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IACM-Bulletin of 31 July 2022

IACM: Cannabinoid Conference 2022 in October in Switzerland

On 20 to 21 October the leading international conference on medical uses of cannabis and cannabinoids takes place in the Congress Centre Basel, Switzerland. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the leading researchers in the field, learn from their experience, exchange with others and get first-hand and latest information! This year we are holding the conference in cooperation with the Swiss Society for Cannabis in Medicine. In Switzerland, the medical use of cannabis was recently legalised.

"From Controversies to Insights" - In Memoriam of Prof. Daniela Parolaro

Conference Website
Program
Call for abstracts (deadline: 31 August)
Sponsors
Registration
Accommodation

The conference language is English. There will be simultaneous translation into German and French. The Cannabinoid Conference 2022 is dedicated to Dr Daniela Parolaro, who passed away in March 2022. For many years Dr Parolaro served as a member of the IACM Board of Directors and was Chairwoman of the IACM from 2013 to 2015.

Science/Human: Many patients with kidney disease use cannabis for symptom control

According to a survey with 320 patients suffering from kidney diseases conducted in Canada 50% had previously used cannabis for recreation and symptom control. Only a minority thought that their physician was aware of their cannabis use. With regard to form of intake 88% smoked it, 43% used oils and 58% edibles.

The most common reasons for previous cannabis use were recreation (53%), pain alleviation (39%) and sleep enhancement (35%). Only 34% of previous cannabis users thought their physicians were aware of their cannabis use. More than 50% of respondents probably would or definitely would try cannabis for symptom control. Authors concluded that “many patients with kidney disease use cannabis and there is interest in trying cannabis for symptom control.”

Collister D, Herrington G, Delgado L, Whitlock R, Tennankore K, Tangri N, Goupil R, Fredette AN, Davison SN, Wald R, Walsh M. Patient views regarding cannabis use in chronic kidney disease and kidney failure: a survey study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2022:gfac226.

Science/Human: The legalisation of cannabis in Canada did not influence the risk for psychosis and schizophrenia


The legalisation of cannabis in Canada in in October 2018 was not associated with significant changes in cannabis-induced psychosis or schizophrenia in the Canadian provinces Alberta and Ontario. This is the result of research by investigators from Canada and the UK. They aggregated emergency department (ED) presentations across Alberta and Ontario from April 2015 to December 2019 and concentrated on cannabis-induced psychosis (5,832 cases) and schizophrenia and related conditions (211,661 cases), as well as two comparison series of amphetamine-induced psychosis (10,829 cases) and alcohol-induced psychosis (1,884 cases).

Presentations for cannabis-induced psychosis doubled between April 2015 and December 2019. However, across all four statistical models applied by the investigators, there was no evidence of significant step-function effects associated with cannabis legalization on post-legalization weekly emergency department counts of cannabis-induced psychosis, schizophrenia, alcohol -induced psychosis and amphetamine-induced psychosis. Authors concluded that “implementation of Canada's cannabis legalization framework was not associated with evidence of significant changes in cannabis-induced psychosis or schizophrenia ED presentations.”

Callaghan RC, Sanches M, Murray RM, Konefal S, Maloney-Hall B, Kish SJ. Associations Between Canada's Cannabis Legalization and Emergency Department Presentations for Transient Cannabis-Induced Psychosis and Schizophrenia Conditions: Ontario and Alberta, 2015-2019. Can J Psychiatry. 2022;67(8):616-625.

News in brief

IACM: Former IACM chairman Raphael Mechoulam looks back to 65 years of research
“After a traumatic childhood in EURope during the Second World War, I found that scientific research in Israel was a pleasure beyond my expectations. (…) Looking back over the 91 years of my long life, I conclude that I have been lucky, very lucky, both personally and scientifically.“
Mechoulam R. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2022 Jul 18 [in press]
The Scientist – a documentary

Europe: A group of Members of the EURopean Parliament work for the legalisation of cannabis
Members of the EURopean Parliament from different political groups and different EU Member States have come together to create an interest group of MEPs who support human rights-based policies related to personal use of cannabis. In an open letter to the 705 Members of the EURopean Parliament, encouraging Members of the EURopean Parliament to join the group, 5 MEPs welcome recent developments on cannabis legalisation in Germany, Malta and Luxembourg.
Businesscann of 19 July 2022

Indonesia: Constitutional Court rejects call to legalise the medical use of cannabis
Indonesia's Constitutional Court on 20 July rejected a judicial review of the country's narcotics law that would have paved the way for legalising cannabis for medicinal use. Three mothers of children with cerebral palsy backed by civil society organisations filed a judicial review of the country's strict narcotics law in 2020, arguing for the use of cannabis to treat symptoms. The judges said there was insufficient research to justify a ruling in favour of the plaintiffs, but urged the government to "immediately" conduct research on the therapeutic usage of narcotics.
Reuters of 20 July 2022

USA: Trump calls for death penalty for convicted drug dealers
Former President Donald Trump on 26 July voiced support for imposing the death penalty as punishment for convicted drug dealers as part of a speech in which he laid out a series of drastic measures to curb crime.
The Hill of 26 July 2022

Zimbabwe: The country allows the medical use of cannabis
Zimbabwe is allowing cannabis-based products to be sold for the first time as part of complementary medicines given to patients. The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has invited all licensed cannabis and hemp producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and retail pharmacists to apply for approval to sell the products.
Bloomberg of 26 July 2022

Science/Animal: The oral bioavailability of CBD in horses is 8%
Investigators found out that the bioavailability of CBD after oral intake in horses is 7.9% and the maximum concentration in blood was reached after 2.5 hours.
M. H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.
Turner SE, et al. Am J Vet Res. 2022;83(9):ajvr.22.02.0028.

