Cannabis-based treatments as an alternative remedy for epilepsy

Integrative Medicine Research“Much of the initial reports for cannabis use in seizure control centered on the compound 9-Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, due to the psychoactive properties of THC potential utility was somewhat limited and recent research has focused on non-psychoactive compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD).

The anti-seizure effects of CBD may come from mechanisms such as functional agonism or antagonism at several 7-transmembrane receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter transporters.

Recently, another compound that also is without psychoactive effects known as CBDV has also shown anti-seizure properties both in vivo and in vitro.

Many reports exist on illicit cannabis use through the smoking of marijuana by patients as a self-treatment.

Cannabis and cannabis-based treatments offer promising alternatives to traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

Due to the unfortunate fact that many patients suffer from Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), cannabis-based treatments have great value.

Cannabis-based treatments offer some patients with DRE a great remedy for their condition with limited side effects.

This option may prevent some patients with DRE from needing to consider more invasive options such as surgical interventions. In case studies, open label studies, and RCTs, one can see drastic improvements in the frequency of seizures in patients with certain forms of epilepsy.

It is imperative to continue research into cannabis as a potential primary treatment for epilepsy, particularly those with DRE, to help improve quality of life for millions of people suffering from epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31463193

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221342201930157X?via%3Dihub

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Should Oncologists Recommend Cannabis?

“Cannabis is a useful botanical with a wide range of therapeutic potential. Global prohibition over the past century has impeded the ability to study the plant as medicine. However, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been developed as a stand-alone pharmaceutical initially approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in 1986. The indication was expanded in 1992 to include treatment of anorexia in patients with the AIDS wasting syndrome. Hence, if the dominant cannabinoid is available as a schedule III prescription medication, it would seem logical that the parent botanical would likely have similar therapeutic benefits. The system of cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) has likely developed to help us modulate our response to noxious stimuli. Phytocannabinoids also complex with these receptors, and the analgesic effects of cannabis are perhaps the best supported by clinical evidence. Cannabis and its constituents have also been reported to be useful in assisting with sleep, mood, and anxiety. Despite significant in vitro and animal model evidence supporting the anti-cancer activity of individual cannabinoids-particularly THC and cannabidiol (CBD)-clinical evidence is absent. A single intervention that can assist with nausea, appetite, pain, mood, and sleep is certainly a valuable addition to the palliative care armamentarium. Although many healthcare providers advise against the inhalation of a botanical as a twenty-first century drug-delivery system, evidence for serious harmful effects of cannabis inhalation is scant and a variety of other methods of ingestion are currently available from dispensaries in locales where patients have access to medicinal cannabis. Oncologists and palliative care providers should recommend this botanical remedy to their patients to gain first-hand evidence of its therapeutic potential despite the paucity of results from randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials to appreciate that it is both safe and effective and really does not require a package insert.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31161270

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11864-019-0659-9

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Beneficial and deleterious effects of cannabinoids in the brain: the case of ultra-low dose THC.

Publication Cover

“This article reviews the neurocognitive advantages and drawbacks of cannabinoid substances, and discusses the possible physiological mechanisms that underlie their dual activity. The article further reviews the neurocognitive effects of ultra-low doses of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; 3-4 orders of magnitude lower than the conventional doses) in mice, and proposes such low doses of THC as a possible remedy for various brain injuries and for the treatment of age-related cognitive decline.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30864864

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00952990.2019.1578366?journalCode=iada20

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Medical Cannabis for Older Patients.

“Interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids is mounting worldwide. Fueled by enthusiastic media coverage, patients perceive cannabinoids as a natural remedy for many symptoms. Cannabinoid use is of particular interest for older individuals who may experience symptoms such as chronic pain, sleep disturbance, cancer-related symptoms and mood disorders, all of which are often poorly controlled by current drug treatments that may also incur medication-induced side effects. This review provides a summary of the evidence for use of cannabinoids, and medical cannabis in particular, for this age group, with attention to efficacy and harms. Evidence of efficacy for relief of an array of symptoms is overall scanty, and almost all study participants are aged < 60 years. The risk of known and potential adverse effects is considerable, with concerns for cognitive, cardiovascular and gait and stability effects in older adults. Finally, in light of the paucity of clinical evidence and increasing patient requests for information or use, we propose a pragmatic clinical approach to a rational dialogue with older patients, highlighting the importance of individual benefit-risk assessment and shared patient-clinician decision making.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30488174

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40266-018-0616-5

“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
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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.”

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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).”

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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.”

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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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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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