Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.

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“Comprehensive literature reviews of historical perspectives and evidence supporting cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, including migraine and headache, with associated neurobiological mechanisms of pain modulation have been well described.

Most of the existing literature reports on the cannabinoids Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabis in general. There are many cannabis strains that vary widely in the composition of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds. These components work synergistically to produce wide variations in benefits, side effects, and strain characteristics. Knowledge of the individual medicinal properties of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids is necessary to cross-breed strains to obtain optimal standardized synergistic compositions. This will enable targeting individual symptoms and/or diseases, including migraine, headache, and pain.

OBJECTIVE:

Review the medical literature for the use of cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of migraine, headache, facial pain, and other chronic pain syndromes, and for supporting evidence of a potential role in combatting the opioid epidemic. Review the medical literature involving major and minor cannabinoids, primary and secondary terpenes, and flavonoids that underlie the synergistic entourage effects of cannabis. Summarize the individual medicinal benefits of these substances, including analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

CONCLUSION:

There is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache. There is also supporting evidence that cannabis may assist in opioid detoxification and weaning, thus making it a potential weapon in battling the opioid epidemic. Cannabis science is a rapidly evolving medical sector and industry with increasingly regulated production standards. Further research is anticipated to optimize breeding of strain-specific synergistic ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals for predictable user effects, characteristics, and improved symptom and disease-targeted therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30152161

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A Brief Background on Cannabis: From Plant to Medical Indications.

 Ingenta Connect

“Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years.

As a result of centuries of breeding and selection, there are now over 700 varieties of cannabis that contain hundreds of compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids are fatty compounds that are the main biological active constituents of cannabis. Terpenes are volatile compounds that occur in many plants and have distinct odors.

Cannabinoids exert their effect on the body by binding to receptors, specifically cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2. These receptors, together with endogenous cannabinoids and the systems for synthesis, transport, and degradation, are called the Endocannabinoid System.

The two most prevalent and commonly known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol.

The speed, strength, and type of effects of cannabis vary based on the route of administration. THC is rapidly distributed through the body to fatty tissues like the brain and is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is also psychoactive.

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been indicated for several medical conditions.

There is evidence of efficacy in the symptomatic treatment of nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, loss of appetite, Tourette’s syndrome, and epilepsy. Cannabis has also been associated with treatment for glaucoma, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and dystonia, but there is not good evidence to support its efficacy. Side effects of cannabis include psychosis and anxiety, which can be severe.

Here, we provided a summary of the history of cannabis, its pharmacology, and its medical uses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30139415

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Current natural therapies in the treatment against glioblastoma.

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“Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive brain tumor, which causes the highest number of deaths worldwide. It is a highly vascularized tumor, infiltrative, and its tumorigenic capacity is exacerbated. All these hallmarks are therapeutic targets in GBM treatment, including surgical removal followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Current therapies have not been sufficient for the effective patient’s management, so the classic therapies have had to expand and incorporate new alternative treatments, including natural compounds.

This review summarizes natural products and their physiological effects in in vitro and in vivo models of GBM, specifically by modulating signaling pathways involved in angiogenesis, cell migration/invasion, cell viability, apoptosis, and chemoresistance. The most important aspects of natural products and their derivatives were described in relation to its antitumoral effects.

As a final result, it can be obtained that within the compounds with more evidence that supports or suggests its clinical use are the cannabinoids, terpenes, and curcumin, because many have been shown to have a significant effect in decreasing the progress of GBM through known mechanisms, such as chemo-sensitization or decrease migration and cell invasion.

Natural compounds emerge as promising therapies to attack the progress of GBM.”

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Medicinal properties of terpenes found in Cannabis sativa and Humulus lupulus.

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

“Cannabaceae plants Cannabis sativa L. and Humulus lupulus L. are rich in terpenes – both are typically comprised of terpenes as up to 3-5% of the dry-mass of the female inflorescence.

Terpenes of cannabis and hops are typically simple mono- and sesquiterpenes derived from two and three isoprene units, respectively. Some terpenes are relatively well known for their potential in biomedicine and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries, while others are yet to be studied in detail.

