Reductions in alcohol use following medical cannabis initiation: results from a large cross-sectional survey of medical cannabis patients in Canada

 International Journal of Drug Policy“Evidence details how cannabis can influence the use of other psychoactive substances, including prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, but very little research has examined the factors associated with these changes in substance use patterns. This paper explores the self-reported use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol among a Canadian medical cannabis patient population.

Results: Overall, 419 (44%) participants reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days, 323 (34%) decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week, and 76 (8%) reported no alcohol use at all in the 30 days prior to the survey. Being below 55 years of age and reporting higher rates of alcohol use in the pre-period were both associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use, and an intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing and ceasing alcohol use altogether.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that medical cannabis initiation may be associated with self-reported reductions and cessation of alcohol use among medical cannabis patients. Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in North America, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33068830/

“Following medical cannabis initiation, 44% of participants reported decreases in alcohol use frequency over 30 days, and 34% decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week. Younger age (<55 years old) and higher rates of alcohol use prior to medical cannabis initiation were associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol. Specific intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption resulted in greater odds of reducing and/or ceasing use altogether.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395920303017?via%3Dihub

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A Literature Analysis on Medicinal Use and Research of Cannabis in the Meiji Era of Japan

 Journal of Pharmacopuncture“Cannabis is a historical plant which has been used as a medicine in East Asia.

 

Cannabis was prescribed in Meiji era of Japan to alleviate pain and cure the digestive, respiratory, urinary, and nervous system diseases such as indigestion, asthma, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and its complications, insomnia, and nervous prostration.

Cannabis was medically used in Meiji era of Japan and the reporting and sharing of its clinical effect was published on the medical journals like present days.

There were already Cannabis regulations in that era, but its medicinal use was more liberated than nowadays.

It may be a chance to reconsider the current legal system, which strictly controls the use of Cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072412/

http://www.journal-jop.org/journal/view.html?doi=10.3831/KPI.2020.23.3.142

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Medical Marijuana Effects in Movement Disorders, Focus on Huntington Disease; A Literature Review

“We aimed to comprehensively evaluate the effects of medical marijuana on symptoms that are relevant to movement disorders with a focus on Huntington disease (HD).

A systematic review by literature search through PubMed and EBSCO electronic databases was conducted for relevant studies reported after 2002 on the effects of medical marijuana or cannabis use on tremor, spasm, spasticity, chorea, sleep quality and HD-specific rating scales. Study selection, quality assessment and data extraction was performed by three reviewers. Outcome measures were changes in psychomotor, and sleep related symptoms. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated.

Results: A total of 22 studies were reviewed. There was strong evidence for significant improvement in the neurologic symptoms of spasms, tremors, spasticity, chorea, and quality of sleep following treatment with medical marijuana. Analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremors and rigidity. Furthermore, all pretreatment and post-treatment measures indicated a significant increase in average number of hours slept.

Conclusion: Larger scale studies are warranted to test the benefits of medical marijuana in HD patients. In the meanwhile, clinicians may consider prescribing medical marijuana as part of their strategy for better symptomatic treatment of patients with HD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33064979/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/30967

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Medical Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain: Outcomes and Prediction of Response

Although studied in a few randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the efficacy of medical cannabis (MC) for chronic pain remains controversial. Using an alternative approach, this multicenter, questionnaire-based prospective cohort was aimed to assess the long-term effects of MC on chronic pain of various etiologies and to identify predictors for MC treatment success.

Results: 1045 patients completed the baseline questionnaires and initiated MC treatment, and 551 completed the 12 month follow-up. At one year, average pain intensity declined from baseline by 20% [-1.97 points (95%CI= -2.13 to -1.81; p<0.001)]. All other parameters improved by 10-30% (p<0.001). A significant decrease of 42% [reduction of 27mg; (95%CI= -34.89 to -18.56, p<0.001)] from baseline in morphine equivalent daily dosage of opioids was also observed. Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious. Presence of normal to long sleep duration, lower body mass index (BMI) and lower depression score predicted relatively higher treatment success, whereas presence of neuropathic pain predicted the opposite.

Conclusions: This prospective study provides further evidence for the effects of MC on chronic pain and related symptoms, demonstrating an overall mild to modest long-term improvement of the tested measures and identifying possible predictors for treatment success.

Significance: This “real world” paper shows that MC mildly to modestly attenuates chronic pain and related symptoms. MC treatment can also cause frequent, but mostly non-serious adverse effects, although central nervous system (CNS)-related AEs that can impair the ability to drive vehicles are not uncommon. This study is novel in identifying possible predictors for treatment success, including normal to long sleep duration, lower BMI and lower depression scores. In contrast to current beliefs the diagnosis of neuropathic pain predicts a less favorable outcome. These findings provide physicians with new data to support decision making on recommendations for MC treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33065768/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejp.1675

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Cannabinoid Combination Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

molecules-logo“This study evaluated the synergistic anti-cancer potential of cannabinoid combinations across the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids were combined and their synergistic interactions were evaluated using median effect analysis.

The most promising cannabinoid combination (C6) consisted of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBD), and displayed favorable dose reduction indices and limited cytotoxicity against the non-cancerous breast cell line, MCF-10A. C6 exerted its effects in the MCF-7 cell line by inducing cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase, followed by the induction of apoptosis.

Morphological observations indicated the induction of cytoplasmic vacuolation, with further investigation suggesting that the vacuole membrane was derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, lipid accumulation, increased lysosome size, and significant increases in the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) expression were also observed.

The selectivity and ability of cannabinoids to halt cancer cell proliferation via pathways resembling apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis shows promise for cannabinoid use in standardized breast cancer treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33066359/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/20/4682

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Cancer patients’ experiences with medicinal cannabis-related care

 “Background: Little is known about medical cannabis (MC)-related care for patients with cancer using MC.

Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted in a convenience sample of individuals (n = 24) with physician-confirmed oncologic diagnoses and state/district authorization to use MC (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, and Washington, DC) from April 2017 to March 2019. Standard qualitative techniques were used to assess the degree of MC-related health care oversight, MC practices, and key information sources.

Results: Among 24 participants (median age, 57 years; range, 30-71 years; 16 women [67%]), MC certifications were typically issued by a professional new to a patient’s care after a brief, perfunctory consultation. Patients disclosed MCuse to their established medical teams but received little medical advice about whether and how to use MC. Patients with cancer used MC products as multipurpose symptom management and as cancer-directed therapy, sometimes in lieu of standard-of-care treatments. Personal experimentation, including methodical self-monitoring, was an important source of MC know-how. Absent formal advice from medical professionals, patients relied on nonmedical sources for MC information.

Conclusions: Patients with cancer used MC with minimal medical oversight. Most received MC certifications through brief meetings with unfamiliar professionals. Participants desired but were often unable to access high-quality clinical information about MC from their established medical teams. Because many patients are committed to using MC, a product sustained by a growing industry, medical providers should familiarize themselves with the existing data for MM and its limitations to address a poorly met clinical need.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32986266/

“Notably, oncology patients reported using medical cannabis (MC) for symptom management and as cancer‐directed therapy, sometimes instead of traditional treatments.”

https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.33202

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Medical cannabis and cognitive performance in middle to old adults treated for chronic pain

“Cannabis exposure is becoming more common in older age but little is known about how it is associated with brain health in this population.

This study assesses the relationship between long-term medical cannabis (MC) use and cognitive function in a sample of middle-aged and old chronic pain patients.

Results: Mean age was 63 ± 6 and 60 ± 5 years in the non-exposed and MC patients, respectively. Groups did not significantly differ in terms of cognitive performance measures. Furthermore, none of the MC use patterns were associated with cognitive performance.

Discussion and conclusions: These results suggest that use of whole plant MC does not have a widespread impact on cognition in older chronic pain patients. Considering the increasing use of MC in older populations, this study could be a first step towards a better risk-benefit assessment of MC treatment in this population. Future studies are urgently needed to further clarify the implications of late-life cannabis use for brain health.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32964502/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dar.13171

“No Ill Effects for Older Adults Using Medical Marijuana for Pain, Study Says. A study looking at older adults with chronic pain found no no significant difference in cognitive performance when comparing them with matched patients who did not use medical marijuana.” https://www.ajmc.com/view/no-ill-effects-for-older-adults-using-medical-marijuana-for-pain-study-says

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Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoid Use

medicina-logo“Cannabis products have been used for centuries by humans for recreational and medical purposes. Resent research, proposed the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis and related cannabinoids for a wide range of medical conditions, including psychiatric and neurological diseases.

This Special Issue presents the latest updates on medicinal cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids pharmacology, toxicology and new analytical methods to identify and quantify these compounds in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices. Moreover, it provides current data regarding their adverse effects, safety, application for medical purposes and their harmful effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32906770/

https://www.mdpi.com/1010-660X/56/9/453

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Medical Cannabis: Review and Clinical Experience

Seminars in Pediatric Neurology “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifactorial, pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder defined by the core symptoms of significant impairment in social interaction and communication as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. In addition to these core behaviors, persons with ASD frequently have associated noncore behavioral disturbance (ie, self-injury, aggression), as well as several medical comorbidities. Currently, no effective treatment exists for the core symptoms of ASD.

This review reports the available preclinical and clinical data regarding the use of cannabis and cannabidiol in the treatment of core symptoms, noncore symptoms and comorbidities associated with ASD. Additionally, we describe our clinical experience working with children and young adults with ASD who have used cannabis or cannabidiol.

At present, preclinical and clinical data suggest a potential for therapeutic benefit among some persons with ASD and that it is overall well tolerated.

Further research is required to better identify patients who may benefit from treatment without adverse effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32892960/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1071909120300449?via%3Dihub

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Chronic Cannabidiol Administration Attenuates Skeletal Muscle De Novo Ceramide Synthesis Pathway and Related Metabolic Effects in a Rat Model of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity

biomolecules-logo“Numerous studies showed that sustained obesity results in accumulation of bioactive lipid derivatives in several tissues, including skeletal muscle, which further contributes to the development of metabolic disturbances and insulin resistance (IR).

The latest data indicate that a potential factor regulating lipid and glucose metabolism is a phytocannabinoid-cannabidiol (CBD), a component of medical marijuana (Cannabis). Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether chronic CBD administration influences bioactive lipid content (e.g., ceramide (CER)), as well as glucose metabolism, in the red skeletal muscle (musculus gastrocnemius) with predominant oxidative metabolism.

All experiments were conducted on an animal model of obesity, i.e., Wistar rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or standard rodent chow, and subsequently injected with CBD in a dose of 10 mg/kg or its solvent for two weeks. The sphingolipid content was assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), while, in order to determine insulin and glucose concentrations, immunoenzymatic and colorimetric methods were used. The protein expression from sphingolipid and insulin signaling pathways, as well as endocannabinoidome components, was evaluated by immunoblotting.

Unexpectedly, our experimental model revealed that the significantly intensified intramuscular de novo CER synthesis pathway in the HFD group was attenuated by chronic CBD treatment. Additionally, due to CBD administration, the content of other sphingolipid derivatives, i.e., sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) was restored in the high-fat feeding state, which coincided with an improvement in skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction and glycogen recovery.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32859125/

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/10/9/1241

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