Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation.

Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences

“The plant Cannabis sativa L. has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is the most important source of phytocannabinoids.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of receptors, endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and metabolizing enzymes, and plays an important role in different physiological and pathological processes.

Phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can interact with the components of ECS or other cellular pathways and thus affect the development/progression of diseases, including cancer.

In cancer patients, cannabinoids have primarily been used as a part of palliative care to alleviate pain, relieve nausea and stimulate appetite.

In addition, numerous cell culture and animal studies showed antitumor effects of cannabinoids in various cancer types.

Here we reviewed the literature on anticancer effects of plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids, to better understand their mechanisms of action and role in cancer treatment. We also reviewed the current legislative updates on the use of cannabinoids for medical and therapeutic purposes, primarily in the EU countries.

In vitro and in vivo cancer models show that cannabinoids can effectively modulate tumor growth, however, the antitumor effects appear to be largely dependent on cancer type and drug dose/concentration.

Understanding how cannabinoids are able to regulate essential cellular processes involved in tumorigenesis, such as progression through the cell cycle, cell proliferation and cell death, as well as the interactions between cannabinoids and the immune system, are crucial for improving existing and developing new therapeutic approaches for cancer patients.

The national legislation of the EU Member States defines the legal boundaries of permissible use of cannabinoids for medical and therapeutic purposes, however, these legislative guidelines may not be aligned with the current scientific knowledge.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid pharmacology and therapy in gut disorders.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Cannabis sp and their products (marijuana, hashish…), in addition to their recreational, industrial and other uses, have a long history for their use as a remedy for symptoms related with gastrointestinal diseases.

After many reports suggesting these beneficial effects, it was not surprising to discover that the gastrointestinal tract expresses endogenous cannabinoids, their receptors, and enzymes for their synthesis and degradation, comprising the so-called endocannabinoid system.

This system participates in the control of tissue homeostasis and important intestinal functions like motor and sensory activity, nausea, emesis, the maintenance of the epithelial barrier integrity, and the correct cellular microenvironment. Thus, different cannabinoid-related pharmacological agents may be useful to treat the main digestive pathologies.

To name a few examples, in irritable bowel syndrome they may normalize dysmotility and reduce pain, in inflammatory bowel disease they may decrease inflammation, and in colorectal cancer, apart from alleviating some symptoms, they may play a role in the regulation of the cell niche.

This review summarizes the main recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands and their metabolizing enzymes in normal gastrointestinal function and in disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and gastrointestinal chemotherapy-induced adverse effects (nausea/vomiting, constipation, diarrhea).”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis: A Prehistoric Remedy for the Deficits of Existing and Emerging Anticancer Therapies

“Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries and numerous species of this genus are undoubtedly amongst the primeval plant remedies known to humans.

Cannabis sativa in particular is the most reported species, due to its substantial therapeutic implications that are owed to the presence of chemically and pharmacologically diverse cannabinoids.

These compounds have long been used for the palliative treatment of cancer.

Recent advancements in receptor pharmacology research have led to the identification of cannabinoids as effective antitumor agents.

This property is accredited for their ability to induce apoptosis, suppress proliferative cell signalling pathways and promote cell growth inhibition.

Evolving lines of evidence suggest that cannabinoid analogues, as well as their receptor agonists, may offer a novel strategy to treat various forms of cancer.

This review summarizes the historical perspective of C. sativa, its potential mechanism of action, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic aspects of cannabinoids, with special emphasis on their anticancer potentials.”

http://www.xiahepublishing.com/ArticleFullText.aspx?sid=2&jid=3&id=10.14218%2FJERP.2017.00012

Cannabis products.

“Cannabis products. First row, left to right: Indian, Lebanese, Turkish and Pakistani hashish. Second row, left to right: Swiss hashish, Zairean marijuana, Swiss marijuana, Moroccan hash oil.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Accelerated Burn Wound Closure in Mice with a New Formula Based on Traditional Medicine.

Image result for Iran Red Crescent Med J.

“A combination of the oils of sesame, hemp, wild pistachio, and walnut has been used for treatment of skin disorders, including wound burns, in some parts of Kerman, Iran. Evaluation of this remedy in the form of a pharmaceutical formulation in animal models can pave the way for its future application in wound burn healing in humans.

This experimental study investigated the healing potential of a new formula (NF) based on folk medicine from Iran for the treatment of third degree burns in mice. The formula was a combination of the oils of four plants: sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), wild pistachio (Pistacia atlantica Desf.), hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), and walnut (Juglans regia L.).

When compared to the controls, NF significantly improved wound contraction after day 10. Histopathological and immunohistochemical findings confirmed the efficacy of the NF.

CONCLUSIONS:

A new therapeutic remedy was introduced for the treatment of burn wounds.

Further clinical and molecular studies are suggested to determine the exact mechanism(s) involved in the burn wound healing effect of NF.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28191338

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

[MEDICAL CANNABIS].

“The cannabis plant has been known to humanity for centuries as a remedy for pain, diarrhea and inflammation.

Current research is inspecting the use of cannabis for many diseases, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dystonia, and chronic pain.

In inflammatory conditions cannabinoids improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis and: pain and diarrhea in Crohn’s disease.

Despite their therapeutic potential, cannabinoids are not free of side effects including psychosis, anxiety, paranoia, dependence and abuse.

Controlled clinical studies investigating the therapeutic potential of cannabis are few and small, whereas pressure for expanding cannabis use is increasing.

Currently, as long as cannabis is classified as an illicit drug and until further controlled studies are performed, the use of medical cannabis should be limited to patients who failed conventional better established treatment.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27215115

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Marihuana as Medicine

“BETWEEN 1840 and 1900, European and American medical journals published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of the drug known then as Cannabis indica (or Indian hemp) and now as marihuana.

It was recommended as an appetite stimulant, muscle relaxant, analgesic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant. As late as 1913 Sir William Osler recommended it as the most satisfactory remedy for migraine.

Today the 5000-year medical history of cannabis has been almost forgotten.

Its use declined in the early 20th century because the potency of preparations was variable, responses to oral ingestion were erratic, and alternatives became available—injectable opiates and, later, synthetic drugs such as aspirin and barbiturates.

In the United States, the final blow was struck by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Designed to prevent nonmedical use, this law made cannabis so difficult to obtain for medical purposes that it was removed from the pharmacopeia.”

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=388943#Abstract

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Issues and promise in clinical studies of botanicals with anticonvulsant potential.

“Botanicals are increasingly used by people with epilepsy worldwide. However, despite abundant preclinical data on the anticonvulsant properties of many herbal remedies, there are very few human studies assessing safety and efficacy of these products in epilepsy.Additionally, the methodology of most of these studies only marginally meets the requirements of evidence-based medicine.

Although the currently available evidence for the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy is similarly lacking, several carefully designed and well controlled industry-sponsored clinical trials of cannabis derivatives are planned to be completed in the next couple of years, providing the needed reliable data for the use of these products.

The choice of the best botanical candidates with anticonvulsant properties and their assessment in well-designed clinical trials may significantly improve our ability to effectively and safely treat patients with epilepsy. ”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26341963

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/epilepsy-2/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous