Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update.

“For millennia, there has been interest in the use of cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy.

However, it is only recently that appropriately powered controlled studies have been completed. In this review, we present an update on the research investigating the use of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, in the treatment of epilepsy.

While the anticonvulsant mechanism of action of CBD has not been entirely elucidated, we discuss the most recent data available including its low affinity for the endocannabinoid receptors and possible indirect modulation of these receptors via blocking the breakdown of anandamide.

Additional targets include activation of the transient receptor potential of vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1), antagonist action at GPR55, targeting of abnormal sodium channels, blocking of T-type calcium channels, modulation of adenosine receptors, modulation of voltage-dependent anion selective channel protein (VDAC1), and modulation of tumor necrosis factor alpha release.

We also discuss the most recent studies on various artisanal CBD products conducted in patients with epilepsy in the USA and internationally. While a high percentage of patients in these studies reported improvement in seizures, these studies were either retrospective or conducted via survey. Dosage/preparation of CBD was either unknown or not controlled in the majority of these studies.

Finally, we present data from both open-label expanded access programs (EAPs) and randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) of a highly purified oral preparation of CBD, which was recently approved by the FDA in the treatment of epilepsy.

In the EAPs, there was a significant improvement in seizure frequency seen in a large number of patients with various types of treatment-refractory epilepsy. The RCTs have shown significant seizure reduction compared to placebo in patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Finally, we describe the available data on adverse effects and drug-drug interactions with highly purified CBD.

While this product is overall well tolerated, the most common side effects are diarrhea and sedation, with sedation being much more common in patients taking concomitant clobazam. There was also an increased incidence of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase elevations while taking CBD, with many of the patients with these abnormalities also taking concomitant valproate. CBD has a clear interaction with clobazam, significantly increasing the levels of its active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam in several studies; this is felt to be due to CBD’s inhibition of CYP2C19. EAP data demonstrate other possible interactions with rufinamide, zonisamide, topiramate, and eslicarbazepine. Additionally, there is one case report demonstrating need for warfarin dose adjustment with concomitant CBD.

Understanding of CBD’s efficacy and safety in the treatment of TRE has expanded significantly in the last few years. Future controlled studies of various ratios of CBD and THC are needed as there could be further therapeutic potential of these compounds for patients with epilepsy.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Targeting Glioma Initiating Cells With A Combined Therapy Of Cannabinoids And Temozolomide.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive type of brain tumor due, at least in part, to its poor response to current anticancer treatments. These features could be explained, at least partially, by the presence within the tumor mass of a small population of cells termed Glioma Initiating Cells (GICs) that has been proposed to be responsible for the relapses occurring in this disease. Thus, the development of novel therapeutic approaches (and specifically those targeting the population of GICs) is urgently needed to improve the survival of the patients suffering this devastating disease.

Previous observations by our group and others have shown that Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the main active ingredient of marijuana) and other cannabinoids including cannabidiol (CBD) exert antitumoral actions in several animal models of cancer, including gliomas.

We also found that the administration of THC (or of THC + CBD at a 1:1 ratio) in combination with temozolomide, the benchmark agent for the treatment of GBM, synergistically reduces the growth of glioma xenografts.

In this work we investigated the effect of the combination of TMZ and THC:CBD mixtures containing different ratios of the two cannabinoids in preclinical glioma models, including those derived from GICs.

Our findings show that TMZ + THC:CBD combinations containing a higher proportion of CDB (but not TMZ + CBD alone) produce a similar antitumoral effect as the administration of TMZ together with THC and CBD at a 1:1 ratio in xenografts generated with glioma cell lines. In addition, we also found that the administration of TMZ + THC:CBD at a 1:1 ratio reduced the growth of orthotopic xenografts generated with GICs derived from GBM patients and enhanced the survival of the animals bearing these intracranial xenografts.

Remarkably, the antitumoral effect observed in GICs-derived xenografts was stronger when TMZ was administered together with cannabinoid combinations containing a higher proportion of CBD. These findings support the notion that the administration of TMZ together with THC:CBD combinations – and specifically those containing a higher proportion of CBD – may be therapeutically explored to target the population of GICs in GBM.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Fast extraction of cannabinoids in marijuana samples by using hard-cap espresso machines.

Talanta

“A simple, quick and low cost procedure was developed for the extraction of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabinol from marijuana samples, based on the use of a hard-cap espresso extraction with 2-propanol. After extraction, cannabinoids were directly determined after appropriate dilution by gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry, reaching a limit of detection from 0.03 to 0.05 mg g-1. Extraction efficiency was evaluated by the comparison of results obtained for seized samples by the proposed method and a reference methodology based on ultrasound-assisted extraction. Moreover, ion mobility was proposed for the rapid and sensitive determination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol providing a quick response for the analysis of seized marijuana samples in 1 min, including extraction, dilution and determination.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30172516

