The Effect of Medical Cannabis on Pain Level and Quality of Sleep among Rheumatology Clinic Outpatients

logo“Introduction: Medical cannabis (MC) is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

In this study, we evaluated the effect of MC treatment on pain level and quality of sleep of patients with different medical conditions at the rheumatology clinic.

Conclusions: MC had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34531934/

“MC has a favorable effect on pain level and sleep quality among nearly the entire spectrum of resistant “chronic pain syndromes” seen or referred to rheumatology clinics, including inflammatory diseases resistant to biological treatment, although the effect of MC on synovitis was relatively mild.

Cannabis should be seriously considered in every “chronic pain condition” whenever the accepted modalities of treatment are insufficient for alleviating patient’s pain and sleep problems.”

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2021/1756588/

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A Review of the Potential Use of Pinene and Linalool as Terpene-Based Medicines for Brain Health: Discovering Novel Therapeutics in the Flavours and Fragrances of Cannabis

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“”Medicinal cannabis” is defined as the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of an illness. Investigations of cannabis compounds in psychiatric and neurological illnesses primarily focus on the major cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which are hypothesised to benefit multiple illnesses manifesting cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation, as well as chronic pain, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, respectively.

The cannabis plant contains >500 compounds, including terpenes responsible for the flavour and fragrance profiles of plants. Recently, research has begun providing evidence on the potential use of certain plant-derived terpenes in modern medicine, demonstrating anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects of these compounds.

This review examined the effects of two key terpenes, pinene and linalool, on parameters relevant to neurological and psychiatric disorders, highlighting gaps in the literature and recommendations for future research into terpene therapeutics.

Overall, evidence is mostly limited to preclinical studies and well-designed clinical trials are lacking. Nevertheless, existing data suggests that pinene and linalool are relevant candidates for further investigation as novel medicines for illnesses, including stroke, ischemia, inflammatory and neuropathic pain (including migraine), cognitive impairment (relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and ageing), insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Linalool and pinene influence multiple neurotransmitter, inflammatory and neurotrophic signals as well as behaviour, demonstrating psycho-activity (albeit non-intoxicating).   Optimising the phytochemical profile of cannabis chemovars to yield therapeutic levels of beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids, such as linalool, pinene and CBD, could present a unique opportunity to discover novel medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological illnesses; however, further research is needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34512404/

“Overall, it appears that the importance of the terpene profile of plants to humans extends further than mere olfactory and gustatory delight. Rather, these compounds have the potential for use as treatments for serious chronic neurological and psychiatric illnesses.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211/full

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Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol promotes functional remyelination in the mouse brain

British Journal of Pharmacology“Background and purpose: Research on demyelinating disorders aims to find novel molecules that are able to induce oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation to promote central nervous system remyelination and functional recovery.

Δ9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prominent active constituent of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, confers neuroprotection in animal models of demyelination. However, the possible effect of THC on myelin repair has never been studied.

Experimental approach: By using oligodendroglia-specific reporter mouse lines in combination with two models of toxin-induced demyelination, we analysed the effect of THC on the processes of oligodendrocyte regeneration and functional remyelination.

Key results: We show that THC administration enhanced oligodendrocyte regeneration, white matter remyelination and motor function recovery. THC also promoted axonal remyelination in organotypic cerebellar cultures. THC remyelinating action relied on the induction of oligodendrocyte precursor differentiation upon cell cycle exit and via CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation.

Conclusions and implications: Overall, our study identifies THC administration as a promising pharmacological strategy aimed to promote functional CNS remyelination in demyelinating disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34216154/

“Our study provides a novel therapeutic advantage of THC-based interventions in multiple sclerosis by promoting remyelination and functional recovery. New clinical trials with improved designs on cannabinoids in people with multiple sclerosis are needed now, considering these compounds as potential remyelinating/disease-modifying drugs to try to overcome previous failures. Our work also suggests that at least part of the neuroprotective action of phytocannabinoids in multiple sclerosis animal models and potentially in patients as well may be due to an enhanced CNS remyelination. Finally, this study also identifies THC as a potent inductor of oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation under demyelination in mice, opening the possibility for this molecule to become a candidate drug to promote oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination in the treatment of demyelinating disorders.”

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.15608

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Medical cannabinoids for treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia: systematic review

SciELO - Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy“Introduction: Neuropsychiatric symptoms are an integral component of the natural history of dementia, occurring from prodromal to advanced stages of the disease process and leading to increased burden and morbidity. Clinical presentations are pleomorphic, and clinical management often requires combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. However, limited efficacy and a non-negligible incidence of adverse events of psychotropic drugs reinforce the need for novel therapeutic options.

Aims: To review the evidence supporting the use of medical cannabinoids for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia (NPS).

