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IACM-Bulletin of November 8, 2020


🌐 USA — Arizona, New Jersey South Dakota and Montana legalized the use of cannabis for adults, South Dakota and Mississippi for medical use

According to a report by UPI of 4 November Arizona has approved legalizing recreational cannabis, with almost 60% of the vote. New Jersey appears to have passed a similar measure with almost 70%. A similar measure is favoured by 57% of voters in Montana, after more than two-thirds of votes counted.

South Dakota legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use. About 53% support legalizing recreational cannabis and 69% favour legalizing medical cannabis. In Mississippi, Initiative 65 won an easy electoral two-step, with 68% of voters approving medical cannabis.

UPI of 4 November 2020

Stop the Drug War of 5 November 2020

🏷️ Science/Human — Cannabis reduces pain in patients with fibromyalgia

A cannabis extract with THC reduced symptoms in a placebo-controlled eight-week clinical trial with 17 women with fibromyalgia. The study was conducted by researches of the Public Health School of the Municipal Health Secretary in Florianopolis, Brazil, and the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianopolis. One millilitre of the extract contained 24.44 mg THC and 0.51 mg CBD.

After the intervention, the cannabis group presented a significant decrease in a fibromyalgia score in comparison with the placebo group. The cannabis group presented significant improvement on the "feel good," "pain," "do work," and "fatigue" scores. The placebo group presented significant improvement on the "depression" score after intervention. There were no severe adverse effects.

Chaves C, Bittencourt PCT, Pelegrini A. Ingestion of a THC-Rich Cannabis Oil in People with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Pain Med 2020;21(10):2212-2218.

🏷️ Science/Human — Cannabis use does not increase work related injury risk

In a study involving 136 536 working participants from Canada cannabis use had no influence on work related injury risk. Scientists of the University of Toronto, Canada, used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey of the years 2013-2016.

Among the participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577, who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. Investigators found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury. Authors wrote that they “found no evidence that cannabis users experienced higher rates of work-related injuries.”

Zhang JC, Carnide N, Holness L, Cram P. Cannabis use and work-related injuries: a cross-sectional analysis. Occup Med (Lond). 2020:kqaa175.

🏷️ Science/Human — Cannabis was helpful in burning mouth syndrome in a pilot study

In an open-label study with 17 patients suffering from burning mouth syndrome a cannabis extract reduced pain. The study was conducted at the Oral Medicine Section of the University of Turin, Italy.

Subjects were treated for 4 weeks with a full cannabis plant extract, which was prepared from standardized cannabis flowers (1 g of cannabis in 10 g of olive oil).

Subjects showed a statistically significant improvement over time in terms of a clinical remission of the oral symptoms. Levels of anxiety and depression also changed statistically, displaying a favourable improvement. No serious reactions were detailed. None of the patients had to stop the treatment due to adverse side effects.

Gambino A, Cabras M, Panagiotakos E, Calvo F, Macciotta A, Cafaro A, Suria M, El Haddad G, Broccoletti R, Arduino PG. Evaluating the Suitability and Potential Efficiency of Cannabis sativa Oil for Patients with Primary Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Prospective, Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study. Pain Med 2020:pnaa318.

News in brief

🏷️ Science — Symposium on cannabis and cancer research

The National Cancer Institute of the USA is organizing a Symposium on Cannabis, Cannabinoids and Cancer Research on 15-18 December 2020.


🌐 Germany — The Bundestag rejects a bill for legalization of cannabis for adults

On 29 October the German Bundestag rejected a bill introduced by the Green Party for the legalization of cannabis. The Left Party supported the bill, which was rejected by the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats. The Liberals abstained.

ACM-Informationen of 31 October 2020

🌐 New Zealand — Voters rejected legalization of cannabis

New Zealanders narrowly rejected the legalisation of cannabis for adults during general election on 17 October.

Reuters of 6 November 2020

🌐 Africa — East Africa could become a major cannabis export hub

The East African Community could become a mass producer of medical cannabis for export to fast-growing markets in the West. This is after Rwanda on October 12 became the latest EAC partner state to approve medical cannabis production for export, following closely in the footsteps of Uganda. Tanzania and Kenya, which produce the largest amounts of cannabis in the region, are yet to legalise the commodity and so it is exported illegally.

