Marijuana is not associated with progression of hepatic fibrosis in liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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“An estimated 22 million adults use marijuana in the USA. The role of marijuana in the progression of hepatic fibrosis remains unclear.

AIMS:

We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of marijuana on prevalence and progression of hepatic fibrosis in chronic liver disease.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We searched several databases from inception through 10 November 2017 to identify studies evaluating the role of marijuana in chronic liver disease. Our main outcome of interest was prevalence/progression of hepatic fibrosis. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and hazards ratios (HRs) were pooled and analyzed using random-effects model.

RESULTS:

Nine studies with 5 976 026 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Prevalence of hepatic fibrosis was evaluated in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis C and HIV coinfection by two, four, and one studies. Progression of hepatic fibrosis was evaluated by two studies. Pooled OR for prevalence of fibrosis was 0.91 (0.72-1.15), I=75%. On subgroup analysis, pooled OR among NAFLD patients was 0.80 (0.75-0.86), I=0% and pooled OR among HCV patients was 1.96 (0.78-4.92), I=77%. Among studies evaluating HR, pooled HR for progression of fibrosis in HCV-HIV co-infected patients was 1.03 (0.96-1.11), I=0%.

CONCLUSION:

Marijuana use did not increase the prevalence or progression of hepatic fibrosis in HCV and HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. On the contrary, we noted a reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD in marijuana users. Future studies are needed to further understand the therapeutic impact of cannabidiol-based formulations in the management of NAFLD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30234644

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Care After Chemotherapy: Peripheral Neuropathy, Cannabis for Symptom Control, and Mindfulness.

ASCO Educational Book

“As cancer therapies improve, patients are living longer. With these improvements in therapy comes a responsibility to optimize patients’ quality of life during cancer therapy and beyond. This report reviews three timely and important topics.

The first section reviews the mechanism underlying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and evaluates the evidence for interventions to prevent and treat peripheral neuropathy. It also provides a framework for approaching the diagnosis and management of this common and bothersome side effect.

The second section addresses the controversial but effective use of cannabinoids for cancer and chemotherapy symptoms. Although clinical trials are difficult to conduct because of the political and social stigma of this class of drugs, this review provides evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treatment of pain and nausea.

The last section addresses the mind-body connection, with a focus on the negative emotions patients with cancer often experience. This section assesses the literature regarding mindfulness-based programs to improve cancer-related stress. These three topics may appear unrelated, but all address one common goal: treating the body and the mind to optimize quality of life during and after cancer therapy.”

“Although commercially available dronabinol is not superior to other antiemetics and oromucosal nabiximols is not very effective for treating cancer pain, cannabis has been shown to be effective for treating pain and may help patients reduce opioid intake.”
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A Comparative Study on Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Essential Oil Extraction Using Traditional and Advanced Techniques.

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“A comparative study of Cannabis sativa (Hemp) essential constituents obtained by using Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE), Steam Distillation (SD) and Hydrodistillation (HD) is presented here.

The optimized extraction temperatures were 130,110 and 50 ℃ for hydrodistillation, steam distillation and supercritical fluid extraction respectively. The essential oil of C. sativa was analyzed by using Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A total of 33, 30 and 31 components have been identified in HD, SD and SCFE respectively. Yield of essential oil using SCFE (0.039%) was more than HD (0.025%) and SD (0.035%) extraction respectively.

The main component of sesquiterpenes obtained by hydrodistillation at 130 ℃ with their percentages included caryophyllene (40.58%), trans-α-bergamotene (5.41%), humulene (10.97%), cis-β-farnesene (8.53%) and monoterpenes included α-pinene (2.13%), d-limonene (6.46%), p-cymol (0.65%) and cineole (2.58%) respectively.

The main component of sesquiterpenes obtained by SD steam distillation at 110 ℃ including caryophyllene (38.60%) trans-α-bergamotene (4.22%), humulene (10.26%), cis-β-farnesene (6.67%) and monoterpenes included α-pinene (3.21%), d-limonene (7.07%), p-cymol (2.59%) and cineole (3.88%) whereas the more percentages of major components were obtained by SCFE at 50 ℃ included caryophyllene (44.31%), trans-α-bergamotene (6.79%), humulene (11.97%) cis-β-farnesene (9.71%) and monoterpenes included α-pinene (0.45%), d-limonene (2.13%) p-cymol (0.19%) and cineole (1.38 %) respectively.