Science/Animal: CBD and CBG show anti-inflammatory effects
In an animal model of inflammation of the lungs both CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) showed anti-inflammatory effects. “Our observations suggest that these non-psychoactive cannabinoids may have beneficial effects in treating diseases characterised by airway inflammation.”
Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, United Kingdom.
Robaina Cabrera CL, et al. Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2021;69:102047.

Science/Animal: CBD shows antidepressant-like effects
In a study with aged rats CBD in doses of 3-30 mg per kilogram bodyweight showed dose-dependent antidepressant -like effects.
IUNICS, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain.
Hernández-Hernández E, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2022;13:891842.

Science/Animal: CBD improves function of the thyroid gland
CBD (cannabidiol) improved thyroid function in rats by modulating vitamin D receptors.
Trivedi Global, Inc, Henderson, USA.
Trivedi MK, et al. J Food Sci Technol. 2022;59(8):3237-3244.

Science/Cells: CBD induces programmed cell death of lung cancer cells
In a study with adenocarcinomic cells of the lungs CBD induced programmed cell death and this involved activation of the PPAR-gamma-receptor.
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Park YJ, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022;15(7):836.

Science/Cells: A derivative of anandamide may be effective in neuroblastoma
New search used a synthetic derivative of the endocannabinoid anandamide to induce cell death in neuroblastoma cells, a certain form of brain cancer.
Pediatric Hematology Oncology Research Laboratory, Cancer Research Center, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.
Golan H, et al. Biomedicines. 2022;10(7):1552.

Science: CBD may be converted to THC and this may cause misidentification of THC
Scientists demonstrated that during the analysis of CBD containing products by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry some of the CBD may be converted into THC by heat, which may result in misidentification.
National Research Institute of Police Science, 6-3-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Japan.
Tsujikawa K, et al. Forensic Sci Int. 2022;337:111366.

Science/Animal: Endocannabinoids may improve allergic airway inflammation
In a study with guinea pigs inhibition of the degradation of endocannabinoids by FAAH inhibitors (fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors) resulted in reduced allergic airway inflammation.
Hacettepe University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology, Ankara, Turkey.
Abohalaka R, et al. Life Sci. 2022;306:120808.

Science/Human: Investigation of the effects of cannabis and alcohol alone or in combination
In a study with 28 healthy cannabis users with a recent history of binge drinking, who received placebo, alcohol alone, cannabis alone or alcohol and cannabis over 4 sessions “cannabis appeared to affect mood and subjective experience, with minimal impact on cognitive performance. Alcohol appeared to impair cognitive and psychomotor performance, with minimal impact on mood and subjective experience. Acute effects of alcohol and cannabis combined were additive at most.”
Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Wickens CM, et al. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2022;118:110570.

Science/Human: Cannabis use may increase the risk for heart arrhythmias
The analysis of 1485 participants of a study on atherosclerosis showed, that cannabis use “may be associated with a greater burden of arrhythmias.”
Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), Barcelona, Spain.
Harding BN, et al. Am J Cardiol. 2022;177:48-52.

Science/Human: Palmitoylethanolamine may be helpful in the treatment of long Covid
According to a retrospective analysis of data from 33 patients with long Covid syndrome administration of palmitoylethanolamine (600 mg 2 times daily) for about 3 months may be beneficial in symptom reduction.
GCA-Centro Spoke AO Cannizzaro, Catania, IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo, Messina, Italy.
Raciti L, et al. Med Sci (Basel). 2022;10(3):37.

Science/Animal: Endocannabinoids may reduce nicotine self administration
A blocker of anandamide degradation reduced nicotine self administration in rats.
School of Pharmacy, Pharmacology Unit, University of Camerino, Italy.
Lunerti V, et al. EUR J Pharmacol. 2022;928:175088.

Science/Animal: Chemotherapy-induced nausea is alleviated by activation of the CB1 receptor
In a study with rats, which received the chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide, cannabis showed antiemetic properties due to activation of the cannabinoid 1 receptor.
Narcotics, Ergogenics and Poisons Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.
Elgohary R, et al Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2022 Jul 21. [in press].

Science/Human: Infertile men, who use cannabis, may have reduced sperm morphology
An analysis of data of 2074 white EURopean men from couples with fertility problems showed, that those “using cannabis are at higher risk of having lower testosterone levels and altered sperm morphology as compared with non-users.”
University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Italy.
Belladelli F, et al. Andrology. 2022 Jul 22. [in press].

