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IACM-Bulletin of 11 June 2017

Science/Human: Cannabis reduced symptoms of ADHD in a small clinical study

In a small placebo-controlled study with 30 adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) a cannabis extract (Sativex) reduced their symptoms. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either cannabis or placebo. Results were published by researchers from King׳s College London and other scientific institutions of the UK.

Cannabis was associated with a significant improvement in hyperactivity/impulsivity and a cognitive measure of inhibition, and a trend towards improvement for inattention and emotional lability. Researchers wrote that “adults with ADHD may represent a subgroup of individuals who experience a reduction of symptoms and no cognitive impairments following cannabinoid use.”

Cooper RE, Williams E, Seegobin S, Tye C, Kuntsi J, Asherson P. Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomised-controlled trial. EUR Neuropsychopharmacol. 2017 May 30. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis may be effective in the treatment of chronic pain according to a large case series from Italy

A group of researchers from the University of Parma, University of Naples "Federico II", and other Italian institutions presented a retrospective case series analysis of all chronic pain patients treated with oral or vaporized cannabis in six centers during the initial year following the approval of the new Italian law (December 2015 to November 2016). They evaluated routes of administration, types of cannabis products utilized, dosing, and effectiveness and safety of the treatment.

As only one of the six centres has extensively used cannabinoids for intractable chronic pain (614 patients of 659), only the population from Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana (Pisa) was considered. Cannabis tea was the primary mode of delivery, and in almost all cases, it was used in association with other pain treatments. At initial follow-up, 76.2% of patients continued the treatment, and less than 15% stopped the treatment due to side effects. Researchers wrote “that the treatment seems to be effective and safe.”

Fanelli G, De Carolis G, Leonardi C, Longobardi A, Sarli E, Allegri M, Schatman ME. Cannabis and intractable chronic pain: an explorative retrospective analysis of Italian cohort of 614 patients. J Pain Res. 2017;10:1217-1224.

News in brief

France: Government wants to decriminalize cannabis use
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that the government wants to issue new regulations under which people caught with small amounts of cannabis would be punished by a fine of about 100 EURos and not arrested. The new regulations could be in place within three or four months, he said. The new president, Emmanuel Macron, had promised to decriminalize cannabis use. “We can consider a fine as completely sufficient to punish this behaviour”, Emmanuel Macron had written in a book.
Le Parisien of 24 May 2017

Science: Deadline for submission of abstracts for the EURopean Workshop on Cannabinoid Research
The 8th EURopean Workshop on Cannabinoid Research Meeting will be held from 31 August - 2 September 2017 in London, UK. The deadline for abstract submissions is 13 June.
Conference Website

IACM: New publications in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
New articles have been published in the CCR, the partner journal of the IACM: Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review and Affinity and Efficacy Studies of Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid A at Cannabinoid Receptor Types One and Two

IACM: Collection of case reports
The IACM will sponsor a special Collection of Case Reports prepared by their members for publication in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. More information on the members’ site of the IACM.
Deadline for submission of articles: 1 July 2017.

Science/Animal: THC may be helpful in anorexia nervosa
In a rat model of anorexia nervosa low doses of THC significantly reduced body weight loss and running wheel activity. Authors wrote that the modulation of the endocannabinoid system may be “useful to treat this disorder, specifically in patients where physical hyperactivity plays a central role in its progression and maintenance.”
University of Cagliari, Italy.
Scherma M, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2017 May 31. [in press]

Science/Cells: THC and CBD may increase anticancer activity of standard chemotherapy in leukaemia
Research with leukaemia cells suggests that THC and CBD combined with common anti-leukaemia drugs (cytarabine and vincristine) allow the dose of the cytotoxic agents to be dramatically reduced yet still remain efficacious. “Using cannabinoids after chemotherapy resulted in greater induction of apoptosis, whilst this was the opposite when the schedule of administration was reversed.” Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death.
University of London, UK.
Scott KA, et al. Int J Oncol. 2017 May 29. [in press]

Science/Human: The anxiolytic effect of CBD was highest after a medium dose
The administration of CBD reduced anxiety with a dose-dependent curve in healthy subjects. The subjective anxiety measures were reduced with 300 mg CBD, but not with 100 and 900 mg CBD in a situation which causes anxiety (test of public speaking).
University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Zuardi AW, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:259.

Science/Human: Cannabis users show less reactions to stressful situations
In a study with 40 cannabis users and 42 non-users, who underwent a stress test, “subjective stress ratings and cortisol levels were significantly higher in non-users in the stress condition relative to non-users in the no stress condition. In contrast, cannabis users demonstrated blunted stress reactivity; specifically, they showed no increase in cortisol and a significantly smaller increase in subjective stress ratings.”
Washington State University, Pullman, USA.
Cuttler C, et al. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017 May 31. [in press]

Science/Cells: CBD binds to the receptors GPR3 and GPR6
New research shows that CBD (cannabidiol) acts as inverse agonist at GPR3 and GPR6 receptors. GPR3 is involved in Alzheimer's disease whereas GPR6 plays potential roles in Parkinson's disease. Researchers wrote that “our discovery that CBD acts as a novel inverse agonist on both GPR3 and GPR6 indicates that some of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD (e.g. treatment of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) may be mediated through these important receptors.”
University of Louisville School of Medicine, USA.
Laun AS, et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 May 29. [in press]

Science/Animal: High doses of CBD caused hypotension
In a study with four new-born piglets high doses of CBD (50 mg/kg bodyweight) caused significant hypotension in two animals.
Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Norway.
Garberg HAT, et al. Neonatology. 2017;112(2):143-149.

Science/Animal: Activation of the CB2 receptor may be helpful against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
In a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease a synthetic cannabinoid (MDA7), which binds to the CB2 receptor, had a positive effect on inflammation, cognition and other performance measures.
Cleveland Clinic, USA.
Wu J, et al. EUR J Pharmacol. 2017 May 25. [in press]

Science/Animal: THC and CBD may reduce pain caused by the chemotherapeutic agents
THC and CBD may prevent the development of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. In a study with mice both CBD and THC alone attenuated pain in mice treated with paclitaxel. CBD and THC were synergistic when given in combination. CBD also attenuated oxaliplatin- but not vincristine-induced pain, while THC significantly attenuated vincristine- but not oxaliplatin-induced pain.
Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.
King KM, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2017 May 26. [in press]

Science/Cells: The function of human sperm is influenced by the endocannabinoid 2-AG
Research shows that the endocannabinoid 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) affects the function of human sperm by reducing motility, inhibiting capacitation (final step of maturation) and triggering the acrosome reaction, by which the sperm penetrates the female egg.
Department of Biotechnology, University of Alicante, Spain.
Francou MM, et al. Histol Histopathol. 2017 Jun 6:11911.

Science: THC may alter the normal function of placenta cells
Researchers found cannabinoid receptors on placenta cells. THC was shown to impair the migration of trophoblast cells, specialized cells of the placenta.
Clinical and Translational Research Center, Shanghai, China
Chang X, et al. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;42(2):537-550.

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