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IACM-Bulletin of 13 September 2020

IACM: Free online events: webinars and anniversary online meeting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying circumstances we are very sorry to inform you that we have to cancel our planned IACM Conference scheduled November 5th to 7th 2020. However, instead we decided to celebrate a birthday event on November 5th 2020 in honor of the 90. birthday of Professor Raphael Mechoulam and the 20th anniversary of the IACM. We are happy to announce this special event accessible to everyone free of charge. At the same time we will offer freely accessible webinars throughout October and November 2020 by outstanding cannabis experts.

Since the webinars will be held in English, but will have subtitles in Spanish, German, French and Portuguese we hope to inform and educate several thousand participants around the world. If you have already registered for the webinars and the conference by paying a registration fee we will reimburse it to you. If you would like to support the work of the IACM we are happy to welcome you as a new member. If you would like to make your company visible during the online events from October 2020 through March 2021 we would like to invite you to sponsor these events. Currently, we are happy to welcome the first sponsors: Four 20 Pharma, Canopy Latam, ICan, CBD Depot, Demacan and Symrise.

Event Website
The new sponsoring brochure is available now. The brochure for participants will follow on 16 September 2020.
Membership Registration

Paraguay: Parliament approves legalisation of cannabis self-cultivation for medicinal use

The proposal to decriminalise the self-cultivation of cannabis for medical use was approved by the Members of Parliament in an ordinary session. The bill will be submitted to the Executive Branch for enactment or veto. Currently in Paraguay, possession or cultivation of cannabis is punishable by law.

Article 30 of the proposal states that the possession of cannabis or its derivatives for exclusively medical use will not be punishable in cases where the person carries a medical certificate endorsed by the Ministry of Health certifying that he or she suffers from the ailments that can be treated with the plant. Article 33 of the document stipulates that the planting, cultivation, harvesting and subsequent processing of cannabis shall not be a punishable act, provided that the person or his legal representative does so in a building authorized by the authorities of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat.

La Nación of 26 August 2020

Science/Human: Regular cannabis users have no altered pain perception

According to a study with 40 regular cannabis users and 40 nonusers cannabis does not influence pain intensity. Reduced pain sensitivity of regular opioid users is a problem for the treatment of pain with opioids. Results were presented by researchers of the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, Canada and the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. Cannabis users (at least 3 intakes per week) and nonusers were compared on pain sensitivity, pain tolerance, and pain intensity in response to a cold-pressor task.

Frequent cannabis use was not associated with hyperalgesia as cannabis users and nonusers did not exhibit differences on measures of pain tolerance, sensitivity, or intensity. Authors wrote that “this finding should help to inform evaluations of the relative harms and benefits of cannabis analgesic therapies.”

St Pierre M, Russo EB, Walsh Z. No Evidence of Altered Reactivity to Experimentally Induced Pain Among Regular Cannabis Users. Clin J Pain. 2020;36(8):589-593.

Science/Human: Topical cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of leg ulcers according to open trial

Non-Uremic Calciphylaxis (NUC) is a rare condition that often manifests as intractable and painful skin wounds, afflicting patients with a high burden of co-morbidity. in an open label study 2 women with such leg ulcers of greater than 6 months duration were successfully treated with topical cannabis-based medicines at the Division of Palliative Care of the University of Toronto, Canada. The cannabis preparation was applied daily to both the wound bed and peri-wound tissues until complete wound closure was achieved.

Complete wound closure was achieved in a mean of 76.3 days. Additionally, no analgesics were required after a mean of 63 days. The treatments were well tolerated with no adverse reactions. Authors wrote that the “positive results demonstrated in very challenging wounds” cannabis preparations “may have an even broader role within integumentary and wound management.”

Maida V, Shi RB, Fazzari FGT, Zomparelli L.
Topical cannabis-based medicines - A novel paradigm and treatment for non-uremic calciphylaxis leg ulcers: An open label trial. Int Wound J. 2020 Sep 2. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis may have a positive effect on quality of life in older persons according to a survey

A survey by researchers from the University of Iowa In Iowa City and the University of Illinois in Champaign, USA, with 139 persons over the age of 60 shows that cannabis may have positive effect on quality of life in this age group. They asked for scales accessing help-related quality of life, health-care utilisation, symptom effects and adverse events.

Scientists also found that using cannabis 1-4 times per week is associated with 3.30 additional points on the quality of life scale, 2.72 additional points on the health-care utilisation scale, and 1.13 points on pain . The frequency of use reported at 5-7 times per week is associated with 4.71 additional quality of life score points. No significant associations were observed between the frequency of use and adverse events.

Croker Iii JA, Bobitt JL, Arora K, Kaskie B. Assessing Health-Related Outcomes of Medical Cannabis Use among Older Persons: Findings from Colorado and Illinois. Clin Gerontol. 2020:1-14.