We found yield/efficiency, chemical composition, quality of the essential oils by supercritical fluid extraction superior in terms of modern, green, saving energy and a rapid approach as compared to traditional techniques.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30221908

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Effect of cannabidiolic acid and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol on carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia and edema in a rodent model of inflammatory pain.

“Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating component of cannabis, or the psychoactive Δ9-tetrahydrocannabiol (THC), shows anti-hyperalgesia and anti-inflammatory properties.

OBJECTIVES:

The present study evaluates the anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia effects of CBD’s potent acidic precursor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), in a rodent model of carrageenan-induced acute inflammation in the rat hind paw, when administered systemically (intraperitoneal, i.p.) or orally before and/or after carrageenan. In addition, we assess the effects of oral administration of THC or CBDA, their mechanism of action, and the efficacy of combined ineffective doses of THC and CBDA in this model. Finally, we compare the efficacy of CBD and CBDA.

RESULTS:

CBDA given i.p. 60 min prior to carrageenan (but not 60 min after carrageenan) produced dose-dependent anti-hyperalgesia and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, THC or CBDA given by oral gavage 60 min prior to carrageenan produced anti-hyperalgesia effects, and THC reduced inflammation. The anti-hyperalgesia effects of THC were blocked by SR141716 (a cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonist), while CBDA’s effects were blocked by AMG9810 (a transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 antagonist). In comparison to CBDA, an equivalent low dose of CBD did not reduce hyperalgesia, suggesting that CBDA is more potent than CBD for this indication. Interestingly, when ineffective doses of CBDA or THC alone were combined, this combination produced an anti-hyperalgesia effect and reduced inflammation.

CONCLUSION:

CBDA or THC alone, as well as very low doses of combined CBDA and THC, has anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperalgesia effects in this animal model of acute inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30225659

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-018-5034-1

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Benefits and Risks of Therapeutic Cannabinoids for Neurologic Disorders

Clinical Therapeutics Home

“The Cannabis genus originated in Central Asia and is probably one of the most ancient nonfood crops to be cultivated by humans. Its medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries. Isolation of the psychoactive compound, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, followed by the identification of cannabidiol, led to increased focus on the therapeutic potential of the plant. One of the prominent species, Cannabis sativa, may produce more than 100 different cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30224192

https://www.clinicaltherapeutics.com/article/S0149-2918(18)30331-X/fulltext

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Cannabidiol enhances morphine antinociception, diminishes NMDA-mediated seizures and reduces stroke damage via the sigma 1 receptor.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant, exhibits therapeutic potential for various human diseases, including chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, ischemic stroke, epilepsy and other convulsive syndromes, neuropsychiatric disorders, neuropathic allodynia and certain types of cancer.

CBD does not bind directly to endocannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, and despite research efforts, its specific targets remain to be fully identified. Notably, sigma 1 receptor (σ1R) antagonists inhibit glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate acid receptor (NMDAR) activity and display positive effects on most of the aforesaid diseases. Thus, we investigated the effects of CBD on three animal models in which NMDAR overactivity plays a critical role: opioid analgesia attenuation, NMDA-induced convulsive syndrome and ischemic stroke.

In an in vitro assay, CBD disrupted the regulatory association of σ1R with the NR1 subunit of NMDAR, an effect shared by σ1R antagonists, such as BD1063 and progesterone, and prevented by σ1R agonists, such as 4-IBP, PPCC and PRE084. The in vivo administration of CBD or BD1063 enhanced morphine-evoked supraspinal antinociception, alleviated NMDA-induced convulsive syndrome, and reduced the infarct size caused by permanent unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion.

These positive effects of CBD were reduced by the σ1R agonists PRE084 and PPCC, and absent in σ1R-/- mice. Thus, CBD displays antagonist-like activity toward σ1R to reduce the negative effects of NMDAR overactivity in the abovementioned experimental situations.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30223868

https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-018-0395-2

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Emerging Evidence for Cannabis’ Role in Opioid Use Disorder.

 Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image “The opioid epidemic has become an immense problem in North America, and despite decades of research on the most effective means to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and relapse remains pervasive.

