Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high.”

A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population.

DESIGN:

A large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Sleep and anxiety scores, using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment.

RESULTS:

The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.

CONCLUSION:

Cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders. Controlled clinical studies are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624194

http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2019/winter/6960-cannabis.html

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Epidiolex (Cannabidiol): A New Hope for Patients With Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes.

 SAGE Journals

“OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy, safety, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex) in the treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

DATA SYNTHESIS: Pure, plant-based CBD is a pharmaceutical grade extract that exhibits clinically significant antiseizure properties, with a hypothesized multimodal mechanism of action. In the GWPCARE trial series, CBD displayed superior efficacy in reducing key seizure frequencies (convulsive seizures in DS; drop seizures in LGS) by 17% to 23% compared with placebo as adjunctive therapy to standard antiepileptic drugs in patients 2 years of age and older. Common adverse effects were somnolence, diarrhea, and elevated hepatic transaminases. Noteworthy drug-drug interactions included clobazam, valproates, and significant inducers/inhibitors of CYP2C19 and 3A4 enzymes.

Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: A discussion regarding CBD dosing, administration, adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and interactions is provided to guide clinicians. CBD offers patients with DS and LGS a new treatment option for refractory seizures.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first cannabis-derived medication with approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. This CBD formulation significantly reduces seizures as an adjunct to standard antiepileptic therapies in patients ≥2 years old with DS and LGS and is well tolerated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616356

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1060028018822124?journalCode=aopd

“Why marijuana is headed for the mainstream. The credibility of cannabis as a source of a legitimate pharmaceutical ingredient in prescription medications took a major step forward in 2018 when the FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for two types of severe seizures. Epidiolex was a stellar candidate for approval. It reduced convulsive seizures by about 40% and has a good safety profile.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620324

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Changes in Monoaminergic Neurotransmission in an Animal Model of Osteoarthritis: The Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

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“Chronic pain is a main symptom of osteoarthritis (OA). Moreover, a high percentage of OA patients suffer from mental health problems.

The endocannabinoid (EC) system has attracted attention as an emerging drug target for pain treatment together with its activity on the mesolimbic reward system.

Understanding the circuits that govern the reward of pain relief is crucial for the search for effective analgesics. Therefore, we investigated the role of the EC system on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) in an animal model of OA-related chronic pain.

Our results demonstrated that chronic pain in OA rats was reflected by the inhibition of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic transmission, and may indicate the pro-pain role of NA in the FCx.

The data provide understanding about changes in neurotransmission in chronic pain states and may explain the clinical improvement in perceived life quality following cannabinoid treatment.

Additional mechanistic studies in preclinical models examining the intersection between chronic pain and reward circuits may offer new approaches for improving pain therapy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30618615

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00466/full

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The effects of cannabinoids on the endocrine system.

“Cannabinoids are the derivatives of the cannabis plant, the most potent bioactive component of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The most commonly used drugs containing cannabinoids are marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil.

These compounds exert their effects via interaction with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Type 1 receptors (CB1) are localised mostly in the central nervous system and in the adipose tissue and many visceral organs, including most endocrine organs. Type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2) are positioned in the peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerve endings) and on the surface of the immune system cells.

Recently, more and more attention has been paid to the role that endogenous ligands play for these receptors, as well as to the role of the receptors themselves. So far, endogenous cannabinoids have been confirmed to participate in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis of the body, and have a significant impact on the endocrine system, including the activity of the pituitary gland, adrenal cortex, thyroid gland, pancreas, and gonads.

Interrelations between the endocannabinoid system and the activity of the endocrine system may be a therapeutic target for a number of drugs that have been proved effective in the treatment of infertility, obesity, diabetes, and even prevention of diseases associated with the cardiovascular system.”

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Practical Perspectives in the Treatment of Nausea and Vomiting.

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“Nausea and vomiting result from complex interactions between afferent and efferent pathways of the gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, and autonomic nervous system. Afferent pathways from the vagus nerve, vestibular system, and chemoreceptor trigger zone project to nucleus tractus solitarius, which in turn relays signals to the central pattern generator to initiate multiple downstream pathways resulting in symptoms of nausea and vomiting. There is increasing evidence that the central pathway of chronic nausea is different from that of acute nausea and vomiting-and closely resembles that of neuropathic pain. This improved understanding of chronic nausea has resulted in a paradigm shift with regard to management strategy. Although conventional therapies such as antiemetics and prokinetics are commonly used to manage acute nausea and vomiting, they are historically not as effective in treating chronic nausea. Recently, neuromodulator agents, such as tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentin, olanzapine, mirtazapine, and benzodiazepines, and cannabinoids have been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, and may be useful in the treatment of chronic symptoms. There is a need to study these agents, especially in the management of chronic functional nausea. Improved understanding of the central and peripheral circuitry of nausea and vomiting symptoms will allow for enhanced utilization of the currently available medications, and the development of novel therapeutic options.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30614944

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00004836-900000000-97784

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Successful cannabis derivatives oromucosal spray therapy for a seronegative stiff-person syndrome: a case report.

 

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“Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is an uncommon and disabling disorder characterised by progressive rigidity and episodic painful spasms involving axial and limb musculature.