Results: Fifteen publications with original clinical data were retrieved, being 5 controlled clinical trials, 3 open-label/observational studies, and 7 case reports. Most studies indicated that the use of medical cannabinoids engendered favorable outcomes for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms related to moderate and advanced stages of dementia, particularly agitation, aggressive behavior and sleep and sexual disinhibition.

Conclusion: Medical cannabinoids represent a promising pharmacological approach for the treatment of NPS, with preliminary evidence of benefit at least in moderate to severe dementia. Controlled trials with longitudinal design and larger samples are required to examine the long-term efficacy of these drugs in different types and stages of dementia, in addition to their adverse events and risk of interactions with other drugs. Many pharmacological details are yet to be determined, such as dosing, treatment duration and concentrations of active compounds (e.g., CBD/THC ratio) in commercial preparations of medical cannabinoids.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34374269/

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A pilot safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic study of an oro-buccal administered cannabidiol-dominant anti-inflammatory formulation in healthy individuals: a randomized placebo-controlled single-blinded study

SpringerLink“Background: The cannabis plant presents a complex biochemical unit of over 500 constituents of which 70 or more molecules have been classified as cannabinoids binding to cannabinoid receptors. The study aimed to investigate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary pharmacokinetics of a nanoparticle CBD formulation.

Results: The study met the primary outcomes of safety, tolerability, and preliminary pharmacokinetics of a standardized CBD-dominant anti-inflammatory extract for oro-buccal administration. Bioavailability of a 6 mg and 18 mg dose of CBD (median IQR) was 0.87 and 8.9 ng h mL-1, respectively. The maximum concentration of CBD for the low and high doses administered once per day occurred at 60 min for both concentrations. The median half-life of the 6 mg and 18 mg CBD dose was 1.23 and 5.45 h, respectively. The apparent clearance of CBD was 115 and 34 L min-1 for a 6 mg and 18 mg dose, respectively.

Conclusion: The oro-buccal nanoparticle formulation achieved plasma concentrations that were largely comparable to other commercial and investigated formulations relative to the concentrations administered. Moreover, there were no reports of adverse effects associated with unfavorable inflammatory sequalae.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34357480/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10787-021-00859-y

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Association Between Smoking Cannabis and Quitting Cigarettes in a Large American Cancer Society Cohort

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention“Background: Cannabis use is increasing, including among smokers, an at-risk population for cancer. Research is equivocal on whether using cannabis inhibits quitting cigarettes. The current longitudinal study investigated associations between smoking cannabis and subsequently quitting cigarettes.

Results: Adjusted cigarette quitting rates at follow-up did not differ significantly by baseline cannabis smoking status [never 36.2%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 34.5%-37.8%; former 34.1%, CI, 31.4%-37.0%; recent 33.6%, CI, 30.1%-37.3%], nor by frequency of cannabis smoking (low 31.4%, CI, 25.6%-37.3%; moderate 36.7%, CI, 30.7%-42.3%; high 34.4%, CI, 28.3%-40.2%) among recent baseline cannabis smokers. In cross-sectional analyses conducted at follow-up the proportion of cigarette smokers intending to quit smoking cigarettes in the next 30 days did not differ by cannabis smoking status (p=0.83).

Conclusions: Results do not support the hypothesis that cannabis smoking inhibits quitting cigarette smoking among adults.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34348959/

“Results do not support the hypothesis that cannabis smoking inhibits quitting cigarette smoking among adults.” https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2021/08/04/1055-9965.EPI-20-1810

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Risk and benefit of cannabis prescription for chronic non-cancer pain

Taylor and Francis Online“Objectives: We investigated whether cannabis usage was associated with reduced opioid usage, and the rates of opioid and cannabis use disorders among chronic pain patients who had been prescribed medical cannabis.

Results: Of the 100 participants aged 18-70 years (compliance 67% (aged >40) and 33% (aged ≤ 40y)), 76 ever used opioids. Of them, 93% decreased or stopped opioids following cannabis initiation. Ten patients (10%), 17.4% of the ≤40 y age group, met the criteria for cannabis use disorder. Compared to those who did not meet the criteria, their lifetime depression was higher (80% vs. 43.2%, respectively, P=.042), and they were less educated (12.2 ± 0.6y vs. 13.5 ± 2.1y, p = 0.05).

Conclusions: Cannabis usage was associated with reduced opioid usage. The prevalence of cannabis use disorder was high among the younger participants who also had a lower study compliance rate, suggesting the higher actual prevalence of cannabis use disorder. While medical cannabis may help reduce opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain patients, younger age, depression, and other risk factors should be carefully evaluated before cannabis is prescribed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34338621/

“Cannabis usage was associated with reduced opioid usage.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10550887.2021.1956673?journalCode=wjad20

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Combination therapy with cannabidiol and chemotherapeutics in canine urothelial carcinoma cells

“Background: Canine urothelial carcinoma is the most common form of canine bladder cancer. Treatment with chemotherapy has variable response rates leading to most dogs succumbing to their disease within a year. Cannabidiol is an emerging treatment within the field of oncology. In reported in vivo studies, cannabidiol has induced apoptosis, reduced cell migration, and acted as a chemotherapy sensitizer in various human tumor types. The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of cannabidiol on canine urothelial carcinoma cell viability and apoptosis as both a single agent and in combination with chemotherapy in vitro.

