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IACM-Bulletin of 28 October 2018

Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in bipolar disorder

For some patients suffering from bipolar disorder cannabis may result in partial alleviation of symptoms. This is the result of research at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, USA. Twelve patients with bipolar disorder who used cannabis, 18 bipolar patients who did not use the drug, 23 cannabis users and 21 healthy controls completed a neuropsychological battery. Further, participants rated their mood three times daily as well as after each instance of cannabis use over a four-week period.

Results revealed that although the cannabis users and patients with bipolar disorder exhibited some degree of cognitive impairment relative to healthy controls, there was no evidence of an additive negative impact of bipolar disorder and cannabis use on cognition. Additionally, momentary assessment analyses indicated alleviation of mood symptoms in the group with bipolar disorder and cannabis use. They experienced a substantial decrease in mood symptoms. Authors concluded that “findings suggest that for some bipolar patients, marijuana may result in partial alleviation of clinical symptoms. Moreover, this improvement is not at the expense of additional cognitive impairment.”

Sagar KA, Dahlgren MK, Racine MT, Dreman MW, Olson DP, Gruber SA. Joint Effects: A Pilot Investigation of the Impact of Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana Use on Cognitive Function and Mood. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 8;11(6):e0157060.

Canada: The country becomes the 2nd nation to legalize recreational cannabis

On 17 October the Cannabis Act went into effect, allowing adults to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in dried or "equivalent non-dried" form. Canadians can also share up to 30 grams with other adults. Dried or fresh cannabis or cannabis oil can also be purchased from licensed retailers or online from federally licensed producers. The first country to legalize cannabis was Uruguay in 2013.

Canadians can also grow up to four cannabis plants per home from licensed seeds and make their own cannabis-infused food and drinks at home. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a platform to legalize cannabis, saying it's too easy for minors to get the drug and for criminals to reap the profits. Experts say the new industry could be worth more than 4 billion Canadian Dollars.

UPI of 17 October 2018

Science: New journal on cannabis and cannabinoid research

BMC announced the publication of a new journal. “We are delighted to announce that Journal of Cannabis Research is now accepting submissions. Published in partnership with the Institute of Cannabis Research, Journal of Cannabis Research is an innovative open access journal covering all aspects of research related to cannabis and its constituents.” The new journal is the third in the field of cannabis research, following “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” and “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.”

Due to the support of the Institute of Cannabis Research and Colorado State University, authors do not pay an article-processing charge for accepted articles published in the Journal. The editor-in-chief is Dr David A Gorelick, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Journal of Cannabis Research
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids

News in brief

IACM: Abstracts of CannX conference published in MCC
The abstracts of the 3rd International Medical Cannabis Conference (CannX 2018) Tel Aviv, Israel, October 14–16, 2018, have now been published in the IACM partner Journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids.
Conference Abstracts

IACM: New publications in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
New articles have been published in the CCR, the partner journal of the IACM:
Multiple Sclerosis, Cannabis Use, and Clinical Disability: A Preliminary [18F]-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Study by John H. Kindred, Justin M. Honce, Jennifer J. Kwak, and Thorsten Rudroffa.
Cannabis Systematics at the Levels of Family, Genus, and Species by John M. McPartland.
Oncology Clinicians and the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: A Survey on Medical Cannabis Practice Patterns, Barriers to Enrollment, and Educational Needs by Dylan Zylla, Grant Steele, Justin Eklund, Jeanne Mettner, and Tom Arneson.
Regulatory Status of Cannabidiol in the United States: A Perspective by Jamie Corroon and Rod Kight.

USA: Two in three citizens support legalising cannabis
Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing cannabis, another new high in Gallup's trend over nearly half a century. The latest figure marks the third consecutive year that support on legalization has increased and established a new record.
Gallup of 22 October 2018

Mexico: Foreign Minister said that the country may legalise cannabis
Mexico may legalize cannabis in a bid to reduce crime, the country's newly appointed foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said in Canada. "We think it is a very interesting option in the short term for Mexico," Ebrard said during a recent visit to Montreal, Canada.
UPI of 24 October 2018

Science/Human: Cannabis withdrawal syndrome is found in 12% of frequent users
Using data of a representative survey (NESARC-III) scientists found 1527 frequent cannabis users, who stopped cannabis use. The prevalence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome was 12%. The most common withdrawal symptoms were nervousness/anxiety, hostility, sleep difficulty and depressed mood.
Lev Hasharon Medical Center, Netanya, Israel.
Hasin RDS, et al. Drug Alcohol Dep. 2018 Oct 22. [in press] Science Direct

Science/Human: Cannabis laws in the USA are associated with reduced opioid prescriptions
Analysing a dataset of over 1.3 billion individual opioid prescriptions between 2011 and 2017, scientists found that recreational and medical cannabis access laws reduce the number of morphine milligram equivalents prescribed each year by 6.9 and 6.1 %, respectively.
University of Alabama, School of Law, USA.
McMichael BJ, et al. SSRN. 2018 Oct 18.

