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IACM-Bulletin of 07 November 2021

Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in endometriosis

According a retrospective electronic record-based study with 252 women by investigators of Western Sydney University and the University of Melbourne, Australia, cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of pain and other symptoms in women suffering from endometriosis. Self-rated cannabis efficacy, defined as a function of initial and final symptom ratings, was investigated across the included symptom clusters of cramps, pelvic pain, gastrointestinal pain, nausea, depression, and low libido.

Participants recorded 16193 sessions using cannabis between April 2017 and February 2020. The most common method of ingestion was inhalation (67.4%), with pain as the most common reported symptom being treated by cannabis (57.3%). Authors concluded that cannabis “appears to be effective for pelvic pain, gastrointestinal issues and mood, with effectiveness differing based on method of ingestion. The greater propensity for use of an inhaled dosage delivery may be due to the rapid onset of pain-relieving effects versus the slower onset of oral products.”

Sinclair J, Collett L, Abbott J, Pate DW, Sarris J, Armour M. Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms. PLoS One. 2021;16(10):e0258940.

Science/Human: Cannabis may improve insomnia

Investigators of the Mood Disorders Program and Women's Health Concerns Clinic and of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, conducted a retrospective study of medicinal cannabis to investigate the perceived efficacy of cannabinoids in the management of insomnia. Data were collected using the Strainprint app, which allows medicinal cannabis users to log conditions and symptoms, track cannabis use, and monitor symptom severity pre- and postcannabis use. They examined data of 991 medical cannabis users.

They wrote: “Overall, cannabinoids were perceived to be efficacious across all genders and ages, and no significant differences were found among product forms, ingestion methods, or gender groups. Although all strain categories were perceived as efficacious, predominant indica strains were found to reduce insomnia symptomology more than cannabidiol (CBD) strains (…) and predominant sativa strains (…).”

Kuhathasan N, Minuzzi L, MacKillop J, Frey BN. The Use of Cannabinoids for Insomnia in Daily Life: Naturalistic Study. J Med Internet Res. 2021;23(10):e25730.

Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce pain and anxiety in chronic pain patients

According to a 3-month prospective study with 46 adults with a mean age of 56 years by researchers of the University of Florida in Gainesville, USA, the use of cannabis may reduce pain and improve quality of life. They initiated treatment with cannabis due to chronic pain. Participants completed a baseline survey and a 3-month follow-up survey.

At 3 months, self-reported survey data showed significantly lower levels of worst pain, pain interference, and depression, as well as increased sleep duration, sleep quality, and quality of life compared to baseline. Authors concluded: “In our sample of primarily middle-aged and older adults with chronic pain, medical cannabis was associated with reduced pain intensity/inference, lower anxiety/depression, and improved sleep and quality of life.”

Wang Y, Jean Jacques J, Li Z, Sibille KT, Cook RL. Health Outcomes among Adults Initiating Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain: A 3-month Prospective Study Incorporating Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). Cannabis. 2021;4(2):69-83.

News in brief

Italy: Over 630,000 signatures in support of the legalisation of cannabis have been collected
On 28 October more than 630,000 signatures were deposited in the Court of Cassation for a referendum that calls for the cancellation of criminal penalties for cultivation prohibited by the 1990 Consolidated Law on Drugs, decriminalizes the personal use of cannabis and eliminates the administrative sanction of the withdrawal of the license for those who use prohibited substances without cancelling the penalties for driving while impaired.
Huffington Post of 26 October 2021

Israel: An agreement on a medical cannabis law was reached in Parliament
In a preliminary vote on 27 October, Israel’s parliament has approved a bill for major reforms within Israel’s medical cannabis industry. These reforms will expand the ease of access for patients in need of this treatment. Raam, the Arab party in the coalition, which had previously opposed a similar medical cannabis bill that would have also decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, voted in favour of the legislation.
Hemp of 27 October 2021

Germany: For the first time a majority of voters support the legalisation of cannabis for adults
Fitting for the coalition negotiations of SPD, Greens and FDP to build a new government, two polls have been published showing that a majority of Germans are for the first time in favour of legalizing cannabis. The German Hemp Association (DHV) reported on the Infratest Dimap poll commissioned by the association, according to which 49% are more in favour of legalization and 46% are against legalization of cannabis for adults. The survey by the “political barometer”, a television emission reporting of political trends, was even clearer. According to the survey, 53% were in favour of legalization and 40% are against it.
ACM-Mitteilungen of 30 October 2021

Science/Animal: Cannabinoids may reduce tremor through the effects on spinal astrocytes
In a mouse model of essential tremor researchers found evidence that the activity of cannabinoids against tremor may be due to their effect on cannabis receptors on astrocytes in the spinal cord.
Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Carlsen EMM, et al. Nat Neurosci. 2021;24(5):658-666.

Science/Animal: No pharmacokinetic interaction between CBD and phenobarbital
In a study with healthy dogs researchers found no measurable pharmacokinetic interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and phenobarbital (PB). Authors concluded that “dose escalation of CBD or adjustment of PB in dogs is not recommended on the basis of findings of this study.
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA.
Doran CE, et al. Am J Vet Res. 2022 Jan 1:1-9.

Science/Human: Heavy young cannabis users show reduced cognitive abilities
In a study with 40 young adult daily cannabis users and 20 healthy controls, cannabis users performed “significantly poorer on tasks of visual and episodic memory compared with healthy controls. In addition, executive functioning was associated with the age of onset.”
Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK.
Selamoglu A, et al. J Psychopharmacol. 2021 Oct 25:2698811211050548.

Science/Animal: The PPAR-gamma receptor is involved in the effects of CBD on dyskinesia
In a study with mice researchers demonstrated that the effects of CBD on dyskinesia was mediated by the activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPAR gamma).
Department of Pharmacology, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
Sonego AB, et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021 ich;111:110367.

Science/Human: Long-term cannabis use is not associated with kidney dysfunction
In a study with 42 participants researchers did not find any association between cannabis use and kidney function. Authors concluded that “chronic recreational cannabis-use (including its related discomfort) did not affect the kidney function of our almost selectively "cannabis-burdened" population in a relevant manner.”
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, Evangelisches Krankenhaus Castrop-Rauxel, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Castrop-Rauxel, Germany.
Bonnet U, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2021 Oct 26. [in press]

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