Results: Cannabidiol reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis in canine urothelial cells as determined by crystal violet viability assay and annexin V/propidium iodide flow cytometry. Furthermore, combinations of cannabidiol with mitoxantrone and vinblastine chemotherapy yielded significantly reduced cell viability and increased apoptosis compared to single agent treatment alone. The drug interactions were deemed synergistic based on combination index calculations. Conversely, the combination of cannabidiol and carboplatin did not result in decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis compared to single agent treatment. Combination index calculations suggested an antagonistic interaction between these drugs. Finally, the combination of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug piroxicam with cannabidiol did not significantly affect cell viability, although, some cell lines demonstrated decreased cell viability when mitoxantrone was combined with piroxicam.

Conclusions: Cannabidiol showed promising results as a single agent or in combination with mitoxantrone and vinblastine for treatment of canine urothelial carcinoma cells. Further studies are justified to investigate whether these results are translatable in vivo.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34352013/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid derived from the Cannabis sativa plant with well-documented analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic effects. This study determined that CBD treatment reduced viability and induced cell death in canine urothelial carcinoma cells in vitro. Taken together, these results suggest that CBD may be a potential treatment for use in combination with chemotherapeutic agents to improve canine UC carcinoma response rates and survival.”

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0255591

 

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Cannabis Improves Stuttering: Case Report and Interview with the Patient

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Introduction: Speech dysfluency, often referred to as stuttering, is a frequent speech disorder encountered in about 5% of children. Although in the majority of people affected, symptoms improve in adulthood, in some patients, stuttering persists and significantly impairs everyday functioning and quality of life. Treatment for stuttering includes speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. However, a substantial number of patients do not benefit sufficiently from these treatment strategies or are even treatment resistant. 

Methods: We present the case of a 20-year-old male with treatment-resistant stuttering, who markedly improved after treatment with medicinal cannabis. 

Results: Besides improved speech fluency as assessed by several phoniatric tests, we observed remission of (social) anxiety, improved mood, and reduced stress, resulting in an overall improvement of quality of life after cannabis therapy. The patient, in addition, reported improved attention, concentration, and sleep, increased self-confidence, and better social life. No side effects occurred. Over a time period of more than a year, treatment was equally effective. In an interview, the patient describes his personal view and the influence of cannabis-based treatment on his life. 

Conclusions: Medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering, but these preliminary data have to be confirmed in controlled studies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34314602/

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2021.0060

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Use and caregiver-reported efficacy of medical cannabis in children and adolescents in Switzerland

SpringerLink“Evidence on the use and efficacy of medical cannabis for children is limited. We examined clinical and epidemiological characteristics of medical cannabis treatment and caregiver-reported effects in children and adolescents in Switzerland.

We collected clinical data from children and adolescents (< 18 years) who received Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or a combination of the two between 2008 and 2019 in Switzerland. Out of 205 contacted families, 90 agreed to participate. The median age at the first prescription was 11.5 years (interquartile range (IQR) 6-16), and 32 patients were female (36%). Fifty-one (57%) patients received CBD only and 39 (43%) THC. Patients were more likely to receive THC therapy if one of the following symptoms or signs were present: spasticity, pain, lack of weight gain, vomiting, or nausea, whereas seizures were the dominant indication for CBD therapy.

Improvements were reported in 59 (66%) study participants.

The largest treatment effects were reported for pain, spasticity, and frequency of seizures in participants treated with THC, and for those treated with pure CBD, the frequency of seizures. However, 43% of caregivers reported treatment interruptions, mainly because of lack of improvement (56%), side effects (46%), the need for a gastric tube (44%), and cost considerations (23%).

Conclusions: The effects of medical cannabis in children and adolescents with chronic conditions are unknown except for rare seizure disorders, but the caregiver-reported data analysed here may justify trials of medical cannabis with standardized concentrations of THC or CBD to assess its efficacy in the young.

What is Known: • The use of medical cannabis (THC and CBD) to treat a variety of diseases among children and adolescents is increasing. • In contrast to adults, there is no evidence to support the use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain and spasticity in children, but substantial evidence to support the use of CBD in children with rare seizure disorders.

What is New: • This study provides important insights into prescription practices, dosages, and treatment outcomes in children and adolescents using medical cannabis data from a real-life setting.

• The effects of medical cannabis in children and adolescents with chronic conditions shown in our study support trials of medical cannabis for chronic conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34309706/

“For two thirds of participants treated with standardized THC or CBD preparations, the caregiver reported an improvement in their condition and well-being. Medical cannabis could be a promising and useful therapy for children and adolescents with neurological conditions.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00431-021-04202-z

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