Systematic review of systematic reviews for medical cannabinoids: Pain, nausea and vomiting, spasticity, and harms.

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“To determine the effects of medical cannabinoids on pain, spasticity, and nausea and vomiting, and to identify adverse events.

Systematic reviews with 2 or more randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that focused on medical cannabinoids for pain, spasticity, or nausea and vomiting were included.

 

There is reasonable evidence that cannabinoids improve nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.

They might improve spasticity (primarily in multiple sclerosis).

There is some uncertainty about whether cannabinoids improve pain, but if they do, it is neuropathic pain”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29449262

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Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly.

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“There is a substantial growth in the use of medical cannabis in recent years and with the aging of the population, medical cannabis is increasingly used by the elderly.

We aimed to assess the characteristics of elderly people using medical cannabis and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the treatment.

Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. Cannabis use may decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29398248

“Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids: study” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-medical-cannabis-significantly-safer-elderly.html
“Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/aabu-mcs021318.php
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The Grass Might Be Greener: Medical Marijuana Patients Exhibit Altered Brain Activity and Improved Executive Function after 3 Months of Treatment.

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“The vast majority of states have enacted full or partial medical marijuana (MMJ) programs, causing the number of patients seeking certification for MMJ use to increase dramatically in recent years.

In the present study, MMJ patients seeking treatment for a variety of documented medical conditions were assessed prior to initiating MMJ treatment and after 3 months of treatment as part of a larger longitudinal study.

Following 3 months of treatment, MMJ patients demonstrated improved task performance accompanied by changes in brain activation patterns within the cingulate cortex and frontal regions.

Interestingly, after MMJ treatment, brain activation patterns appeared more similar to those exhibited by healthy controls from previous studies than at pre-treatment, suggestive of a potential normalization of brain function relative to baseline.

Moreover, patients in the current study also reported improvements in clinical state and health-related measures as well as notable decreases in prescription medication use, particularly opioids and benzodiapezines after 3 months of treatment.

Further research is needed to clarify the specific neurobiologic impact, clinical efficacy, and unique effects of MMJ for a range of indications and how it compares to recreational MJ use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29387010

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00983/full

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Medical Cannabis: The Oncology Nurse’s Role in Patient Education About the Effects of Marijuana on Cancer Palliation

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“Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is legal either medicinally or recreationally in 29 states and the District of Columbia, with a majority of the U.S. adult population now living in states where cannabis is legal for medicinal use. As an advocate for patient autonomy and informed choice, the oncology nurse has an ethical responsibility to educate patients about and support their use of cannabis for palliation.

OBJECTIVES:

This article aims to discuss the human endocannabinoid system as a basis for better understanding the palliative and curative nature of cannabis as a medicine, as well as review cannabis delivery methods and the emerging role of the oncology nurse in this realm.

FINDINGS:

The oncology nurse can play a pivotal role in supporting patients’ use of cannabis for palliation”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29350699

https://cjon.ons.org/cjon/22/1/medical-cannabis-oncology-nurse-s-role-patient-education-about-effects-marijuana-cancer

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Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health.

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“Cannabis does have therapeutic properties for certain indications.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29302228

“The legislative policies that have been established to reduce the risks in relation to cannabis have long represented an obstacle to research concerning medical cannabis use. Improved knowledge of the endocannabinoid system and of exocannabinoids has proven that cannabis may have significant therapeutic effects.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741114/

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Medical Cannabis, a Beneficial High in Treatment of Blepharospasm? An Early Observation.

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“The objective of this study was to observe the effect of medical cannabis in benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) as an adjunct to botulinum toxin.

 

Three out of four patients (75%) reported symptomatic improvement.

Medical cannabis is an accepted therapy for muscle spastic disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29339959

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01658107.2017.1318150?journalCode=ioph20

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Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing.

European Journal of Internal Medicine

“Cannabis has been employed medicinally throughout history, but its recent legal prohibition, biochemical complexity and variability, quality control issues, previous dearth of appropriately powered randomised controlled trials, and lack of pertinent education have conspired to leave clinicians in the dark as to how to advise patients pursuing such treatment.

With the advent of pharmaceutical cannabis-based medicines (Sativex/nabiximols and Epidiolex), and liberalisation of access in certain nations, this ignorance of cannabis pharmacology and therapeutics has become untenable.

In this article, the authors endeavour to present concise data on cannabis pharmacology related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) et al., methods of administration (smoking, vaporisation, oral), and dosing recommendations. Adverse events of cannabis medicine pertain primarily to THC, whose total daily dose-equivalent should generally be limited to 30mg/day or less, preferably in conjunction with CBD, to avoid psychoactive sequelae and development of tolerance.

CBD, in contrast to THC, is less potent, and may require much higher doses for its adjunctive benefits on pain, inflammation, and attenuation of THC-associated anxiety and tachycardia. Dose initiation should commence at modest levels, and titration of any cannabis preparation should be undertaken slowly over a period of as much as two weeks.

