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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Pharmacological characterisation of the CB 1 receptor antagonist activity of cannabidiol in the rat vas deferens bioassay

European Journal of Pharmacology“Cannabidiol is increasingly considered for treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. Binding studies suggest that cannabidiol binds to CB1 receptors. In the rat isolated vas deferens bioassay, a single electrical pulse causes a biphasic contraction from nerve-released ATP and noradrenaline. WIN 55,212-2 acts on prejunctional CB1 receptors to inhibit release of these transmitters. In this bioassay, we tested whether cannabidiol and SR141716 were acting as competitive antagonists of this receptor. Monophasic contractions mediated by ATP or noradrenaline in the presence of prazosin or NF449 (P2X1 inhibitor), respectively, were measured to a single electrical pulse delivered every 30 min. Following treatment with cannabidiol (10-100 μM) or SR141716 (0.003-10 μM), cumulative concentrations of WIN 55,212-2 (0.001-30 μM) were applied followed by a single electrical pulse. The WIN 55,212-2 concentration-contraction curve EC50 values were applied to global regression analysis to determine the pKB. The antagonist potency of cannabidiol at the CB1 receptor in the rat vas deferens bioassay matched the reported receptor binding affinity. Cannabidiol was a competitive antagonist of WIN 55,212-2 with pKB values of 5.90 when ATP was the effector transmitter and 5.29 when it was noradrenaline. Similarly, SR141716 was a competitive antagonist with pKB values of 8.39 for ATP and 7.67 for noradrenaline as the active transmitter. Cannabidiol’s low micromolar CB1 antagonist pKB values suggest that at clinical blood levels (1-3 μM) it may act as a CB1 antagonist at prejunctional neuronal sites with more potency when ATP is the effector than for noradrenaline.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34416240/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0014299921005860?via%3Dihub

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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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Cannabinoids for skin diseases and hair regrowth

“The use of cannabis for skin diseases and hair regrowth is at the preliminary stage.

Legalization: Many countries have approved cannabis for medical use; however, four countries Canada, Uruguay, South Africa, and Georgia have legalized it for both medical and recreational purposes.

The endocannabinoid system: The endocannabinoid system may maintain skin homeostasis; two notable endocannabinoids include 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA).

Routes of administration and pharmacokinetics: Topical cannabinoids can avoid the first-pass metabolism and reduce respiratory side effects; however, the high hydrophobicity of cannabinoids may hinder percutaneous absorption.

Skin disorders and hair growth: Human clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids may be used in eczema, acne, pruritus, and systemic sclerosis treatment. Cannabidiol (CBD) may enhance hair growth via multiple mechanisms.

Safety: Topical cannabis may cause mild side effects such as pruritus, burning, erythema, and stinging; they are relatively safer than inhalation and oral cannabis. Cannabis use may be associated with allergic symptoms and reduced immune response to live vaccination.

Cannabinoids in practice: Despite growing interest, dermatologists should be cautious prescribing cannabinoids due to insufficient clinical data on both efficacy and safety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34363728/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.14352

 

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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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Medical marijuana utilization in gynecologic cancer patients

Gynecologic Oncology Reports“Medical marijuana (MM) use is common among cancer patients, but relatively little is known about the usage patterns and efficacy of MM used by gynecologic cancer patients.

Methods: Demographic and clinical data were collected for gynecologic cancer patients prescribed MM between May 2016 and February 2019. The electronic medical record was used to query formulation prescribed, usage patterns, length of use, symptom relief, and side effect profile. Descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results: Of 45 gynecologic cancer patients prescribed MM, 89% were receiving chemotherapy; 56% were undergoing primary treatment. MM was used for a median of 5.2 months (range 0.6-25.4). Over 70% of patients reported improvement in nausea/vomiting, compared to 36% of patients using MM for pain relief (p = 0.02). Of 41 patients with follow-up information, 71% found MM improved at least one symptom.

