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IACM-Bulletin of December 18, 2022


Science/Human — Cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder

A case-series of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analyzed. Investigators from Imperial College Medical Cannabis Research Group from the Department of Surgery and Cancer of Imperial College London, UK, observed an improvement of health-related quality of life, which was assessed at 1-, 3-, and 6-months using validated patient reported outcome measures.

Of 162 included patients, 89% were current or previous cannabis users. Median daily dosages were 5 mg of CBD and 145 mg of THC. Significant improvements were observed in PTSD symptoms, sleep, and anxiety across all follow-up periods. There were 220 adverse events reported by 33 patients, with the majority graded mild or moderate in severity.

Pillai, Erridge, Bapir, Nicholas, Dalavaye, Holvey, Coomber, Barros, Bhoskar, Mwimba, Praveen, Symeon, Sachdeva-Mohan, Rucker, Sodergren. Assessment of clinical outcomes in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder: analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. Expert Rev Neurother. 2022 Dec 12:1-10.

Science/Human — A high number of cancer survivors with chronic pain use cannabis

According to a survey with 2304 patients, of whom 73% had a confirmed cancer diagnosis, many of those with persistent chronic pain use cannabis. The study was published by investigators of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA. An electronic survey was developed in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the USA. The survey was distributed to cancer survivors within a multi-site, single institution setting.

Among cancer survivors, 16.5% had persistent pain and about 12% of all cancer survivors reported cannabis use since their cancer diagnosis. Compared to cancer survivors without pain, those with pain were more likely to believe in the benefits of cannabis and less likely to believe in its risks. Authors concluded that cancer survivors with chronic pain “have a higher prevalence of cannabis use compared to those patients without pain.”

Philpot LM, Ramar P, Jatoi A, Rosedahl J, Canning R, Ebbert JO. Cannabis in Cancer Survivors Who Report High Impact Chronic Pain: Findings from a 1500+ Patient Survey. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2022:10499091221143098.

News in brief

Colombia — Colombia: Senate supports cannabis legalization

Colombia's House of Representatives and Senate voted to reconcile versions of bills to legalize cannabis. Both bodies accepted minor changes to create a unified final rule that is now ready to move forward to key votes in 2023. Because the legalization proposal would amend the country's constitution, the legislation must pass both chambers again in 2023, and a key sponsor of the bill in the Senate says he expects it to be formally enacted by June.

La Voz de Chile of 15 December 2022

Science/Human — THC is effective in the treatment of refractory neuropathic pain

In a retrospective analysis of 12 patients with refractory neuropathic pain, who followed treatment for at least 3 months, 9 reported improvements.

Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes, France.

Richet, Ferret, et al. Ann Pharm Fr. 2022 Dec 10:S0003-4509(22)00159-6.

Science/Animal — Cannabinoids inhibit liver toxicity of alcohol

In a study with rats cannabinoids were shown to inhibit the toxicity of alcohol to the liver.

Clinical Experimental Centre, Xi'an International Medical Center Hospital, Shaanxi Province, China.

Yan L, et al. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2022 Dec 1:e23260.

Science/Cells — CBD protects nerve cells of the brain

Using nerve cells of the striatum, a certain brain region, which were exposed to stress against the endoplasmic reticulum, CBD showed neuroprotective effects.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Patel V, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Nov 28. [in press].

Science/Human — The legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in Canada was associated with reduced alcohol sales

Covering 7 Canadian regions from 2011 to 2018 an analysis shows that “alcohol sales were roughly 1.8% lower than they would have been without legal medical cannabis.“

Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

Armstrong MJ, et al Health Policy. 2022:S0168-8510(22)00304-9.

Science/Human — The use of cannabis during pregnancy may be associated with increased health problems

An analysis of 2,380,446 patients of whom 9144 (0.4 %) were identified as using cannabis during pregnancy, showed that cannabis use was associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, smaller babies and an increased risk of death. It is unclear from the data if this association is causal.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA.

Prewitt KC, et al. J Addict Med. 2022 Dec 14. [in press].

Science/Cells — THC and CBD reduce inflammatory responses in macrophages

In response to a substance (lipopolysaccharide), which induces an inflammatory response in macrophages both THC and CBD reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6.

Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Montreal, Canada.

Preteroti MW, et al. Immunol Cell Biol. 2022 Dec 12. [in press].

Science/Cells — CBD and CBG exert their anti-cancer effects in glioblastoma in part by the GPR55

Using glioblastoma tissue from cancer patients the cannabinoids CBD and CBG were shown to exert their anti-cancer effects in part by acting on GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors. A CBG/CBD ratio of 3 to 1 was most effective.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Cancer Biology, National Institute of Biology, Slovenia.

Lah TT, et al. Cancers (Basel). 2022;14(23):5918.

Science/Cells — THC and CBD prevent cellular senescence in skin cells

In studies with fibroblasts of the skin THC and CBD were shown to prevent senescence and improve wound healing. Authors wrote that these cannabinoids “can be a valuable source of biologically active substances used in cosmetics.”

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Canada.

Gerasymchuk M, et al. Cells. 2022;11(23):3939.

Science/Animal — CBD may be combined with other medications and epilepsy

According to a mouse model of focal epilepsy CBD may be used as an adjunct therapy for adult focal refractory epilepsy in combination with a benzodiazepine (midazolam) and a neurosteroid (ganaxolone).

Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, School of Medicine, USA.

Golub V, et al. Exp Neurol. 2022:114294.

Science/Human — Inhalation of THC may increase the concentration of anandamide

In a placebo-controlled trial with 46 healthy subjects “THC induced acute increases in plasma levels of anandamide and noncannabinoid ethanolamides, but there was no evidence that these effects were influenced by the coadministration of CBD.”

Department of Psychosis Studies and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.

Chester LA, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Dec 9. [in press].

Science/Human — Blood levels of CBD decreased to zero within 13 days after a single CBD dose of 300 mg

In a study with 32 participants, who received different doses of CBD, 28% of those receiving 300 mg still had detectable blood plasma levels after 7 days and 100% of those receiving 1500 mg. No CBD was detected in blood plasma after 13 days in those receiving 300 mg of CBD.

The University of Sydney, Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, New South Wales, Australia.

McCartney D, et al. Drug Test Anal. 2022 Dec 7. [in press].

Science/Animal — Inhibition of an endocannabinoid degradation may be helpful in osteoporosis

In a study with mice with osteoporosis inhibition of anandamide degradation by inhibition of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase, which is important for the degradation of this endocannabinoid inhibited osteoporosis.

Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China.

Zhu M, et al. FASEB J. 2023;37(1):e22690.

Science/Animal — Activation of the cannabinoid-2 receptor protects against acute lung injury caused by a bacterium

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa may cause acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. In a study with mice results indicate that the activation of the CB2 receptor may ameliorate lung injury and inflammation induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Department of Physiological Sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, USA.

Nagre N, et al. Respir Res. 2022;23(1):326.