Cannabis as an anticonvulsant

BMJ Journals“There are records of the cannabis plant being used for medicinal purposes in ancient times, and in the 19th century it was used as an effective anti-epileptic drug (AED) in children.

However, because of its abuse potential, most countries imposed laws restricting its cultivation and use, and this has greatly inhibited research into possible therapeutic uses.

Things are now changing, and cannabis derivatives are now used legally to treat, for example, pain, nausea and spasticity.

The plant contains over 100 biologically active compounds, and recently it has been possible to isolate these and identify the neurochemical mechanisms by which some of them operate: one in particular, cannabidiol”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29449212

http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2018/02/15/archdischild-2018-314921

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Identification of a sustainable two-plant diet that effectively prevents age-related metabolic syndrome and extends lifespan in aged mice.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

“The current system of food production is linked to both the increasing prevalence of chronic disease and the deterioration of the environment, and thereby calls for novel ways of producing nutritious foods in a sustainable manner.

In the “longevity village” of Bama, China, we have identified two plant foods, hemp seed and bitter vegetable (Sonchus oleraceus), that are commonly consumed by its residents and grow abundantly in unfarmed land without fertilizers or pesticides.

Here, we show that a diet composed of these two foods (the “HB diet”) provides a sufficient variety of nutrients and confers significant health benefits.

Aged mice allowed ad libitum access to the HB diet not only had longer life spans and improved cognitive function but were also protected against age-related metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, gut dysbiosis and chronic inflammation compared to aged mice fed a control Western diet.

Furthermore, longevity-related genes (including 5’adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, sirtuin 1, nuclear respiratory factor 1 and forkhead box O3) were significantly up-regulated, while aging-related genes (including mammalian target of rapamycin and nuclear factor kappa B) were down-regulated.

These results demonstrate that the HB diet is capable of promoting health and longevity, and present a sustainable source of healthy foods that can help control the prevalence of chronic diseases and reduce agricultural impact on the environment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080417

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286316303461?via%3Dihub

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The Use of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Treating Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis: a Systematic Review of Reviews.

Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

“Pharmaceutical cannabinoids such as nabiximols, nabilone and dronabinol, and plant-based cannabinoids have been investigated for their therapeutic potential in treating multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

This review of reviews aimed to synthesise findings from high quality systematic reviews that examined the safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis. We examined the outcomes of disability and disability progression, pain, spasticity, bladder function, tremor/ataxia, quality of life and adverse effects.

We identified 11 eligible systematic reviews providing data from 32 studies, including 10 moderate to high quality RCTs.

Five reviews concluded that there was sufficient evidence that cannabinoids may be effective for symptoms of pain and/or spasticity in MS. Few reviews reported conclusions for other symptoms.

Recent high quality reviews find cannabinoids may have modest effects in MS for pain or spasticity. Future research should include studies with non-cannabinoid comparators; this is an important gap in the evidence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29442178

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11910-018-0814-x

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Efficacy of artisanal preparations of cannabidiol for the treatment of epilepsy: Practical experiences in a tertiary medical center.

“Medically refractory epilepsy continues to be a challenge worldwide, and despite an increasing number of medical therapies, approximately 1 in 3 patients continues to have seizures.

Cannabidiol (CBD), one of many constituents of the Cannabis sativa or marijuana plant, has received renewed interest in the treatment of epilepsy. While highly purified CBD awaits Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, artisanal formulations of CBD are readily available and are seeing increased use in our patient population.

Although randomized controlled trials of CBD are ongoing and promising, data regarding artisanal formulations of CBD are minimal and largely anecdotal. Here, we report a retrospective study to define the efficacy of artisanal CBD preparations in children with epilepsy.

Given the known interaction between CBD and clobazam, we also conducted a subgroup comparison to determine if clobazam use was related to any beneficial effects of CBD. Additionally, we compared response rates with CBD and with clobazam alone within an overlapping patient cohort. A pediatric cohort with epilepsy of 108 patients was identified through a medical record search for patients using CBD oil.

The addition of CBD resulted in 39% of patients having a >50% reduction in seizures, with 10% becoming seizure-free. The responder rate for clobazam was similar. No patients achieved CBD monotherapy, although the weaning of other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) became possible in 22% of patients. A comparable proportion had AED additions during CBD therapy. With concomitant use of clobazam, 44% of patients had a 50% reduction in seizures upon addition of CBD compared with 33% in the population not taking clobazam; this difference was not statistically significant. The most common reported side effect of CBD was sedation in less than 4% of patients, all of whom were also taking clobazam.

Increased alertness and improved verbal interactions were reported in 14% of patients in the CBD group and 8% of patients in the CBD and clobazam group. Benefits were more marked in the CBD alone group, in contrast to the CBD and clobazam group, but this difference was not statistically significant.

