Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent. Patients are increasingly using medicinal cannabis products to treat these disorders, but little is known about the effects of medicinal cannabis use on symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The aim of the present observational study was to assess general health in medicinal cannabis users and non-using controls with anxiety and/or depression. 

 

Results: Medicinal cannabis use was associated with lower self-reported depression, but not anxiety, at baseline. Medicinal cannabis users also reported superior sleep, quality of life, and less pain on average. Initiation of medicinal cannabis during the follow-up period was associated with significantly decreased anxiety and depressive symptoms, an effect that was not observed in Controls that never initiated cannabis use. 

Conclusions: Medicinal cannabis use may reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in clinically anxious and depressed populations. Future placebo-controlled studies are necessary to replicate these findings and to determine the route of administration, dose, and product formulation characteristics to optimize clinical outcomes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34566726/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full

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Efficacy of Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Alone or in Combination With a 1:1 Ratio of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Reversing the Spatial Learning Deficits in Old Mice

Archive of "Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience".“Decline in cognitive performance, an aspect of the normal aging process, is influenced by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) signaling diminishes with advancing age in specific brain regions that regulate learning and memory and abolishing CB1 receptor signaling accelerates cognitive aging in mice.

We recently demonstrated that prolonged exposure to low dose (3 mg/kg/day) Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) improved the cognitive performances in old mice on par with young untreated mice. Here we investigated the potential influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on this THC effect, because preclinical and clinical studies indicate that the combination of THC and CBD often exhibits an enhanced therapeutic effect compared to THC alone.

We first tested the effectiveness of a lower dose (1 mg/kg/day) THC, and then the efficacy of the combination of THC and CBD in 1:1 ratio, same as in the clinically approved medicine Sativex®. Our findings reveal that a 1 mg/kg/day THC dose still effectively improved spatial learning in aged mice. However, a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD failed to do so.

The presence of CBD induced temporal changes in THC metabolism ensuing in a transient elevation of blood THC levels. However, as CBD metabolizes, the inhibitory effect on THC metabolism was alleviated, causing a rapid clearance of THC. Thus, the beneficial effects of THC seemed to wane off more swiftly in the presence of CBD, due to these metabolic effects.

The findings indicate that THC-treatment alone is more efficient to improve spatial learning in aged mice than the 1:1 combination of THC and CBD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34526890/

“In conclusion, our observations indicate that 1 mg/kg/day THC dose is still effective in improving the spatial learning in aged mice. With regard to the efficacy, THC-alone has proved to be more efficient in improving spatial learning in aged mice than its 1:1 combination with CBD. However, the possibility of THC/CBD being efficient in other ratios or at the earliest time-points, like immediately after the treatment cease, cannot be negated. Possibly, reducing the dose of CBD may improve the efficacy of the THC/CBD combination.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2021.718850/full

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Cannabidiol enhances verbal episodic memory in healthy young participants: A randomized clinical trial

Journal of Psychiatric Research“Cannabis contains a multitude of different compounds. One of them, cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive substance – might counteract negative effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on hippocampus-dependent memory impairment.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of vaping cannabidiol on verbal episodic memory in healthy young subjects.

We used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover trial in 39 healthy young subjects. Participants received once a single dose of cannabidiol e-liquid (0.25 ml, 5% cannabidiol, 12.5 mg cannabidiol) and once placebo for vaping after learning 15 unrelated nouns. The primary outcome measure was the short delay verbal memory performance (number of correctly free recalled nouns) 20 min after learning. 34 participants (mean age: 22.26 [3.04]) completed all visits and entered analyses (17 received cannabidiol and 17 received placebo first).

Cannabidiol enhanced verbal episodic memory performance (placebo: 7.03 [2.34]; cannabidiol 7.71 [2.48]; adjusted group difference 0.68, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.35; R = .028, p = .048). Importantly, we did not detect medication effects on secondary outcome measures attention or working memory performance, suggesting that CBD has no negative impact on these basic cognitive functions.

The results are in line with the idea that vaping cannabidiol interacts with the central endocannabinoid system and is capable to modulate memory processes, a phenomenon with possible therapeutic potential. Further studies are needed to investigate optimal dose-response and time-response relationships.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34536664/

“To conclude, while further research is needed to identify dose-response and time-response relationships, our results show that CBD can improve episodic memory, a drug effect with possible therapeutic potential.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002239562100546X?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol Exposure During the Mouse Adolescent Period Is Without Harmful Behavioral Effects on Locomotor Activity, Anxiety, and Spatial Memory

Archive of "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience".“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid whose purported therapeutic benefits and impression of a high safety profile has promoted its increasing popularity.

