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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Dramatic response to Laetrile and cannabidiol (CBD) oil in a patient with metastatic low grade serous ovarian carcinoma.

Gynecologic Oncology Reports

“Complimentary alternative medicine use is common in women with gynecologic cancers. Cannabinoid receptors are potential therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer. Communication with patients is critical regarding use of alternative therapies.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31193514

In this case report, we present the case of a female patient who demonstrated disease response after declining standard therapy and taking a combination of Laetrile and CBD oil. Previous clinical trials in humans have demonstrated no therapeutic effect in cancer patients taking Laetrile. However, basic science studies have identified cannabinoid receptors in ovarian cancer as potential therapeutic targets for cannabinoid use in treating malignancy.

In this case report, we highlight a dramatic response to combination Laetrile and CBD oil in a patient with widely metastatic Low grade serous ovarian cancer (LGSOC).

Laetrile is a semi-synthetic version of amygdaline, a chemical compound found in plants and fruit seeds. Both Laetrile and amygdaline contain cyanide within a common structural component. Theoretically, Laetrile has anti-cancer effects when cyanide is released via enzymatic degradation. However, a Cochrane review published in 2015 found no randomized or quasi randomized control trials supporting the use of Laetrile in cancer patients. Further, they argued that due to the risk of cyanide poisoning, Laetrile use should be discouraged in patients seeking the compound for alternative cancer therapy. Concerns for toxicity in combination with inability to demonstrate clinical efficacy led to an effective ban on the substance by the FDA in the 1980s. Nevertheless, the substance remains available for purchase in variable formulations commercially.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound naturally derived from the cannabis plant.

The anti-cancer effects of CBD have been evaluated predominantly in the laboratory setting. Interestingly, ovarian cancer cell lines express GPR55, a target that is inhibited indirectly by CBD and that plays a role in prostate and ovarian cancer cell proliferation. Mouse model studies have also demonstrated cannabinoids inhibit tumor cell growth and induce apoptosis in gliomas, lymphomas, prostate, breast, lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer cells.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352578919300517?via%3Dihub

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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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Availability of legalized cannabis reduces demand for illegal cannabis among Canadian cannabis users: evidence from a behavioural economic substitution paradigm.

“In the context of cannabis legalization, an important question among clinicians, policymakers, and the public is whether availability of legal cannabis will significantly reduce consumption (demand) of illegal cannabis.

Using paradigms from behavioural economics, we tested the prediction that legal cannabis would be an asymmetrical substitute for illegal cannabis, with legal cannabis operating as a superior commodity based on its regulated status. In a sample of 289 adult cannabis users in Ontario, we found evidence of substitutability for both legal and illegal cannabis, but significantly lower substitutability of illegal for legal cannabis, a pattern that was also present for price elasticity (α) and Pmax.

Thus, the data indicated asymmetric substitution such that the availability of legal cannabis substantially decreased demand for illegal cannabis, but a significantly smaller effect in reverse.

These results suggest that the introduction of legal cannabis into the market may disrupt and reduce illegal purchases, contributing to the reduction of the potential harms associated with the illegal market.

However, in revealing price windows in which legal cannabis is preferred over the contraband alternative, these data also have significant implications for pricing policies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30523535

https://link.springer.com/article/10.17269%2Fs41997-018-0160-4

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Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia

jcm-logo“Chronic pain may be treated by medical cannabis. Yet, there is scarce evidence to support the role of medical cannabis in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The aim of the study was to investigate the characteristics, safety, and effectiveness of medical cannabis therapy for fibromyalgia.

Results: Among the 367 fibromyalgia patients, the mean age was 52.9 ± 15.1, of whom 301 (82.0%) were women. Twenty eight patients (7.6%) stopped the treatment prior to the six months follow-up. The six months response rate was 70.8%. Pain intensity (scale 0–10) reduced from a median of 9.0 at baseline to 5.0 (p < 0.001), and 194 patients (81.1%) achieved treatment response. In a multivariate analysis, age above 60 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.34, 95% C.I 0.16–0.72), concerns about cannabis treatment (OR 0.36, 95% C.I 0.16–0.80), spasticity (OR 2.26, 95% C.I 1.08–4.72), and previous use of cannabis (OR 2.46 95% C.I 1.06–5.74) were associated with treatment outcome. The most common adverse effects were mild and included dizziness (7.9%), dry mouth (6.7%), and gastrointestinal symptoms (5.4%).

Conclusion: Medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Standardization of treatment compounds and regimens are required.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/8/6/807

“Medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31195754

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Marijuana as a Substitute for Prescription Medications: A Qualitative Study.

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“Over the past few decades in the United States, marijuana for medical purposes has become increasingly prevalent. Initial qualitative and epidemiological research suggests that marijuana may be a promising substitute for traditional pharmacotherapies.

Objectives: This qualitative study examined perceptions relating to (1) using medical marijuana in comparison to other prescription medications and (2) user perception of policy issues that limit adoption of medical marijuana use.

