Effectiveness and tolerability of THC:CBD oromucosal spray as add-on measure in patients with severe chronic pain: analysis of 12-week open-label real-world data provided by the German Pain e-Registry.

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“Objective: To evaluate effectiveness, tolerability and safety of an oromucosal spray containing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as add-on treatment in patients with severe chronic pain (SCP).

Conclusion: THC:CBD oromucosal spray proved to be an effective and well-tolerated add-on treatment for patients with elsewhere refractory chronic pain – especially of neuropathic origin.”

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[Cannabis for medical purposes and its prescription].

“Since 10 March 2017, physicians have been allowed to prescribe cannabis to patients with serious illnesses and in the absence of alternative therapies. Patients can obtain it as dried flowers or extracts in standardised pharmaceutical quality by prescription (narcotic prescription, except for cannabidiol) in pharmacies. When prescribing, physicians have to take a few things into account. The first step is to decide which therapeutic effects are to be achieved and which is the most suitable cannabis product. Cannabis for medical use must meet the requirements for pharmaceutical quality. An identity check must be carried out in the pharmacy on the basis of the monographs of the German Pharmacopoeia (DAB) or the German Pharmaceutical Codex/New Prescription Form (DAC/NRF). For the production of prescription drugs, e.g. capsules, drops or inhalates, there are also corresponding monographs for the preparation of prescription drugs. These standardised, quality-assured prescription formulas should be given preference in the case of a medical prescription. When prescribing an oral or inhalative form of application, it should be noted that the onset and duration of action are very different. Also, due to the complex pharmacology of cannabinoids, interindividual genetic differences in the metabolisation of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the individual structure and function of the cannabinoid receptors, as well as differences in receptor density and distribution, the dosage and frequency of application must be individually determined. Last but not least, the dosage also depends on the type of disease and individual susceptibility to side effects. When prescribed for the first time, a creeping dosage with a very low initial dose is recommended.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31187182

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00103-019-02970-6

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Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Nabilone for Agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease.

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

“Nabilone may be an effective treatment for agitation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31182351

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1064748119303550?via%3Dihub

“Nabilone (marketed as Cesamet) is a synthetic form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ⁹-THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis (marijuana). Although structurally distinct from THC, nabilone mimics THC’s structure and pharmacological activity through weak partial agonist activity at Cannabinoid-1 (CB1R) and Cannabinoid-2 (CB2R) receptors, however it is considered to be twice as active as Δ⁹-THC. Nabilone is approved by the FDA for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.” https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00486

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Should Oncologists Recommend Cannabis?

“Cannabis is a useful botanical with a wide range of therapeutic potential. Global prohibition over the past century has impeded the ability to study the plant as medicine. However, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been developed as a stand-alone pharmaceutical initially approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in 1986. The indication was expanded in 1992 to include treatment of anorexia in patients with the AIDS wasting syndrome. Hence, if the dominant cannabinoid is available as a schedule III prescription medication, it would seem logical that the parent botanical would likely have similar therapeutic benefits. The system of cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) has likely developed to help us modulate our response to noxious stimuli. Phytocannabinoids also complex with these receptors, and the analgesic effects of cannabis are perhaps the best supported by clinical evidence. Cannabis and its constituents have also been reported to be useful in assisting with sleep, mood, and anxiety. Despite significant in vitro and animal model evidence supporting the anti-cancer activity of individual cannabinoids-particularly THC and cannabidiol (CBD)-clinical evidence is absent. A single intervention that can assist with nausea, appetite, pain, mood, and sleep is certainly a valuable addition to the palliative care armamentarium. Although many healthcare providers advise against the inhalation of a botanical as a twenty-first century drug-delivery system, evidence for serious harmful effects of cannabis inhalation is scant and a variety of other methods of ingestion are currently available from dispensaries in locales where patients have access to medicinal cannabis. Oncologists and palliative care providers should recommend this botanical remedy to their patients to gain first-hand evidence of its therapeutic potential despite the paucity of results from randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials to appreciate that it is both safe and effective and really does not require a package insert.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31161270

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11864-019-0659-9

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Cannabinoid receptors as therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases: where do we stand?

Drug Discovery Today

“Described during the late 1980s and 1990s, cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by endogenous ligands and cannabinoid drug compounds, such as Δ9-THC. Whereas CB1R has a role in the regulation of neurotransmission in different brain regions and mainly mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, CB2R is found predominantly in the cells and tissues of the immune system and mediates anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory processes. Studies have demonstrated that CB1R and CB2R can affect the activation of T cells, B cells, monocytes, and microglial cells, inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression and upregulating proresolution mediators. Thus, in this review, we summarize the mechanisms by which CBRs interact with the autoimmune environment and the potential to suppress the development and activation of autoreactive cells. Finally, we highlight how the modulation of CB1R and CB2R is advantageous in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31158514

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359644618304847?via%3Dihub

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Age-related differences in Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced antinociception in female and male rats.

Cover image for Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology

“Given the use of cannabis as an analgesic by a broadening age range of patients, the aim of this study was to determine whether the antinociceptive effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) differ by age.

On the tail withdrawal test, THC was significantly more effective in middle-aged adult than in young adult rats and significantly less effective in adolescent than in young adult rats.

Sex differences in THC’s antinociceptive effects were consistent across the 3 ages examined, with greater THC effects observed in females than males of each age. Age-related differences in THC’s locomotor-suppressing effect were also observed, with the greatest effect in young adult female rats. Serum THC levels were slightly higher in adolescent than in young adult rats, and levels of the active metabolites 11-OH-THC and cannabinol, as well as the inactive metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC, did not differ between adolescent and young adult rats.