CBD’s popularity is also increasing among children and adolescents who are being administered CBD, off label, for the treatment of numerous symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. The relative recency of its use in the adolescent population has precluded investigation of its impact on the developing brain and the potential consequences that may present in adulthood. Therefore, there’s an urgency to identify whether prolonged adolescent CBD exposure has substantive impacts on the developing brain that impact behavioral and cognitive processes in adulthood.

Here, we tested the effect of twice-daily intraperitoneal administrations of CBD (20 mg/kg) in male and female C57BL/6J mice during the adolescent period of 25-45 days on weight gain, and assays for locomotor behavior, anxiety, and spatial memory. Prolonged adolescent CBD exposure had no detrimental effects on locomotor activity in the open field, anxiety behavior on the elevated plus maze, or spatial memory in the Barnes Maze compared to vehicle-treated mice. Interestingly, CBD-treated mice had a faster rate of learning in the Barnes Maze. However, CBD-treated females had reduced weight gain during the exposure period.

We conclude that prolonged adolescent CBD exposure in mice does not have substantive negative impacts on a range of behaviors in adulthood, may improve the rate of learning under certain conditions, and impacts weight gain in a sex-specific manner.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34512286/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant cannabinoids naturally produced by the plant, Cannabis sativa, and the dominant phytocannabinoid produced by the hemp variety. We report that multiple daily doses of a moderate CBD dose throughout the adolescent developmental period does not negatively impact locomotor behavior, anxiety, and spatial learning in healthy C57BL/6J mice. Further, the faster acquisition rate of a spatial learning task may highlight CBD’s potential protective benefits against stressors.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2021.711639/full

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Targeting of Protein’s Messenger RNA for Viral Replication, Assembly and Release in SARS-CoV-2 Using Whole Genomic Data From South Africa: Therapeutic Potentials of Cannabis Sativa L

frontiers in pharmacology – Retraction Watch“The possible evolutionary trend of COVID-19 in South Africa was investigated by comparing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with those isolated from China, Spain, Italy, and United States, as well as the genomes of Bat SARS CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV), and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed a strong homology (96%) between the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from the study countries as well as those isolated from bat SARS CoV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV.

The ability of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa infusion to interact with gene segments (mRNAs) coding for proteins implicated in viral replication, assembly and release were also investiagted using computational tools. Hot water infusion of C. sativa leaves was freeze-dried and subjected to Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy analysis which revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabispiran, cannabidiol tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol, and cannabinol. Molecular docking analysis revealed strong binding affinities and interactions between the phytocannabinoids and codon mRNAs for ORF1ab, Surface glycoprotein, Envelope protein and Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 whole genome which may be due to chemico-biological interactions as a result of nucleophilic/electrophilic attacks between viral nucleotides and cannabinoids.

These results depict the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also portray the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2. However, further studies are needed to verify these activities in pre-clinical and clinical studies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34539415/

“Taken together, the results from this study indicates a homology between the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from Europe, Asia and North America, as well as those isolated from bat SARS COV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV. Thus, depicting the spread of the virus is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also indicate the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.736511/full

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Green Hope: Perspectives on Cannabis from People who Use Opioids

Sociological Inquiry“While states are implementing policies to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance with no medical uses according to US federal law. The perception of cannabis depends on social and cultural norms that impact political institutions involved in implementing policy. Because of negative social constructions, such as the “gateway hypothesis,” legalization of cannabis has been slow and contentious.

Recent studies suggest that cannabis can help combat the opioid epidemic.

This paper fills a gap in our understanding of how cannabis is viewed by people who are actively misusing opioids and not in treatment. Using ethnographic methods to recruit participants living in a state that legalized cannabis and a state where cannabis was illegal, survey and interview data were analyzed informed by a social constructionist lens.

Findings from their “insider perspective” suggest that for some people struggling with problematic opioid use, cannabis can be beneficial.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34538961/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soin.12359

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Cannabinoids induce functional Tregs by promoting tolerogenic DCs via autophagy and metabolic reprograming

Mucosal Immunology“The generation of functional regulatory T cells (Tregs) is essential to keep tissue homeostasis and restore healthy immune responses in many biological and inflammatory contexts.

Cannabinoids have been pointed out as potential therapeutic tools for several diseases.

