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IACM-Bulletin of 5 November 2023

Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce the need for antianxiety medication

In a longitudinal observational study with 108 adults suffering from anxiety or PTSD as a referring condition did the use of cannabis allow a reduction in other medications. Investigators of Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia, USA, asked participants to fill out a survey at baseline and after 3 months.

Findings indicated that 59 % of participants reported prescription medications for anxiety, with 70% reporting at least a moderate desire to reduce medication use. Participants displayed significant reductions in anxiety severity from baseline to Month 3. Furthermore, 32% reported actual reductions in medication use at month 3, and reductions were more likely among patients prescribed benzodiazepines than other drug classes.

Dugosh KL, Short MM, Syracuse P, McCalmont TR, Lent MR. Anxiety severity and prescription medication utilization in first-time medical marijuana users. Affective Disorders Reports, 2023;14:100671.

Science/Human: A clinical study demonstrates anti ageing properties of CBD and EPA on the skin

In a placebo-controlled trial with 33 subjects, who received a topical cream containing CBD (cannabidiol) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) for 56 days, the cream showed anti ageing properties on the skin. The study was conducted by investigators of the Skin Research Institute at The Dead Sea and Arava Science Center in Masada, Israel.

EPA was found to potentiate the protective effects of CBD by reducing the secretion of prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-8, two primary inflammatory agents associated with photoaging. In addition, a qualitative histological examination signaled that applying the cream may result in an increase in extracellular matrix remodeling following UV radiation. This was also evidenced clinically by a reduction of crow's feet wrinkle area and volume, as well as a reduction of fine line wrinkle volume. Additional clinical results showed significantly reduced red spots area and count, and an increase in skin hydration and elasticity by 31.2% and 25.6%.

Cohen G, Jakus J, Portillo M, Gvirtz R, Ogen-Shtern N, Silberstein E, Ayzenberg T, Rozenblat S. In vitro, ex vivo, and clinical evaluation of anti-aging gel containing EPA and CBD. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2023;22(11):3047-3057.

Science/Human: Many cancer patients use cannabis for the treatment of pain, sleeping problems and nausea

According to a survey with 267 cancer patients many of them use cannabis for the treatment of different symptoms. Participants of this study conducted by investigators of Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City, USA. They were 58 years old on average, primarily female (70%), and predominantly White (88%). Over a quarter of respondents (26%) reported past 30-day cannabis use.

The most common medical reasons for cannabis use were pain, cancer, sleep problems, anxiety, nausea/vomiting, and poor appetite. Participants reported the greatest cannabis-related symptom relief from sleep problems, nausea/vomiting, headaches, pain, muscle spasms, and anxiety.

Azizoddin DR, Cohn AM, Ulahannan SV, Henson CE, Alexander AC, Moore KN, Holman LL, Boozary LK, Sifat MS, Kendzor DE. Cannabis use among adults undergoing cancer treatment. Cancer. 2023;129(21):3498-3508.

Science/Human: Palmitoylethanolamide may reduce the risk for upper respiratory tract infections

According to a placebo controlled study with 426 participants 300 mg of oral palmitoylethanolamide twice daily for 12 weeks may reduce the risk for the development of upper respiratory tract infections. The study with this endocannabinoid-like substance was conducted by investigators of RDC Clinical in Brisbane, Australia.

The group receiving the palmitoylethanolamide preparation called Levagen+ reported fewer episodes of upper respiratory tract infections (39 vs. 64) compared to the placebo group. The Levagen+ group also reported a significant reduction in the median severity score of symptoms for scratchy throat (3 vs. 7) and cough (2 vs. 7) compared to the placebo group.


Rao A, Skinner R, Briskey D. The Efficacy of Palmitoylethanolamide (Levagen+) on the Incidence and Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection-A Double Blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2023;15(20):4453.

Science/Human: CBD may be helpful in acute dental pain

In a placebo-controlled trial 61 patients with moderate to severe toothache were randomized into 3 groups: CBD10 (CBD 10 mg/kg), CBD20 (CBD 20 mg/kg), and placebo. Investigators of the School of Dentistry in San Antonio, USA, administered a single dose of the respective oral solution and monitored the subjects for 3 h.

CBD groups resulted in significant pain reduction measured by a visual analogue scale compared to their baseline and the placebo group, with a maximum median pain reduction of 73% from baseline pain at the 180-min time point. CBD20 experienced a faster onset of significant pain relief than CBD10 (15 versus 30 min after drug administration), and both groups reached maximum pain relief at 180-min.

Chrepa V, Villasenor S, Mauney A, Kotsakis G, Macpherson L. Cannabidiol as an Alternative Analgesic for Acute Dental Pain. J Dent Res. 2023:220345231200814.

News in brief

Science: Aroma differences in cannabis are not only influenced by terpenes but other volatile compounds

“In particular, we identified a new class of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) containing the 3-mercaptohexyl functional group responsible for the distinct citrus aromas in certain varieties and skatole (3-methylindole) as the key source of the chemical aroma in others. Our results provide not only a rich understanding of the chemistry of Cannabis sativa L. but also highlight how the importance of terpenes in the context of the aroma of Cannabis sativa L. has been overemphasized.”