The current, comprehensive review presents terpenes found in cannabis and hops. Terpenes’ medicinal properties are supported by numerous in vitro, animal and clinical trials and show anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticancer, antitumor, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, anti-allergic, antibiotic and anti-diabetic attributes, among others.

Because of the very low toxicity, these terpenes are already widely used as food additives and in cosmetic products. Thus, they have been proven safe and well-tolerated.”

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Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD)-based oil preparations are becoming extremely popular, as CBD has been shown to have beneficial effects on human health.

CBD-based oil preparations are not unambiguously regulated under the European legislation, as CBD is not considered as a controlled substance. This means that companies can produce and distribute CBD products derived from non-psychoactive hemp varieties, providing an easy access to this extremely advantageous cannabinoid.

This leaves consumers with no legal quality guarantees. The objective of this project was to assess the quality of 14 CBD oils commercially available in European countries. An in-depth chemical profiling of cannabinoids, terpenes and oxidation products was conducted by means of GC-MS and HPLC-Q-Exactive-Orbitrap-MS in order to improve knowledge regarding the characteristics of CBD oils. Nine out of the 14 samples studied had concentrations that differed notably from the declared amount, while the remaining five preserved CBD within optimal limits.

Our results highlighted a wide variability in cannabinoids profile that justifies the need for strict and standardized regulations. In addition, the terpenes fingerprint may serve as an indicator of the quality of hemp varieties, while the lipid oxidation products profile could contribute in evaluation of the stability of the oil used as milieu for CBD rich extracts.”

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Cannabis, from Plant to Pill.

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“The therapeutic application of Cannabis is attracting substantial public and clinical interest. The Cannabis plant has been described as a veritable ‘treasure trove’, producing more than a hundred different cannabinoids, although the focus to date has been on the psychoactive molecule delta-9-tetraydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Other numerous secondary metabolites of Cannabis the terpenes, some of which share the common intermediary geranyl diphosphate (GPP) with the cannabinoids, are hypothesised to contribute synergistically to their therapeutic benefits, an attribute that has been described as the ‘entourage effect’.

The effective delivery of such a complex multicomponent pharmaceutical relies upon the stable genetic background and standardised growth of the plant material, particularly if the raw botanical product in the form of the dried pistillate inflorescence (flos) is the source.

Following supercritical CO2 extraction of the inflorescence (and possibly bracts), the secondary metabolites can be blended to provide a specific ratio of major cannabinoids (THC:CBD) or individual cannabinoids can be isolated, purified and supplied as the pharmaceutical. Intensive breeding strategies will provide novel cultivars of Cannabis possessing elevated levels of specific cannabinoids or other secondary metabolites.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29701252

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bcp.13618

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Analysis of cannabinoids in commercial hemp seed oil and decarboxylation kinetics studies of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis

“Hemp seed oil from Cannabis sativa L. is a very rich natural source of important nutrients, not only polyunsaturated fatty acids and proteins, but also terpenes and cannabinoids, which contribute to the overall beneficial effects of the oil.

Hence, it is important to have an analytical method for the determination of these components in commercial samples. At the same time, it is also important to assess the safety of the product in terms of amount of any psychoactive cannabinoid present therein.

This work presents the development and validation of a highly sensitive, selective and rapid HPLC-UV method for the qualitative and quantitative determination of the main cannabinoids, namely cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), present in 13 commercial hemp seed oils.

Moreover, since decomposition of cannabinoid acids generally occurs with light, air and heat, decarboxylation studies of the most abundant acid (CBDA) were carried out in both open and closed reactor and the kinetics parameters were evaluated at different temperatures in order to evaluate the stability of hemp seed oil in different storage conditions.”

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Medical cannabis Q&A

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  • “1. What is medical cannabis?

The term “medical cannabis” is used to describe products derived from the whole cannabis plant or its extracts containing a variety of active cannabinoids and terpenes, which patients take for medical reasons, after interacting with and obtaining authorization from their health care practitioner.

  • 2. What are the main active ingredients?

The chemical ingredients of cannabis are called cannabinoids. The 2 main therapeutic ones are:

  •  A Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is psychoactive and produces the euphoric effect.
  •  B Cannabidiol (CBD) has a weak affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors and appears to exert its activity by enhancing the positive effects of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids
 3. Why do patients take it?

