Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

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“The management of chronic pain is a complex challenge worldwide. Cannabis-based medicines (CBMs) have proven to be efficient in reducing chronic pain, although the topic remains highly controversial in this field.

OBJECTIVES:

This study’s aim is to conduct a conclusive review and meta-analysis, which incorporates all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in order to update clinicians’ and researchers’ knowledge regarding the efficacy and adverse events (AEs) of CBMs for chronic and postoperative pain treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current systematic review suggests that CBMs might be effective for chronic pain treatment, based on limited evidence, primarily for neuropathic pain (NP) patients. Additionally, GI AEs occurred more frequently when CBMs were administered via oral/oromucosal routes than by inhalation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28934780

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Challenges towards Revitalizing Hemp: A Multifaceted Crop.

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“Hemp has been an important crop throughout human history for food, fiber, and medicine. Despite significant progress made by the international research community, the basic biology of hemp plants remains insufficiently understood. Clear objectives are needed to guide future research. As a semi-domesticated plant, hemp has many desirable traits that require improvement, including eliminating seed shattering, enhancing the quantity and quality of stem fiber, and increasing the accumulation of phytocannabinoids. Methods to manipulate the sex of hemp plants will also be important for optimizing yields of seed, fiber, and cannabinoids. Currently, research into trait improvement is hindered by the lack of molecular techniques adapted to hemp. Here we review how addressing these limitations will help advance our knowledge of plant biology and enable us to fully domesticate and maximize the agronomic potential of this promising crop.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28886910

http://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/fulltext/S1360-1385(17)30177-2?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1360138517301772%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Parent use of cannabis for intractable pediatric epilepsy: Everyday empiricism and the boundaries of scientific medicine.

Social Science & Medicine

“Cannabis is an increasingly sought-after remedy for US children with intractable (biomedically uncontrollable) epilepsy. However, like other complementary-alternative medicine (CAM) modalities, and particularly as a federally illegal, stigmatized substance, it is unsanctioned by mainstream medicine. Parents are largely on their own when it comes to learning about, procuring, dispensing, and monitoring treatments. Exploring how they manage is crucial to better assist them. Moreover, it can illuminate how ‘research’ done on the ground by laypeople variously disrupts and reinforces lay-expert and science-non-science divides. To those ends, in 2016, 25 Southern California parents who used, had used, or sought to use cannabis pediatrically for epilepsy/seizures were interviewed regarding their evidentiary standards, research methods, and aims when trying the drug. Parents generally described their work as experimentation; they saw their efforts as adhering to authorized scientific practices and standards, and as contributing to the authorized medical cannabis knowledge base. Findings subverted assumptions, based on an outdated stereotype of CAM, that cannabis-using parents do not believe in biomedicine. Indeed, parents’ desire for their children’s biomedical demarginalization, combined with biomedical dependency and a high caregiver burden, fueled a collaborative stance. Implications for understanding the boundaries of science are explored, as are norms for parent agency as ill children’s care managers, radicalization among people affected by contested illnesses, and the future of ‘medical marijuana.'”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28865255

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953617304756?via%3Dihub

 

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Systematic Review of the Costs and Benefits of Prescribed Cannabis-Based Medicines for the Management of Chronic Illness: Lessons from Multiple Sclerosis.

PharmacoEconomics

“Cannabis-based medicines (CBMs) may offer relief from symptoms of disease; however, their additional cost needs to be considered alongside their effectiveness. We sought to review the economic costs and benefits of prescribed CBMs in any chronic illness, and the frameworks used for their economic evaluation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prescribed CBMs are a potentially cost-effective add-on treatment for MS spasticity; however, this evidence is uncertain. Further investment in randomised trials with in-built economic evaluations is warranted for a wider range of clinical indications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28866778

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40273-017-0565-6

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Cannabinoids in Parkinson’s Disease.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“The endocannabinoid system plays a regulatory role in a number of physiological processes and has been found altered in different pathological conditions, including movement disorders. The interactions between cannabinoids and dopamine in the basal ganglia are remarkably complex and involve both the modulation of other neurotransmitters (γ-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, opioids, peptides) and the activation of different receptors subtypes (cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2).

In the last years, experimental studies contributed to enrich this scenario reporting interactions between cannabinoids and other receptor systems (transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 cation channel, adenosine receptors, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors). The improved knowledge, adding new interpretation on the biochemical interaction between cannabinoids and other signaling pathways, may contribute to develop new pharmacological strategies.

