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IACM-Bulletin of 29 November 2015

IACM: How to become a member of a network of IACM patient and professional ambassador as well as partner organizations

On its last meeting on 18 September 2015 the IACM Board of Directors formed a network committee to build up a network of patient and professional ambassadors and partner organizations. Ambassadors are representatives of the IACM in their country based on the aims described in the statutes of the IACM. The IACM Board of Directors would like to invite people and organizations active in this field to apply for becoming an ambassador or a partner organization. Please send a short CV (Curriculum Vitae) to the IACM (about half a page) or a short description of your organization together with your application.

After being selected by the IACM Network Committee applicants for ambassadors sign a short declaration based on the aims of the IACM, which “is to advance knowledge on cannabis, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and related topics especially with regard to their therapeutic potential." Ambassadors get an official letter from the IACM on their appointment. The names of partner organizations and ambassadors will be published on the IACM website. The IACM Board hopes to build up a strong network of mutual support concerning issues related to the science on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicines and their access by patients in all countries on earth.

The IACM Network Committee is consisting of Milton Raff (South Africa), Raquel Peyraube (Uruguay), Minoru Arakaki (Japan), Hanka Gabrilova (Czech Republic), Ilya Reznik (Israel), Jahan Marcu (USA), Sébastien Béguerie (France), Ethan Russo (USA), Kisten Müller-Vahl (Germany), and Franjo Grotenhermen (Germany).

We are happy to send you more information. Please send your application together with your short CV until 31 December 2015 to info@cannabis-med.org

Science/Human: Cannabis use is associated with a lower risk for metabolic syndrome

An analysis of 8478 people of 20 to 59 years of age showed that current cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, researcher of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, USA, reported. Participants completed the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Metabolic syndrome was defined as 3 or more of the following: elevated fasting glucose, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated systolic/diastolic blood pressure, and increased waist circumference.

Fourteen percent (13.8%) of current cannabis users and 17.5% of past cannabis users presented with metabolic syndrome, compared with 19.5% of never users. Among young adults, current cannabis users were 54% less likely than never users to present with metabolic syndrome. Authors concluded that “current marijuana use is associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome across emerging and middle-aged US adults.” Metabolic syndrome is associated with increased risk for developing diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Vidot DC, Prado G, Hlaing WM, Florez HJ, Arheart KL, Messiah SE. Metabolic Syndrome Among Marijuana Users in the United States: An Analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Am J Med. 2015 Nov 5. [in press]

Science/Human: THCV inhibits some THC effects in clinical study

In a study with ten male cannabis users THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) inhibited some THC effects, researchers of the Institute of Psychiatry of King's College in London, UK, wrote in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. 10mg oral pure THCV or placebo were administered daily for five days, followed by 1mg intravenous THC on the fifth day.

THCV was well tolerated and subjectively indistinguishable from placebo. THC did not significantly increase psychotic symptoms, paranoia or impair short-term memory, while still producing significant intoxicating effects. Recall of presented words was impaired by THC and only occurred under placebo condition suggesting a protective effect of THCV. THCV also inhibited THC-induced increased heart rate. Nine out of ten participants reported THC under THCV condition to be subjectively weaker or less intense compared to placebo.

Englund A, Atakan Z, Kralj A, Tunstall N, Murray R, Morrison P. The effect of five day dosing with THCV on THC-induced cognitive, psychological and physiological effects in healthy male human volunteers: A placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot trial. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 Nov 17. [in press]

News in brief

Canada: First steps to the legalization of cannabis by the new government
Canada is officially on the road to legalization. In a letter outlining her responsibilities, the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has instructed Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to begin the process of legalizing and regulating cannabis in Canada.
Civilized of 19 November 2015

Canada: The medical use of cannabis is now allowed in public places in Ontario
Under new Ontario regulations, patients, who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, can smoke it now in any public places, where smoking of tobacco is banned. The regulation includes everything from movie theatres to restaurants, offices, stadiums and more. But employers, restaurant owners and other proprietors have the right to overrule these regulations.
The Star of 25 November 2015

Science/Human: Sativex effective in the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
Data from 322 patients (58.3% female; mean age 51.1 years) were analysed in an observational study. From baseline to month 3 of treatment spasticity decreased by 19.1%. After three months 24.6% of 203 patients with available data were clinically relevant responders with an improvement of 30% or more. Mean daily sprays of Sativex after three months were 5.1. One spray contains 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD.
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Italy.
Trojano M, et al. EUR Neurol 2015;74(3-4):178-185.

Science/Human: Sativex useful in the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
In 102 MS patients with spasticity the cannabis extract Sativex significantly reduced the symptom in most patients within 4 weeks in an observational study. 37 patients (36.2%) discontinued the treatment since no significant improvement was observed. In patients suffering from pain (56.9%) or bladder dysfunction (45.1%) Sativex also improved these symptoms.
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Italy.
Paolicelli D, et al. J Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Nov 26. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis may increase the risk of psychosis in people, who have experienced childhood abuse
In 231 patients with psychotic disorders neither cannabis use at any time in life nor reported exposure to childhood abuse was associated with psychotic disorders when the other environmental variable was taken into account. Although the combination of the two risk factors raised the odds for psychosis by nearly three times. Severe cannabis use also increased the risk for psychotic disorders.
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.
Sideli L, et al. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2015 Nov 12. [in press]

Science/Human: Regular cannabis use associated with elevated stroke risk
In 153 cases of stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) cannabis use was associated with a doubled risk (OR: 2.3) of stroke/TIA. This elevated risk was specific to participants who used cannabis weekly or more often.
ANU Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Hemachandra D, et al. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2015 Nov 11 [in press]

Science/Human: Laws on cannabis liberalization were associated with an increase in cannabis use among adolescents
An analysis of 172,894 adolescents 15 year of age who participated in a survey in the years 2001/2002, 2005/2006, or 2009/2010 in 38 EURopean and North American countries showed that cannabis liberalization laws were associated with a small increase in ever using cannabis of 10% (OR = 1.10), of using in the past year (OR = 1.09) and regular use (OR = 1.26). Authors concluded that “cannabis liberalization with depenalization and partial prohibition policies was associated with higher levels of regular cannabis use among adolescents.”
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California in San Diego, USA.
Shi Y, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10(11):e0143562.

