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IACM-Bulletin of October 27, 2019


Science/Human — Cannabis may be helpful in pain management after spinal-cord injury according to an open study

According to a study by a group of scientists from New Zealand and Australia the use of cannabis improved pain management after spinal-cord injury including function and improvement of activities of daily living. Authors interviewed 8 individuals and interpreted 6 themes.

Participants were motivated to use cannabis when other pain management strategies had been ineffective and were well-informed, knowledgeable cannabis consumers. They reported cannabis reduced their pain quickly and enabled them to engage in activities of daily living without the drowsiness of traditional prescribed pain medication.

Bourke JA, Catherwood VJ, Nunnerley JL, Martin RA, Levack WMM, Thompson BL, Acland RH. Using cannabis for pain management after spinal cord injury: a qualitative study. Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2019;5:82.

Science/Cells — CBD directly targets mitochondria of cancer cells to kill them

Anticancer properties of non-psychedelic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) have been demonstrated on different cancer cells. Different molecular targets for CBD were proposed, including cannabinoid receptors and some ion channels.

Now researchers from the University of Colima, Mexico, have shown shown that leukaemia cells, but not healthy blood cells are highly sensitive to CBD treatment. CBD effect does not depend on cannabinoid receptors or plasma membrane channels. Instead, CBD directly targets mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cells, and alters their capacity to handle calcium. CBD causes mitochondrial calcium overload and cell death.

Olivas-Aguirre M, Torres-López L, Valle-Reyes JS, Hernández-Cruz A, Pottosin I, Dobrovinskaya O. Cannabidiol directly targets mitochondria and disturbs calcium homeostasis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cell Death Dis. 2019;10(10):779.

News in brief

Science USA — Study on the investigation of cannabis in pain supported by 3.5 million dollars

A team of researchers at the University of Georgia will study how cannabis affects people living with chronic pain. The research project is funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

University of Georgia of 8 October 2019

Science/Human — Special issue of the Lancet on drugs: don’t criminalise drug users

In a special issue by the journal Lancet authors of the editorial wrote that the medical community should fight for the rights of patients with drug-use problems and offer them “solidarity and protection from the worst excesses of populist politics.” The issue discusses topics “that are likely to become increasingly important in the next decade.”

Special issue of the Lancet of 23 October 2019

Vice of 23 October 2019

Science/Human — Legalisation of cannabis derivatives such as edibles and beverages

Regulations concerning derivative cannabis products will officially take effect. Derivatives being nondried flower products, such as edibles, cannabis-infused beverages, vapes, concentrates, and topicals.

MSN of 17 October 2019

Germany — Market analysis shows that the cannabis market will be worth around €8 billion in 10 years

A market research company specialising in cannabis predicts a market volume of 7.7 billion euros for medical cannabis in Germany by 2028. This is the result of the "Germany Cannabis Report."

Business Insider of 14 October 2019

Switzerland — Doctors may soon prescribe cannabis

Doctors in Switzerland should in future be allowed to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes. This proposal by the Federal Council has met with broad approval in the consultation process. The SVP, SP, FDP and BDP support the planned amendment to the Narcotics Law. Until now, patients in Switzerland have only been able to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes with an exception permit from the Federal Office of Public Health.

Zentralplus of the 16 October 2019

Denmark — A Danish town may become a centre for CO2-neutral cannabis production

Haderslev may become the center of a CO2-neutral medical cannabis production. Sift grain is aimed at local investors who want to invest money in a medical cannabis production facility. It will be in connection with Sønderjysk Biogas I / S in Bevtoft.

Jyske Vestkysten of 16 October 2019

Mexico — Mexico may be able to develop its own cannabis medicine

Mexico is capable of conducting clinical and scientific studies to develop the first drug derived from cannabis, said Camilo Rios Castañeda, head of the department of neurochemistry at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INNN).

El Sol de Mexico of 4 October 2019

Science/Human — Endocannabinoid concentrations vary depending on time of the day

Researchers found biphasic blood concentrations of anandamide during 24 hours, with one peak during the early sleep (2 AM) and a second peak during mid afternoon (3 PM). The lowest concentrations were found in the mid-morning (10 AM). The profiles of some other endocannabinoids (OEA and PEA) followed a similar pattern, while the profile for 2-AG was different.

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, USA.

Hanlon EC, et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019;111:104471.

Science/Human — Patients with spinal-cord injury have a higher risk of using alcohol, cannabis, opioids and tobacco

In a large study with 6192 patients with spinal-cord injury compared to other patients, patients with spinal-cord injury had a considerable higher risk of disorders of alcohol, cannabis, opioid and tobacco use.

Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Graupensperger S, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019;205:107608.

Science/Animal — CBD prevented the brain from damage due to lack of oxygen in newborns

In a study with rats administration of CBD prevented newborn animals from the consequences of lack of oxygen supply, namely disturbance of myelination of nerve cells and associated functional impairment.

Health Research Institute Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Ceprián M, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:1131.

Science/Animal — Excessive daytime sleepiness may be prevented by CBD

In a narcolepsy model with rats CBD prevented excessive sleepiness during daytime. Authors noted, that their findings “suggest that CBD might prevent sleepiness in narcolepsy.”

Universidad Anáhuac Mayab. Mérida, Mexico.

Murillo-Rodríguez E, et al. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2019 Oct 21. [in press]

Science/Human — Small increase of crash risk after cannabis legalisation in Washington and Colorado

In the five years after legalization of cannabis in Washington and Colorado, fatal crash rates increased more in Colorado and Washington than would be expected had they continued to parallel crash rates in the control states (+1.2 crashes/billion vehicle miles traveled). But the difference was not significant.

Dell Medical School at the University of Texas Austin, USA.

Aydelotte JD, et al. Accid Anal Prev. 2019;132:105284.

Science/Animal — The analgesic effect of diclofenac is mediated by cannabinoid and other receptors

Animal studies show, that pain relieving effects by diclofenac involves several receptors, including the CB1 receptor, the GPR55 and mu-opioid receptors in the brain.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Iran.

Tamaddonfard E, et al. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2019 Oct 22. [in press]

Science/Animal — The CB1 receptor modulates the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids on the memory of stressed rats

Blockade of the CB1 receptor by a synthetic compound (AM251) and administration of omega-3 fatty acids improved memory in stressed rats.

Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile.

Peñaloza-Sancho V, et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2019 Oct 22:1-18.

Science/Animal — A high-fat diet and nicotine increased the level of CB1 receptors in a certain brain region

A combination of a diet high in fat and nicotine increased the level of CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, a certain brain region. A high-fat diet or nicotine alone were not effective. Authors wrote that “the exposure to nicotine may provoke an enhanced endocannabinoid response in diet-induced obesity.”

Medical Innovation Center, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.

Guo T, et al. Neurosci Lett. 2019 Oct 18:134550.

Science/Animal — Inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation prevented migraine

In a mice model of migraine inhibition of endocannabinoid degradation by inhibition of the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) prevented but not aborted treatment of migraine attacks.

IRCCS Mondino Foundation Pavia, Italy.

Greco R, et al. Neurobiol Dis. 2019;134:104624.

Science/Animal — The activation of the CB2 receptor may increase the efficacy of antidepressants

In a mouse model of depression, the forced swim test, both activation and blockade of the CB2 receptor improved the antidepressant activity of the tested standard medications, that is imipramine, escitalopram and reboxetine. The cannabinoids did not influence the concentrations of the antidepressants.

Chair and Department of Applied and Social Pharmacy, Medical University of Lublin, Poland.

Poleszak E, et al. Behav Brain Res. 2019 Oct 15:112297.

Science/Animal — CBD shows pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions with the antiepileptic medication clobazam

In a study with rats CBD (cannabidiol) inhibited the metabolism of clobazam in the liver and the combination of CBD and clobazam resulted in an increased anticonvulsant effect. Authors noted that their study “highlights the involvement of both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions between CBD and clobazam that may contribute to its efficacy in Dravet syndrome.”

Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Australia.

Anderson LL, et al. Epilepsia. 2019 Oct 17. [in press].

Science — Optimal conditions for maceration of cannabis

Researchers investigated optimal conditions for macerating cannabis. They found, that the “optimal condition provided the simultaneous high of cannabidiol and Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol content was 40 °C for 30 min.”

College of Pharmacy, Rangsit University, Pathum Thani, Thailand.

Monton C, et al. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2019;91(3):e20190676.

Science/Human — Combined use of tobacco and cannabis increases exposure to toxic substances

In a study comparing 911 tobacco smokers and 167 co-users of cannabis and tobacco were compared. Results show, that co-users were exposed to higher levels of toxic substances.

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, USA.

Meier E, et al. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Oct 16. [in press]

Science/Human — Cannabis use is an independent risk factor for acute heart attack in young people

According to an analysis of a nationwide sample 1694 patients with acute myocardial infraction aged 15 to 22 years, who were compared to 9,465,255 healthy people of the same age, cocaine (odds ratio: 3.9), amphetamine (odds ratio: 2.3) and cannabis (odds ratio: 1.3) were at high risk for hospitalisation due to a heart attack.

Department of Psychiatry, Griffin Memorial Hospital, Oklahoma, USA.

Patel RS, et al. J Adolesc Health. 2019 Oct 11. [in press]