“The widespread patient use of artisanal cannabis preparations has preceded quality validation of cannabis use for epilepsy. Neurologists and cannabinoid specialists are increasingly in a position to monitor and guide the use of herbal cannabis in epilepsy patients. We report the retrospective data on efficacy and adverse effects of artisanal cannabis in Patients with medically refractory epilepsy with mixed etiologies in Washington State, California, and Maine. Clinical considerations, including potential risks and benefits, challenges related to artisanal preparations, and cannabinoid dosing, are discussed.
Of 272 combined patients from Washington State and California, 37 (14%) found cannabis ineffective at reducing seizures, 29 (15%) experienced a 1-25% reduction in seizures, 60 (18%) experienced a 26-50% reduction in seizures, 45 (17%) experienced a 51-75% reduction in seizures, 75 (28%) experienced a 76-99% reduction in seizures, and 26 (10%) experienced a complete clinical response. Overall, adverse effects were mild and infrequent, and beneficial side effects such as increased alertness were reported. The majority of patients used cannabidiol (CBD)-enriched artisanal formulas, some with the addition of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). Four case reports are included that illustrate clinical responses at doses <0.1mg/kg/day, biphasic dose-response effects, the use of THCA for seizure prevention, the use of THC for seizure rescue, and the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenoids in artisanal preparations. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Cannabinoids and Epilepsy”.”
“Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is of increasing interest as a pharmaceutical and bioactive compound.
Chemical synthesis of THC uses a laborious procedure and does not satisfy the market demand.
The implementation of biocatalysts for specific synthesis steps might be beneficial for making natural product availability independent from the plant.
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolicacid synthase (THCAS) from C. sativa L. catalyzes the cyclization of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is non-enzymatically decarboxylated to THC.
In conclusion, production of THCAS in Pichia pastoris MutS KM71 KE1, subsequent isolation, and its application in a two-liquid phase setup enables the synthesis of THCA on a mg scale.”
“Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) is a widely distributed plant around the world. It has a long history of medicinal use as far back as the 6th century B.C. Cannabis sativa is the natural source of the cannabinoids, a unique group of terpeno-phenolic compounds that accumulate in the glandular trichomes of the plant.
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Δ9-THCA) is the major cannabinoid which upon decarboxylation with age or heating gives rise to Δ9-THC, the primary psychoactive agent. The pharmacologic and therapeutic potency of Cannabis preparations and Δ9-THC have been extensively reviewed.
Despite of its medicinal importance and widespread occurrence, to the best of our knowledge, no information is available on the consequences of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on its photosynthesis and growth performance.
This study describes the short term effect of elevated CO2 on photosynthetic characteristics and stomatal response in four different high Δ9-THC yielding varieties of Cannabis sativa.
The higher water use efficiency (WUE) under elevated CO2 conditions in Cannabis sativa, primarily because of decreased stomatal conductance and subsequently the transpiration rate, may enable this species to survive under expected harsh greenhouse effects including elevated CO2 concentration and drought conditions.”
“Little is known about cannabis use in hunter-gatherers. Therefore, we investigated cannabis use in the Aka, a population of foragers of the Congo Basin.
Because cannabis contains anthelminthic compounds,” http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/anthelmintic ” and the Aka have a high prevalence of helminthiasis, we also tested the hypothesis that cannabis use might be an unconscious form of self-medication against helminths.
THCA levels were negatively correlated with parasite infection and reinfection, supporting the self-medication hypothesis.
This, to our knowledge, is the first biomarker-validated study of cannabis use in a hunting-gathering population, and also the first to explore the relationship between the use of cannabis, which is toxic to helminths, and intestinal helminth infection.
Although the conventional view is that drug abuse impairs immunity, thus increasing susceptibility to infection, if recreational drug use is explained by the drugs’ antiparasitic properties, this would suggest that the immune system plays a key role in regulating drug use.”
“Medical Marijuana Smoking Linked to Parasite Prevention. Scientists from Washington State University have suggested that smoking cannabis may have a beneficial effect with regard to the avoidance of intestinal parasite infections, which could explain why the drug has such a long history of recreational use… those who smoked cannabis had a lower rate of infection.” http://www.newhistorian.com/medical-marijuana-smoking-linked-to-parasite-prevention/3936/
“Sequence variants of THCA- and CBDA-synthases were isolated from different Cannabis sativa L. strains expressing various wild-type and mutant chemical phenotypes (chemotypes). Expressed and complete sequences were obtained from mature inflorescences. Each strain was shown to have a different specificity and/or ability to convert the precursor CBGA into CBDA and/or THCA type products. The comparison of the expressed sequences led to the identification of different mutations, all of them due to SNPs. These SNPs were found to relate to the cannabinoid composition of the inflorescence at maturity and are therefore proposed to have a functional significance. The amount of variation was found to be higher within the CBDAS sequence family than in the THCAS family, suggesting a more recent evolution of THCA-forming enzymes from the CBDAS group. We therefore consider CBDAS as the ancestral type of these synthases.”
“In this paper we describe analyses performed by Real-Time Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (real-time RT-PCR) on RNA of 12 samples, carried out for forensic purposes to investigate a correlation between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in Cannabis and the tetrahydrocannabinol acid synthase (THCAS) gene expression. Samples were obtained from an experimental cultivation of declared potency Cannabis variety seeds and from seizures. The Rubisco gene and the 26S ribosomal RNA gene were used as internal control genes for their constant expression and stability. As results we found minor gene expression in samples from leaves of young plants. Further, grouping results for cannabis samples with similar characteristics, we have found an increased relative expression in samples with the highest percentage of THC coming from seized sample and adult plants.”