News in brief

USA: About 5% of older Americans use cannabis
Cannabis use is on the rise among older Americans, with one in 20 saying they had used within the previous month, according to a new study. About 5% of men and women aged 55 and older said they'd used cannabis in the previous month between 2016 and 2018, according to an annual federal government survey on potentially risky behaviors. "It could be there are more people using marijuana for medical conditions. It could be there are more using it for recreational uses. It could be more people acknowledging use, in an environment when it's easier to say that you use products when talking to someone from the government," said co-researcher Bill Jesdale, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester.
Consumer Health Day of 1 September 2020

Europe: CBD narcotic status to have ‘dramatic repercussions,’ on hemp industry
France’s hemp industry is urging the EURopean Commission (EC) to reconsider cannabidiol’s (CBD) classification to a narcotic pointing to the ‘dramatic repercussions,’ the decision will have on the sector.
Nutraingredients of 24 August 2020

Canada: Canadian student athletes will no longer be tested for cannabis
Nearly two years after Canada lifted its cannabis prohibition, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the not-for-profit responsible for administering the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, hasannouncedthat the organization will cease testing for cannabinoids in athlete samples. "The CCES has long advocated for the removal of cannabis from the WADA Prohibited List, and the legalization of cannabis in Canada reflects a shifting societal view of how to manage cannabis education and harm reduction," the organisation said.
The Province of 24 August 2020

Science/Cells: CBD may protect skin cells from negative effects of sunlight
Keratinocytes, the major cell type of the skin , are particularly sensitive to sunlight. CBD was found to protect keratinocytes by preventing changes in the composition of the cellular membrane, associated with UVB exposure (ultraviolet light B). Authors wrote that “CBD could be a potential protective agent for keratinocytes against the harmful effects of irradiation and chemical environmental factors that cause oxidative stress.”
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Medical University of Białystok, Poland.
Atalay S, et al. Redox Biol. 2020;36:101613.

Science/Human: Cannabis use increases sleep time in adults
In a pilot study with 11 HIV positive persons and 6 HIV negative cannabis use was associated with greater total sleep time in middle-aged and older adults with and without HI during a 14 day period. Cannabis does not alter sleep efficiency nor sleep fragmentation compared with days without cannabis use.
SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, USA .
Campbell LM, et al. Cannabis. 2020;3(2):180-189.

Science/Cells: CBD and CBG showed neuroprotective effects
CBD, CBG and their acid forms were investigated with regard to their potential neuroprotective effects in cultures with nerve cells. CBD and CBG showed protective effects against toxicity by H2O2 and rotenone. High concentrations of CBDA reduced neurotoxicity produced by rotenone. Researchers also investigatied the involvement of the 5-HT1A receptor and cannabis receptors.
Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE), Montevideo, Uruguay.
Echeverry C, et al. Neurotox Res. 2020 Sep 4. [in press]

Science/Cells: How CBD reduces inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers show that CBD increases intracellular calcium levels, reduces cell viability and production of fibroblasts in the synovia of rheumatoid arthritis. Authors concluded that CBD is a “killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts.” These effects were pronounced under inflammatory conditions. Author summarised that “CBD possesses anti-arthritic activity and might ameliorate arthritis via targeting synovial fibroblasts under inflammatory conditions.”
University Hospital Duesseldorf, Germany.
Lowin T, et al. Cell Death Dis. 2020;11(8):714.

Science/Animal: THC may prevent mortality from acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19
According to research in mice THC prevents mortality from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) through the induction of apoptosis in immune cells, leading to cytokine storm suppression. Authors concluded that “this study suggests that the activation of cannabinoid receptors may serve as a therapeutic modality to treat ARDS associated with COVID-19.”
School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA.
Mohammed A, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(17):E6244.

Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce outcome in cancer patients during immunotherapy
According to a prospective observational study including 102 cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy cannabis use by 34 participants was associated with poorer outcome. Authors wrote that “cannabis consumption has considerable immunomodulatory effects, and its use among cancer patients needs to be carefully considered due to its potential effects on the immune system, especially during treatment with immunotherapy.”
Cancer Center, Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel.
Bar-Sela G, et al. Cancers (Basel). 2020;12(9):E2447.

Science/Animal: CBD improves insulin signal transduction in skeletal muscle in obesity
In a study with obese rats, who received CBD for 2 weeks ceramide synthesis in the muscle was attenuated. Ceramide is a lipid. Researchers also observed further CBD effects, which coincided with an improvement in skeletal muscle insulin signal transduction and glycogen recovery. Thus, CBD seems to reduce some negative effects of sustained obesity, which is associated with the accommodation of lipid derivatives in several tissues, including the skeletal muscle.
Department of Physiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.
Bielawiec P, et al. Biomolecules. 2020;10(9):E1241.

Science/Animal: CBD improves osteoarthritis in dogs
In a study with 21 dogs with chronic osteoarthritis 9 dogs received additional oral CBD to standard medication. Pain Severity Score was significantly lower in CBD than in the control group several time points (weeks after treatment initiation). Authors suggest long-term studies in larger populations.
Department of Veterinary Medicine, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.
Brioschi FA, et al. Animals (Basel). 2020;10(9):E1505.

Science: COVID-19 treatment strategies to reduce inflammation may include cannabis
Scientists investigated the possibilities of herbal remedies to be part of a COVID-19 treatment strategy against elevated levels of inflammatory to terpenes such as interleukin-6 and interferon-gamma. They concluded their “expert review by highlighting the potential role of precision herbal medicines, for example, the Cannabis sativa.”
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Cape Town, South Africa.
Dzobo K, et al. OMICS. 2020 Aug 26. [in press]

Science/Animal: Activation of cannabis receptors in the spinal-cord reduces/d pain in diabetes
Scientists investigated the effects of several synthetic cannabinoids, which bind to the CB1 or? the CB2 receptor, given directly into the cerebrospinal fluid of diabetic rats suffering from allodynia (increased pain sensitivity). Cannabinoids reduced increased pain sensitivity and this effect was mediated by both receptors.
Department of Pharmacology, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil.
Gonçalves MR, et al. Behav Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 13. [in press]

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