Department of Research and Development, Abstrax Tech, Tustin, USA.

Oswald IWH, et al. ACS Omega. 2023;8(42):39203-39216.

Science/Cells: Cannabis extract effective against melanoma cells

A specific cannabis extract showed anticancer effects against 3 lines of melanoma cells.

The Pangenomics Lab, School of Science, RMIT University, Bundoora, Australia.

Bachari A, et al. Cells. 2023;12(20):2450.

Science/Animal: CBG may reduce neuropathic pain induced by the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin

Cannabigerol (CBG), derived from the cannabis plant, acts as an acute analgesic in a mouse model of cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy. Researchers found that CBG treatment for 7 and 14 consecutive days significantly reduced mechanical hypersensitivity in male and female mice and reduced pain sensitivity up to 60-70% of baseline levels. There was no development of tolerance.

Department of Pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, USA.

Nachnani R, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2023;16(10):1442.

Science/Animal: CBD may reduce age-related inflammation in the lung and liver

“Chronic treatment with CBD in 15-month-old rats showed beneficial effects in lung and more significantly in liver by reducing the levels of inflammatory, oxidative and apoptotic mediators, and hence the cell damage associated with these three processes inherent to aging.”

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.

Rancan L, et al. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023;12(10):1837.

Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of hyperhidrosis

Researchers presented a case with hyperhidrosis, who responded well to a treatment with cannabinoids.

Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Germany.

Kaemmerer T, et al. J Dermatolog Treat. 2023;34(1):2127308.

Science/Animal: The pharmacokinetics of CBD were investigated in horses

Oral bioavailability of CBD was close to 14% in horses. Simulated dose regimen of CBD every 12 and 24 h predicted similar percentages to reach effective plasma concentration.

Veterinary Clinical Hospital, University of Cordoba, Spain.

Sánchez de Medina A, et al. Equine Vet J. 2023;55(6):1094-1103.

Science/Animal: Increased numbers of CB1 receptors in the hippocampus may protect from seizures in pregnancy

In study with mice a high concentration of CB1 receptors in a certain brain region (hippocampus) reduced the risk for eclampsia, new-onset seizures in pregnancy.

Program in Neuroscience, University of Mississippi Medical School, Jackson, USA.

Jones-Muhammad M, et al. J Neurosci Res. 2023;101(12):1884-1899.

Science/Human: The legalisation of cannabis for medical use in the USA was not associated with rising stimulant rates

Medical cannabis programs “did not contribute to certain states having rapid increases in Schedule II stimulant distribution rates over time.”

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, USA.

Alexander GD, et al. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2023 Oct 26. [in press]

Science/Animal: CBD may reduce seizures in dogs

In 51 dogs with treatment resistant seizures a therapy with CBD for 3 months at a daily dose of 9 mg per kilogram bodyweight reduced the number of days with seizures by 24%.

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University Veterinary, Fort Collins, USA.

Rozental AJ, et al. J Vet Intern Med. 2023 Oct 27. [in press]

Science/Animal: Beta-caryophyllene Inhibits oxaliplatin-Induced peripheral neuropathy

In a study with mice the CB2 receptor agonist beta-caryophyllene reduced the intensity of peripheral neuropathy caused by the chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin.

Department of Pharmacology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

Agnes JP, et al. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023;12(10):1893.

Science/Animal: CBD mitigates pancreatitis induced by lipopolysaccharides

In a rat model of pancreatitis caused by lipopolysaccharides, which damaged both the endocrine and the exocrine pancreas, “CBD demonstrated marked ameliorative effects in the pancreas.”

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey.

Topsakal S, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2023 Oct 30. [in press]

Science/Animal: Local administration of CBD may be helpful in complex regional pain syndrome

Local administration of CBD promoted pain-relieving effects in a mice model of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The authors concluded that these “results point to the possible beneficial effects of local administration of CBD in modulating CRPS-I in humans.”

Laboratory of Experimental Neuroscience (LANEX), University of Southern Catarina, Palhoça, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Buffon AC, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2023 Oct 30. [in press]

Science/Animal: Beta-caryophyllene may reduce weight in obesity

In a mouse model of obesity beta-caryophyllene “had significant effects on weight reduction and improvement of dyslipidemia. What's more, it significantly reduced body fat percentage, improved steatosis and ballooning of liver cells, and reduced fat accumulation, while inhibiting the proliferation of peri-abdominal adipocytes.”

Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Jiayao C, et al. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2023:S1871-403X(23)00123-0.

Science/Animal: The activation of CB2 receptors may protect the heart from damage due to sepsis

In a study with mice with sepsis “activating CB2 receptors decreased the levels of myocardial damage mediator LDH, CK-MB, and inflammatory cytokine IL-1β.”

Department of Anesthesiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

Zhang J, et al. Immunol Lett. 2023:S0165-2478(23)00179-7.