The authors report a patient with seronegative SPS successfully treated with THC-CBD oromucosal spray.

In conclusion cannabinoids can be a therapeutic option to treat spasticity associated with neurological diseases such as stiff-person syndrome.

Our patient’s quality of life has improved remarkably although more information is needed about this particular use.”

https://ejhp.bmj.com/content/19/2/219.2?fbclid=IwAR0PVg0GRQDmu_tXu_vYJmmKHo2MGnJ_EsnkdsR4HE7deFVUtqhAxziHQBc

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ejhpharm-2012-000074.352

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Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 Agonist ACEA Improves Cognitive Deficit on STZ-Induced Neurotoxicity Through Apoptosis Pathway and NO Modulation.

“The cannabinoid system has the ability to modulate cellular and molecular mechanisms, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation, acting as a neuroprotective agent, by its relationship with signaling pathways associated to the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Recent reports have raised new perspectives on the possible role of cannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer disease’s (AD).

Our study has demonstrated a participation of the cannabinoid system in cellular survival, involving the CB1 receptor, which occurs by positive regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins, suggesting the participation of this system in neurodegenerative processes. Our data suggest that the cannabinoid system is an interesting therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30607903

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12640-018-9991-2

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Successful use of pure cannabidiol for the treatment of super-refractory status epilepticus.

Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports

“We present the case of a child with long-standing, super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE) who manifested prompt and complete resolution of SRSE upon exposure to pure cannabidiol. SRSE emerged in the context of remote suspected encephalitis with previously well-controlled epilepsy. We discuss the extent to which response may be specifically attributed to cannabidiol, with consideration and discussion of multiple potential drug-drug interactions. Based on this case, we propose that adjunctive cannabidiol be considered in the treatment of SRSE.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30596011

“Adjunctive cannabidiol may be effective in the treatment of super refractory status epilepticus. Given the paucity of evidence-based therapies for SRSE as well as the prompt and enduring response that accompanied the adjunctive administration of CBD in this patient, CBD should be a consideration in the treatment of SRSE.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213323218300513?via%3Dihub

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Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users

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“Obesity is treatment-resistant, and is linked with a number of serious, chronic diseases. Adult obesity rates in the United States have tripled since the early 1960s.

Recent reviews show that an increased ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids contributes to obesity rates by increasing levels of the endocannabinoid signals AEA and 2-AG, overstimulating CB1R and leading to increased caloric intake, reduced metabolic rates, and weight gain.

Cannabis, or THC, also stimulates CB1R and increases caloric intake during acute exposures.

The present meta-analysis reveals significantly reduced body mass index and rates of obesity in Cannabis users, in conjunction with increased caloric intake.

We provide for the first time a causative explanation for this paradox, in which rapid and long-lasting downregulation of CB1R following acute Cannabis consumption reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thus reversing the impact on body mass index of elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios.

Evidence suggests that, in the United States, many people may actually achieve net health benefits from moderate Cannabis use, due to reduced risk of obesity and associated diseases.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0045?_ga=2.221453528.1791159238.1546024140-1083808004.1546024140

“Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users”  https://www.genengnews.com/insights/reduced-body-mass-index-and-obesity-rates-in-cannabis-users/?fbclid=IwAR3a0wbfGoPwAR-pYQGCeLz-KYUFdiLJoj6Ja7rTTNGBYwkjIGw1fUjf5LI

 

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Social isolation as a promising animal model of PTSD comorbid suicide: neurosteroids and cannabinoids as possible treatment options.

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by drastic alterations in mood, emotions, social abilities and cognition. Notably, one aspect of PTSD, particularly in veterans, is its comorbidity with suicide.

Elevated aggressiveness predicts high-risk to suicide in humans and despite the difficulty in reproducing a complex human suicidal behavior in rodents, aggressive behavior is a well reproducible behavioral trait of suicide. PTSD animal models are based on a peculiar phenotype, including exaggerated fear memory, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors associated with neurochemical dysregulations in emotional brain circuitry.

The endocannabinoid and the neurosteroid systems regulate emotions and stress responses, and recent evidence shows these two systems are interrelated and critically compromised in neuropsychiatric disorders. For instance, levels of the neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, as well as those of the endocannabinoids, anandamide and its congener, palmitoylethanolamide are decreased in PTSD.

Similarly, the endocannabinoid system and neurosteroid biosynthesis are altered in suicidal individuals.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the only FDA-approved treatments for PTSD and depression, fail to help half of the treatment-seeking patients. This highlights the need for developing biomarker-based efficient therapies. One promising hypothesis points to stimulation of allopregnanolone biosynthesis as a valid end-point to predict treatment response in PTSD patients.

This review highlights running findings on the role of the endocannabinoid and neurosteroid systems in PTSD and suicidal behavior both in a preclinical and clinical perspective. A specific focus is given to predictive PTSD/suicide animal models. Ultimately, we discuss the idea that disruption of neurosteroid and endocannabinoid biosynthesis may offer novel promising biomarker candidates to develop new treatments for PTSD and, perhaps, suicidal behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30586627

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618305839?via%3Dihub

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