Results: Three themes emerged related to medical marijuana use, including (1) comparison of medical marijuana to other medications (i.e., better and/or fewer side effects than prescription medications, improves quality of life), (2) substitution of marijuana for other medications (i.e., in addition to or instead of), and (3) how perception of medical marijuana policy impacts use (i.e., stigma, travel, cost, and lack of instruction regarding use).

Conclusions: Several factors prevent pervasive medical marijuana use, including stigma, cost, and the inability for healthcare providers to relay instructions regarding dosing, strain, and method of use. Findings suggest that medical patients consider marijuana to be a viable alternative for opioids and other prescription medications, though certain policy barriers inhibit widespread implementation of marijuana as a treatment option.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31179810

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10826084.2019.1618336?journalCode=isum20

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Medical Marijuana in the Pediatric Population With Epilepsy—What You Should Know

Journal of Pediatric Health Care Home

“This article discusses the controversial but promising topic of medical marijuana (MM) use in the pediatric population with epilepsy. Included is the importance of MM throughout history, the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and a literature review that provides anecdotal evidence of the positive effect MM has on children suffering from seizures. From this literature review, dosage for treatment and management is provided. Also discussed is the recent FDA-approved pharmaceutical grade CBD product, Epidiolex, for treatment of two pediatric-onset seizure syndromes, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet. Clinical implications regarding adverse side effects of MM use are also discussed. The aim of this article is to arm providers with contemporary knowledge on the risks and benefits of MM use in the pediatric population with epilepsy, which may boost their skills and confidence in educating and advocating for children with seizures. This novel, ever-changing medication is in the forefront of history and the news, making this topic especially important for review.”

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Marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease?

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“Marijuana is popular in the United States and is being widely legalized for recreational and medicinal purposes. It remains a Schedule 1 substance without fully proven risks and benefits; yet, it is increasingly available in many US states and territories.

Cannabis might have medicinal efficacy in Parkinson’s disease as a form of medical marijuana. Endocannabinoid receptors exist throughout the nervous system and are documented to influence receptors affecting a wide variety of areas. Neuroprotective aspects might be induced by cannabis exposure that might yield benefit against the nigrostriatal degeneration of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Animal investigations support suggestions of improvement in bradykinesia and/or tremors, but this is unsubstantiated in human studies. However, some patient surveys and anecdotal or case reports indicate that marijuana attenuates some motor manifestations of parkinsonism and also of non-motor, mood and/or cognitive symptoms. Medical marijuana might benefit motor and nonmotor aspects of Parkinson’s disease patients. Currently, these assertions are not substantiated in human investigations and cannabis can also induce side effects. Until studies clarify the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapy with cannabis products, medical marijuana remains largely without scientific endorsement. Research has yet to document the full benefits, risks, and clinical applications of marijuana as a treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31037227

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Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates oxycodone self-administration under extended access conditions.

Neuropharmacology

“Growing nonmedical use of prescription opioids is a global problem, motivating research on ways to reduce use and combat addiction.

Medical cannabis (“medical marijuana”) legalization has been associated epidemiologically with reduced opioid harms and cannabinoids have been shown to modulate effects of opioids in animal models.

This study was conducted to determine if Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhances the behavioral effects of oxycodone.

Together these data demonstrate additive effects of THC and oxycodone and suggest the potential use of THC to enhance therapeutic efficacy, and to reduce the abuse, of opioids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30980837

“Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhances the antinociceptive effects of oxycodone. Vaporized and injected THC reduces oxycodone self-administration. Cannabinoids may reduce opioid use for analgesia. Cannabinoids may reduce nonmedical opioid use.”  

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819301212?via%3Dihub

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The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on the Health and Labor Supply of Older Adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

 Journal of Policy Analysis and Management banner

“Older adults are at elevated risk of reducing labor supply due to poor health, partly because of high rates of symptoms that may be alleviated by medical marijuana. Yet, surprisingly little is known about how this group responds to medical marijuana laws (MMLs). We quantify the effects of state medical marijuana laws on the health and labor supply of adults age 51 and older, focusing on the 55 percent with one or more medical conditions with symptoms that may respond to medical marijuana. We use longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study to estimate event study and differences‐in‐differences regression models. Three principle findings emerge from our analysis. First, active state medical marijuana laws lead to lower pain and better self‐assessed health among older adults. Second, state medical marijuana laws lead to increases in older adult labor supply, with effects concentrated on the intensive margin. Third, the effects of MMLs are largest among older adults with a health condition that would qualify for legal medical marijuana use under current state laws. Findings highlight the role of health policy in supporting work among older adults and the importance of including older adults in assessments of state medical marijuana laws.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pam.22122

https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2019/medical-marijuana-laws-linked-to-health-and-labor-supply-benefits-in-older-adults.html?fbclid=IwAR2X_qV1jKU4Hj41KBHAr25o20CBZrWEIqfkcxCxzepC_2NLvsSRxeCNA9g

“Medical marijuana may increase productivity in older adults, Johns Hopkins study suggests” https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/national/medical-marijuana-may-increase-productivity-in-older-adults-johns-hopkins-study-suggests

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