Effect of chronic THC administration in the reproductive organs of male mice, spermatozoa and in vitro fertilization.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“The increased use of cannabis as a therapeutic drug in recent years has raised some concerns due to its potential effects on reproductive health. With regards to the male, the endocannabinoid system is involved in the spermatogenesis and in the sperm function.

The chronic use of tetrahidrocannabinol (THC) has been associated with sperm anomalies, decreased sperm motility and structural changes in the testis. However, whether THC affects sperms ability to fertilize and to generate embryos remains unclear.

The aim of this study was to evaluate this effect using a mice model of THC chronic treatment. For this purpose, a chronic treatment with THC was carried out. Mice were randomly allocated into two groups: an experimental group treated with a daily dose of 10 mg/kg-body weight THC for a period of 30 days and a control group treated with a vehicle.

The THC-mice cortex showed a significant decrease of mRNA of Cnr1 compared to control-mice while, in the testis, the expression of Cnr1 was not affected. The weight of testis and epididymis and the histological analysis did not show any change between groups.

On the other hand, no changes were observed in the sperm motility or the sperm concentration. The chronic use of THC did not generate any methylation change in the three CpG regions of Cnn1 analysed, neither in the brain nor in the embryos generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Finally, the embryo production by IVF was no different using spermatozoa from both THC and control mice. This work contradicts the belief that THC consumption has a negative effect on male reproductive processes.”

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Brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss?

 

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“Anandamide is a lipid mediator that acts as an endogenous ligand of CB1 receptors. These receptors are also the primary molecular target responsible for the pharmacological effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis sativa.

Several studies demonstrate that anandamide exerts an overall modulatory effect on the brain reward circuitry. Several reports suggest its involvement in the addiction-producing actions of other abused drugs, and it can also act as a behavioral reinforcer in animal models of drug abuse.

Importantly, all these effects of anandamide appear to be potentiated by pharmacological inhibition of its metabolic degradation. Enhanced brain levels of anandamide after treatment with inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase, the main enzyme responsible for its degradation, seem to affect the rewarding and reinforcing actions of many drugs of abuse.

In this review, we will provide an overview from a preclinical perspective of the current state of knowledge regarding the behavioral pharmacology of anandamide, with a particular emphasis on its motivational/reinforcing properties. We will also discuss how modulation of anandamide levels through inhibition of enzymatic metabolic pathways could provide a basis for developing new pharmaco-therapeutic tools for the treatment of substance use disorders.”

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Long-Term Heavy Recreational Cannabis Use and Serum Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Levels are not Associated with an Impaired Liver Function in Cannabis Dependents.

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“To shed more light on the influence of chronic cannabis use on liver function, we performed a post-hoc analysis of routine lab data of 42 inpatient treatment-seeking (9 female, median: 27 years old) pure cannabis dependents. Serum liver function tests (LFT: transaminases, bilirubin), C-reactive protein (CRP), carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), and body mass index (BMI) were considered. The LFT were correlated with CDT, BMI, and cannabis-related clinical data (CR); i.e., the serum levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its major metabolites 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-OH) and 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH), plus the cannabis-history data. The LFT was normal in 32 (76.2%) patients. There was no significant association of LFT with BMI, CRP, CDT, and CR. No significant differences were found between the group with elevated LFT (N = 10) and the group without elevated LFT (N = 32) regarding BMI, CRP, CDT, and CR, except for THC-OH, which was even lower in the elevated-LFT group. These results argue against a relevant harmful impact of chronic cannabis inhalation on the liver function of relatively healthy humans (apart from nicotine dependence). Specifically, the liver function tests were not significantly influenced by THC and THC-COOH levels, both objective markers for the amount and duration of prior cannabis use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30052163

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2018.1482031?journalCode=ujpd20

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Interferon- α-mediated Activation of T Cells from Healthy and HIV-infected Individuals is Suppressed by Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

“HIV patients routinely use medicinal cannabinoids to treat neuropathic pain, anxiety, and HIV-associated wasting. However, Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, suppresses T cell function and secretion of interferons, both critically important in the anti-viral immune response.

Interferon- α (IFN α), a key cytokine in T cell activation and peripheral control of HIV infection, can potentiate responsiveness to IL-7, a crucial homeostatic cytokine for peripheral T cell maintenance. . The objective of this investigation was to compare the response of T cells to stimulation by IFNα and IL-7 in T cells from healthy and HIV+ donors in the absence and presence of THC.

T cells from healthy and HIV+ donors were stimulated in vitrowith IFN α and IL-7 in the absence and presence of THC followed by measurements of signaling events through IFNAR, IFN α-induced expression of IL-7Rα, cognate signaling through IL-7R, and on IL-7-mediated T cell proliferation by flow cytometry and RT-qPCR. CD8+ T cells from HIV+ donors showed a diminished response to IFN α-induced pSTAT1 compared to CD8+ T cells from healthy donors while CD4+ T cells from HIV+ donors and healthy donors were comparable. Treatment with IFN α promoted IL-7R expression and potentiated IL-7-induced STAT5 phosphorylation to augment IL-7-mediated proliferation by T cells from healthy and HIV+ donors. Finally, HIV+ donors exhibited reduced sensitivity to THC-mediated suppression by IFN α and IL-7-mediated stimulation compared to healthy donors.

These results further support THC as immune suppressive while identifying putatively beneficial aspects of cannabinoid-based therapies in HIV+ patients.

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Tetrahydrocannabinol/Cannabidiol Oromucosal Spray in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study on the Plasma Concentration-Effect Relationship.