Science/Animal: THC and CBD have different effects on immune function in inflammation
In a mouse model of bowel inflammation THC and CBD exerted different effects on macrophages immune function. “Each treatment had a unique effect on cytokine composition.”
Laboratory of Immunotherapy and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Medical Center, The Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Yekhtin Z, et al. Biomedicines. 2022;10(8):1793.

Science/Cells: Anandamide may sensitise drug-resistant bacteria to antibiotics
In a study with multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) anandamide sensitised the bacteria to antibiotics. Anandamide increased the intracellular concentration of penicillin.
Biofilm Research Laboratory, Institute of Biomedical and Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Sionov RV, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022;23(14):7798.

Science/Animal: CBD supplementation was safe in horses
The administration of 150 mg of CBD was “safe and did not result in changes in mentation, gait, or other health parameters, and no adverse clinical signs were observed during 56 days of oral administration.”
Equine Health Studies Program, USA.
St Blanc MP, et al. J Equine Vet Sci. 2022:104085.

Science/Human: No final results on the usefulness of CBD in Covid-19 symptoms, so far
According to a review there is “not enough evidence to support or refute CBD as a repurpose drug to treat inflammation and other symptoms of COVID-19. Clinical trials are needed to test its efficacy and adverse effects.”
Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Munchen, Germany.
Holst M, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Jul 26. [in press].

Science/Cells: Cannabis smoke condensate induces human mouth epithelial cell damage
In a study with gingival epithelial cells the smoke condensate of cannabis caused cell damage through programmed cell death and oxidative stress.
Groupe de Recherche en Écologie Buccale, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
Tazi N, et al. Arch Oral Biol. 2022;141:105498.

Science/Cells: Cannabis extracts may promote wound healing in the mouth
Hemp extracts and CBD may promote wound healing in the mouth. Authors noted that their research “is the first to show that short-term exposure to hemp extract and CBD promoted gingival fibroblast wound healing, demonstrating that hemp extract and CBD have potential benefits in the treatment of oral inflammation and ulcers.”
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.
Kongkadee K, et al. Arch Oral Biol. 2022;140:105464.

Science/Cells: Cannflavin A shows synergistic anti-cancer effects with chemotherapeutic agents in bladder cancer
New research shows that “compounds from Cannabis sativa other than cannabinoids, like the flavonoid cannflavin A, can be cytotoxic to human bladder transitional carcinoma cells and that this compound can exert synergistic effects when combined with other agents” namely gemcitabine, cisplatin and cannabinoids.
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Tomko AM, et al. J Cannabis Res. 2022;4(1):41.

Science/Human: An increasing number of US veterans present with cannabis use disorder
In 2005, the percentages of veterans “diagnosed with cannabis use disorder in the <35, 35-64, and ≥65 year age groups were 1.70%, 1.59%, and 0.03%, respectively; by 2019, the percentages had increased to 4.84%, 2.86%, and 0.74%, respectively.”
Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, USA.
Hasin DS, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 2022:appiajp22010034.

Science/Cells: Cannabinoids may be helpful in leukaemia treatment
A synthetic cannabinoid (JWH-018), which activates both cannabinoid receptors, “can provide a therapeutic effect on the pathogenesis of leukemia” and particularly upon leucemic stem cells and haematopoietic stem cells.
Basic Oncology Department, Ege University Health Science Institute, Izmir, Turkey.
Salcin H, et al. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Jul 14. [in press].

Science/Animal: CBG attenuates hypersensitivity caused by chemotherapy-induced neuropathy
In a study with mice CBG (cannabigerol) alleviated “mechanical hypersensitivity evoked by cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy.”
Department of Pharmacology, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, USA.
Sepulveda DE, et al. EUR J Pain. 2022 Jul 28. [in press].

Science/Animal: Activation of the CB2 receptor reduces anxiety and depression
In a study with mice a synthetic cannabinoid (GW842166x), which activates the CB2 receptor, reduced anxiety and depression.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.
Liu X, et al. Biomedicines. 2022 Jul 22. [in press].

Science/Human: Cannabis use does not increase actual creativity but biases evaluations of creativity
Following a study with healthy paticipatants scientists wrote: “We find support for our prediction that cannabis use facilitates joviality, which translates to more favorable evaluations of creativity of one's own ideas and others' ideas. However, our prediction that cannabis use facilitates creativity via joviality was not supported. Our findings suggest that cannabis use may positively bias evaluations of creativity but have no impact on creativity.”
McIntire School of Commerce, USA.
Heng YT, et al. J Appl Psychol. 2022 Jul 28. [in press].

Science/Animal: Cannabinoids may act synergistically with ibuprofen against pain
In a study with rats the combination of ibuprofen and the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 investigators found synergistic effects against pain and this “synergism is mainly mediated by the participation of the CB2 receptor.”
Centro Universitario de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad de Colima, México.
Díaz-Reval MI, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Jul 23;15(8):910.

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