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IACM-Bulletin of March 27, 2022


Science/Human — Cannabis may be helpful in Tourette syndrome according to an open study

In an open perspective study with 18 adult patients suffering from Tourette syndrome cannabis reduced symptoms after 4 and 12 week of treatment. It was conducted at the Department of Neurology of the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel. The mode of cannabis therapy was decided by the treating neurologist. The most common mode of administration was smoking (80%).

Following twelve weeks of treatment, a significant 38% average reduction of symptoms on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and a 20% reduction of Premonitory Urge for Tic Scale were observed. Three patients suffered from psychiatric side effects including worsening of obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attack, and anxiety. Six patients (33%) reported cognitive side effects. Authors concluded that the treatment with cannabis “demonstrates good efficacy and tolerability in adult GTS patients.”

Anis S, Zalomek C, Korczyn AD, Rosenberg A, Giladi N, Gurevich T. Medical Cannabis for Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome: An Open-Label Prospective Study. Behav Neurol. 2022 Mar 9;2022:5141773.

Science/Human — The anxiolytic effect of CBD depends on the nature of trauma in post-traumatic stress disorder

In a placebo-controlled study with 33 patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the effect of CBD on anxiety induced by recall of the traumatic event depended on the kind of trauma. It was conducted at the Department of Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences of Ribeirão Preto Medical School at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Participants were divided into 2 groups receiving either 300 mg CBD or placebo before listening to a digital audio playback of their previously recorded report of the trigger event.

In the nonsexual trauma group, the differences between subjective and physiological values of measurements before and after recall were significantly smaller with CBD than placebo. This held true for anxiety and cognitive impairment. However, in the sexual trauma group, the differences were non-significant for both measurements.

Bolsoni LM, Crippa JAS, Hallak JEC, Guimarães FS, Zuardi AW. The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol depends on the nature of the trauma when patients with post-traumatic stress disorder recall their trigger event. Braz J Psychiatry. 2022:S1516-44462022005004202.

Science/Human — Cannabis is effective in the treatment of nausea according to self-reports

Using the Releaf App, 886 people completed 2220 cannabis self-administration sessions intended to treat nausea between 2016 and 2019. They recorded the characteristics of self-administered cannabis products and baseline symptom intensity levels before tracking real-time changes in the intensity of their nausea. The study conducted by investigators of the Department of Economics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA, was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

By 1 hour after intake, 96% of participants had experienced symptom relief with an average symptom intensity reduction of -3.85 points on a 0 to 10 visual analogue scale. Symptom relief was statistically significant at 5 minutes and increased with time. Among product characteristics, flower and concentrates yielded the strongest, yet similar results. Products labelled as Cannabis indica underperformed those labelled as Cannabis sativa or hybrid.

Stith SS, Li X, Orozco J, Lopez V, Brockelman F, Keeling K, Hall B, Vigil JM. The Effectiveness of Common Cannabis Products for Treatment of Nausea. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2022;56(4):331-338.

Science/Human — Cannabis use is common in patients with hair loss and helps them cope with anxiety and depression

According to a web-based survey with 1087 patients suffering from alopecia areata, a common form of hair loss, cannabis may alleviate psychosocial symptoms related to the disease. The study by investigators of the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, was conducted in March 2021.

Most participants were female (83%) with a mean age of 48 years. 66% of participants had a history of cannabis use and among those, 52% were current cannabis users. The most common reason for cannabis use among current users was for symptoms related to hair loss, in 56%. The greatest perceived improvement was in symptoms of stress (73%) and anxiety, sadness, and depression (66%). 80% of current users indicated that cannabis had no impact on their hair loss.

Han JJ, Faletsky A, Mostaghimi A, Huang KP. Cannabis Use among Patients with Alopecia Areata: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study. Int J Trichology. 2022;14(1):21-24.

News in brief

IACM — Ethan Russo honoured by ICRS

Long-standing IACM Board member Ethan Russo celebrated his 70th birthday on 14 March 2022 with a virtual party. Dr. Russo, one of the most respected cannabis experts in the world - both with regard to his outstanding expertise and his distinguished personality - served as a board member from 2001 to 2019 and was chairman of the IACM between 2009 in 2011. He received the IACM Special Award for his major contribution to the reintroduction of cannabis as medicine in 2009. Our partner organisation ICRS honoured the work of Dr Russo with the Ethan Russo training price.