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“We aimed to assess the potential relationship between intrasubject 9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (THC/CBD) oromucosal spray plasma profiles and clinical effects elicited by subacute dosing in chronically treated patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS:

The study design was pilot, single center, open, and prospective. The patients were challenged with a morning test dose of 2 THC/CBD sprays at a 15-minute interval. Venous blood samples were collected before the first spray administration and every 30 minutes after the second spray, until 240 minutes postdosing. Patients rated their spasticity by the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) simultaneously with blood drawings. Postural and motor tests were performed before the first spray and 90 and 180 minutes thereafter.

RESULTS:

Twelve patients were recruited. Peak plasma concentrations of THC/CBD largely varied among patients, from 0.60 to 13.29 ng/mL for THC and 0.55 to 11.93 ng/mL for CBD. Time to peak plasma concentrations ranged from 150 to 240 minutes for THC and 90 to 240 minutes for CBD. Patients’ NRS serial scores decreased after dosing, from a median value of 6 to 3.5 (P < 0.001). A significant inverse correlation was observed between median intrasubject repeated NRS scores and corresponding median values of both THC (P < 0.01) and CBD (P < 0.002) plasma concentrations. No significant effect of cannabinoids dosing could be appreciated according to posturographic and motor tests.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our kinetic dynamic findings from THC/CBD oromucosal spray are the first obtained in real MS patients. Although preliminary, they suggest that subacute dosing might elicit a subjective clinically significant effect on MS-related spasticity, paralleling cannabinoids measurable plasma concentrations.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30024443

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[Should ophtalmologists recommend medical cannabis to patients with glaucoma?]

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“Cannabis has been widely used for various medical purposes since before year 2000 BC. Its effects are mediated by cannabinoids and stimulation of mainly G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors.

In 1971, subjects who smoked marihuana, showed a decrease in the intraocular pressure.

Later investigations additionally revealed a neuroprotective effect of both ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (CBD).

Furthermore, CBD was found to promote neurogenesis. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the potential use of cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30020072

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Development of a Cannabinoid-Based Photoaffinity Probe to Determine the Δ8/9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Protein Interaction Landscape in Neuroblastoma Cells.

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“Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principle psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis, is widely used for its therapeutic effects in a large variety of diseases, but it also has numerous neurological side effects. The cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) are responsible to a large extent for these, but not all biological responses are mediated via the CBRs.

Objectives: The identification of additional target proteins of THC to enable a better understanding of the (adverse) physiological effects of THC.

Methods: In this study, a chemical proteomics approach using a two-step photoaffinity probe is applied to identify potential proteins that may interact with THC.

Results: Photoaffinity probe 1, containing a diazirine as a photocrosslinker, and a terminal alkyne as a ligation handle, was synthesized in 14 steps. It demonstrated high affinity for both CBRs. Subsequently, two-step photoaffinity labeling in neuroblastoma cells led to identification of four potential novel protein targets of THC. The identification of these putative protein hits is a first step towards a better understanding of the protein interaction profile of THC, which could ultimately lead to the development of novel therapeutics based on THC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29992186

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0003

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Composition and Use of Cannabis Extracts for Childhood Epilepsy in the Australian Community

Scientific Reports

“Recent surveys suggest that many parents are using illicit cannabis extracts in the hope of managing seizures in their children with epilepsy. In the current Australian study we conducted semi-structured interviews with families of children with diverse forms of epilepsy to explore their attitudes towards and experiences with using cannabis extracts.

Contrary to family’s expectations, most samples contained low concentrations of cannabidiol, while Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol was present in nearly every sample. These findings highlight profound variation in the illicit cannabis extracts being currently used in Australia and warrant further investigations into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids in epilepsy.

The phenomenon is not without supporting scientific evidence. Many preclinical studies have identified potent anticonvulsant effects of various cannabinoids in animal models of epilepsy, and a mechanistic understanding of such effects is emerging.

A considerable proportion of families reported cannabis extracts being “effective” in reducing their child’s seizure burden and improving their overall condition, with one family reporting seizure-freedom in their child for at least 12 months. Over half of the cannabis extracts were associated with families reducing or ceasing their use of the child’s conventional antiepileptic drugs.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28127-0

“Cannabis chemical THC could be missing ‘piece to the puzzle’ in treating kids with epilepsy” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-05/epilepsy-treatment-cannabis-chemical-thc/9944878

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Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis: A Framework for Future Policy.

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“Marijuana is a commonly found illicit substance in motor vehicle operators driving under the influence of drugs. Current evidence shows that blood levels of tetrahydrocannabinol do not correlate well with the level of impairment. In addition, although acute infrequent use of cannabis typically leads to cognitive and psychomotor impairment, this is not consistently the case for chronic heavy use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29933274

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00000539-900000000-96658

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Pain Modulation after Oromucosal Cannabinoid Spray (SATIVEX®) in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Study with Quantitative Sensory Testing and Laser-Evoked Potentials.

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“Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/cannabidiol (CBD) (nabiximols or Sativex&reg;) is an oromucosal spray formulation containing THC and CBD at an approximately 1:1 fixed ratio. Its administration for the treatment of pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been established.

MS patients generally complain of different kinds of pain, including spasticity-related and neuropathic pain. In this study, we compared and evaluated pain modulation and thermal/pain threshold of MS patients before and after THC/CBD administration.

Patients reported a significant reduction in pain.

Our results indicate that Sativex&reg; therapy provides pain relief in MS patients and suggest that it might modulate peripheral cold-sensitive TRP channels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29933552

http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/3/59

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