The effect of cannabis laws on opioid use.

International Journal of Drug Policy“Many Americans rely on opioids at varying dosages to help ameliorate their suffering. However, empirical evidence is mounting that opioids are ineffective at controlling non-cancer related chronic pain, and many argue the strategies meant to relieve patient suffering are contributing to the growing opioid epidemic.

Concurrently, several states now allow the use of medical cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic pain. Needing more exploration is the impact of cannabis laws on general opioid reliance and whether chronic pain sufferers are opting to use cannabis medicinally instead of opioids.

METHODS:

This study investigates the effect of Medical Marijuana Laws (MML)s on opioid use and misuse controlling for a number of relevant factors using data from several years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and multivariate logistic regression and longitudinal analysis strategies.

RESULTS:

Results provide evidence that MMLs may be effective at reducing opioid reliance as survey respondents living in states with medical cannabis legislation are much less apt to report using opioid analgesics than people living in states without such laws, net other factors. Results further indicate that the presence of medicinal cannabis legislation appears to have no influence over opioid misuse.

CONCLUSION:

MMLs may ultimately serve to attenuate the consequences of opioid overreliance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31590091

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395919302567?via%3Dihub

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Medical cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease: real-life experience of mode of consumption and assessment of side-effects.

 

Image result for ovid journal“Use of medical cannabis for improving symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease is increasing. However, reports on long-term outcomes are lacking. This prospective, observational study assessed the effects of licensed cannabis use among patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

METHODS:

Dose and mode of consumption, adverse events, use of other medications, and long-term effects were evaluated among 127 patients with inflammatory bowel disease using legalized medical cannabis. Blood count, albumin, and C-reactive protein were assessed before, 1 month, and at least 1 year after medical cannabis therapy was initiated. Questionnaires on disease activity, patient function, and signs of addiction were completed by patients and by a significant family member to assess its effects.

RESULTS:

The average dose used was 31 ± 15 g/month. The average Harvey-Bradshaw index improved from 14 ± 6.7 to 7 ± 4.7 (P < 0.001) during a median follow-up of 44 months (interquartile range, 24-56 months). There was a slight, but statistically significant, average weight gain of 2 kg within 1 year of cannabis use. The need for other medications was significantly reduced. Employment among patients increased from 65 to 74% (P < 0.05). We conclude that the majority of inflammatory bowel disease patients using cannabis are satisfied with a dose of 30 g/month. We did not observe negative effects of cannabis use on the patients’ social or occupational status.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cannabis use by inflammatory bowel disease patients can induce clinical improvement and is associated with reduced use of medication and slight weight gain. Most patients respond well to a dose of 30 g/month, or 21 mg Δ9-tetra- hydrocannabinol (THC) and 170 mg Cannabidiol (CBD) per day.”

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Cannabis use in cancer: a survey of the current state at BC Cancer before recreational legalization in Canada.

Image result for Curr Oncol.“Cancer patients experience multiple symptoms throughout their illness, and some report benefit from the use of cannabis. There are concerns that many patients are accessing products inappropriate for their situation and potentially putting themselves at risk.

In the present study, we aimed to capture the prevalence of cannabis use among cancer patients at BC Cancer before recreational legalization in Canada and to identify the reasons that patients take cannabis, the various routes of administration they use, and the reasons that prior users stopped.

RESULTS:

Of surveys sent to 2998 patients, 821 (27.4%) were returned and included in analysis. Of those respondents, 23% were currently using cannabis-based products, almost exclusively for medical purposes, and an additional 28% had been users in the past (most often recreationally). Of the patients currently using cannabis, 31% had medical authorization. The most common symptoms that the current users were targeting were pain, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety; many were also hoping for anticancer effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

More than half the respondents had tried cannabis at some time, and almost one quarter of respondents were currently taking cannabis to help manage their symptoms or treat their cancer, or both. Many more patients would consider use with appropriate guidance from a health care professional. More research is needed to inform physicians and patients about safe uses and doses and about the potential adverse effects of cannabis use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31548810

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Potential of Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands as Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.

 “Substance use disorder (SUD) is a major public health crisis worldwide, and effective treatment options are limited.

During the past 2 decades, researchers have investigated the impact of a variety of pharmacological approaches to treat SUD, one of which is the use of medical cannabis or cannabinoids.

Significant progress was made with the discovery of rimonabant, a selective CB1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist (also an inverse agonist), as a promising therapeutic for SUDs and obesity. However, serious adverse effects such as depression and suicidality led to the withdrawal of rimonabant (and almost all other CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists) from clinical trials worldwide in 2008.

Since then, much research interest has shifted to other cannabinoid-based strategies, such as peripheral CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists, neutral CB1R antagonists, allosteric CB1R modulators, CB2R agonists, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitors, fatty acid binding protein (FABP) inhibitors, or nonaddictive phytocannabinoids with CB1R or CB2R-binding profiles, as new therapeutics for SUDs.

In this article, we first review recent progress in research regarding the endocannabinoid systems, cannabis reward versus aversion, and the underlying receptor mechanisms. We then review recent progress in cannabinoid-based medication development for the treatment of SUDs.

As evidence continues to accumulate, neutral CB1R antagonists (such as AM4113), CB2R agonists (JWH133, Xie2-64), and nonselective phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol, β-caryophyllene, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabivarin) have shown great therapeutic potential for SUDs, as shown in experimental animals.

Several cannabinoid-based medications (e.g., dronabinol, nabilone, PF-04457845) that entered clinical trials have shown promising results in reducing withdrawal symptoms in cannabis and opioid users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31549358

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-019-00664-w

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A National Survey of Marijuana Use Among US Adults With Medical Conditions, 2016-2017.

