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IACM-Bulletin of May 8, 2022


IACM — Cannabinoid Conference 2022

The IACM Board would like to invite you to attend the Cannabinoid Conference 2022 and present your research results. The event will take place from 20-21 October 2022 in Basel, Switzerland. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Swiss Society for Cannabis in Medicine.

Among the speakers are Daniele Piomelli, Lumir Hanus, Marta Vázquez, Dustin Sulak, Stefan Lorenzl, Carola Perez, Reto Agosti, Eva Bergsträsser, Paola Cubillos , Matthew Hill, Thilo Beck, Jose Crippa , Timna Naftali, Gudrun Lorenz Eberhardt, Cristina Sanchez, Nicolas Schräder, Franjo Grotenhermen und Vincenzo Di Marzo.

If you would like to sponsor the conference, please contact the the organiser by emailing

Date: 20-21 October 2022

Location: Congress Center Basel, Switzerland

Conference website:

The conference language is English. There will be simultaneous translation into German and French.

During the conference, the IACM will honour four individuals for special achievements in the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. There is a basic research award (Ester Fride Award), clinical research award, young investigator award and a special award. The IACM Award Committee selects the prize winners. Each award comes with a prize money of 500 €. During the conference, the IACM will hold its General Assembly and elect new members of the Board of Directors and a new Chairperson.

Science/Human — Cannabis improves sleep in patients suffering from depression or anxiety

In a study with 100 patients suffering from depression, 463 suffering from anxiety and 114 suffering from depression and anxiety, who provided data by a tracking app, the use of cannabis was associated with improved sleep. The study was conducted by researchers of the Mood Disorders Program and Women's Health Concerns Clinic in Hamilton, Canada. There were a total of 8476 recorded sessions.

Overall, cannabis was perceived to be efficacious across all groups, regardless of age and gender. Dried flower and oral oil were reported as the most used and most efficacious product forms. In the depression group, all strains were perceived to be efficacious and comparisons between strains revealed indica-dominant, indica hybrid and sativa-dominant strains were significantly more efficacious than CBD-dominant strains. In anxiety and comorbid conditions, all strain categories were perceived to be efficacious with no significant differences between strains.

Kuhathasan N, Minuzzi L, MacKillop J, Frey BN. An investigation of cannabis use for insomnia in depression and anxiety in a naturalistic sample. BMC Psychiatry. 2022;22(1):303.

Science/Human — A selective agonist to the CB2 receptor improved symptoms indermatomyositis in clinical trial

In a placebo-controlled study with 22 patients suffering from dermatomyositis a synthetic cannabinoid, called lenabasum, which activates the CB2 receptor improved symptoms. Dermatomyositis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the skin and muscles. All participants experienced skin inflammation. The study was conducted by investigators of the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, USA. Participants received lenabasum 20 mg daily for 28 days, then 20 mg twice daily for 56 days, or placebo.

No serious or severe adverse events were related to lenabasum, and no participants discontinued the study. Symptom activity decreased more for lenabasum and the difference was significant on day 113. And there was also an improvement in several biomarkers of the disease.

Werth VP, Hejazi E, Pena SM, Haber J, Zeidi M, Reddy N, Okawa J, Feng R, Bashir MM, Gebre K, Jadoo AS, Concha JSS, Dgetluck N, Constantine S, White B. Safety and Efficacy of Lenabasum, a Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 Agonist, in Dermatomyositis Patients with Refractory Skin Disease A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Invest Dermatol. 2022 Apr 28:S0022-202X(22)00295-0.

News in brief

IACM — Premier of the documentary “The Doctor - Franjo Grotenhermen”

An award-winning documentary by Spanish filmmaker Eduardo Hernandez on Franjo Grotenhermen, Executive Director of the IACM, mainly filmed during the 2019 IACM Conference in Berlin, Germany, with interviews with friends and colleagues will be presented to the public on 3 June 2022 in a cinema in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Website on the film

Science/Human — The legalisation of cannabis in Uruguay did not increase cannabis use among young people

According to a study with about 205,000 young people in Uruguay the “legalization of recreational cannabis in Uruguay was not associated with overall increases in either past-year/past-month cannabis use or with multi-year changes in any risky and frequent cannabis use among young people.”

Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, USA.