In summary, these findings support efficacy of artisanal CBD preparations in seizure reduction with few significant side effects. The response to CBD was independent of concurrent clobazam use, although clobazam may contribute to the sedation seen with concurrent CBD use.”

“In this retrospective study, we report that artisanal CBD is helpful in the treatment of medically refractory seizures.”
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Chronic High Doses of Cannabinoids Promote Hippocampal Neurogenesis

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“Hippocampal neurogenesis is suppressed following chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse (including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine). However, CB1-knockout mice display significantly decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that CB1 receptors activated by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may promote hippocampal neurogenesis.

Cannabinoids can regulate the proliferation of hippocampal NS/PCs by acting on CB1 receptors. They found that both the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 and the endocannabinoid anandamide profoundly promote embryonic hippocampal NS/PC proliferation. Chronic, but not acute, HU210 significantly increases the number of newborn hippocampal neurons in adult rats by promoting NS/PC proliferation.

A significant increase was observed in the hipoppocampal newborn neurons of mice following twice-daily HU210 injection for 10 days.

This suggests that cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic  administration.”

Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects.” https://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509

http://www.science20.com/science_why_not/blog/chronic_high_doses_cannabinoids_promote_hippocampal_neurogenesis

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Inhibition of aldose reductase activity by Cannabis sativa chemotypes extracts with high content of cannabidiol or cannabigerol.

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“Aldose reductase (ALR2) is a key enzyme involved in diabetic complications and the search for new aldose reductase inhibitors (ARIs) is currently very important.

The synthetic ARIs are often associated with deleterious side effects and medicinal and edible plants, containing compounds with aldose reductase inhibitory activity, could be useful for prevention and therapy of diabetic complications.

Non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids exert multiple pharmacological effects with therapeutic potential in many diseases such as inflammation, cancer, diabetes.

Here, we have investigated the inhibitory effects of extracts and their fractions from two Cannabis sativa L. chemotypes with high content of cannabidiol (CBD)/cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerol (CBG)/cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), respectively, on human recombinant and pig kidney aldose reductase activity in vitro.

A molecular docking study was performed to evaluate the interaction of these cannabinoids with the active site of ALR2 compared to known ARIs. The extracts showed significant dose-dependent aldose reductase inhibitory activity (>70%) and higher than fractions.

The inhibitory activity of the fractions was greater for acidic cannabinoid-rich fractions. Comparative molecular docking results have shown a higher stability of the ALR2-cannabinoid acids complex than the other inhibitors.

The extracts of Cannabis with high content of non-psychotropic cannabinoids CBD/CBDA or CBG/CBGA significantly inhibit aldose reductase activity.

These results may have some relevance for the possible use of C. sativa chemotypes based preparations as aldose reductase inhibitors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29427593

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X17317598

“Dietary sources of aldose reductase inhibitors: prospects for alleviating diabetic complications.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19114390

“Edible vegetables as a source of aldose reductase differential inhibitors.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28159579

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Phytochemical Aspects and Therapeutic Perspective of Cannabinoids in Cancer Treatment

Cannabis sativa L. – dried pistillate inflorescences and trichomes on their surface. (a) dried pistillate inflorescences (50% of the size); (b) non‐cystolithic trichome; (c) cystolithic trichome; (d) capitate‐sessile trichome; (e) simple bulbous trichome; (f) capitate‐stalked trichome (400×).

“Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) is one of the first plants cultivated by man and one of the oldest plant sources of fibre, food and remedies.

Cannabinoids comprise the plant‐derived compounds and their synthetic derivatives as well as endogenously produced lipophilic mediators. Phytocannabinoids are terpenophenolic secondary metabolites predominantly produced in CannabissativaL.

The principal active constituent is delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which binds to endocannabinoid receptors to exert its pharmacological activity, including psychoactive effect. The other important molecule of current interest is non‐psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD).

Since 1970s, phytocannabinoids have been known for their palliative effects on some cancer‐associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting reduction, appetite stimulation and pain relief. More recently, these molecules have gained special attention for their role in cancer cell proliferation and death.

A large body of evidence suggests that cannabinoids affect multiple signalling pathways involved in the development of cancer, displaying an anti‐proliferative, proapoptotic, anti‐angiogenic and anti‐metastatic activity on a wide range of cell lines and animal models of cancer.”

https://www.intechopen.com/books/natural-products-and-cancer-drug-discovery/phytochemical-aspects-and-therapeutic-perspective-of-cannabinoids-in-cancer-treatment

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Cannabis Use, Lung Cancer, and Related Issues.

Image result for J Thorac Oncol.

“The cannabis plant and its derivatives have been exploited for centuries for recreational and medicinal purposes with millions of regular users around the world.

