still causes psychoactive effects similar to cannabis, and as such is not yet a candidate for human use. Researchers are currently trying to develop a similar drug that could control inflammation in the brain without a concomitant high.”

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10330-hope-for-cannabisbased-drug-for-alzheimers.html

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Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Abstract

“Sativex (R) is a cannabis-based pharmaceutical product containing delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a 1:1 ratio, delivered in an oromucosal (mouth) spray. It has been approved as adjunctive treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is being investigated for the management of other MS symptoms, such as spasticity. THC:CBD spray is regulated as a narcotic. Five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) compared the benefits and harms of THC:CBD spray with placebo. A total of 368 patients with various neurological conditions (including MS) were recruited. In some trials, THC:CBD spray significantly reduced neuropathic pain, spasticity, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances. The most common adverse events (AEs) reported in trials were dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, feeling of intoxication and a bad taste. Long-term safety and the potential for dependence, abuse, misuse and diversion are unknown.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16317825

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Recent developments in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids.

Abstract

“OBJECTIVE:

To examine the recent evidence that marijuana and other cannabinoids have therapeutic potential.

METHODS:

Literature published since 1997 was searched using the following terms: cannabinoid, marijuana, THC, analgesia, cachexia, glaucoma, movement, multiple sclerosis, neurological, pain, Parkinson, trial, vomiting. Qualifying clinical studies were randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. Selected open-label studies and surveys are also discussed.

RESULTS:

A total of 15 independent, qualifying clinical trials were identified, of which only three had more than 100 patients each. Two large trials found that cannabinoids were significantly better than placebo in managing spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Patients self-reported greater sense of motor improvement in multiple sclerosis than could be confirmed objectively. In smaller qualifying trials, cannabinoids produced significant objective improvement of tics in Tourette’s disease, and neuropathic pain. A new, non-psychotropic cannabinoid also has analgesic activity in neuropathic pain. No significant improvement was found in levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease or post-operative pain. No difference from active placebo was found for management of cachexia in a large trial. Some immune system parameters changed in HIV-1 and multiple sclerosis patients treated with cannabinoids, but the clinical significance is unknown. Quality of life assessments were made in only three of 15 qualifying clinical trials.

CONCLUSION:

Cannabinoids may be useful for conditions that currently lack effective treatment, such as spasticity, tics and neuropathic pain. New delivery systems for cannabinoids and cannabis-based medicinal extracts, as well as new cannabinoid derivatives expand the options for cannabinoid therapy. More well-controlled, large clinical tests are needed, especially with active placebo.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15895873

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Cannabis Science Updates Cancer Patient Progress As It Receives Verbal Confirmation By A Physician That Both Sites Of The Former Lesions Are Free Of Cancer Cells; Official Physician Documentation To Follow

“Cannabis Science, Inc. a pioneering U.S. biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis (marijuana derivative) products, is pleased to announce that we have now received verbal confirmation that the sites of the former cancerous lesions are free of cancer cells and we are now awaiting official Physician documentation of the patient’s history and biopsy reports.

Dr. Robert J. Melamede, the CEO and President of Cannabis Science Inc., stated, “The photographic documentation in our last press release, demonstrated that cannabis extracts appeared to be effective against what seems to be the patient’s third incidence of basal cell carcinoma. For accuracy, it should be noted that a before treatment biopsy of the lesion on the nose was not been performed. It is obvious that there was a lesion-centered response to the application of the cannabis extract. This patient had a previous surgically removed lesion, as well as a biopsied basal cell carcinoma on the right cheek. The lesion on the cheek was also self-treated and resolved with cannabis extracts over a half year ago. This deeper cheek lesion did not visually respond like the lesion on the nose, hence there is no photographic record.”

Cannabis Science is committed to making cannabis-based medicines available to the public as rapidly as possible. The Company is taking multiple approaches to accomplishing this aim in the United States. The science of cannabinoids has exploded over the past decade, laying the scientific foundation for the many medicinal uses of this unique plant. Cannabinoids are a class of biologically active compounds produced by all vertebrates, the Cannabis plant, and more recently patentable synthetic compounds produced by chemists. In fact, modern peer-reviewed science supports the many historical uses that were discovered over thousands of years of medicinal use by herbalists.”

More: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110309006171/en/Cannabis-Science-Updates-Cancer-Patient-Progress-Receives

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