Medical cannabis may be used to alleviate symptoms for a variety of conditions. It has most commonly been used in neuropathic pain and other chronic pain conditions. There is limited, but developing, clinical evidence surrounding its safety and efficacy, and it does not currently have an approved Health Canada indication.

  • 4. How do patients take it?

Cannabis can be smoked, vaporized, taken orally, sublingually, topically or rectally. Different routes of administration will result in different pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the drug.

  • 5. Is it possible to develop dependence on medical cannabis?

Yes, abrupt discontinuation after long-term use may result in withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, chronic use may result in psychological dependence.

  • 6. What is the difference between medical and recreational cannabis?

Patients taking cannabis for medical reasons generally use cannabinoids to alleviate symptoms while minimizing intoxication, whereas recreational users may be taking cannabis for euphoric effects. Medical cannabis is authorized by a prescriber who provides a medical document allowing individuals to obtain cannabis from a licensed producer or apply to Health Canada to grow their own, whereas recreational cannabis is currently obtained through illicit means.

  • 7. How can patients access cannabis for medical purposes?
  • 8. Does medical cannabis have a DIN?

Pharmacological cannabinoids such as Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol) and Cesamet (nabilone) have been approved for specific indications by Health Canada, however, herbal medical cannabis has not gone through Health Canada’s drug review and approval process, nor does it have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN).

  • 9. Is medical cannabis covered through insurance?

Some insurance plans may cover medical cannabis. Check each patient’s individual plan for more details.

  • 10. What role can pharmacists play in medical cannabis?

Even though pharmacists are not dispensing medical cannabis at this time, it is important for them to understand how their patients may use and access medical cannabis in order to provide effective medication management. Pharmacists may provide counselling on areas such as contraindications, drug interactions, management of side effects, alternative therapies, potential addictive behaviour and appropriate use.

  • 11. Where can I find more information about medical cannabis?

You can find more information on Health Canada’s website:” https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medical-use-marijuana/medical-use-marijuana.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5661684/

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A review of methods for the chemical characterization of cannabis natural products.

Journal of Separation Science

“Cannabis has garnered a great deal of new attention in the past couple of years in the United States due to the increasing instances of its legalization for recreational use and indications for medicinal benefit.

Despite a growing number of laboratories focused on cannabis analysis, the separation science literature pertaining to the determination of cannabis natural products is still in its infancy despite the plant having been utilized by humans for nearly 30 000 years and it being now the most widely used drug world-wide. This is largely attributable to the restrictions associated with cannabis as it is characterized as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States.

Presented here are reviewed analytical methods for the determination of cannabinoids (primarily) and terpenes (secondarily), the primary natural products of interest in cannabis plants. Focus is placed foremost on analyses from plant extracts and the various instrumentation and techniques that are used, but some coverage is also given to analysis of cannabinoid metabolites found in biological fluids. The goal of this work is to provide a collection of relevant separation science information, upon which the field of cannabis analysis can continue to grow.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28986974

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jssc.201701003/abstract

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Terpene synthases from Cannabis sativa.

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“Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plants produce and accumulate a terpene-rich resin in glandular trichomes, which are abundant on the surface of the female inflorescence.

Bouquets of different monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are important components of cannabis resin as they define some of the unique organoleptic properties and may also influence medicinal qualities of different cannabis strains and varieties.

Transcriptome analysis of trichomes of the cannabis hemp variety ‘Finola’ revealed sequences of all stages of terpene biosynthesis. Nine cannabis terpene synthases (CsTPS) were identified in subfamilies TPS-a and TPS-b.

Functional characterization identified mono- and sesqui-TPS, whose products collectively comprise most of the terpenes of ‘Finola’ resin, including major compounds such as β-myrcene, (E)-β-ocimene, (-)-limonene, (+)-α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, and α-humulene.

Transcripts associated with terpene biosynthesis are highly expressed in trichomes compared to non-resin producing tissues. Knowledge of the CsTPS gene family may offer opportunities for selection and improvement of terpene profiles of interest in different cannabis strains and varieties.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28355238

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