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IACM-Bulletin of 21 June 2020

IACM: Free access to webinars and other benefits of an IACM membership

Within our program to professionalize the work of the IACM, we now open our new membership page. Access to the member area of the IACM with exclusive content is only possible for regular members (e.g. videos of conference talks held at the ‘Cannabinoid Conference 2019’, or our October 2020 webinar series). All membership issues will be processed automatically from now on, including automatic confirmation of payments, receipts for donation to charity at the beginning of each year for the previous year, etc. The rest of the website is under further construction.

Further benefits include reduced registration fees for conferences and other events hosted by the IACM (e.g. for the 11th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine together with our Mexican partner association “Asociación Mexicana de Medicina Cannabinoidie”), unlimited online access to ‘Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research’ (CCR), the official journal of the IACM, and a discounted print subscription of CCR.

There are several categories of associate members. So far, the site is only available in English. Further languages will follow.

IACM membership page

IACM: Call for papers for the IACM virtual Cannabinoid Conference 2020

In 2019 the IACM decided to switch from biennial to annual conferences. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all IACM 2020 events will take place virtually.

The scientific committee would like to invite you to present your research at the virtual Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine from 5-7 November. The 2020 Conference is a joint event of the IACM and the Asociación Mexicana de Medicina Cannabinodie (AMMCann). Celebrate with us also the 90th birthday of Professor Raphael Mechoulam after his lecture on 5 November! He was Chairman of the IACM between 2003 and 2005 and is the winner of the IACM Special Award 2007.

Conference website
Call for papers

Our webinar series will take place in October with talks by Franjo Grotenhermen, Bonni Goldstein, Raphael Mechoulam, Daniele Piomelli, Ethan Russo, Donald Abrams, Manuel Guzman, Kirsten Müller-Vahl, and Roger Pertwee, covering among others topics practical aspects of cannabis treatment, the endocannabinoid system, cannabis and cancer and cannabis in psychiatric disorders. The webinar series is free for regular members. High quality subtitles in several languages, including Spanish, French, German and Portuguese will be made available after the webinars.
Program and sponsor brochure

Science/Human: Patients, who use cannabis, have a better quality of life

Patients, who use cannabis, have a better quality of life and health satisfaction compared to non-users. This is the result of a survey with 1276 participants led by researchers of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA. Cannabis Users (n=808) were compared with Controls (n=468) with mathematical models testing the effect of initiation, cessation, and maintenance of medicinal cannabis use. Participants were invited through e-mail to complete follow-up assessments every 3 months.

Cannabis use was associated with improved health and quality of life. Authors wrote that “longitudinal testing suggests that group differences may be due to the medicinal use of cannabis. Although bias related to pre-existing beliefs regarding the health benefits of cannabis in this sample should be considered, these findings indicate that clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of defined cannabinoid products for specific health conditions are warranted.”

Schlienz NJ, Scalsky R, Martin EL, Jackson H, Munson J, Strickland JC, Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin M, Vandrey R. A Cross-Sectional and Prospective Comparison of Medicinal Cannabis Users and Controls on Self-Reported Health. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2020 June 8 [in press]

Science/Human: The use of CBD hemp supplements has a positive effect on HDL cholesterol

In a placebo-controlled study with 65 overweight healthy men and women, who used either cannabis extracts containing CBD or a placebo, the hemp extract improved HDL cholesterol and tended to improve stress. The study was conducted by the Center for Applied Health Sciences in Stow, USA. Participants either ingested either Hemp Oil Extract plus 15 mg hemp extracted CBD daily or a placebo for 6 weeks. They were asked to continue their normal diet and physical activity.

HDL cholesterol significantly improved in the Hemp/CBD group. No other significant change was observed. However, there was a tendency “to support psychometric measures of perceived sleep, stress response, and perceived life pleasure and was well tolerated with no clinically relevant safety concerns.“

Lopez HL, Cesareo KR, Raub B, Kedia AW, Sandrock JE, Kerksick CM, Ziegenfuss TN. Effects of Hemp Extract on Markers of Wellness, Stress Resilience, Recovery and Clinical Biomarkers of Safety in Overweight, But Otherwise Healthy Subjects. J Diet Suppl. 2020:1-26.

Science/Human: Cannabis may control blood pressure after injury of the spinal cord according to a case report

Researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK, assessed cannabis use and blood pressure stability in a 41-year-old man with spinal cord injury. The patient had been using cannabis intermittently for more than 10 years to self-manage his blood pressure.

