Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoid Use

medicina-logo“Cannabis products have been used for centuries by humans for recreational and medical purposes. Resent research, proposed the promising therapeutic potential of cannabis and related cannabinoids for a wide range of medical conditions, including psychiatric and neurological diseases.

This Special Issue presents the latest updates on medicinal cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids pharmacology, toxicology and new analytical methods to identify and quantify these compounds in conventional and non-conventional biological matrices. Moreover, it provides current data regarding their adverse effects, safety, application for medical purposes and their harmful effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32906770/

https://www.mdpi.com/1010-660X/56/9/453

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Druggable Targets in Endocannabinoid Signaling

 “Cannabis and cannabinoid-based extracts have long been utilized for their perceived therapeutic value, and support for the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes continues to increase worldwide.

Since the discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the primary psychoactive component of cannabis over 50 years ago, substantial effort has been directed toward detection of endogenous mediators of cannabinoid activity. The discovery of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol as two endogenous lipid mediators of cannabinoid-like effects (endocannabinoids) has inspired exponential growth in our understanding of this essential pathway, as well as the pathological conditions that result from dysregulated endocannabinoid signaling.

This review examines current knowledge of the endocannabinoid system including metabolic enzymes involved in biosynthesis and degradation and their receptors, and evaluates potential druggable targets for therapeutic intervention.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32894511/

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-50621-6_8

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Industrial Hemp ( Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) as an Emerging Source for Value-Added Functional Food Ingredients and Nutraceuticals

molecules-logo“Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae) is an ancient cultivated plant originating from Central Asia and historically has been a multi-use crop valued for its fiber, food, and medicinal uses. Various oriental and Asian cultures kept records of its production and numerous uses.

Due to the similarities between industrial hemp (fiber and grain) and the narcotic/medical type of Cannabis, the production of industrial hemp was prohibited in most countries, wiping out centuries of learning and genetic resources. In the past two decades, most countries have legalized industrial hemp production, prompting a significant amount of research on the health benefits of hemp and hemp products.

Current research is yet to verify the various health claims of the numerous commercially available hemp products. Hence, this review aims to compile recent advances in the science of industrial hemp, with respect to its use as value-added functional food ingredients/nutraceuticals and health benefits, while also highlighting gaps in our current knowledge and avenues of future research on this high-value multi-use plant for the global food chain.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32906622/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/18/4078

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Targeting Endocannabinoid Signaling: FAAH and MAG Lipase Inhibitors

Annual Reviews adds Remarq® across its collection of 47 journals – RedLink“Inspired by the medicinal properties of the plant Cannabis sativa and its principal component (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), researchers have developed a variety of compounds to modulate the endocannabinoid system in the human brain.

Inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which are the enzymes responsible for the inactivation of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, respectively, may exert therapeutic effects without inducing the adverse side effects associated with direct cannabinoid CB1 receptor stimulation by THC.

Here we review the FAAH and MAGL inhibitors that have reached clinical trials, discuss potential caveats, and provide an outlook on where the field is headed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32867595/

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-030220-112741

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Cannabis and the Gastrointestinal Tract

“Cannabis has been used for its medicinal purposes since ancient times. Its consumption leads to the activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 that, through specific mechanisms can lead to modulation and progression of inflammation or repair. The novel findings are linked to the medical use of Cannabis in gastrointestinal (GI) system.

Purpose: The objective of the present paper is to elucidate the role of Cannabis consumption in GI system. An additional aim is to review the information on the function of Cannabis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Methods and results: This review summarizes the recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands, as well as their metabolizing enzymes in normal GI function and its disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and possible adverse events. The synergism or antagonism between Cannabis’ active ingredients and the “entourage” plays a role in the efficacy of various strains. Some elements of Cannabis may alter disease severity as over-activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 can lead to changes of the commensal gut flora. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) contributes to gut homeostasis. The ability of ECS to modulate inflammatory responses demonstrates the capacity of ECS to preserve gastrointestinal (GI) function. Alterations of the ECS may predispose patients to pathologic disorders, including IBD. Clinical studies in IBD demonstrate that subjects benefit from Cannabis consumption as seen through a reduction of the IBD-inflammation, as well as through a decreased need for other medication. NAFLD is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver. The occurrence of inflammation in NAFLD leads to non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis (NASH). The use of Cannabis might reduce liver inflammation.

Conclusions: With limited evidence of efficacy and safety of Cannabis in IBD, IBS, and NAFLD, randomized controlled studies are required to examine its therapeutic efficacy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32762830/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/31242

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Understanding the basics of cannabidiol from cannabis to apply to therapeutics in epilepsy

Page Header“The compounds present in cannabis have been in use for both recreational and medicinal purposes for many centuries. Changes in the legislation in South Africa have led to an increase in the number of people interested in using these compounds for self-medication. Many of them may approach their general practitioner as the first source of information about possible therapeutic effects. It is important that medical professionals are able to give patients the correct information. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds in cannabis plants, and there is evidence that it can successfully treat certain patients with epilepsy. This review looks at the most recent evidence on the use of CBD in the treatment of epilepsy and explores the mechanisms behind these beneficial effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32657678/

http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12839

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The Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabinoids

antibiotics-logo“A post-antibiotic world is fast becoming a reality, given the rapid emergence of pathogens that are resistant to current drugs. Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover new classes of potent antimicrobial agents with novel modes of action.

