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IACM-Bulletin of 05 March 2017

IACM: Cannabinoid Conference 2017 – Call for abstracts and registration

The IACM Board of Directors would like to invite you to the Cannabinoid Conference 2017 and present your research. It will be held on 29-30 September 2017 in Cologne, Germany. The conference website with the preliminary program is online now for submission of abstracts and registration of participants. The deadlines for oral abstracts are 31 May 2017 and for poster abstracts 31 July 2017. Please find here sponsors of the up-coming meeting. If you want to sponsor the conference please contact the IACM by sending an e-mail to info@cannabis-med.org.

Date: 29-30 September 2017
Location: Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany

Reduced registration fees are available until 31 July 2017. Do not miss the leading conference on cannabis and cannabinoids in medicine!

During the Conference the IACM will honour four persons for special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. There is an award for basic research (Ester Fride Award), for clinical research, for young researchers and a special award. The IACM Award Committee will elect the Awardees. Each award is associated with a price money of 500 EURos. During the Conference the IACM will hold its General Meeting and elect new members for the Board of Directors and a new chairman/chairwoman.

News in brief

Science/Human: Patients prefer cannabis over opioids
In a survey with 271 Canadian patients, who received cannabis for medical use, cannabis often replaced other medicinal drugs (63%), particularly pharmaceutical opioids (30%), benzodiazepines (16%), and antidepressants (12%). Patients also reported substituting cannabis for alcohol (25%) and cigarettes/tobacco (12%).
University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada.
Lucas P, Walsh Z. Int J Drug Policy. 2017;42:30-35

Germany: Medical education for doctors on the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids
On 13 May the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine in cooperation with the Medical Association of Hessen and the City of Frankfurt is organizing a conference to educate doctors and other healthcare professionals on the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Cannabis und Cannabinoide als Medizin

The Netherlands: Lower house of parliament passed bill, which allows cultivation of cannabis
The Dutch lower house of parliament on 21 February by 77-72 passed a bill to decriminalize cultivation of cannabis in the Netherlands. The bill has still to be passed by the senate. Cannabis is available in "coffeeshops" for personal use but the actual production of the plant to supply those shops is illegal. As a result, retailers must open themselves to potential prosecution by growing their own cannabis or buying it from criminal networks.
UPI of 21 February 2017

Germany: Presentation of cannabis agency
On 3 March the Federal Health Ministry presented detailed plans for the new cannabis agency to oversee the cultivation of cannabis and the subsequent production to be used medicinally, in line with a new law approved by the Bundestag in January and is expected to take effect mid-March 2017.
British Medical Journal of 8 February 2017
Pharmazeutische Zeitung of 3 March 2017

Science/Human: Cannabis use not associated with higher risk of cardiovascular diseases
In a study with 5113 adults aged 18 to 30 years at baseline (1985-1986) from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, who were followed for more than 25 years, cannabis was not associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events. Compared with no cannabis use, cumulative lifetime and recent cannabis use showed no association with incident cardiovascular diseases, stroke, coronary heart disease, or mortality from cardiovascular diseases.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, USA.
Reis JP, et al. Am J Public Health. 2017 Feb 16:e1-e6 [in press]

Denmark: More than 80% support the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes
More than 80% of Danes are in favour of legalising the medical use of cannabis, a new survey has found, increasing the chance that a pilot scheme planned for next year will lead to an end to prohibition. Denmark plans from January 1 next year to launch a four-year trial which will allow “a defined patient group” to be treated with medical cannabis, after an agreement was reached in the Danish Parliament last November.
The Local of 27 February 2017

Science/Animal: Omega-3 fatty acids increased CB1 receptors and reduced colon cancer growth
In a study with mice dietary omega-3 fatty acids significantly inhibited intestinal polyp growth, correlating with CB1 receptor expression induction.
National Institute of Gastroenterology "S. de Bellis", Research Hospital, Bari, Italy.
Notarnicola M, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(3).

Science/Human: Prolonged withdrawal symptoms in young cannabis users with psychiatric diseases
In 50 young adults, aged 18-25 years, withdrawal symptoms after cessation of cannabis use depended on psychiatric illnesses. Those without psychiatric diagnosis had significantly reduced withdrawal symptom severity in the first abstinent week and had shorter duration of cannabis withdrawal.
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
Schuster RM, et al. Prev Med. 2017 Feb 24. [in press]

Science/Animal: CBD improved cognition in a rat model of schizophrenia
Using a rat model of schizophrenia, researchers examined the effect of chronic CBD treatment on cognition and social interaction. CBD treatment significantly improved recognition, working memory and social interaction deficits in this model. Authors wrote that “these novel findings present interesting implications for potential use of CBD in treating the cognitive deficits and social withdrawal of schizophrenia.”
Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Australia.
Osborne AL, et al. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Feb 23 [in press]

Science/Human: High academic ability reduced the risk of tobacco smoking but increased the risk of cannabis use in adolescents
In a study with 6059 children, who were followed from age 11 to age 20, high academic ability at age 11 was associated with a reduced risk of cigarette smoking but an increased risk of drinking alcohol regularly and cannabis use. These associations persisted into early adulthood.
UCL Medical School, London, UK.
Williams J, et al. BMJ Open. 2017;7(2):e012989.

Science/Animal: Dose-dependent influence of THC on glucose uptake in the brain
THC influenced glucose uptake in the brain of rats. Low blood THC levels of < 1 ng/ml corresponded to an increased glucose uptake (6-30 %), while blood THC levels > 10 ng/ml coincided with a decreased glucose uptake (-2 to -22 %). There were differences between different brain regions.
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.
Miederer I, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2017;117:273-281.

Science/Animal: Activation of the CB2 receptor reduced skin inflammation
A synthetic CB2 receptor agonist inhibited inflammation in a mouse dermatitis model by blocking the activity of the endocannabinoid 2-AG.
SHIONOGI & Co, Osaka, Japan.
Haruna T, et al. Pharmacology. 2017;99(5-6):259-267.

Science/Human: No association between cannabis use and depression
In a longitudinal study with 2,348 patients with major depressive disorders level of cannabis use was associated with significantly more depressive symptoms at follow-up. However, after adjusting for baseline confounding factors, no associations were found between cannabis use and suicidality, functionality and quality of life. Authors concluded “that many of the associations between cannabis use and a more severe course of major depressive disorders do not seem to be attributed to cannabis use itself but to associated sociodemographic and clinical factors.”
Ariel University, Israel.
Feingold D, et al. Psychiatry Res. 2017;251:225-234.

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