Although there are a number of FDA-approved opioid replacement therapies and maintenance medications to help ease the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and aid in relapse prevention, these medications are not risk free nor are they successful for all patients. Furthermore, there are legal and logistical bottlenecks to obtaining traditional opioid replacement therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine, and the demand for these services far outweighs the supply and access.

To fill the gap between efficacious OUD treatments and the widespread prevalence of misuse, relapse, and overdose, the development of novel, alternative, or adjunct OUD treatment therapies is highly warranted. In this article, we review emerging evidence that suggests that cannabis may play a role in ameliorating the impact of OUD. Herein, we highlight knowledge gaps and discuss cannabis’ potential to prevent opioid misuse (as an analgesic alternative), alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms, and decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Conclusion: The compelling nature of these data and the relative safety profile of cannabis warrant further exploration of cannabis as an adjunct or alternative treatment for OUD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30221197

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0022

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False-positive cannabinoid screens in adult cystic fibrosis patients treated with lumacaftor/ivacaftor

Journal of Cystic Fibrosis

“Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by gene mutations resulting in defective cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein activity. CFTR modulators have been developed to improve CFTR protein function. The combination of ivacaftor (IVA) and lumacaftor (LUM) partially restores CFTR protein function of F508del, the most common CF mutation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30217546

“False-positive cannabinoid screens in adult cystic fibrosis patients treated with lumacaftor/ivacaftor”

https://www.cysticfibrosisjournal.com/article/S1569-1993(18)30754-9/fulltext

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Endocannabinoids in the treatment of gasytrointestinal inflammation and symptoms.

 Current Opinion in Pharmacology

“The evolving policies regarding the use of therapeutic Cannabis have steadily increased the public interest in its use as a complementary and alternative medicine in several disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease.

Endocannabinoids represent both an appealing therapeutic strategy and a captivating scientific dilemma.

Results from clinical trials have to be carefully interpreted owing to possible reporting-biases related to cannabinoids psychotropic effects. Moreover, discriminating between symptomatic improvement and the real gain on the underlying inflammatory process is often challenging.

This review summarizes the advances and latest discovery in this ever-changing field of investigation, highlighting the main limitations in the current use of these drugs in clinical practice and the possible future perspectives to overcome these flaws.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30218940

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471489218300183?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol prevents haloperidol-induced vacuos chewing movements and inflammatory changes in mice via PPARγ receptors.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“The chronic use of drugs that reduce the dopaminergic neurotransmission can cause a hyperkinetic movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD). The pathophysiology of this disorder is not entirely understood but could involve oxidative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic compound present in Cannabis sativa plant, could be a possible therapeutic alternative for TD. This phytocannabinoid shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic properties and decreases the acute motor effects of classical antipsychotics.

The present study investigated if CBD would attenuate orofacial dyskinesia, oxidative stress and inflammatory changes induced by chronic administration of haloperidol in mice. Furthermore, we verified in vivo and in vitro (in primary microglial culture) whether these effects would be mediated by PPARγ receptors.

The results showed that the male Swiss mice treated daily for 21 days with haloperidol develop orofacial dyskinesia. Daily CBD administration before each haloperidol injection prevented this effect.

Mice treated with haloperidol showed an increase in microglial activation and inflammatory mediators in the striatum. These changes were also reduced by CBD. On the other hand, the levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased in the striatum of animals that received CBD and haloperidol.

Regarding oxidative stress, haloperidol induced lipid peroxidation and reduced catalase activity. This latter effect was attenuated by CBD. The combination of CBD and haloperidol also increased PGC-1α mRNA expression, a co-activator of PPARγ receptors. Pretreatment with the PPARγ antagonist, GW9662, blocked the behavioural effect of CBD in our TD model. CBD also prevented LPS-stimulated microglial activation, an effect that was also antagonized by GW9662.

In conclusion, our results suggest that CBD could prevent haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia by activating PPARγ receptors and attenuating neuroinflammatory changes in the striatum.”

“Haloperidol, marketed under the trade name Haldol among others, is a typical antipsychotic medication. Haloperidol is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, tics in Tourette syndromemania in bipolar disorder, nausea and vomiting, delirium, agitation, acute psychosis, and hallucinations in alcohol withdrawal”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haloperidol
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