Dendritic cells (DCs) express the endocannabinoid system, including the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. However, how cannabinoids might regulate functional properties of DCs is not completely understood.

We uncover that the triggering of cannabinoid receptors promote human tolerogenic DCs that are able to prime functional FOXP3+ Tregs in the context of different inflammatory diseases. Mechanistically, cannabinoids imprint tolerogenicity in human DCs by inhibiting NF-κB, MAPK and mTOR signalling pathways while inducing AMPK and functional autophagy flux via CB1- and PPARα-mediated activation, which drives metabolic rewiring towards increased mitochondrial activity and oxidative phosphorylation.

Cannabinoids exhibit in vivo protective and anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-induced sepsis and also promote the generation of FOXP3+ Tregs. In addition, immediate anaphylactic reactions are decreased in peanut allergic mice and the generation of allergen-specific FOXP3+ Tregs are promoted, demonstrating that these immunomodulatory effects take place in both type 1- and type 2-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Our findings might open new avenues for novel cannabinoid-based interventions in different inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34548620/

“Cannabinoids have been pointed out as potential therapeutic tools for several diseases. Our results might well contribute to pave the way for the future development of novel cannabinoid-based strategies for different inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41385-021-00455-x

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The Effect of Medical Cannabis on Pain Level and Quality of Sleep among Rheumatology Clinic Outpatients

logo“Introduction: Medical cannabis (MC) is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

In this study, we evaluated the effect of MC treatment on pain level and quality of sleep of patients with different medical conditions at the rheumatology clinic.

Conclusions: MC had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34531934/

“MC has a favorable effect on pain level and sleep quality among nearly the entire spectrum of resistant “chronic pain syndromes” seen or referred to rheumatology clinics, including inflammatory diseases resistant to biological treatment, although the effect of MC on synovitis was relatively mild.

Cannabis should be seriously considered in every “chronic pain condition” whenever the accepted modalities of treatment are insufficient for alleviating patient’s pain and sleep problems.”

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2021/1756588/

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Endocannabinoid Levels in Ulcerative Colitis Patients Correlate With Clinical Parameters and Are Affected by Cannabis Consumption

Logo of frontendo“Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic, idiopathic, inflammatory, gastrointestinal disorders.

The endocannabinoid system may have a role in the pathogenesis of IBD.

We aimed to assess whether cannabis treatment influences endocannabinoids (eCBs) level and clinical symptoms of IBD patients.

Conclusion

Our study supports the notion that cannabis use affects eCB “tone” in UC patients and may have beneficial effects on disease symptoms in UC patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8438407/

“In conclusion, our study suggests that cannabis use may affect eCBs tone in UC patients. This affect has a beneficial effect on UC symptoms.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2021.685289/full

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A Review of the Potential Use of Pinene and Linalool as Terpene-Based Medicines for Brain Health: Discovering Novel Therapeutics in the Flavours and Fragrances of Cannabis

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“”Medicinal cannabis” is defined as the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of an illness. Investigations of cannabis compounds in psychiatric and neurological illnesses primarily focus on the major cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which are hypothesised to benefit multiple illnesses manifesting cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation, as well as chronic pain, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, respectively.

The cannabis plant contains >500 compounds, including terpenes responsible for the flavour and fragrance profiles of plants. Recently, research has begun providing evidence on the potential use of certain plant-derived terpenes in modern medicine, demonstrating anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects of these compounds.

This review examined the effects of two key terpenes, pinene and linalool, on parameters relevant to neurological and psychiatric disorders, highlighting gaps in the literature and recommendations for future research into terpene therapeutics.

Overall, evidence is mostly limited to preclinical studies and well-designed clinical trials are lacking. Nevertheless, existing data suggests that pinene and linalool are relevant candidates for further investigation as novel medicines for illnesses, including stroke, ischemia, inflammatory and neuropathic pain (including migraine), cognitive impairment (relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and ageing), insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Linalool and pinene influence multiple neurotransmitter, inflammatory and neurotrophic signals as well as behaviour, demonstrating psycho-activity (albeit non-intoxicating).   Optimising the phytochemical profile of cannabis chemovars to yield therapeutic levels of beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids, such as linalool, pinene and CBD, could present a unique opportunity to discover novel medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological illnesses; however, further research is needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34512404/

“Overall, it appears that the importance of the terpene profile of plants to humans extends further than mere olfactory and gustatory delight. Rather, these compounds have the potential for use as treatments for serious chronic neurological and psychiatric illnesses.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211/full

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