Science/Human: Cannabis reduces risk of liver cirrhosis in patients with hepatitis C virus infection
In a study with 188,333 patients with a positive diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection, those with cannabis use had a 19% decreased risk of liver cirrhosis compared to non-users. Among those with cannabis use people with cannabis dependence had a 38% decreased risk compared to non-dependent users. Authors wrote that their “findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis, but no change in mortality (…) among HCV patients.”
Department of Medicine, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, USA.
Adejumo AC, et al. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018;2018:9430953.

Science/Human: Cannabis effective against pain due to epidermolysis bullosa according to case reports
According to a report on 3 patients with epidermolysis bullosa, which is associated with intense pain, a cannabis extract improved pain severity, reduced pruritus and overall intake of analgesic drugs.
Departments of Dermatology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Schräder NHB, et al. Br J Dermatol. 2018 Oct 22. [in press]

Science/Human: Patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma may profit from a treatment with cannabis
In an analysis of 133 medical files of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma 51 patients (38%) used medical cannabis. “Cannabis users reported improvement in pain, general well-being, appetite, and nausea in 94, 87, 82, and 79% of cases, respectively. Importantly, 81.5% reported a high overall efficacy of cannabis in relieving symptoms. Adverse events related to cannabis use itself were mild.”
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Sarid N, et al. Acta Haematol. 2018;140(4):194-202.

Science/Human: Cannabis use by Canadian adolescents decreased in the past 10 years
An analysis of the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey revealed that cannabis use among Canadian youth decreased between 2004 and 2014. Past-year use peaked in 2008/2009 at 27.3%, compared to 16.5%, in 2014/2015. Mean age of initiation did not vary over time.
School of Public Health & Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Canada.
Leos-Toro C, et al. Prev Med. 2018;118:30-37.

Science/Animal: Beta-caryophyllene reduces oxidative stress following reduced blood supply to the brain
In a study with rats, whose carotid arteries were transiently occluded followed by reperfusion, beta-caryophyllene reduced damage by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation as well as influencing the endocannabinoid system in a beneficial way. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene and a cannabinoid, which binds to the CB2 receptor and the PPAR-alpha receptor.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Italy.
Poddighe L, et al. Lipids Health Dis. 2018;17(1):23.

Science/Animal: Beta-caryophyllene shows anti-atherosclerotic effects
In rats, who received a high-fat diet, beta-caryophyllene significantly ameliorated all diet-induced alterations in a CB2 receptor-dependant manner as it improved glycemic parameters, fat metabolism, oxidative stress to the blood vessels and inflammation.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Zagazig University, Egypt.
Youssef DA, et al. Chem Biol Interact. 2018 Oct 18. [in press]

Science/Cells: CBD may counteract cardiovascular and cancer diseases
Aberrant proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels (VSMC) are linked to the development and progression of cardiovascular and cancer diseases. In a study with human VSMC CBD (cannabidiol) protected against aberrant proliferation and migration of these cells.
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Rostock University Medical Center, Germany.
Schwartz M, et al. Oncotarget. 2018 Oct 2;9(77):34595-34616.

Science/Animal: Anandamide may be effective in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease
In a study with rats, who received streptozotocin to cause Alzheimer’s disease-like dementia, the administration of the endocannabinoid anandamide partially prevented cognitive impairment.
Universidade Federal do ABC, São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil.
Moreira-Silva D, et al. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:653.

Science/Animal: CB1 receptors in the hippocampus are involved in the production of new nerve cells in adults
In studies with adult mice it was shown that CB1 receptors present on neural stem cells in the hippocampus, a certain brain region, control neurogenesis to regulate morphology of nerve cells, brain plasticity and behaviour. Neurogenesis describes the process by which nerve cells are produced from neural stem cells.
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.
Zimmermann T, et al. Cereb Cortex. 2018 Oct 11. [in press]

Science/Animal: THC and gabapentin act synergistically against neuropathic pain
In a study with mice with neuropathic pain the combination of THC and gabapentin was beneficial in reducing allodynia, which is a pain response to usually non-painful stimuli. Authors concluded that “THC may represent a potential adjuvant for neuropathic pain medications such as gabapentin.”
University of Sydney, Australia.
Atwal N, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Oct 9. [in press]

Science/Cells: CBD may induce deregulation of circadian rhythm in certain brain cells
In a study, which investigated the effects of THC and CBD on circadian regulation in microglial cells, CBD abolished circadian rhythm. Others wrote that “that circadian rhythm in microglial cells is deregulated by CBD but not by THC. It is consistent with clinical observations of the use of therapeutic cannabis to treat insomnia.”
Hôpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.
Lafaye G, et al. Addict Biol. 2018 Oct 11. [in press]

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