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IACM-Bulletin of September 18, 2016


Holland — Patients, who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, may grow their own in the town of Tilburg

The Netherlands: Patients, who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, may grow their own in the town of Tilburg

Medicinal cannabis patients in Tilburg can now grow five plants at home to supply their needs, thanks to a recent decision by Mayor Noordanus following a request from an association of patients. In a letter from 13 September the Mayor informed Marian Hutten, chairperson of the PGMCG (a non-profit organisation of medicinal cannabis patients) of his ground-breaking decision.

Growers must have a medical declaration from a registered healthcare provider confirming their need for medicinal cannabis and must be at least 18 years old. Supporters say that such an allowance could also be given in other cities.

PGMCG of 13 September 2016

Israel — Discussion on quality of medicinal cannabis

A medicinal cannabis patient whose license to grow his own cannabis was revoked in 2013, has filed a lawsuit against Israel’s health ministry for providing him with plants tainted with dangerous pesticides. The patient claims to have become sick after obtaining his cannabis plants from Teva-Adir, one of the eight suppliers for medicinal cannabis in Israel. He said that he even found mould in some of the flowers.

His lawyer Yaniv Peretz sent the patient’s cannabis sample from Teva-Adir along with samples from two other suppliers, Tikun Olam and Seach, to be tested at the Israeli Chemical Testing Laboratory by Dr Noam Chehanovsky. Nine pesticides where found in the sample by Tikun Olam. The company denies any use of pesticides. In addition, samples of Tikun Olam had much lower THC concentrations than advertised. For example, the variety Eran-Almog is advertised as having a THC concentration between 24 and 28%, while according to tests it only had 3.2%.

Jerusalem Post of 19 August 2016

News in brief

Croatia — Cannabis capsules with quality problems

Less than 10 days after capsules containing cannabis oil were available in pharmacies, they were withdrawn from the market after it was noted that some of the capsules were damaged. They were sent back to the Canadian cannabis producer Tilray.

Vecernji List of 21 July 2016

Science USA — In states with laws on medical cannabis there is less opioid abuse

In an analysis of 68,394 drivers from 18 US states, who died within one hour after a traffic accident between 1999 and 2013, scientists found a reduction of opioid presence in blood in states after legalization of medical cannabis use. In drivers aged 21 to 40 years opioid presence was reduced by 50% (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.37, 0.67). Authors concluded that medical cannabis laws “may reduce opioid use and overdose.”

Columbia University, New York, USA.

Kim JH, et al. Am J Public Health. 2016 Sep 15. [in press]

UPI of 15 September 2016

UK — Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform recommends legalization of cannabis for medical use

Cannabis for medical purposes should be legalised, a cross-party group of UK politicians has recommended. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform commissioned by neurologist Professor Mike Barnes had reviewed the evidence from the around the world.

International Business Times of 13 September 2016

Science/Human — Gliomas in children may be destroyed by endocannabinoids

Low-grade gliomas consist of a mixed group of brain tumours that correspond to the majority of tumours of the central nervous system in children. A new study suggests that they may spontaneously disappear, which may be caused by endocannabinoids. In these spontaneously disappearing tumours there were higher concentrations of CB1 receptors than usual.

Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Hospital of Chicago, USA.

Sredni ST, et al. Childs Nerv Syst. 2016 Sep 9. [in press]

Science/Animal — A synthetic analogue of palmitoylethanolamide reduces inflammation of the bowel

In a study with mice adelmidrol, a synthetic analogue of palmitoylethanolamide, exerted important anti-inflammatory effects. Authors wrote that “this molecule may represent a new pharmacological approach for inflammatory bowel disease treatment.”

Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences. University of Messina, Italy

Cordaro M, et al. Mol Pharmacol. 2016 Sep 13. [in press]

Science/Human — Medical use of low THC doses is safe in elder patients

In a placebo-controlled trial 18 patients with dementia (mean age = 77 years) received 1.5 mg oral THC twice daily or a placebo. No differences in the number and type of adverse events were found, and no falls occurred after administration of THC.

Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

van den Elsen GA, et al. J Psychopharmacol. 2016 Sep 13. [in press]

Science/Animal — Cannabidiol has a minimal effect on cocaine intake

In a rat model cannabidiol (CBD) exerted a minimal reduction of cocaine intake and relapse.

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Mahmud A, et al. J Psychopharmacol. 2016 Sep 13. [in press]

Science/Human — Moderate relationship between THC concentrations and reduction of pain

In 42 patients with neuropathic pain, who received vaporized cannabis containing placebo and 6.7% and 2.9% THC, there was a moderate association of THC concentration in blood and pain descriptions.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of California, Sacramento, USA.

Wilsey BL, et al. J Pain Res. 2016;9:587-98.

Science/Animal — Activation of CB2 receptors may prevent fibrosis of the heart

In a study with mice a cannabinoid, which activates the CB2 receptor (AM1241) alleviated myocardial interstitial fibrosis after heart attack.

Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.

Li X, et al. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;39(4):1521-1536.

Science/Animal — Why the activation of the CB2 receptor reduces inflammation of the bowel

Researchers investigated the mechanisms, by which activation of the CB2 receptor reduces inflammation of the bowel in mice. They found an enhancement of autophagy.

Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.

Ke P, et al. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0155076.

Science/Animal — Activation of CB2 receptors may increase susceptibility for epileptic seizures

In a study with a rat model of epilepsy researchers demonstrated, for the first time, that selective activation of CB2 receptors can increase generalized seizure susceptibility. Thus, activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors may have opposite effects in epilepsy.

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.

de Carvalho CR, et al. Epilepsy Res. 2016;127:160-167.

Science/Human — Many students use cannabis for enhancement of cognitive performance

In a study with 1,538 students from German universities a considerable number of participants reported having used cannabis for cognitive enhancement.

Department of Social Work and Education , University of Neubrandenburg, Germany.

Franke AG, et al. Subst Use Misuse. 2016 Sep 8:1-7. [in press]

Science/Animal — The CB1 receptor is involved in some effects of haloperidol

Researchers demonstrated that muscular rigidity, which is caused in rats by the anti-psychotic medication haloperidol, is induced by a mechanism, which involves endocannabinoids and the CB1 receptor.

Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.

Medeiros P, et al. Neuroscience. 2016 Sep 3. [in press]

Science/Human — Heavy cannabis users may have lower bone density

In a study with 56 moderate and 144 heavy cannabis users heavy cannabis use was associated with low bone mineral density.

Western General Hospital, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Sophocleous A, et al. Am J Med. 2016 Sep 1. [in press]

Science/Human — Allergies against cannabis on the rise

Allergies against cannabis seem to be on the rise. Both active and passive exposure to cannabis allergens may trigger the allergy.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Decuyper II, et al. Allergy. 2016 Sep 3. [in press]

Science/Animal — Mood disorders associated with multiple sclerosis may involve CB1 receptors

In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis it was found, that a dysfunction of the CB1 receptor may be involved in anxiety related to multiple sclerosis.

European Center of Research on the Brain, Rome, Italy.

Gentile A, et al. J Neuroinflammation. 2016;13(1):231.

Science/Cells — CBD inhibits growth in cervical cancer cells

Researchers investigated the effects of a cannabis extract and cannabidiol (CBD) on cervical cancer cells. CBD inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the cancer cells.

North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Lukhele ST, et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016;16(1):335.