The East African of 17 October 2020

🌐 Argentina — The government wants to allow self-cultivation of cannabis for medical use.

The government is pushing for a new law on medical cannabis that contemplates self-cultivation and replaces the law approved in 2017, with a view to creating the conditions for the development of a health-care cannabis industry as a "source of genuine employment and potential foreign exchange earnings" for the country.

Elonce of 28 October 2020

🏷️ Science/Human — Physical activity may reduce effects of cannabis on mental health in adolescents

In an analysis of 3173 adolescents cannabis use was associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety. However, physical activity reduced these negative effects on mental health.

Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

Duncan MJ, et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2020 Nov 5. [in press]

🏷️ Science/Human — CBD did not reduce craving for cocaine

In a placebo-controlled study with 31 men with a diagnosis of crack-cocaine dependence daily treatment with 300 mg CBD per day for 10 days did not reduce craving levels. Authors wrote that

“under the conditions of this trial, CBD was unable to interfere with symptoms of crack-cocaine withdrawal.”

Departamento de Psiquiatria, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil.

Meneses-Gaya C, et al. Braz J Psychiatry. 2020:S1516-44462020005037203.

🏷️ Science/Animal — Oleamide counteracts muscle atrophy in animals

Oral administration of the endocannabinoid oleamide counteracted the reduction of muscle mass of a muscle in the leg of mice, which were forced not to move in small cages.

Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan.

Kobayashi Y, et al. Br J Nutr. 2020:1-35.

🏷️ Science/Animal — Increased endocannabinoid levels may improve social behaviour

Increase of endocannabinoid levels by reducing their degradation in female prairie voles “can increase social contact with both a familiar and novel male via unknown mechanisms that are likely separate from anxiety reduction.”

Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, USA.

Simmons TC, et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2020 Nov 1. [in press]

🏷️ Science/Animal — Increase of endocannabinoid levels effective in migraine

Inhibition of the activity of the enzyme FAAH, which degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide and thus increases its level, reduced pain in rat models of migraine. These effects are associated with reduced inflammation.

Headache Science Centre, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy.

Greco R, et al. Neurobiol Dis. 2020;147:105157.

🏷️ Science/Human — Schizotypy and not cannabis use predicted unusual experiences after cannabis

In a sample of 129 cannabis users schizotypy, characterized by certain personality traits, but not “frequency of cannabis use does [...] predict unusual experiences. However, individuals with schizotypal personality traits may have more unusual experiences when using cannabis.”

NAViGO Health and Social Care CIC, Grimsby, UK.

Airey ND, et al. J Addict. 2020;2020:5961275.

🏷️ Science — It is possible to differentiate cannabis use from the use of CBD extracts through urine tests

If CBD metabolites were present in ten-fold excess to tetrahydrocannabinol metabolites people were considered as users of CBD extracts.

MedTox Laboratories, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, St. Paul, USA.

Goggin MM, et al. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2020:1-9.

🏷️ Science/Animal — The endocannabinoid system is involved in the effects of bariatric surgery

Researchers show that the CB1 receptor is a key player in energy regulation after surgery, which reduces the volume of the stomach to reduce body weight.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, USA.

Ye Y, et al. Cell Rep. 2020;33(4):108270.

🏷️ Science/Cells — THC reduces oxidative stress in models of Alzheimer's disease

Oxidative stress was used in human nerve cells to mimick Alzheimer's disease-like pathological conditions. This stress was considerably reduced by THC but not CBD.

Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada.

Raja A, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020;13(11):E328.

🏷️ Science/Animal — The dopamine receptor is involved in the action of CBD and CBDV

Research with a certain nematode (C. elegans) shows that the effects of CBD (cannabidiol) and CBDV (cannabidivarin) are in part mediated by dopamine D2-like receptors. Authors noted that this discovery “moves a significant step toward our understanding of the mechanisms for medical uses of cannabis in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, USA.

Shrader SH, et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020:S0006-291X(20)31930-6.

🏷️ Science/Animal — CBD may improve Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing immune processes

In a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) it was shown that “CBD may improve the pathological process of AD by enhancing immune system response and autophagy pathway.”

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.

Hao F, et al. Life Sci. 2020:118624.