Cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer pain management.

 Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care | Apps | 148Apps“An increasing number of patients are turning to cannabis and cannabinoids for management of their palliative and nonpalliative cancer pain and other cancer-related symptoms.

Canadians have a legal framework for access to medical cannabis, which provides a unique perspective in a setting lacking robust clinical evidence. This review seeks to delineate the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer pain management and offers insight into the Canadian practice.

RECENT FINDINGS:

A cohort study using nabiximols on advanced cancer pain in patients already optimized on opioids, over 3 weeks, demonstrated improved average pain score. A large observational study of cancer patients using cannabis over 6 months demonstrated a decreased number of patients with severe pain and decreased opioid use, whereas the number of patients reporting good quality of life increased.

SUMMARY:

Good preclinical animal data and a large body of observational evidence point to the potential efficacy of cannabinoids for cancer pain management. However, there are relatively weak data pointing to clinical efficacy from clinical trial data to date. In Canada, the burgeoning cannabis industry has driven the population to embrace a medicine before clinical evidence. There remains a need for high-quality randomized controlled trials to properly assess the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis, compared with placebo and standard treatments for cancer-related symptoms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32332209

https://journals.lww.com/pages/results.aspx?txtKeywords=10.1097%2fSPC.0000000000000493

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Novel approaches and current challenges with targeting the endocannabinoid system.

 Publication Cover“The pathophysiological relevance of the endocannabinoid system has been widely demonstrated in a variety of diseases including cancer, neurological disorders, and metabolic issues. Therefore, targeting the receptors and the endogenous machinery involved in this system can provide a successful therapeutic outcome.

Ligands targeting the canonical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, along with inhibitors of the endocannabinoid enzymes have been thoroughly studied in diverse disease models. In fact, phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are currently on the market for the management of neuropathic pain due to spasticity in multiple sclerosis or seizures in children epilepsy amongst others.

Expert opinion: Even if orthosteric CB1 and CB2 ligands are on the forefront in cannabinoid clinical research, emerging strategies such as allosteric or biased modulation of these receptors along with controlled off-targets effects may increase the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32336154

“Multi-target approaches could be promising strategies for the treatment of endocannabinoid system-related disorders. The authors believe that phytocannabinoids are at the forefront of future clinical research.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17460441.2020.1752178?journalCode=iedc20

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Effects of THC/CBD oromucosal spray on spasticity-related symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis: results from a retrospective multicenter study.

 Journal cover“The approval of 9-δ-tetrahydocannabinol (THC)+cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex®) in Italy as an add-on medication for the management of moderate to severe spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) has provided a new opportunity for MS patients with drug-resistant spasticity.

We aimed to investigate the improvement of MS spasticity-related symptoms in a large cohort of patients with moderate to severe spasticity in daily clinical practice.

CONCLUSION:

Our study confirmed that the therapeutic benefit of cannabinoids may extend beyond spasticity, improving spasticity-related symptoms even in non-NRS responder patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32335779

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10072-020-04413-6

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Cannabis and Canabidinoids on the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Going Beyond Misuse.

ijms-logo“Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by a chronic and recurrent gastrointestinal condition, including mainly ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Cannabis sativa (CS) is widely used for medicinal, recreational, and religious purposes. The most studied compound of CS is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Besides many relevant therapeutic roles such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, there is still much controversy about the consumption of this plant since the misuse can lead to serious health problems. Because of these reasons, the aim of this review is to investigate the effects of CS on the treatment of UC and CD. The literature search was performed in PubMed/Medline, PMC, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. The use of CS leads to the improvement of UC and CD scores and quality of life. The medical use of CS is on the rise. Although the literature shows relevant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that could improve UC and CD scores, it is still not possible to establish a treatment criterion since the studies have no standardization regarding the variety and part of the plant that is used, route of administration and doses. Therefore, we suggest caution in the use of CS in the therapeutic approach of IBD until clinical trials with standardization and a relevant number of patients are performed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32331305

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/8/2940

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Oral Cannabidiol Does Not Convert to Δ8-THC or Δ9-THC in Humans: A Pharmacokinetic Study in Healthy Subjects.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Recent studies have suggested that cannabidiol (CBD) could interconvert into Delta-8- and Delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol. Thus, we tested the plasma samples of 120 healthy human subjects (60 male and 60 female), 60 in fasting and the other 60 under normal feeding conditions after acute administration of an oral solution containing CBD 300 mg.

The results showed that THC was not detected in plasma after the administration of CBD, and those study participants did not present psychotomimetic effects.

The findings presented here are consistent with previous evidence suggesting that the oral administration of CBD in a corn oil formulation is a safe route for the administration of the active substance without bioconversion to THC in humans.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322680

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0024

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Cannabinoids in epilepsy: Clinical efficacy and pharmacological considerations.

Neurología“Advances in the development of drugs with novel mechanisms of action have not been sufficient to significantly reduce the percentage of patients presenting drug-resistant epilepsy. This lack of satisfactory clinical results has led to the search for more effective treatment alternatives with new mechanisms of action.

The aim of this study is to examine epidemiological aspects of the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy, with particular emphasis on the main mechanisms of action, indications for use, clinical efficacy, and safety.

In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including epilepsy. The cannabis plant is currently known to contain more than 100 terpenophenolic compounds, known as cannabinoids. The 2 most abundant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.

Studies of preclinical models of epilepsy have shown that these cannabinoids have anticonvulsant properties, and 100% purified cannabidiol and cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extracts are now being used to treat epilepsy in humans. Several open-label studies and randomised controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of these products.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32317123

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0213485320300402?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol (CBD).