Image result for JAMA network“This study found that marijuana use was more common among adults with medical conditions than those without such conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31539078/

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2751558

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Perception of Benefits and Harms of Medical Cannabis among Seriously Ill Patients in an Outpatient Palliative Care Practice.

View details for Journal of Palliative Medicine cover image

“Patients with serious illness often have pain, uncontrolled symptoms, and poor quality of life. Evidence continues to evolve regarding the role of cannabis to treat chronic pain, nausea, and anorexia. Little is known about how patients with serious illness perceive its benefits and harms. Given that an increasing number of clinicians across the United States are treating patients with medical cannabis, it is important for providers to understand patient beliefs about this modality. We assessed patient perceptions of benefits and harms of cannabis who obtained a medical cannabis card within an ambulatory palliative care (APC) practice.

Results: All 101 patients invited to participate completed the survey. A majority had cancer (76%) and were married (61%), disabled or retired (75%), older than 50 years of age (64%), and men (56%). Most patients ingested (61%) or vaporized (49%) cannabis products. A majority of respondents perceived cannabis to be important for their pain (96%) management. They reported that side effects were minimally bothersome, and drowsiness was the most commonly reported bothersome harm (28%). A minority of patients reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms (19%) and concerns for dependency (14%). The majority of patients were using concurrent prescription opioids (65%). Furthermore, a majority of cancer patients reported cannabis as being important for cancer cure (59%).

Conclusion: Patients living with serious illnesses who use cannabis in the context of a multidisciplinary APC practice use cannabis for curative intent and for pain and symptom control. Patients reported improved pain, other symptoms, and a sense of well-being with few reported harms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31539298

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2019.0211

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Medical cannabis for chronic pain: can it make a difference in pain management?

 “Globally, chronic pain is a major therapeutic challenge and affects more than 15% of the population. As patients with painful terminal diseases may face unbearable pain, there is a need for more potent analgesics.

Although opioid-based therapeutic agents received attention to manage severe pain, their adverse drug effects and mortality rate associated with opioids overdose are the major concerns.

Evidences from clinical trials showed therapeutic benefits of cannabis, especially delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinoids reduced neuropathic pain intensity in various conditions. Also, there are reports on using combination cannabinoid therapies for chronic pain management.

The association of cannabis dependence and addiction has been discussed much and the reports mentioned that it can be comparatively lower than other substances such as nicotine and alcohol.

More countries have decided to legalise the medicinal use of cannabis and marijuana.

Healthcare professionals should keep themselves updated with the changing state of medical cannabis and its applications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31535218

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00540-019-02680-y

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Insights into the role of cannabis in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.

Image result for therapeutic advances in gastroenterology“Cannabis, a drug made up of the flowers and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been used therapeutically for centuries. Ancient Chinese cultures have reported use in their medical practices, dating back as early as 2700 BC.  Although widely used recreationally during the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of medical cannabis has exploded over the last decade, as a result of mainstream cultural acceptance and legalization in several countries around the world.

Over the last decade, interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its constituents (e.g. cannabidiol) in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has escalated. Cannabis has been increasingly approved for a variety of medical conditions in several jurisdictions around the world.

In animal models, cannabinoids have been shown to improve intestinal inflammation in experimental models of IBD through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system. However, the few randomized controlled trials of cannabis or cannabidiol in patients with IBD have not demonstrated efficacy in modulating inflammatory disease activity.

Cannabis may be effective in the symptomatic management of IBD. Given the increasing utilization and cultural acceptance of cannabis, physicians need to be aware of its safety and efficacy in order to better counsel patients. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the role of cannabis in the management of patients with IBD.

There is emerging evidence that cannabis may play a role in the management of patients with IBD. Many patients are already using cannabis to help manage symptoms associated with the disease, and physicians cannot ignore this when taking histories and managing their patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31523278

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1756284819870977

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Medical Cannabis in Treatment of Resistant Familial Mediterranean Fever.

 Logo“Colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever can be treated by anti-IL-1 biologic therapy; however, such treatment needs approval by the health insurance company, and many patients are denied such treatment or do not respond to it.

CASE REPORT Two familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) patients, both homozygous for M694V mutation and resistant to colchicine treatment, were treated with medical cannabis. Prior to that, 1 patient was denied biologic treatment and the other had no significant response to anakinra.

Under medical cannabis treatment, both patients had remarkable improvement in the severity of the attacks and also a decrease in the frequency of the attacks, from once every 2 weeks to 1 attack every month in 1 patient; this patient had also a remarkable reduction in the C-reactive protein level during the attacks.

CONCLUSIONS Cannabis is a therapeutic option for treating the most complex patients with FMF.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31501406

https://www.amjcaserep.com/abstract/index/idArt/917180

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Promote Periodontal Cell Adhesion and Migration.

Journal of Clinical Periodontology banner“Medical and recreational cannabis use is increasing significantly, but its impacts on oral health remains unclear.

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active component in cannabis, on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration to explore its role in periodontal regeneration and wound healing.

RESULTS:

Both CB1 and CB2 were expressed in periodontal tissues but with different expression patterns. THC promoted periodontal cell wound healing by inducing HPLF cell adhesion and migration. This was mediated by focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation and its modulation of MAPK activities. The effect of cannabinoids on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration were mainly dependent on the CB2.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggested that cannabinoids may contribute to developing new therapeutics for periodontal regeneration and wound healing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31461164

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jcpe.13190

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