The recreational use of cannabis is reflective of its neuropsychiatric effects such as anxiolysis and euphoria. However, cannabis appears to have an emerging therapeutic role, especially in chronic disease and as an adjunct to cancer treatment.

Increasing evidence supports cannabis in the management of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting and for pain management, but studies are limited particularly by difficulties associated with standardized dosing estimates and inability to accurately assess biologic activities of compounds in cannabis and derivative products.

Smoking cannabis has not been proven to be a risk factor in the development of lung cancer but the data are limited by small studies, misclassification due to self-reporting of usage, small numbers of heavy cannabis smoking and confounding of risk associated with known causative agents for lung cancer such as parallel chronic tobacco use.

Cannabis and its biologically effective derivatives warrant additional research, ideally controlled trials where the CBD and the THC strength and usage are controlled and documented.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29374567

“Good News: There’s No Definitive Link Between Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer” http://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/health/news/a52634/marijuana-lung-cancer/ 

“Study Shows No Proven Link Between Weed-Smoking and Lung Cancer”  http://www.complex.com/life/2017/01/weed-study-lung-cancer

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Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Herbs with Special Emphasis on Herbal Medicines for Countering Inflammatory Diseases and Disorders – A Review.

“Diseases with inflammatory etiopathology have increased in incidence in recent times. Drugs used for therapeutic management of such inflammatory diseases are relieving the ailment but at the same time also countering serious life-threatening consequences. Moreover, they are costly and rarely available at all places. In this context, research and development on medicinal herbs have opened a new era in the prophylactic and therapeutic management of inflammatory diseases.

OBJECTIVE:

To highlight the importance of anti-inflammatory medicine-synthetic drugs and natural herbs, their constituents, mechanism of action, benefits, side effects and future prospects. The overall aim is to provide better health services to patiens regardless of their background on equality basis.

RESULTS:

Anti-inflammatory herbs have proven beneficial by combating inflammatory responses that lead to severe abnormality in body systems. Inflammation though a protective response to infection or injury and may result in pathological outcome when aggravated or of severe degree thus needs an early intervention for proper resolution. Medicinal plants or their constituents are considered beneficial due to the properties i.e., satisfactory potency, ease of availability, cheapness, less or no side effects, safer and efficient as compared to the synthetic counterparts. These medicinal herbs contain phytoconstituents that can prevent undesirable inflammatory processes and also posses anti-inflammatory activity. Steroids, glycosides, phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides, terpenoids, cannabinoids, fatty acids are common phytoconstituents present in these plants. Different mechanisms have been explored for the anti-inflammatory action of these active ingredients. They may synergize the anti-inflammatory pathway enzymes, factors, proteins or interfere with these in the inflammatory pathway like lipooxygenases, cyclooxygenases, tumor necrosis factors, interleukins, prostaglandin, nitric oxide, mitogen-activated protein, nuclear factor, etc. Considering all the above-mentioned factors, further research from molecular to cellular level will enable a better understanding of the mechanisms. Common anti-inflammatory herbal plants are Curcuma longa, Zingiber officinale, Rosmarinus officinalis, Borago officinalis, Urtica dioica, Uncaria tomentosa, Vaccinium myrtillus, Olea europaea and much more. They are believed to be without side effects unlike the chemical counterparts or synthetic anti-inflammatory agents e.g. steroids, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and immunosuppressant used for controlling and suppressing inflammatory crisis. A proper phytochemical, pharmacological and physiological evaluation will enable their safe and effective use in inflammatory conditions. Many of these anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal preparations have been patented with some under consideration.

CONCLUSION:

Natural herbs are safe, effective and better options as anti-inflammatory agents than synthetic ones. The phytoconstituents are as effective with the comparable mechanism of action as synthetic molecules. Future research should focus on molecular mechanisms of different beneficial applications of these herbal plants in various diseases. Recent patents on anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal plants have been covered which provide insight into the current status and future prospects in this field.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29336271  http://www.eurekaselect.com/159064/article

“Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

“Cannabinoids for the treatment of inflammation.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17520866

“Cannabis-based drugs have been shown to be effective in inflammatory diseases.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29110674

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/tag/anti-inflammatory/

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Betacaryophyllene – A phytocannabinoid as potential therapeutic modality for human sepsis?

Medical Hypotheses Home

“Sepsis is a clinical condition resulting from a dysregulated immune response to an infection that leads to organ dysfunction. Despite numerous efforts to optimize treatment, sepsis remains to be the main cause of death in most intensive care units.

The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in inflammation. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) activation is immunosuppressive, which might be beneficial during the hyper-inflammatory phase of sepsis.

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a non-psychoactive natural cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid) found in Cannabis sativa and in essential oils of spices and food plants, that acts as a selective agonist of CB2R.

We propose BCP administration as novel treatment to reduce hyper-inflammation in human sepsis.”

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