World — How to legalise cannabis in accordance with the international drug treaties

Experts of the NGO FAAAT have published an in-depth report describing how countries can legalise cannabis in accordance with the Single Convention on Necrotic Drugs of 1961. Michael Krawitz delivered a short statement at the recent CND (UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs) meeting on this issue. The report is titled "High compliance, a lex lata legalization for the non-medical cannabis industry, available as full legal analysis and executive summary. Also speaking at the same CND meeting was Carola Perez, spokesperson for the IACM Patient Council (starting at minute 50).

Science/Human — Cannabis reduces pain by 50% according to a survey

In a survey with 20 pain patients pain scores fell from 8.4 on a scale from 1 to 10 before treatment with cannabis to 4.3 afterwards. Participants also reported improvements in sleep and overall daily functioning.

ITAV Pain Management, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, New York, USA

Kinyungu N, et al. Open J Anesthesiol, 2022;12:91-98.

USA — Patients in South Dakota may grow their own cannabis

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has signed legislation (SB 24) into law preserving the right of qualified patients to home cultivate limited quantities of cannabis.

NORML of 24 March 2022

Science/Human — Certain genetic changes in the endocannabinoid system may influence personality

Using data from a longitudinal Swedish population-based study with 2,915 participants investigators found, that a certain genotype of the CB1 receptor may influence personality and influence alcohol intake. Authors wrote that “their study supports the notion that the ECS can affect alcohol intake behaviors by interacting with life adversities.”

Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Bornscheuer L, et al. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 23;12(1):4963.

Science/Human — Regular cannabis use may increase the risk for psychosis while occasional use may not

An analysis of 10 original studies showed, that yearly and monthly cannabis use had no significant effect on the risk for development of psychosis, while weekly use increased risk by 35% and daily use by 76%.

Faculty of Health Sciences, Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

Robinson T, et al. Psychol Med. 2022:1-11.

Science/Human — No association between early cannabis use and the development of bipolar disorder

Using data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 with 6,325 participants investigators did not find an association between early cannabis use and the development of bipolar disorder after adjustment for other factors, including frequent alcohol intoxication.

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Finland.

Denissoff A, et al. Addiction. 2022 Mar 21. [in press]

Science/Animal — The endocannabinoid 2-AG attenuates fibrosis of the heart

In a study with diabetic mice the endocannabinoid 2-AG (2 arachidonoylglycerol) attenuated Attenuates the development of myocardial fibrosis.

Department of Anesthesiology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China.

Chen Z, et al. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2022 Mar 19. [in press]

Science/Animal — CBD and THCV may protect against peripheral neuropathy caused by a chemotherapeutic agent

CBD (cannabidiol) and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) may be effective against peripheral neuropathy caused by paclitaxel, which is used in cancer chemotherapy, may be mediated by the 5-HT1A and the CB1 receptors on dorsal root ganglions.

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, USA.

Kumar Kalvala A, et al. Int Immunopharmacol. 2022;107:108693.

Science/Animal — Beta-caryophyellene reduces seizure activity

In a study with rats with a status epilepticus induced by a chemical (pilocarpine) beta-caryophyellene reduced seizure activity within 24 hours after termination of the status epilepticus.

Graduate Program in Pharmacology, Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil.

Mallmann MP, et al. Brain Res.2022;1784:147883.

Science/Cells — Cannabigerol contributes to a reduction in nerve excitability of the dorsal root ganglion

In a study with certain human embryonic cells (HEK) and nerve cells of the dorsal root ganglion investigators demonstrated that CBG (cannabigerol) reduced excitability of nerves in this ganglion. The dorsal root ganglion is a cluster of nerves of a spinal nerve.

Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.

Ghovanloo MR, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 16. [in press]

Science/Animal — Topical administration of CBD to the eye reduced surface inflammation

A stabilized cannabidiol nanoemulsion was administered to the eye of mice. It reduced ocular surface inflammation and decreased or had no effect on intraocular pressure.

The Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Rebibo L, et al. Int J Pharm. 2022;617:121627.