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039914018308178?via%3Dihub

“Turns Out You Can Use Espresso Machines to Make Marijuana Extracts”  https://www.civilized.life/articles/espresso-machine-marijuana-extracts/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Effect of Cannabidiol on Medial Temporal, Midbrain, and Striatal Dysfunction in People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Image result for jama psychiatry

“Cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic effects in humans, but how these are mediated in the brain remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie the therapeutic effects of CBD in psychosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Cannabidiol may partially normalize alterations in parahippocampal, striatal, and midbrain function associated with the CHR state. As these regions are critical to the pathophysiology of psychosis, the influence of CBD at these sites could underlie its therapeutic effects on psychotic symptoms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30167644

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2697762

“Psychosis: Cannabis extract normalizes brain function” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322926.php
“Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-08-cannabis-reset-brain-function-psychosis.html
“Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/kcl-ceh082818.php
Cannabidiol Reduces Symptoms of Psychosis. A new study found that the chemical extracted from cannabis has antipsychotic effects.” https://www.usnews.com/news/health-care-news/articles/2018-08-29/one-dose-of-cannabidiol-reduces-symptoms-of-psychosis
“MEDICAL MARIJUANA: CANNABIS EXTRACT CBD USED TO SUCCESSFULLY TREAT PSYCHOSIS.” https://www.newsweek.com/cannabidiol-cannabis-extract-could-treat-symptoms-psychosis-1094353

 “Single dose of the cannabis compound CBD reduces psychotic symptoms by normalising brain activity” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6110591/Single-dose-cannabis-compound-CBD-reduces-psychotic-symptoms-normalising-brain-activity.html

“British scientists have unraveled how a non-intoxicating component of cannabis acts in key brain areas to reduce abnormal activity in patients at risk of psychosis, suggesting the ingredient could become a novel anti-psychotic medicine.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/cannabis/article-scientists-unravel-how-cannabis-component-may-fight-psychosis/

“Science proves component in weed actually helps fight psychosis” https://nypost.com/2018/08/29/science-proves-component-in-weed-actually-helps-fight-psychosis/
“We Now Have Evidence That a Marijuana Compound Can Help People With Psychosis” https://futurism.com/cbd-psychosis/
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis in liver disorders: a friend or a foe?

 Image result for wolters kluwer

“The recent legalization of recreational marijuana use in some parts of the world, the discovery of new indications for the clinical application of cannabis, and the acceptance of the use of cannabis in practice has been paralleled by extensive research on the active components of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system within the human body.

In this review, we evaluate the available evidence on cannabis and its constituents and the application of this evidence in clinical practice, focusing particularly on the liver and liver diseases.

Constituents of cannabis, such as cannabidiol and Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, have shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hepatoprotective effects both in in vitro and clinical studies, and appear to have potential in the symptom management and treatment of various liver diseases that were previously considered difficult to manage conservatively.

In addition, the manipulation of the inherent endocannabinoid response system has found favor in many clinical fields and has generated considerable research and clinical interest. Moreover, evidence with regard to the adverse effects of marijuana use in liver diseases is weak, which has led to raise a question on the prior rules, with regard to a denial of liver transplantation to marijuana users.

All in all, the recent trends in research, clinical experiences, as well as the legislature, has opened up new avenues towards the widespread clinical application of cannabis and its derivatives as well as modifiers of the components of the endocannabinoid system. More research is required to fully exploit these new evidences.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30169449

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00042737-900000000-97980

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Self-Reported Effectiveness and Safety of Trokie® Lozenges: A Standardized Formulation for the Buccal Delivery of Cannabis Extracts.

 Image result for frontiers in neuroscience

“Therapeutic use of cannabinoids, the main active ingredients of Cannabissativa L., is often hindered by their limited bioavailability and undesirable psychoactivity. We conducted an observational study in December 2016 and another one in February 2018 to investigate respectively: (i) the effectiveness of Trokie® lozenges, a standardized formulation containing cannabis extracts, to deliver cannabinoids via buccal absorption and (ii) its long-term safety.

Participants were members of the Palliative Care Corporation health clinic, registered California cannabis patients, and had a diagnosis of chronic non-cancer pain. For the effectiveness study, 49 participants were asked to self-report pain perception before and after 1-12 weeks of taking Trokie® lozenges, using an 11-point pain intensity numeric rating scale (PI-NRS).

A mean reduction in PI-NRS score of 4.9 ± 2.0 points was observed. Onset of analgesia typically varied between 5 and 40 min, which seems consistent with, at least partial, buccal absorption. In the safety study, 35 participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about adverse events (AEs) associated with Trokie® lozenges. AEs were reported by 16 subjects (46%), the most common being dizziness/unsteadiness (N = 7), bad taste (N = 5), and throat irritation/dry mouth (N = 4). None of the self-reported AEs resulted in a serious medical situation and most of them had limited impact on daily functions.

Despite the AEs, 90% of participants reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the product. These observations suggest that buccal administration of standardized extracts via Trokie® lozenges may represent an efficacious and safe approach to cannabis administration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30154694

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00564/full 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis and the Health and Performance of the Elite Athlete.