A number of preclinical studies in different experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD) models demonstrated that modulating the cannabinoid system may be useful to treat some motor symptoms. Despite new cannabinoid-based medicines have been proposed for motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD, so far, results from clinical studies are controversial and inconclusive. Further clinical studies involving larger samples of patients, appropriate molecular targets, and specific clinical outcome measures are needed to clarify the effectiveness of cannabinoid-based therapies.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861502

“Cannabis is a psychoactive compound widely used along history for recreational and therapeutic purposes. Although many open questions remain, cannabis-based therapies have become increasingly common raising considerable interest in politics as well as in general public for legalization of medical cannabis.”  http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2017.0002

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Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain

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“The cannabis plant is known for its multiple uses: the leaves, flowers, seeds, stalks, and resin glands have all been exploited for food, fuel, fiber, medicine, and other uses.

The roots of the cannabis plant have a long history of medical use stretching back millennia. However, the therapeutic potential of cannabis roots has been largely ignored in modern times.

In the first century, Pliny the Elder described in Natural Histories that a decoction of the root in water could be used to relieve stiffness in the joints, gout, and related conditions. By the 17th century, various herbalists were recommending cannabis root to treat inflammation, joint pain, gout, and other conditions.

Active compounds identified and measured in cannabis roots include triterpenoids, friedelin (12.8 mg/kg) and epifriedelanol (21.3 mg/kg); alkaloids, cannabisativine (2.5 mg/kg) and anhydrocannabisativine (0.3 mg/kg); carvone and dihydrocarvone; N-( p-hydroxy-b-phenylethyl)-p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamamide (1.6 mg/kg); various sterols such as sitosterol (1.5%), campesterol (0.78%), and stigmasterol (0.56%); and other minor compounds, including choline. Of note, cannabis roots are not a significant source of D9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, or other known phytocannabinoids.

Conclusion: The current available data on the pharmacology of cannabis root components provide significant support to the historical and ethnobotanical claims of clinical efficacy. Certainly, this suggests the need for reexamination of whole root preparations on inflammatory and malignant conditions employing modern scientific techniques.”

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2017.0028

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Speechlessness in Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome: Cannabis-Based Medicines Improve Severe Vocal Blocking Tics in Two Patients.

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“We report the cases of two young German male patients with treatment-resistant Tourette syndrome (TS), who suffer from incapacitating stuttering-like speech disfluencies caused by vocal blocking tics and palilalia. Case 1: a 19-year old patient received medical cannabis at a dose of 1 × 0.1 g cannabis daily. Case 2: a 16-year old patient initially received dronabinol at a maximum dose of 22.4-33.6 mg daily. Both treatments provided significant symptom improvement of vocal blocking tics as well as of comorbid conditions and were well tolerated. Thus, cannabis-based medicine appears to be effective in treatment-resistant TS patients with vocal blocking tics.”

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Perioperative Patient Beliefs Regarding Potential Effectiveness of Marijuana (Cannabinoids) for Treatment of Pain: A Prospective Population Survey.

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“Cannabinoids have an expanding presence in medicine.

Perioperative patients’ perceptions of the effectiveness of these compounds, and acceptance if prescribed for pain, have not been previously described. Our primary objective was to describe patients’ beliefs regarding the potential effectiveness of cannabinoids for the treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as gauge patient acceptance of these compounds if prescribed by a physician.

More than 80% of this cohort of preoperative patients believed that marijuana could be at least somewhat effective for the treatment of pain after surgery and would be willing to use cannabinoid compounds if prescribed by their physician.

Patients generally believe that marijuana could be at least somewhat effective for the management of pain and are willing to use cannabinoid compounds for this indication, if prescribed by a physician.”

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Fewer Seizures With Cannabidiol in Catastrophic Epilepsy

Cannabidiol reduces frequency of seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome.

“Cannabidiol reduced the frequency of convulsive seizures compared with placebo in Dravet syndrome, a childhood epilepsy disorder with a high mortality rate and no approved treatment in the United States, reported a clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.” http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2645099

“Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome”  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618#t=abstract

“EPILEPSY AND MARIJUANA: CANNABIS DRUG REDUCES DRAVET SYNDROME SEIZURES IN LARGE-SCALE CLINICAL TRIAL” http://www.newsweek.com/cannabis-marijuana-dravet-syndrome-epilepsy-clinical-trial-614982

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Efficacy, tolerability, and safety of non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain: An umbrella review on various CAM approaches.

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“Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies may be used as a non-pharmacological approach to chronic pain management. Twenty-six reviews (207 clinical trials, >12,000 participants) about 18 CAM modalities, falling under natural products, mind and body practices or other complementary health approaches were included. Inhaled cannabis, graded motor imagery, and Compound Kushen injection (a form of Chinese medicine) were found the most efficient and tolerable for chronic pain relief. When reported, adverse effects related to these CAM were minor.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28669581
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