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IACM-Bulletin of February 27, 2022


Science/Human — Cannabis treatment is associated with improved quality of life according to a large study

An analysis of data from approximately 10,000 patients, who received cannabis in Israel, cannabis treatment was associated with high adherence to the therapy, improvement in quality of life and decreased pain with a low frequency of serious adverse events. Researchers of the Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, investigated safety and effectiveness of the treatment at 6 months.

The most frequent primary indications requiring therapy were cancer (49%), followed by non-specific pain (29%). 30% of the patients reported prior experience with cannabis. During the study follow-up, about 19% died and about 17% stopped treatment. Common side-effects, reported by about 34% were dizziness (8%), dry mouth (7%), increased appetite (5 %), sleepiness (4%), and psychoactive effect (4%). Overall, 70.6% patients had treatment success at 6 months.

Bar-Lev Schleider L, Mechoulam R, Sikorin I, Naftali T, Novack V. Adherence, Safety, and Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis and Epidemiological Characteristics of the Patient Population: A Prospective Study. Front. Med, 2022;9: 9 February 2022.

Science/Human — The combination of melatonin and CBD may treat insomnia

According to an open study with 20 patients a combination of CBD and melatonin may reduce anxiety and improve sleep in patients with sleep disorders and anxiety. Participants received an extract containing melatonin and CBD overnight for 3 months of treatment.

Investigators of Casa di Cura Villa Igea, Modena, Italy, found a reduction in mood alterations, including anxiety, panic, paranoia, depression, in pain and good general health perceptions. they wrote that these “data suggest that the formula CBD-melatonin could be competitive with the classic hypnotic synthetic drugs.”

Palmieri G, Vadalà M, Corazzari V, Palmieri B. Insomnia treatment: a new multitasking natural compound based on melatonin and cannabis extracts. Clin Ter. 2022;173(1):91-96.

News in brief

Science/Human — CBD may be helpful in hyperhidrosis

CBD reduced hyperhidrosis in 2 patients treated with CBD for other reasons. Reduced sweating was an unexpected effect.

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Pitliuk R, et al. Einstein (São Paulo) 2022;20:eRC5795.

Canada — The cannabis industry contributed 43.5 billion dollars to the GDP since legalisation in 2018

According to a recent report in the cannabis industry has contributed 43.5 billion Canadian dollars (about 30.3 euros) – about 11 billion cannabis sales and 29 billion capital expenditures - to the Gross Domestic Product and sustained 98,000 jobs across Canada.

Deloitte 2022

USA — Hemp growers may get licenses to cultivate THC-rich cannabis in New York

The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, signed a law that would allow hemp growers to obtain licences to cultivate and process THC -rich cannabis for the cannabis market of New York.

New York State Assembly, Legislative Info

Science/Human — Cannabis may be helpful in ADHD according to case reports

Cannabis improved symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 3 young adults aged 18, 22, and 23 years. There were considerable improvements in depression, anxiety, regulation and attention on validated rating scales.

College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Mansell H, et al. Med Cannabis Cannabinoids 2022;5:1–6.

Science/Human — Cannabis may be effective in refractory chronic pain

An analysis of data from 151 pain patients, who received an oral cannabis preparation containing THC and CBD for at least 3 months, showed improved pain scores and often improvements in sleep (49%) and fatigue (36%).

Applied Cannabis Research, Sydney, Australia.

Abelev S, et al. Med Cannabis Cannabinoids 2022;5:20–31.

Science/Human — Cannabis may be helpful in opioid withdrawal

Cannabis is used to manage opioid withdrawal according to an analysis of Internet posts.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California San Francisco, USA.

Meacham MC, et al. PLoS One. 2022;17(2):e0263583.

Science/Human — Cannabis use may reduce the risk for myocardial infarction

Using data of the UK biobank cohort investigators found, that cannabis use is associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of myocardial infarction.

Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, USA.

Lehrer S, et al. Cureus. 2022;14(2):e22054.

Science/Cells — CBD induces programmed cell death in pancreatic cancer cells

CBD was shown to lead to programmed cell death so-called apoptosis, in pancreatic cancer cells.

CNRS, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Strasbourg, France.

Emhemmed F, et al. Molecules. 2022 ;27(4):1214.

Science/Human — Cannabis users may experience higher post-operative pain

61 cannabis users, who underwent gynaecologic oncology surgery, experienced more post-operative pain than 590 patients, who did not use cannabis.

Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Wiseman LK, et al. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2022:S1701-2163(22)00071-8.

Science/Animal — CBD may protect against Alzheimer’s disease

In animal model of Alzheimer’s disease using a nematode ((C. elegans) CBD was shown to be protective against neurodegeneration.