These results suggest that the pain-relieving effects of THC may be more limited in adolescents than in adults and that these age-related differences in THC effect are not attributable to differential absorption or metabolism of THC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31120286

https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fpha0000257

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Cannabinoid Attenuation of Intestinal Inflammation in Chronic SIV-Infected Rhesus Macaques Involves T Cell Modulation and Differential Expression of Micro-RNAs and Pro-inflammatory Genes.

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“Cannabis use is frequent in HIV-infected individuals for its appetite stimulation and anti-inflammatory effects. To identify the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with these effects, we simultaneously profiled micro-RNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression in the colon of chronically simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques administered either vehicle (VEH/SIV; n = 9) or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC; THC/SIV; n = 8).

Pro-inflammatory miR-130a, miR-222, and miR-29b, lipopolysaccharide-responsive miR-146b-5p and SIV-induced miR-190b were significantly upregulated in VEH/SIV rhesus macaques. Compared to VEH/SIV rhesus macaques, 10 miRNAs were significantly upregulated in THC/SIV rhesus macaques, among which miR-204 was confirmed to directly target MMP8, an extracellular matrix-degrading collagenase that was significantly downregulated in THC/SIV rhesus macaques. Moreover, THC/SIV rhesus macaques failed to upregulate pro-inflammatory miR-21, miR-141 and miR-222, and alpha/beta-defensins, suggesting attenuated intestinal inflammation.

Further, THC/SIV rhesus macaques showed higher expression of tight junction proteins (occludin, claudin-3), anti-inflammatory MUC13, keratin-8 (stress protection), PROM1 (epithelial proliferation), and anti-HIV CCL5. Gomori one-step trichrome staining detected significant collagen deposition (fibrosis) in the paracortex and B cell follicular zones of axillary lymph nodes from all VEH/SIV but not in THC/SIV rhesus macaques, thus demonstrating the ability of Δ9-THC to prevent lymph node fibrosis, a serious irreversible consequence of HIV induced chronic inflammation.

Furthermore, using flow cytometry, we showed that Δ9-THC suppressed intestinal T cell proliferation/activation (Ki67/HLA-DR) and PD-1 expression and increased the percentages of anti-inflammatory CD163+ macrophages. Finally, while Δ9-THC did not affect the levels of CD4+ T cells, it significantly reduced absolute CD8+ T cell numbers in peripheral blood at 14 and 150 days post-SIV infection.

These translational findings strongly support a role for differential miRNA/gene induction and T cell activation in Δ9-THC-mediated suppression of intestinal inflammation in HIV/SIV and potentially other chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31114576

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00914/full

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Cannabis use as a risk factor for causing motor vehicle crashes: a prospective study.

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“We conducted a responsibility analysis to determine whether drivers injured in motor vehicle collisions who test positive for Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other drugs are more likely to have contributed to the crash than those who test negative.

There was no increased risk of crash responsibility in drivers with THC<2ng/mL or 2≤THC<5ng/mL.

In this sample of non-fatally injured motor vehicle drivers in British Columbia, Canada, there was no evidence of increased crash risk in drivers with THC<5ng/mL and a statistically non-significant increased risk of crash responsibility (OR=1.74) in drivers with THC≥5ng/mL.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31106494

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.14663

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Efficacy of Cannabinoids in a Pre-Clinical Drug-Screening Platform for Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Finding a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is perhaps the greatest challenge for modern medicine. The chemical scaffolds of many drugs in the clinic today are based upon natural products from plants, yet Cannabis has not been extensively examined as a source of potential AD drug candidates.

Here, we determine if a number of non-psychoactive cannabinoids are neuroprotective in a novel pre-clinical AD and neurodegeneration drug-screening platform that is based upon toxicities associated with the aging brain.

This drug discovery paradigm has yielded several compounds in or approaching clinical trials for AD. Eleven cannabinoids were assayed for neuroprotection in assays that recapitulate proteotoxicity, loss of trophic support, oxidative stress, energy loss, and inflammation. These compounds were also assayed for their ability to remove intraneuronal amyloid and subjected to a structure-activity relationship analysis. Pairwise combinations were assayed for their ability to synergize to produce neuroprotective effects that were greater than additive.

Nine of the 11 cannabinoids have the ability to protect cells in four distinct phenotypic neurodegeneration screening assays, including those using neurons that lack CB1 and CB2 receptors. They are able to remove intraneuronal Aβ, reduce oxidative damage, and protect from the loss of energy or trophic support. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) data show that functional antioxidant groups such as aromatic hydroxyls are necessary but not sufficient for neuroprotection. Therefore, there is a need to focus upon CB1 agonists that have these functionalities if neuroprotection is the goal.

Pairwise combinations of THC and CBN lead to a synergistic neuroprotective interaction.

Together, these results significantly extend the published data by showing that non-psychoactive cannabinoids are potential lead drug candidates for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31104297

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12035-019-1637-8

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Tetrahydrocannabinol Reduces Hapten-Driven Mast Cell Accumulation and Persistent Tactile Sensitivity in Mouse Model of Allergen-Provoked Localized Vulvodynia.

ijms-logo

“Vulvodynia is a remarkably prevalent chronic pain condition of unknown etiology.

Therapeutic intra-vaginal administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced mast cell accumulation and tactile sensitivity.

Mast cell-targeted therapeutic strategies may therefore provide new ways to manage and treat vulvar pain potentially instigated by repeated allergenic exposures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31052404

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/9/2163

“Marijuana Relieves Chronic Pain, Research Shows”  https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20100830/marijuana-relieves-chronic-pain-research-show#1

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