Science/Human: Cannabis use associated with a reduction in obesity-related medical costs
Using data from the 1990 to 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System researchers found that medical cannabis laws were associated with a 2% to 6% decline in the probability of obesity. They concluded that their estimates suggest that these laws “induce a $58 to $115 per-person annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs.”
Department of Economics, San Diego State University, USA.
Sabia JJ, et al. Health Econ. 2015 Nov 25. [in press]

Science/Human: Burden of disease due to cannabis much lower than due to other legal and illegal drugs
An analysis revealed that the “cannabis-attributable burden of disease in Canada in 2012 included 55,813 years of life lost due to disability, mainly caused by cannabis use disorders. Although the cannabis-attributable burden of disease was substantial, it was much lower compared with other commonly used legal and illegal substances.”
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.
Imtiaz S, et al. Addiction. 2015 Nov 24. [in press]

Science/Animal: Slowing of disease in multiple sclerosis by cannabis is attributed to CB1 receptor activation
In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis a cannabis extract containing THC and CBD (Sativex) attenuated disease progression and this effect was mediated by the CB1 receptor.
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.
Moreno-Martet M, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord 2015;4(6):505-11

Science/Animal: Activation of CB2 receptors may reduce body weight in obesity
In obese mice a synthetic cannabinoid (JWH-015), which activates the CB2 receptor, reduced body weight and fat mass. Authors concluded that these “results demonstrate a role for CB2 receptors in modulating energy homeostasis and obesity associated metabolic pathologies in the absence of any adverse impact on mood.”
Department of Physiology, Monash University, Australia.
Verty AN, et al. PLoS One 2015;10(11):e0140592

Science/Animal: THC tablets, which may be used for once a day administration
Tablet formulations of THC were developed by using specific lipids. These tablets were chemically and physically stable for 3 months. Authors concluded that their results “demonstrate the feasibility of preparing oral THC tablets for once a day administration.”
School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, USA.
Punyamurthula NS, et al. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2015 Nov 20:1-25. [in press]

Science: Bioactive and protective compounds in hempseed
Four new lignanamides were identified from hempseed. Authors wrote that “the new identified compounds in this study added to the diversity of hempseed composition and the bioassays implied that hempseed, with lignanamides as nutrients, may be a good source of bioactive and protective compounds.”
University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Yan X, et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Nov 19. [in press]

Science/Animal: Endocannabinoids may reduce consequences of reduced oxygen supply during birth
Experimental studies with rats showed that reduced oxygen supply during birth disturbed the endocannabinoid system. Authors wrote that “these data encourage conducting future studies using AEs [acylethanolamides/endocannabinoids] as potential neuroprotective compounds in animal models of PA [perinatal asphyxia].”
Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga, Spain.
Blanco E, et al. Front Neuroanat. 2015 Nov 3;9:141. [in press]

Science/Animal: Modulation of the CB2 receptors may be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease
Studies with a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease showed that 1-phenylisatin, which modulates the CB2 receptor reduced brain damage. Authors wrote that ”this study concludes that CB2 receptor modulation can be a potential therapeutic target for the management of AD.”
School of Pharmacy, Bharat Institute of Technology, Partapur Bypass, Meerut, India.
Jayant S, et al. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2015;140:39-50.

Science/Animal: Endocannabinoids reduce inflammation in arthritis by the activation of TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors
Pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) are reduced in fibroblasts of inflamed joints of mice after the administration of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA), palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) and oleylethanolamine (OEA). This effect was mediated by the activation of TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors.
Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Regensburg, Germany.
Lowin T, et al. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015;17(1):321.

Science: Some articles available for free in the Wiley Online Library for a limited time
The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for movement disorders
Medical marijuana for cancer
Fewer specialists support using medical marijuana and CBD in treating epilepsy patients compared with other medical professionals and patients: Result of Epilepsia's survey
The role of cannabinoids and leptin in neurological diseases
Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been…
Up in smoke: A neurologist's approach to “medical marijuana”
Cannabinoids in paediatric neurology
The Dilemma of Medical Marijuana Use by Rheumatology Patients
Peripherally Restricted Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Pain
Ultra low doses of cannabinoid drugs protect the mouse brain from inflammation-induced cognitive damage
Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders
The case for medical marijuana in epilepsy
Cannabinoids and Hallucinogens for Headache
Complementary Therapies for Parkinson's Disease: What's Promoted, Rationale, Potential Risks and Benefits
Are medical marijuana users different from recreational users? The view from primary care
Medical marijuana
Cannabis and other illicit drug use in epilepsy patients
Medical use of cannabis: an addiction medicine perspective
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 agonist ACEA improves motor recovery and protects neurons in ischemic stroke in mice
The cannabis conundrum: Thinking outside the THC box
Cannabinoids and the Brain

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