Cannabis sativa is an herbaceous plant that has been used for millennia for medicinal and recreational purposes. Its bioactivity is largely due to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids.

Recently, these natural products and their analogs have been screened for their antimicrobial properties, in the quest to discover new anti-infective agents. This paper seeks to review the research to date on cannabinoids in this context, including an analysis of structure-activity relationships. It is hoped that it will stimulate further interest in this important issue.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32668669/

https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6382/9/7/406

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Pharmacological Analysis of Cannabis Sativa: A Potent Herbal Plant

“Genus Cannabis belong to family Cannabaceae and is traditionally used as medicinal plant against many diseases notably asthma, malaria, treatment of skin diseases, diabetes and headache. The plant Cannabis sativa L. is flowering and an annual herbaceous plant located to eastern Asia but now of cosmopolitan distribution due to extensive cultivation.

Aim of the study: The aim of review is to provide a complete evaluation of the botanical, ethnological and chemical aspects of Cannabis sativa L., and its importance in pharmacological studies.

Results and discussions: This article briefly reviews the botany, traditional knowledge, pharmacological and therapeutic application of the plant C. sativa. This is an attempt to compile and document information about the chemical constituent, pharmacological and therapeutic effects of C. sativa as important herbal drug due to its safety and effectiveness. Studies have revealed its use as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and improving testicular function in rats. Consumption of C. sativa is greater in all over the world among all other drugs of abuse in its various forms such as marijuana, hashish and cannabis oil. The study of herbal medicine spans the knowledge of biology, history, source, physical and chemical nature, and mechanism of action, traditional, medicinal and therapeutic use of drug. This article also provide knowledge about macroscopically and microscopically characters of Cannabis sativa with geographical sources. The wellknown cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabichromene (CBC) and their pharmacological properties and importance have been extensively studied. Hence, efforts are required to establish and validate evidence regarding safety and practices of Ayurveda medicines.

Conclusion: Thes studies will help in expanding the current therapeutic potential of C. sativa and it also provide a strong support to its future clinical use as herbal medicines having safe in use with no side effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32600228/

https://www.eurekaselect.com/183226/article

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A Cross-Sectional and Prospective Comparison of Medicinal Cannabis Users and Controls on Self-Reported Health

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Despite widespread legalization, the impact of medicinal cannabis use on patient-level health and quality of life (QOL) has not been carefully evaluated.

The objective of this study was to characterize self-reported demographics, health characteristics, QOL, and health care utilization of Cannabis Users compared with Controls.

Results: Cannabis Users self-reported significantly better QOL [t(1054)=−4.19, p<0.001], greater health satisfaction [t(1045)=−4.14, p<0.001], improved sleep [children: t(224)=2.90, p<0.01; adults: [t(758)=3.03, p<0.01], lower average pain severity [t(1150)=2.34, p<0.05], lower anxiety [t(1151)=4.38, p<0.001], and lower depression [t(1210)=5.77, p<0.001] compared with Controls. Cannabis Users reported using fewer prescription medications (rate ratio [RR]=0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77–0.96) and were less likely to have a past-month emergency department visit (RR=0.61; 95% CI: 0.44–0.84) or hospital admission (RR=0.54; 95% CI: 0.34–0.87). Controls who initiated cannabis use after baseline showed significant health improvements at follow-up, and the magnitude of improvement mirrored the between-group differences observed at baseline.

Conclusions: Cannabis use was associated with improved health and QOL. Longitudinal testing suggests that group differences may be due to the medicinal use of cannabis. Although bias related to preexisting beliefs regarding the health benefits of cannabis in this sample should be considered, these findings indicate that clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of defined cannabinoid products for specific health conditions are warranted.

The key finding of this study is that medicinal cannabis use was associated with more positive ratings of health and QOL, assessed across multiple domains. Prospective analyses found that Controls showed improvement in health and QOL if they initiated medicinal cannabis use, and that Cannabis Users showed diminished health and QOL if they stopped cannabis use.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2019.0096

“The Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana As Reported by Users. Using cannabis for medical reasons has been linked in a study to outcomes including better sleep, less anxiety, and taking fewer prescription medications.” https://www.newsweek.com/health-benefits-medical-marijuana-users-1511647

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Medicinal Cannabis Effective for Chronic Insomnia in Clinical Trial

April 2020 cover“A randomized double-blind clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of a medicinal cannabis formulation (ZTL-101; Zelira Therapeutics Ltd, Perth, Australia) for treating chronic insomnia showed that the therapy is effective and safe.

Participants treated with medicinal cannabis went to sleep faster, slept significantly longer, and went back to sleep sooner after waking. Those participants reported significant improvements in quality of life, including feeling rested after sleep, feeling less stressed and less fatigued, and overall improved functioning.

For the trial, 23 participants were treated with the therapy for 14 nights, and after a 1-week washout period, received a placebo for 14 nights. Each participant took a single dose (.5 ml of 11.5 mg total cannabinoids) or a double dose (1 ml of 23 mg total cannabinoids) of the therapy, delivered sublingually, according to their symptoms.

“The fact that ZTL-101 treatment achieved statistically significant, dose-responsive improvements across a broad range of key insomnia indices is impressive, particularly given the relatively short 2-week dosing window,” said Peter Eastwood, director, Centre for Sleep Science, University of Western Australia.”

https://practicalneurology.com/news/medicinal-cannabis-effective-for-chronic-insomnia-in-clinical-trial

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