Conclusions: Among a small sample of gynecologic cancer patients prescribed MM for symptom management, self-reported follow-up indicated symptom relief for the majority of patients and minimal therapy-related side effects. This data can prove useful for counseling gynecologic cancer patients on the efficacy and side effects of MM.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34258360/

“Among a small cohort of gynecologic cancer patients prescribed MM for symptom management, the majority reported improvement in at least one disease or treatment-related symptom and reported minimal side effects. Further larger prospective studies are needed to investigate specific formulations and indications in this patient population, but our data indicate that it is a safe and useful adjunct for symptom management among a diverse cohort of women with gynecologic cancer.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352578921001247?via%3Dihub

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Repurposing Cannabidiol as a Potential Drug Candidate for Anti-Tumor Therapies

biomolecules-logo“In recent years, evidence has accumulated that cannabinoids-especially the non-psychoactive compound, cannabidiol (CBD)-possess promising medical and pharmacological activities that might qualify them as potential anti-tumor drugs. This review is based on multiple studies summarizing different mechanisms for how CBD can target tumor cells including cannabinoid receptors or other constituents of the endocannabinoid system, and their complex activation of biological systems that results in the inhibition of tumor growth. CBD also participates in anti-inflammatory activities which are related to tumor progression, as demonstrated in preclinical models. Although the numbers of clinical trials and tested tumor entities are limited, there is clear evidence that CBD has anti-tumor efficacy and is well tolerated in human cancer patients. In summary, it appears that CBD has potential as a neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant drug in therapy for cancer.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33921049/

“It has been shown that CBD, either alone or in combination with other therapies, has the potential to act as a novel anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-pain drug in preclinical studies and first clinical trials. A few clinical trials have now demonstrated beneficial pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of the drug, and some anti-tumor activities at well-tolerated doses. Therefore, it can be assumed that CBD might be considered a potential candidate for neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant interventions in oncology.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/11/4/582/htm

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The Role of Cannabinoids as Anticancer Agents in Pediatric Oncology

cancers-logo“Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that bind to receptors in the human body and, in turn, modulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS). They can be endogenously produced, synthetic, or derived from the plant Cannabis sativa L.

Research over the past several decades has shown that the ECS is a cellular communication network essential to maintain multiple biological functions and the homeostasis of the body. Indeed, cannabinoids have been shown to influence a wide variety of biological effects, including memory, pain, reproduction, bone remodeling or immunity, to name a few.

Unsurprisingly, given these broad physiological effects, alterations of the ECS have been found in different diseases, including cancer. In recent years, the medical use of cannabis has been approved in different countries for a variety of human conditions. However, the use of these compounds, specifically as anticancer agents, remains controversial.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids do have anticancer activity in different tumor types such as breast cancer, melanoma, lymphoma and adult brain cancer. Specifically, phytocannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to induce apoptosis and inhibit proliferation of adult cancer cells, as well as modulate angiogenesis and metastasis.

Despite increasing evidence that cannabinoids elicit antitumor effects in adult cancers, there is minimal data available on their effects in children or in pediatric cancers despite public and clinical demand for information. Here we describe a comprehensive and critical review of what is known about the effects of cannabinoids on pediatric cancers, highlight current gaps in knowledge and identify the critical issues that need addressing before considering these promising but controversial drugs for use in pediatric oncology.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33466435/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/1/157

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Cannabis is associated with blood pressure reduction in older adults – A 24-hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring study

Patient–physician distance - European Journal of Internal Medicine“Background: Medical cannabis use is increasing rapidly in the past several years, with older adults being the fastest growing group. Nevertheless, the evidence for cardiovascular safety of cannabis use is scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cannabis on blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic parameters in older adults with hypertension.

Results: Twenty-six patients with a mean age of 70.42 ± 5.37 years, 53.8% females completed the study. At 3 months follow-up, the mean 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduced by 5.0 mmHg and 4.5 mmHg, respectively (p<0.001 for both). The nadir for the blood pressure and heart rate was achieved at 3 hours post-administration. The proportion of normal dippers changed from 27.3% before treatment to 45.5% afterward. No significant changes were seen in the different metabolic parameters assessed by blood tests, anthropometric measurements, or ECG exam.

Conclusion: amongst older adults with hypertension, cannabis treatment for 3 months was associated with a reduction in 24-hours systolic and diastolic blood pressure values with a nadir at 3 hours after cannabis administration.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33483174/

https://www.ejinme.com/article/S0953-6205(21)00005-4/fulltext

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