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IACM-Bulletin of October 23, 2022


IACM — The IACM honoured four researchers at the Cannabinoid Conference 2022

At the Cannabinoid Conference 2022 which took place in Basel, Switzerland, the IACM honoured four persons for special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. The IACM Award 2022 for Clinical Research went to Philip McGuire, the IACM Ester Fride Award for Basic Research 2022 went to Andreas Zimmer, the IACM Award 2022 for Young Researchers went to Arnau Busquets Garcia, and the IACM Special Award 2022 went to Allyn Howlett.

The 2-day conference was attended by about 350 persons from 28 countries and followed online by 50 attendees. The IACM Board of Directors would like to thank all speakers, sponsors, attendees and all others, who made the conference a big success. The conference abstracts are available for free online published by Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

Science/Human — The use of cannabis is associated with reduced opioid use

According to a survey among 2183 patients from Florida, who initiated cannabis use, conducted by investigators of the Emerald Coast Research in Tallahassee, USA, showed that many are able to reduce their opioid medication. Commonly reported ailment groups were Pain and Mental Health combined (48%), Mental Health (29%) or Pain (9%).

Health domains of bodily pain, physical functioning, and social functioning improved while limitations due to physical and emotional problems were unchanged. Most patients rated medical cannabis as being important to their quality of life. Many (61%) reported using pain medications prior to medical cannabis, 93% of these reported a change in pain medication after medical cannabis. The majority of participants (79%) reported either cessation or reduction in pain medication use following initiation of medical cannabis and 11% described improved functioning.

Pritchett CE, Flynn H, Wang Y, Polston JE. Medical Cannabis Patients Report Improvements in Health Functioning and Reductions in Opiate Use. Subst Use Misuse. 2022 Sep 27:1-10.

Science/Human — The medical use of cannabis may reduce nightmares in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder

In a study with 77 patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder conducted by researchers of the University of Tel Aviv and the University of Haifa, Israel. Each morning over a two week period they reported on the timing of previous night cannabis use and sleep disturbances.

Within-person analyses found that shorter time gaps between previous night cannabis use and sleep start time was associated with lower likelihood of experiencing nightmares throughout the night, but it was not associated with nightly awakenings or waking up too early. Patients, who used cannabis with higher CBD concentrations reported fewer early awakenings.

Sznitman SR, Meiri D, Amit BH, Rosenberg D, Greene T. Posttraumatic stress disorder, sleep and medical cannabis treatment: A daily diary study. J Anxiety Disord. 2022;92:102632.

Science/Human — The use of cannabis may improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease

According to a survey with 236 patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease conducted by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, USA, experienced symptom benefits. The survey was conducted among patients accessing cannabis dispensaries in New York and Minnesota.

Most respondents (61%) took a biological and used products with high THC content (88%) through vape pens/cartridges (79%). Respondents reported fewer emergency room visits in the 12 months after versus before cannabis use (35 vs 42%) and less impact of symptoms on daily life.

Greywoode R, Cunningham C, Hollins M, Aroniadis O. Medical Cannabis Use Patterns and Adverse Effects in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2022 Oct 14. [in press]

Science/Human — Cannabis is well tolerated by older adults with dementia and improves symptoms

According to a prospective observational study of 19 patients with severe dementia cannabis was well tolerated and improved symptoms. It was conducted by investigators of the Department of Rehabilitation and Geriatrics Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland.

Mean age was 81 years receiving an average of 12.4 mg THC and 24.8 mg CBD per day for up to 13 months, with no reported problems related to the treatment and limited adverse drug reactions. Clinical scores showed a marked improvement that was stable over time, reduction of other medications, and facilitated care.

Pautex S, Bianchi F, Daali Y, Augsburger M, de Saussure C, Wampfler J, Curtin F, Desmeules J, Broers B. Cannabinoids for behavioral symptoms in severe dementia: Safety and feasibility in a long-term pilot observational study in nineteen patients. Front Aging Neurosci. 2022;14:957665.

Science/Human — Patients with advanced cancer may profit from a treatment with a water soluble preparation of THC and CBD

In an open study with 25 patients suffering from advanced cancers and intractable pain a novel water soluble oro- buccal nanoparticles spray containing THC and CBD reduced pain. This study was conducted by investigators of the University of Sydney and other scientific institutions in New South Wales, Australia. It was a 2 stage study. Stage I was a single escalating dose with 5 patients. Stage II was an up-titrated dose in 25 patients with advanced cancers and intractable pain.