Researchers calculated that the patient's blood pressure stability was worse on days when he did not use cannabis and better on days when he did. Authors concluded, “that our findings document that cannabis use improved BP stability in this patient by reducing the intensity and frequency of the visceral stimuli, such as pain and spasms, that are known to trigger autonomic dysreflexia."

Nightingale TE, Tejpar T, O'Connell C, Krassioukov AV. Using Cannabis to Control Blood Pressure After Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jun 16. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis use may reduce hospital stays in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

According to an analysis of a database of the Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, USA, on all patients with the primary discharge diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome 246 cannabis users had shorter hospital stays compared to 9147 non-users.

Cannabis users were less likely to have the following: upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (18% versus 26% and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy (21% versus 29%). Additionally, cannabis users had shorter length of stay (2.8 days versus 3.6 days). Authors concluded that cannabis use “may decrease inpatient healthcare utilization in IBS patients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system. “

Desai P, Mbachi C, Vohra I, Salazar M, Mathew M, Randhawa T, Haque Z, Wang Y, Attar B, Paintsil I. Association Between Cannabis Use and Healthcare Utilization in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Cureus. 2020;12(5):e8008.

Science/Human: Cannabis use reduces frequency of migraine attacks

In a group of 145 patients with migraine prolonged medical cannabis use reduced migraine frequency. The study was conducted by investigators from Israel. Participants were migraine patients licensed for medical cannabis treatment. Data included self-reported questionnaires and cannabis treatment features. Patients were retrospectively classified as responders versus non-responders (decrease of 50% or more monthly migraine attacks versus less than 50% decrease) following initiation of cannabis treatment.

Compared to non-responders, the 89 responders reported lower current migraine disability and lower negative impact, and lower rates of opioid and triptan consumption. Authors noted that these “findings indicate that MC results in long-term reduction of migraine frequency in >60% of treated patients and is associated with less disability and lower antimigraine medication intake. “

Aviram J, Vysotski Y, Berman P, Lewitus GM, Eisenberg E, Meiri D. Migraine Frequency Decrease Following Prolonged Medical Cannabis Treatment: A Cross-Sectional Study. Brain Sci. 2020;10(6).

Science/Human: Medicinal Cannabis Effective for Chronic Insomnia in Clinical Trial

A randomized double-blind clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of a medicinal cannabis formulation for treating chronic insomnia showed that the therapy is effective and safe. For the trial, 23 participants were treated with the therapy for 14 nights, and after a 1-week washout period, received a placebo for 14 nights. Each participant took a single dose (11.5 mg total cannabinoids) or a double dose (23 mg total cannabinoids) in a solution delivered sublingually.

Participants treated with medicinal cannabis went to sleep faster, slept significantly longer, and went back to sleep sooner after waking. Those participants reported significant improvements in quality of life, including feeling rested after sleep, feeling less stressed and less fatigued, and overall improved functioning.

Practical Neurology of 4 June 2020

News in brief

Holland: Government is looking for cannabis growers for a pilot project on legal cannabis for adults
Growers who wish to take part in the Dutch government’s regulated cannabis experiment can sign up to apply from July 1, the justice ministry said on 9 June. The aim of the experiment, which will see a maximum of 10 growers licenced to produce a range of cannabis products, is to remove the grey area between coffee shops, which have permits to sell cannabis, and the illegal circuit of suppliers.
Dutch News of 9 June 2020

Israel: Knesset to push cannabis legalization reforms including improvements for patients
Likud and Blue and White say they will push legislation “to arrange the issue of decriminalization and legalization via a responsible model,” apparently referring to cannabis. The statement notes that the parties have also decided to push reforms to medical cannabis in order to make it easier for patients to get access to treatment and for growers to get a license to fill their fields with cannabis. Medical cannabis users have complained of near-impossible access to the few dispensaries licensed to distribute cannabis.
Times of Israel of 9 June 2020

Science/Animal: The non-psychedelic cannabinoid THCA alleviates collagen-induced arthritis
In a mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis THCA (THC acid) improved inflammation. This effect was mediated by the CB1 receptor. Authors concluded that THCA “modulates CB1 receptor through the orthosteric and allosteric binding sites.”
Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute of Córdoba, Spain.
Palomares B, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2020 Jun 8. [in press]

Science/Human: CBD was effective in improving epilepsy in children
In a prospective study of 50 epileptic patients with a mean age of 10.5 years the additional use of CBD to a standard medication significantly improved seizure frequency. Overall 78% of the patients had a seizure reduction of at least 25% and 49% had a reduction of at least 75%.
Department of Neurology, Hospital de Pediatría "Prof. Dr. Juan P Garrahan", Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Caraballo R, et al. Seizure. 2020;80:75-80.

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