College of Life Science and Technology, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Jilin, China.

Zhang Y, et al. Eur J Pharmacol. 2022;919:174829.

Science/Human — Pancreatitis may be a rare side-effect of cannabis use

A review showed, that acute pancreatitis may be a rare side-effect of cannabis use.

CHU, Université de Toulouse, France.

Azam C, et al. Drug Saf. 2022 Feb 18. [in press]

Science/Animal — CBD and naltrexone may increase the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy

In mouse models, the use CBD and low doses of naltrexone enhanced the effect of the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine, and “crucially, their use resulted in no significant toxicity in the mice, which actually gained more weight compared to those without this pre‑treatment.”

Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George’s University of London, UK.

Liu WM, et al. Oncol Rep. 2022;47(4):76.

Science/Human — Many patients with Parkinson’s disease use cannabis

In an anonymous online survey with 530 patients with Parkinson’s disease 11% reported previous or current use of cannabis and healthcare providers often were not aware.

The Norwegian Centre for Movement Disorders, University of Bergen, Norway.

Erga AH, et al. Acta Neurol Scand. 2022 Feb 17 [in press].

Science/Human — Treatment effect after initiation of CBD use in tuberous sclerosis starts within about a week

In a study with 224 patients, who received CBD or placebo, a treatment effect of CBD was usually seen after 6 to 10 days.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, USA.

Wu JY, et al. Epilepsia. 2022 Feb 17.

Science/Human — 7 µg per kilogram bodyweight may be a reasonable maximum amount of THC to take in with hemp food

According to an in-depth analysis of toxicity data authors suggest 7 µg per kilogram bodyweight is an maximum daily dose for THC intake with food.

EIHA Advisory Committee, European Industrial Hemp Association, Brussels, Belgium.

Beitzke B, et al. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2022:1-28.

Science/Human — Lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased cannabis use

Based on data from 116 monthly cannabis users from Israel investigators found, that lockdowns due to to the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with increased cannabis use. This is in accordance with data from other countries.

School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Israel.

Sznitman SR, J Addict Med. 2022 Feb 14.

Science/Animal — The activation of the CB2 receptor may counteract cognitive decline in HIV patients

A model with rats shows activation of the CB2 receptor is neuroprotective against the development of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).

College of Pharmacy, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.

Wang L, et al. Brain Res Bull. 2022;182:67-79.

Science/Human — Cannabis smoking may be associated with an increased risk for the development of cataracts

An analysis of UK biobank data revealed that cannabis use was associated with the development of cataracts. Authors suppose that this is due to the toxins in cannabis smoke, which are similar to tobacco smoke.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA.

Lehrer S, Rheinstein PH, J Fr Ophtalmol. 2022 Mar;45(3):267-271.

Science/Animal — THC may be associated with reduced platelet activity and function

A study with monkeys shows, that regular oral intake of THC was associated with a reduced activation and function of platelets.

Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, USA.

Reitsma SE, et al. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022;322(3):C370-C381.

Science/Animal — CBD has antioxidant effects in stroke

In a rat model of stroke CBD had antioxidant and anti-apoptoptic properties.

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of biological Sciences, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.

Khaksar S, et al. Brain Res Bull. 2022;180:118-130.

Science/Animal — CBD does not alter the immune response in dogs

In a controlled study with 32 dogs the administration of CBD in a dose of 5 mg per kilogram bodyweight did not influence the immune response to an antigen.

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, USA.

Morris EM, et al. Res Vet Sci. 2022;143:13-19.

Science/Human — Cannabis use hampers bone healing after a fracture

In a study with 339 patients aged 10 to 18 years with extremity fractures, who had to be treated surgically, those with cannabis use showed a slower complete fracture healing.

Department of Orthopaedics, UT Health San Antonio, USA.

Heath D, et al. J Orthop Trauma. 2022;36(3):e106-e110.

Science/Human — Genetic variants of FAAH influence the extinction of fear

An analysis of 59 healthy adults showed, that variants of the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase), which is responsible for degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide, may predict individual differences in successful fear learning.

Department of Pharmacy Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.

Zabik NL, et al. J Neurosci Res. 2022;100(3):744-761.

Science/Human — Cannabis use is associated with reduced hospitalisation of patients with irritable bowel syndrome

An analysis of 7163 patients with irritable bowel syndrome, who had been treated in hospital, cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of re-hospitalisation within 30 days by any cause, but not for causes specific for irritable bowel syndrome.

Department of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA.

Choi C, et al J Clin Gastroenterol. 2022;56(3):257-265.