Cover of StatPearls“Cannabis sativa or Indian hemp (subfamily Cannaboideae of family Moraceae) is an annual herbaceous plant, native to central and western Asia, cultivated for medicinal properties and for hemp, which is a natural textile fiber. The plant contains over 400 chemical compounds, of which approximately 80 biologically active chemical molecules. The most important cannabis compounds are cannabinoids formed by a terpene combined with resorcinol, or, according to a different nomenclature, by a benzopyranic ring system. There are about sixty cannabinoids, of which the most important psychoactive compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH), in particular the isomer delta (Δ9-THC). Other identified compounds are cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), and olivetol. In addition to cannabinoids, the plant contains terpenoids such as beta-myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, d-limonene, linalool, piperidine, and p-cymene, as well as flavonoids such as quercetin.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32310508

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556048/

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The effects of cannabinoids in exemestane-resistant breast cancer cells: PS181.

“Exemestane is one of the aromatase inhibitors (AI) used as first line treatment for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Exemestane acts by inhibiting aromatase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens to estrogens and also by promoting apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Nevertheless, despite its therapeutic success, this AI, after prolonged treatment, can induce acquired resistance, which causes tumor relapse. Therefore, it is important to find new strategies to overcome resistance in order to improve breast cancer treatment.

Considering that the development of resistance is the main reason for endocrine treatment failure, our group decided to explore the ability of three cannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and anandamide (AEA), to reverse resistance to exemestane. The THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana) whereas AEA is an endocannabinoid. For that, it was used LTEDaro cells, a long-term estrogen deprived ER+ breast cancer cell line that mimics resistance to exemestane. These cells were treated with exemestane in combination with two phytocannabinoids, CBD and THC, and the endocannabinoid AEA.

The presence of CB1 and CB2 in LTEDaro cells was confirmed by Western blot analysis and the effects of the combination of cannabinoids with exemestane were evaluated by MTT and LDH assays. Cell morphology was analyzed by Giemsa and Hoechst staining.

Results: Our results demonstrate that all the cannabinoids induce a decrease in viability of exemestane-resistant cells, in a dose- and time-dependent manner, without LDH release. These results indicate that the studied cannabinoids, mainly THC and AEA, revert the resistance to exemestane, probably by inducing apoptosis, as observed in Giemsa/Hoechst stain by the presence of typical morphological features of apoptosis.

Conclusion: This study highlights the efficacy of using cannabinoids as a potential adjuvant treatment to revert resistance to AIs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32258721

https://journals.lww.com/pbj/fulltext/2017/09000/The_effects_of_cannabinoids_in.118.aspx

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Association of State Marijuana Legalization Policies for Medical and Recreational Use With Vaping-Associated Lung Disease

Author Insights: Bariatric Surgery May Lead to Increases in ...“From June 2019 to January 2020, over 2500 cases of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette)– or vaping–associated lung injury (EVALI) were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some states have legalized marijuana and THC-containing products for recreational use. Many other states allow purchases for qualifying medical purposes. In remaining states, all forms of consumption and distribution are illegal, and individuals who use THC likely obtain it from the black market. If black-market THC products are responsible for EVALI, then case rates may be lower in recreational marijuana states.

The goal of this cross-sectional study was to measure whether states where marijuana is legal have lower rates of EVALI compared with states where it is illegal.

Recreational marijuana states had among the lowest EVALI rates of all states.

The data suggest that EVALI cases were concentrated in states where consumers do not have legal access to recreational marijuana dispensaries. This association was not driven by state-level differences in e-cigarette use, and EVALI case rates were not associated with state-level prevalence of e-cigarette use.

One possible inference from our results is that the presence of legal markets for marijuana has helped mitigate or may be protective against EVALI.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2763966

“Legal Marijuana Tied to Lower Rates of Vaping Illness”  https://www.medpagetoday.com/pulmonology/smoking/85807

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MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling via TLR3 and TLR4 are differentially modulated by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in human macrophages.

Journal of Neuroimmunology“Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are sensors of pathogen-associated molecules that trigger inflammatory signalling in innate immune cells including macrophages. All TLRs, with the exception of TLR3, promote intracellular signalling via recruitment of the myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) adaptor, while TLR3 signals via Toll-Interleukin-1 Receptor (TIR)-domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon (IFN)-β (TRIF) adaptor to induce MyD88-independent signalling. Furthermore, TLR4 can activate both MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling (via TRIF).

The study aim was to decipher the impact of the highly purified plant-derived (phyto) cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), when delivered in isolation and in combination (1:1), on MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling in macrophages.

TLRs are attractive therapeutic targets given their role in inflammation and initiation of adaptive immunity, and data herein indicate that both CBD and THC preferentially modulate TLR3 and TLR4 signalling via MyD88-independent mechanisms in macrophages. This offers mechanistic insight into the role of phytocannabinoids in modulating cellular inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32244040

https://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(20)30057-6/pdf

“Cannabinoids have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory activities in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models as well as ameliorate various inflammatory degenerative diseases. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a major constituent of Cannabis. The second major constituent of Cannabis extract is cannabidiol (CBD). Both THC and CBD have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to modulate the function of immune cells. In summary, our results show that although both THC and CBD exert anti-inflammatory effects, the two compounds engage different, although to some extent overlapping, intracellular pathways. Both THC and CBD decrease the activation of proinflammatory signaling.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804319/

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