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IACM-Bulletin of March 31, 2019


Science/Human — Cannabis use is associated with a lower probability of obesity in healthy people

In a representative group for the US population, who were followed for 3 years cannabis use was associated with a lower increase of BMI (body mass index). Researchers of the Department of Family Medicine of Michigan State University in East Lansing, USA, published their research in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Adults completed computer-assisted personal interviews on cannabis use, body weight and height at Waves 1 (2001-2002) and 2 (2004-2005).

At wave 2, 77% of the participants never used cannabis, 18% had discontinued use, 3% were initiates and 2% were persistent users. Estimated BMI change over 3 years shows an increase for all subgroups. Compared with never-users, there was an inverse association of cannabis use with obesity and body mass index.

Alshaarawy O, Anthony JC. Are cannabis users less likely to gain weight? Results from a national 3-year prospective study. Int J Epidemiol. 2019 Mar 16. [in press]

Science — Degradation of THC over a course of 4 years under different storage conditions

Researchers of the Laboratory of Environmental Hygiene and Forensic Toxicology of the DMPO Department in Venice, Italy, investigated the degradation of THC in herbal and resin materials containing different initial concentrations of THC. Four representative samples were collected from each study material and were maintained for a prolonged time (four years) under different controlled storage conditions: (A) light and room temperature (22°C); (B) darkness and room temperature; (C) darkness and refrigeration (4 °C); (D) darkness and freezing (-20 °C).

Almost 100% of THC was degraded after four years under conditions A and B (room temperature, light or dark). Data indicated that the storage temperature and light exposure had two different effects on the conversion of THC to CBN. Models were proposed which allow to predict the storage time, if unknown, and the initial content of THC, from the measurement of THC and CBN content at any time under storage condition A.

Zamengo L, Bettin C, Badocco D, Di Marco V, Miolo G, Frison G. The role of time and storage conditions on the composition of hashish and marijuana samples: A four-year study. Forensic Sci Int. 2019;298:131-137.

News in brief

USA — Florida lifts ban on smoking cannabis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill to lift the state's ban on smoking medical cannabis. A 2017 bill enacted by former Governor Rick Scott banned smoking cannabis.

UPI of 19 March 2019

Science/Human — Cannabis use in adolescents decreased in Washington State after legalisation

Cannabis use decreased among adolescents according to a survey with 76,000 youth representative of 8th and 10th grades in the state of Washington. It only increased among 12th-grade working youth.

College of Nursing-Spokane, Washington State University, Washington, USA.

Graves JM, et al. J Adolesc Health. 2019 Mar 14. [in press]

Science/Human — Cannabis use mitigates inflammation associated with alcohol use

In a study with 66 regular alcohol drinkers concomitant cannabis use reduced the concentration of the pro-inflammatory mediator interleukin-6. Authors wrote that there “preliminary findings suggest that cannabinoid compounds may serve to mitigate inflammation associated with alcohol use.”

Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Karoly HC, et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2018;42(3):531-539.

Science/Human — Heavy cannabis use is more likely associated with depression

According to a large study “cannabis users have consistently higher prevalence rates of depressive disorders compared with nonusers.”

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Italy.

Carrà G, et al. Subst Abus. 2019:1-7.

Science/Human — Cannabis use in patients with schizophrenia is associated with a reduced risk for inflammatory bowel disease

In a study with 21,066 cases with schizophrenia and 176,935 control subjects cannabis use was associated with a reduced risk for inflammatory bowel disease in patients with schizophrenia but not in the control group.

Copenhagen Research Center for Mental Health - CORE, Mental Health Center Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

Olesen JA, et al. Psychol Med. 2019:1-8.

Science/Human — Cannabis use by adolescents was associated with an increased likelihood of suicide attempts

In a study with 456 adolescents, who reported suicidal thoughts, and 569, who reported non-suicidal self-harm at 16 years of age, cannabis use was associated with a 2.6 increased likelihood for the transition to suicide attempts.

Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol Medical School, UK.

Mars B, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019;6(4):327-337.

Science/Human — CBD degradation is slower in people with hepatic impairment

In a clinical study patients with liver disease presented with slower degradation of CBD than in healthy people. Authors concluded that their “findings indicate that dose modification is necessary in patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment, and a lower starting dose and slower titration are necessary based on benefit-risk.”

GW Research Ltd, Cambridge, UK.

Taylor L, et al. J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Mar 28. [in press]

Science/Human — Haloperidol reduces the psychological effects of THC

In a study with 28 healthy individuals results “showed that haloperidol did reduce the psychotomimetic effect of delta-9-THC.”

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

Gupta S, et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Mar 27. [in press]

Science/Human — Cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with lower birth weight

In a study with 2173 patients infants born to mothers, who tested positive for THC in urine had a lower birth weight (mean: 2925 g) than babies not exposed to THC (mean: 3235 g).

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Hatton Research Institute, TriHealth, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Howard DS, et al. J Addict Med. 2019 Mar 1. [in press]

Science/Animal — The CB2 receptor is involved in wound healing of the cornea

In a study with mice researchers found evidence that the CB2 receptor plays an important role in healing after injury of the cornea and that these receptors are required for the normal course of wound closure.

The Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

Murataeva N, et al. Exp Eye Res. 2019 Mar 21. [in press]

Science/Human — High potency cannabis is associated with a higher risk for psychosis

According to a study with patients in 11 sites across Europe and Brazil with first-episode psychosis high-potency cannabis use (more than 10% of THC) was associated with a higher risk for psychosis than low-potency cannabis (less than 10% of THC).

Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

Di Forti M, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 19. [in press]

Science — New patents for about 30 new cannabinoid receptor antagonists between 2015 and 2018

According to a review on new patents “peripherally acting CB1 receptor antagonists and modulators are an emerging class of drugs for metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other important disorders where this receptor has been implicated.”

Center for Drug Discovery, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, USA.

Amato G, et al. Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2019 Mar 20. [in press]

Science/Animal — A synthetic derivative of CBG improves generation of new nerve cells in the brain

A synthetic derivative of cannabigerol (CBG), called VCE-003.2, improves production of new nerve cells and protected nerve cells in an animal model of Huntington’s disease.

Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Ctra. Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, Spain.

Aguareles J, et al. Transl Neurodegener. 2019;8:9.

Science/Animal — CBD reduces neuropathic pain in diabetic rats

In a study with rats suffering from diabetes and neuropathic pain CBD in a moderate dose reduced pain.

Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.

Jesus CHA, et al. Brain Res. 2019 Mar 18. [in press]