Suggestions are offered on cannabis-drug interactions, patient monitoring, and standards of care, while special cases for cannabis therapeutics are addressed: epilepsy, cancer palliation and primary treatment, chronic pain, use in the elderly, Parkinson disease, paediatrics, with concomitant opioids, and in relation to driving and hazardous activities.”

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Decisive role of P42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase in Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced migration of human mesenchymal stem cells.

Related image “In past years, medical interest in Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive ingredient of the Cannabis plant, has been renewed due to the elucidation of the endocannabinoid system and diverse other receptor targets involved in biological cannabinoid effects.

The present study therefore investigates the impact of THC on the migration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which are known to be involved in various regenerative processes such as bone healing.

Collectively, this study demonstrates THC to exert a promigratory effect on MSCs via a CB1 receptor-dependent activation of p42/44 MAPK phosphorylation. This pathway may be involved in regenerative effects of THC and could be a target of pharmacological intervention.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29285308

“Collectively and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting a promigratory impact of THC on MSCs, which may be an additional mechanism in the complex network of regenerative action of cannabinoids.”   http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path[]=22517&path[]=71182

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Provider Perspectives on Use of Medical Marijuana in Children With Cancer.

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“Although medical marijuana (MM) may have utility in the supportive care of children with serious illness, it remains controversial.

We investigated interdisciplinary provider perspectives on legal MM use in children with cancer.

Most pediatric oncology providers are willing to consider MM use in children with cancer and receive frequent inquiries.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29233937

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/12/08/peds.2017-0559.long

“Medical Marijuana For Children With Cancer Broadly Supported By Doctors. An overwhelming majority of health care professionals who care for children with cancer would be willing to help those children get medical marijuana” https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2017/12/12/medical-marijuana-for-children-with-cancer-broadly-supported-by-doctors/#3d31cf08795d

“Most doctors would allow medical marijuana for children with cancer, study finds. A considerable majority of medical physicians would help children treat cancer with medical cannabis, a new study suggests.” http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/12/12/most-doctors-would-allow-medical-marijuana-for-children-with-cancer-study-finds/

“Clinicians Support Medical Marijuana Use in Children With Cancer, But Lack Knowledge” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2672986

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HIV-infected cannabis users have lower circulating CD16+ monocytes and IP-10 levels compared to non-using HIV patients.

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“Chronic immune activation and elevated numbers of circulating activated monocytes (CD16) are implicated in HIV-associated neuroinflammation.

The objective was to compare the level of circulating CD16 monocytes and interferon-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) between HIV-infected cannabis users (HIV+MJ+) and non-cannabis users (HIV+MJ-), and determine whether in vitro Δ-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a constituent of cannabis, affected CD16 expression as well as IP-10 production by monocytes.

RESULTS:

HIV+MJ+ donors possessed a lower level of circulating CD16 monocytes and serum IP-10, compared to HIV+MJ- donors. Further, monocytes from HIV+MJ+ donors were unable to induce CD16 expression when treated with in vitro IFNα, while HIV-MJ- and HIV+MJ- donors displayed pronounced CD16 induction, suggesting anti-inflammatory effects by cannabis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Components of cannabis, including THC, may decelerate peripheral monocyte processes that are implicated in HIV-associated neuroinflammation.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29194121

http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/Abstract/publishahead/HIV_infected_cannabis_users_have_lower_circulating.97348.aspx

“Medical Cannabis May Improve Neurocognitive Disorder in Patients With HIV. Medical marijuana could help prevent the development of neurocognitive disorders in patients with HIV, according to a new study. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the prominent compound in marijuana, was found to slow the process of neurodegeneration — a condition common in about half of all patients with HIV — according to a study from researchers at Michigan State University (MSU).” https://www.specialtypharmacytimes.com/news/medical-cannabis-may-improve-neurocognitive-disorder-in-patients-with-hiv

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer. Norbert Kaminski, director of Michigan State University‘s Institute for Integrative Toxicology, has found that a chemical in marijuana, known as THC, can potentially slow the process of mental decline that can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients.” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-12-marijuana-hiv-patients-mental-stamina.html

“New Research Says A Chemical in Marijuana May Help HIV Patients Maintain Their Mental Fortitude. “The patients who didn’t smoke marijuana had a very high level of inflammatory cells compared to those who did use. In fact, those who used marijuana had levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.”” http://game360.co/2017/12/new-research-says-chemical-marijuana-may-help-hiv-patients-maintain-mental-fortitude/

“Cannabis could prevent mental decline in up to 50 percent of HIV sufferers, new research reveals. Patients who use marijuana have fewer inflammatory white blood cells, which are involved in the immune system, a study found. This could save infected people from mental decline, which affects up to 50 percent of sufferers due to ongoing inflammation in the brain as a result of the immune system constantly fighting the virus. Lead author Professor Norbert Kaminski from Michigan State University, said: ‘Those who used marijuana had [inflammatory cell] levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.'” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5174379/Cannabis-prevent-mental-decline-HIV-sufferers.html

“Marijuana may help increase mental strength in HIV patients”  http://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/marijuana-may-help-increase-mental-strength-in-hiv-patients/145504

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