Rivera-Aguirre A, et al. Addiction. 2022 May 2. [in press]

Science/Human — The risk of driving under the influence of cannabis was lower in US states with cannabis laws than in states without such a law

Using a cross-sectional national sample (2016–2017) of 1,249 past–30-day cannabis users, “the risk of self-reported DUIC (driving under the influence of cannabis) was lower in recreational and medical cannabis states compared to states without legal cannabis. The only exception was for frequent users in medical states, for whom there was no difference in risk compared to frequent users living in states without legal cannabis.”

Center for Health Analytics, Research Triangle Park, New York City, USA.

Dutra LM, et al. Preventive Medicine Reports 2022;27:101799

Science/Human — About half of patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis use cannabis in Canada

According to a questionnaire completed by 344 individuals 215 (65%) reporting having used medical cannabis at least once and 52% were still using it.

EPICORE Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Santarossa TM, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2022;59:103638.

Science/Human — Mixed results of cannabis legalisation on use by adolescents

An analysis of 33 research reports revealed that recreational legalization of cannabis “may be associated with increases in prevalence of cannabis use in young adults while results for adolescents are mixed.”

Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington, USA.

O'Grady MA, et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022 May 4. [in press]

Science/Animal — CB2 receptors are increased in neuropathic pain

In a study with rats neuropathic pain induced a delayed and sustained increase in CB2 expression in the dorsal root ganglion of the spinal cord and dorsal spinal cord synaptosomes.

Center for Neuroscience and Pain Research, Houston, USA.

Ghosh K, et al. J Biol Chem. 2022:101999.

Science/Animal — No abuse potential of CBD

According to a study with rats CBD has no rewarding properties and thus no abuse potential.

GW Pharmaceuticals, UK.

Gray RA, et al. . J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2022:JPET-AR-2021-000988.

Science/Human — Many patients feel stigmatised due to their medical use of cannabis

15 patients from Israel, who received cannabis to treat their chronic pain were interviewed and reported to feel stigmatised due to the use of the drug. Authors “suggest that particular focus should be placed on managing stigma at the intrapersonal level. In addition, there may be a need to address stigma at the societal level including social interactions with friends, family and medical personnel.”

School of Public Health, Haifa, Israel.

Hulaihel A, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2022 Apr 29. [in press]

Science/Cells — Cannabis may protect against oxidative injury in kidney cells

In a study with kidney cells investigators found that cannabis may protect against oxidative injury in kidney cells by mitigating perturbed metabolic activities linked to kidney diseases.

Department of Pharmacology, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Erukainure OL, et al. J Ethnopharmacol. 2022;293:115312.

Science — The endocannabinoid system may be involved in the placebo effect

“Recent advances in neuroimaging studies suggest a relationship between the placebo response and the opioid, cannabinoid, and monoaminergic systems.”

Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Venezuela.

Ortega Á, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022;23(8):4196.

Science/Animal — The CB1 receptor may be involved in the anxiolytic action of CBD

According to studies with mice the CB1 receptor appears to play a relevant role in modulating the anxiolytic actions of CBD. Moreover, the studies showed that also the GABA system and the GPR55 may be involved.

Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernández-CSIC, Alicante, Spain.

Austrich-Olivares A, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022;15(4):473.

Science/Human — A meta-analysis of studies of the effects of cannabis on the brains of adolescents shows only minor effects

A systematic review of 16 studies investigating the relationship between cannabis use and brain alterations in young cannabis users did not find an effect on global brain volumes “(intracranium, total brain, total white matter, and total gray matter) and regional brain volumes (i.e., hippocampus, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and total cerebellum).”

Neuroscience of Addiction and Mental Health Program, Fitzroy, Australia.

Lorenzetti V, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Apr 19. [in press]

Science/Cells — The endocannabinoid system may provide protection to the bones during breast cancer bone metastases

Investigations with breast cancer cells and bone cells (osteoblasts) showed that “the endocannabinoid system is able to provide protection during breast cancer bone metastasis by interfering cancer and bone cell interaction as well as by the direct suppression of cancer cell growth and migration.”

Center of Calcium and Bone Research (COCAB), Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Khunluck T, et al. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):7398.

Science/Human — Cannabis use may have negative effects on small airway function

In a study with 895 participants from New Zealand, who were followed from birth to 45 years of age cannabis use was associated with small airway dysfunction at age 45 years, but “cannabis-induced changes in small airways may be at least partially reversible.”

Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Tan HS, et al. ERJ Open Res. 2022;8(2):00688-2021.