During stage II a subgroup of patients diagnosed with breast and prostate cancers with bone metastases, had the highest mean pain score improvement from baseline of 40% (unadjusted) and 33% (adjusted for rescue medication use). Authors concluded that “the water-soluble cannabis-based medicine provided acceptable bioavailability for THC/CBD, appeared safe and tolerable in advanced incurable cancers with uncontrolled pain with preliminary evidence of analgesic efficacy.“

Clarke S, Butcher BE, McLachlan AJ, Henson JD, Rutolo D, Hall S, Vitetta L. Pilot clinical and pharmacokinetic study of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/Cannabidiol (CBD) nanoparticle oro-buccal spray in patients with advanced cancer experiencing uncontrolled pain. PLoS One. 2022;17(10):e0270543.

Science/Human — There may be no differences in psychotic symptomatology between cannabis users and non-users

According to a long-term study by investigators of the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand, there was no differences in the pattern of psychotic symptomatology between cannabis users and non-users. Data were from the Christchurch Health and Development Study, a longitudinal cohort born in 1977. Data on frequency of cannabis use and (past month) psychotic symptomatology were obtained at the age 18, 21 and 25 waves of assessment.

Among non-users and regular users, the commonly reported symptoms of psychosis were those that would be considered "mild". More severe symptoms were not commonly reported. A comparison of the symptom profile across the two groups showed no significant differences. Authors concluded that their “was no evidence of qualitative differences in the pattern of psychotic symptomatology reported by non-cannabis users and regular cannabis users. Although regular cannabis users tend to report a greater number of symptoms, these symptoms did not tend to be severe, and were unlikely to be indicative of psychotic illness.”

Cant N, Buchanan M, Carr A, Boden JM. Cannabis use and patterns of psychotic symptomatology in a longitudinal birth cohort. N Z Med J. 2022;135(1562):25-33.

Science/Human — A CBD gel was associated with significant improvement in pain of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis

According to an observational study with 48 patients with spinal stenosis related to low back pain and leg pain a CBD gel improved symptoms. The study was conducted by investigators of the Department of Medical Cannabis of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, USA.

The patient population’s age ranged from 63 to 95 years. Usual pain levels and worst pain levels demonstrated statistically significant improvement over time. Authors concluded that “treatment with hemp-derived CBD gel caps was associated with significant improvements in pain scores and several quality-of-life measures for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.”

Bakewell BK, Sherman M, Binsfeld K, Ilyas AM, Stache SA, Sharma S, Stolzenberg D, Greis A. The Use of Cannabidiol in Patients With Low Back Pain Caused by Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: An Observational Study. Cureus 2022;14(9): e29196.

News in brief

Science/Human — In patients with Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome CBD was not superior to a placebo

In a placebo-controlled study with 31 patients suffering from Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome both a CBD preparation and the preparation used as a placebo improved symptoms. There were benefits in both groups. Authors noted that the benefits seen in the placebo group “suggest the possibility that non-CBD formulations rich in antioxidants, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, gamma-linoleic acid, and terpenes may also have contributed to the overall improvement of the partial active group through the study.”

Young TP, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Oct 14.[in press].

Science/Cells — Cannabinoids show greater anti-inflammatory effects than terpenes

In a study with human leukocytes “selected cannabis-derived terpenes displayed minimal immunological activity, while cannabinoids exhibited a broader range of activity. “

Institute for Integrative Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA.

Blevins LK, et al. Food Chem Toxicol. 2022 Oct 10:113458.

Science/Cells — Cannabinoids show anti-cancer effects mediated by oxidative stress and autophagy

In a study with oral cancer cells oxidative stress and autophagy mediated anti-cancer effects.

Héma-Québec, Avenue des Sciences-de-la-Vie, Canada.

Loubaki L, et al. Cancers (Basel). 2022;14(19):4924.

Science/Animal — THC shows anti-inflammatory effects in hyperinsulinaemia

In a study with rats with hyperinsulinaemia THC reduced the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF alpha and interleukin-1. Authors concluded that THC “may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential in metabolic disorders.”

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Demiroglu Bilim University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Yazici ZMC, et al. Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Oct 14. [in press]

Science/Cells — CBD mitigates nerve cell damage in an cell model of epilepsy

In a cell model of epilepsy CBD had a protective effect against nerve cell damage and tissue disorganisation.

Department of Health Sciences, Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Oncology, University of Florence, Italy.

Landucci E, et al. Neurobiol Dis. 2022;174:105895

Science/Cells — Both activation of the CB1 and the CB2 receptor may be helpful in pancreatic and breast cancer

In pancreatic and breast cancer cells both selective agonists to the CB1 and the CB2 reduced “cell viability and clonogenic growth in a dose dependent manner.”

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Turkey.

Turgut NH, et al. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2022;123(11):813-821

Science/Animal — Activation of the CB2 receptor may facilitate functional recovery after spinal cord injury

In a mouse model of spinal cord injury activation of the CB2 receptor reduced loss of myelin and programmed cell death of nerve cells, and improved functional recovery.

Department of Orthopedics, Taizhou People's Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Taizhou, China.

Jiang F, et al. Front Immunol. 2022;13:993168.