 

Image result for wolters kluwer

“Cannabis (marijuana) is undergoing extensive regulatory review in many global jurisdictions for medical and nonmedical access. Cannabis has potential impact on the health of athletes as well as on performance in both training and in competition. The aim of this general review is to identify and highlight the challenges in interpreting information with respect to elite athletic performance, and to point to important research areas that need to be addressed.

MAIN RESULTS:

Cannabis may be primarily inhaled or ingested orally for a range of medical and nonmedical reasons; evidence for efficacy is limited but promising for chronic pain management. Although evidence for serious harms from cannabis use on health of athletes is limited, one should be cognizant of the potential for abuse and mental health issues. Although the prevalence of cannabis use among elite athletes is not well-known, use is associated with certain high-risk sports. There is no evidence for cannabis use as a performance-enhancing drug.

CONCLUSIONS:

Medical and nonmedical cannabis use among athletes reflects changing societal and cultural norms and experiences. Although cannabis use is more prevalent in some athletes engaged in high-risk sports, there is no direct evidence of performance-enhancing effects in athletes. The potential beneficial effects of cannabis as part of a pain management protocol, including reducing concussion-related symptoms, deserve further attention.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30153174

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00042752-201809000-00009

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Orthopaedic surgery patients who use recreational marijuana have less pre-operative pain.

“To determine the baseline clinical characteristics of recreational marijuana users undergoing outpatient orthopaedic surgery.

We hypothesized that patients who report marijuana use would have worse pain, function, and general health status.

The results do not support our hypothesis, as marijuana use was associated with less pain and better lower extremity activity rating scale scores when compared to non-users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30135987

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00264-018-4101-x

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Efficacy and Safety of Adjunctive Cannabidiol in Patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

“Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a severe developmental epileptic encephalopathy, and available interventions fail to control seizures in most patients. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major chemical of marijuana, which has anti-seizure properties and different mechanisms of action compared with other approved antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CBD as adjunctive treatment for seizures in patients with LGS using meta-analytical techniques.

METHODS:

Randomized, placebo-controlled, single- or double-blinded trials were identified. Main outcomes included the ≥ 50% reduction in baseline drop and non-drop seizure frequency, and the incidence of treatment withdrawal and adverse events (AEs). Risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated through the inverse variance method.

RESULTS:

Two trials were included involving 396 participants. Patients presenting ≥ 50% reduction in drop seizure frequency during the treatment were 40.0% with CBD and 19.3% with placebo [RR 2.12 (95% CI 1.48-3.03); p < 0.001]. The rate of non-drop seizure frequency was reduced by 50% or more in 49.4% of patients in the CBD and 30.4% in the placebo arms [RR 1.62 (95% CI 1.09-2.43); p = 0.018]. The RR for CBD withdrawal was 4.93 (95% CI 1.50-16.22; p = 0.009). The RR to develop any AE during CBD treatment was 1.24 (95% CI 1.11-1.38; p < 0.001). AEs significantly associated with CBD were somnolence, decreased appetite, diarrhea and increased serum aminotransferases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adjunctive CBD resulted in a greater reduction in seizure frequency and a higher rate of AEs than placebo in patients with LGS presenting seizures uncontrolled by concomitant AEDs.”

“Cannabidiol in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.”  https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc1807878

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Optimization Of A Preclinical Therapy Of Cannabinoids In Combination With Temozolomide Against Glioma.

 Biochemical Pharmacology “Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive form of brain cancer. These features are explained at least in part by the high resistance exhibited by these tumors to current anticancer therapies. Thus, the development of novel therapeutic approaches is urgently needed to improve the survival of the patients suffering this devastating disease.

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the major active ingredient of marijuana), and other cannabinoids have been shown to exert antitumoral actions in animal models of cancer, including glioma. The mechanism of these anticancer actions relies, at least in part, on the ability of these compounds to stimulate autophagy-mediated apoptosis in tumor cells.

Previous observations from our group demonstrated that local administration of THC (or of THC + CBD at a 1:1 ratio, a mixture that resembles the composition of the cannabinoid-based medicine Sativex®) in combination with Temozolomide, the benchmark agent for the treatment of GBM, synergistically reduces the growth of glioma xenografts.

With the aim of optimizing the possible clinical utilization of cannabinoids in anti-GBM therapies, in this work we explored the anticancer efficacy of the systemic administration of cannabinoids in combination with TMZ in preclinical models of glioma.

Our results show that oral administration of THC+CBD (Sativex-like extracts) in combination with TMZ produces a strong antitumoral effect in both subcutaneous and intracranial glioma cell-derived tumor xenografts. In contrast, combined administration of Sativex-like and BCNU (another alkylating agent used for the treatment of GBM which share structural similarities with the TMZ) did not show a stronger effect than individual treatments.

Altogether, our findings support the notion that the combined administration of TMZ and oral cannabinoids could be therapeutically exploited for the management of GBM.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30125556

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295218303496

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous