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IACM-Bulletin of October 30, 2016


Science/Human — A combination of palmitoylethanolamide and luteolin improved symptoms of autism in a child

A combination of the endocannabinoid palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and the flavonoid luteolin improved symptoms in a 10-year-old boy with autism. Luteolin is found in many plants, including celery, broccoli, green pepper, chamomile tea, carrots and olive oil. Researchers of the University of Messina, Italy, and other Italian and US institutions conducted a study with a mice model of autism and then gave the preparation to a child.

A treatment with ultramicronized PEA with luteolin ameliorated social and non-social behaviours in mice with autism, which was induced by valproic acid, and improved the clinical picture with reduction in stereotypes in a 10-year-old boy. Authors wrote that “these data suggest that ASD [autism spectrum disorder] symptomatology may be improved by agents documented to control activation of mast cells and microglia.”

Bertolino B, Crupi R, Impellizzeri D, Bruschetta G, Cordaro M, Siracusa R, Esposito E, Cuzzocrea S. Beneficial Effects of Co-Ultramicronized Palmitoylethanolamide/Luteolin in a Mouse Model of Autism and in a Case Report of Autism. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2016 Oct 4. [In press]

Turkey — Government permits controlled cannabis production in 19 provinces

Cannabis production has been allowed in 19 provinces across Turkey in a controlled manner, in a bid to combat illegal production, according to a decree by the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry in late September. In line with the decree, ministry-sanctioned cannabis production will be possible in the provinces of Amasya, Antalya, Bartın, Burdur, Çorum, İzmir, Karabük, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kütahya, Malatya, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Tokat, Uşak, Yozgat and Zonguldak.

Permission will initially be effective for a maximum three-year period, according to the decree. In exceptional cases, the ministry will also be able to grant permission in other provinces if the production is for “scientific purposes.” When applying for a license, potential producers will need to offer a warrant showing they have not been involved in any illegal cannabis production activity or narcotics production, dealing or use.

Hurriyet Daily News of 14 October 2016

Science — More detailed structure of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 revealed

A new study supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the USA provides a more detailed view of the human cannabinoid receptor. The research was conducted by a collaboration of scientists from different universities, who say the findings provide a more in-depth understanding of the effects of marijuana.

Specifically, the study's authors demonstrated how natural and synthetic cannabinoids bind at receptors to produce their effects, which they say can vary considerably depending on the source. "Cannabinoids can produce very different outcomes, depending on how they bind to the CB1 receptor," NIDA director Nora Volkow said in a press release. "Understanding how these chemicals bind to the CB1 receptor will help guide the design of new medications and provide insight into the therapeutic promise of the body's cannabinoid system."

Hua T, Vemuri K, Pu M, Qu L, Han GW, Wu Y, Zhao S, Shui W, Li S, Korde A, Laprairie RB, Stahl EL, Ho JH, Zvonok N, Zhou H, Kufareva I, Wu B, Zhao Q, Hanson MA, Bohn LM, Makriyannis A, Stevens RC, Liu ZJ. Crystal Structure of the Human Cannabinoid Receptor CB1. Cell. 2016;167(3):750-762

UPI of 20 October 2016

News in brief

Science/Human — CBD improved symptoms in a child with posttraumatic stress disorder

CBD (Cannabidiol) was effective in reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a ten-year-old girl with posttraumatic stress disorder. Other medications had not been effective or were associated with severe side effects.

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Fort Collins, USA.

Shannon S, et al. Perm J. 2016 Oct 12. [in press]

Europe — Action against the intention to make CBD a prescription-only drug

The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) issued a position paper, which opposes to the attempts by a few pharmaceutical companies to make CBD a prescription-only drug. Such legislation would restrict the access to CBD for many citizens, who are already profiting from CBD in food and cosmetics. To sign the position paper please visit the support page.

Science/Animal — CBD showed prophylactic effects against type 1 diabetes

Genetically modified mice, which develop diabetes spontaneously, developed diabetes type 1 later and showed significantly reduced signs of inflammation, if they were treated with CBD (Cannabidiol).

Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

Lehmann C, et al. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2016 Oct 18. [in press]

Science/Human — Genes for the CB1 receptor influence the risk of headache

People with a certain variant of the gene, which encodes the CB1 receptor, have an increased risk of headache with nausea “suggesting a specific pathological mechanism to develop migraine, and indicating that a subgroup of migraine patients, who suffer from life stress triggered migraine with frequent nausea, may benefit from therapies that increase the endocannabinoid tone.”

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.

Juhasz G, et al. Genes Brain Behav. 2016 Oct 19. [in press]

Science/Human — About one third of medical cannabis users use a vaporizer but very few solely

In a sample of 1485 users of medical cannabis from southern Michigan 39% reported use of a vaporizer within the past month, but 2.3% said that use of a vaporizer was the only method of administration.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Cranford JA, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Oct 15;169:41-47.

Science/Human — Comparison of bioavailability of THC solution and THC capsules

A new dronabinol (THC) solution was compared to THC capsules in 52 healthy subjects under fasting conditions. Systemic bioavailability of 4.25 mg of the THC solution was similar to that of 5 mg THC capsules. The solution showed less intraindividual variability.

INSYS Therapeutics, Chandler, USA.

Parikh N, et al. Clin Pharmacol. 2016;8:155-162.

Science/Human — Sleep best in non-daily cannabis users

A total of 98 subjects (53 females) with a mean age of 22.3 years were compared with regard to their sleep quality depending on cannabis use, non-daily users of cannabis (n=29), daily users (n=49) and non-users (n=20). Mean insomnia scores were highest in daily users (7.0) compared to non-daily users (4.9) and non-users (5.0). Bad sleep was noted in 10.3% of non-daily users, 38.8% of daily users and 20.0% of non-users.

University of Michigan Addiction Research Center, Ann Arbor, USA.

Conroy DA, et al. J Addict Dis. 2016;35(2):135-43.

Science/Animal — Cannabinoids effective against myeloma/plasmocytoma

In cells from myeloma (plasmocytoma) patients the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55-212-2 induced apoptosis (programmed cell death). This effect was mediated by the CB2 receptor. The cannabinoid enhanced the anti-myeloma activity of dexamethasone and melphalan. In mice with myeloma the cannabinoid suppressed tumour growth.

University Hospital Virgen del Rocío, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.

Barbado MV, et al. Int J Cancer. 2016 Oct 25. [in press]

Science/Animal — Activation of the CB1 receptor reduces stress

In a rat model of stress (forced swim test) activation of the CB1 receptor and antagonism of the TRPV1 receptor reduced stress and exerted antidepressant-like effects.

School of Pharmaceutical Science of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Sartim AG, et al. Neuroscience. 2016 Oct 19. [in press]

Science/Animal — Activation of the cannabinoid receptor 2 caused anti-fibrogenic effects

In rats the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-133, which activates the CB2 receptor, reduced fibrosis after bleeding in the ventricles of the brain and reduced the risk for hydrocephalus.

Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Tan Q, et al. Brain Res. 2016 Oct 18. [in press]

Science/Animal — The endocannabinoid system plays a role in sleep

New research shows that elements of the endocannabinoid system, such as the CB1 receptor, FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) and AMT (anandamide membrane transporter), modulate the sleep homeostasis after prolonged waking.

Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Mérida, Mexico.

Murillo-Rodríguez E, et al Neuroscience. 2016 Oct 13. [in press]

Science/Cells — THC and CBD inhibit myeloma cells

CBD and THC, mainly in combination, were able to reduce viability of myeloma cells by inducing autophagic-dependent necrosis and they reduced cell migration. The cannabinoids acted in synergy with carfilzomib, a new immunoproteasome inhibitor.

School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Italy.

Nabissi M, et al. Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 18. [in press]

Science/Cells — Cannabinoids reduce damage to nerve cells by amyloid-beta peptide

Several cannabinoids reduced the damage to nerve cells caused by amyloid-beta peptide, which is increasingly present in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers revealed some mechanisms of this effect.

Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Gajardo-Gómez R, et al. Glia. 2016 Oct 19. [in press]

Science/Cells — Blocking of CB1 receptors reduced proliferation of kidney cancer cells

The number of CB1 receptors was increased in human kidney cancers. Blocking of the CB1 receptor significantly reduced proliferation in the cancer cells.

Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.

Wang J, et al. Tumour Biol. 2016 Oct 18. [in press]

Science/Animal — A CBD extract improved symptoms in inflammation of the bowel

In mice, in which colitis was induced by a chemical, a CBD extract reduced injury and motility of the bowel.

University of Naples Federico II, Italy.

Pagano E, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:341.