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IACM-Bulletin of 12 September 2021

IACM: The IACM will be restructured and reorganized

After national patient groups and medical societies on the topic of cannabis as medicine have been founded in many countries in recent years, the IACM board wants to take these developments into account. The IACM is to be set up as an umbrella organization of national patient groups and medical societies.

So far, only the German ACM (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin) is a national branch of the IACM. Through a moderate financial contribution of the ACM to the IACM, all ACM members are automatically also associate members of the IACM. The awareness of ACM members to be part of an international movement strengthens both the national ACM and the international structure. We want to make this offer to other national organizations that would like to be part of a strong international movement to promote science, exchange of ideas and mutual support on the topic of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine.

IACM: Next conference scheduled for fall 2022

After health reasons prevented the IACM Executive Director from being as active this year as previously, the IACM Board has decided to cancel the online conference scheduled for October 2021. As part of the restructuring of the IACM, the Association is to be reorganized so that its ability to work no longer depends on an individual person.

The next IACM Conference is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2022. A date has not yet been set. Because of the Corona pandemic and the uncertainties associated with it, we want to prepare for both a possible hybrid event and an online conference. A hybrid event, with a presence event in one country and an online broadcast for participants from all over the world, could take place especially in a country where the Corona pandemic allows a presence event.

Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa according to a survey

Results of a survey with 71 patients suffering from epidermolysis bullosa conducted by researchers at the Department of Dermatology of the University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands, demonstrate that cannabis use may reduce several symptoms of the disease. English-speaking patients or caregivers completed an online international, anonymous, cross-sectional survey regarding the use of cannabis-based medicines. Respondents were from 5 continents and used different cannabis preparations.

Topical and oral ingested were the most common routes. Most reported that cannabis use improved their overall disease symptoms (95%), pain (94%), pruritus (91%) and wound healing (81%). Most participants (79%) reported decreased use of pain medications. Authors called for controlled studies. Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare severe skin diseases that result in easy blistering of the skin.

Schräder NHB, Gorell ES, Stewart RE, Duipmans JC, Harris N, Perez VA, Tang JY, Wolff AP, Bolling MC. Cannabinoid use and effects in patients with epidermolysis bullosa: an international cross-sectional survey study. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021;16(1):377.

Science/Human: CBD in cannabis flowers may reduce side effects of THC

A study with 159 regular cannabis users conducted at the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience of the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, showed that CBD reduces anxiety caused by flowers high in THC. Participants were randomly assigned to administration of one of three chemovars (THC-dominant: 24% THC, 1% CBD; THC+CBD: 9% THC, 10% CBD; CBD-dominant: 1% THC, 23% CBD). Effects were assessed before, immediately after, and 1 h after ad libitum administration of their assigned chemovar.

The THC + CBD chemovar was associated with similar levels of positive subjective effects, but significantly less paranoia and anxiety, as compared to the THC-dominant chemovar. Individuals using a THC + CBD chemovar had significantly lower plasma THC concentrations and reported less paranoia and anxiety while also reporting similar positive mood effects as compared to individuals using THC only. Researchers wrote that these results are “intriguing from a harm reduction perspective.”

Gibson LP, Karoly HC, Ellingson JM, Klawitter J, Sempio C, Squeri JE, Bryan AD, Bidwell LC, Hutchison KE. Effects of cannabidiol in cannabis flower: Implications for harm reduction. Addict Biol. 2021:e13092.

Science/Human: An analysis of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry shows that cannabis use was associated with an improvement of quality of life

In a study analysing the early outcomes of the first series of patients prescribed cannabis-based medicines conducted by researchers of Imperial College London, UK. There were 129 patients included in the final analysis with a mean age of about 46 years. The most common indication was chronic pain of undefined etiology. The median initial cannabidiol and THC dose was 20 mg (Range: 0-768 mg) and 4 mg (Range: 0-660 mg), respectively.

Statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life were demonstrated at 1 and 3 months. There were improvements in pain, discomfort, anxiety and depression. Authors added that the cannabis administration was “also demonstrated to be relatively safe in the short to medium-term.”

Erridge S, Salazar O, Kawka M, Holvey C, Coomber R, Usmani A, Sajad M, Beri S, Hoare J, Khan S, Weatherall MW, Platt M, Rucker JJ, Sodergren MH. An initial analysis of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry: Outcomes analysis of first 129 patients. Neuropsychopharmacol Rep. 2021;41(3):362-370.

News in brief

Panama: Parliament unanimously supports a bill that legalises cannabis for medical use
Panama's national assembly unanimously passed a bill on 30 August that would regulate the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, making it the first nation in Central American to do so. The proposal, which would set up a registry of authorized cannabis patients and permit further research on the drug, was approved by a vote of 44 lawmakers in favor and none voting against it. The bill now awaits the signature of President Laurentino Cortizo.
Reuters of 30 August 2021

Columbia: The country will export cannabis for medicinal use
President Iván Duque signed a new decree allowing licensed Colombian cannabis companies to commercially produce and export medical cannabis flower material. The new law also regulates access to medical cannabis for patients in Colombia. "This new decree represents an important milestone for Colombia and allows us to compete in international markets," Duque said.
Apotheke ADHOC of 6 September 2021

Zimbabwe: Cultivation and processing licenses issued for cannabis
Investors from Germany, Switzerland and Canada are among those who have received cultivation and processing licenses under Zimbabwe’s cannabis program. A total of 57 licenses were handed to both foreign and local enterprises, the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) announced.
Hemp today of 7 September 2021

Science/Animal: CBD may be helpful in Parkinson’s disease
According to a study with mice CBD may be beneficial in Parkinson’s disease. In particular, CBD exhibits a preferential action on astrocytes and activates the astrocytic transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), thus, enhancing the endogenous neuroprotective response of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF).
Unit of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy.
Giuliano C, et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(16):8920.

Science/Animal: CBD may protect the liver from damage due to skin irradiation
In a study with nude rats chronically irradiated with ultraviolet light administration of CBD to the skin protected the liver from phospholipid metabolism. This effect was partially mediated by an increased level of the endocannabinoid 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol)
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.
Biernacki M, et al. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021;10(8):1157.

Science/Animal: Hemp extracts has a positive effect on the immune system in honey bees
According to a study with honeybees a “hemp supplementation positively influences the immune system of workers, and the appropriate method of administration may be adapted to the health problems of bees.
Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.
Skowronek P, et al. Animals (Basel). 2021;11(8):2190.

Science/Cells: CBD induces programmed cell death in brain cancer cells
In a study with human and canine glioma cells CBD killed glioma cells by a mechanism of action which involves “dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial activity”.
Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA.
Gross C, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2021;12:725136.

Science/Human: Cannabis was effective in the treatment of Tourette syndrome according to a case report
In a 25-year-old man, who did not respond to standard medication, administration of a cannabis extract (Sativex) reduced tics by more than 90%.
Department of Neurology, Helios Klinikum Erfurt, Deutschland.
Schwittay MA, et al. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y). 2021;11:33.

Science/Human: ADHD is associated with an increased use of cannabis
In a survey with 6872 respondents aged 20 to 39 years, of whom 270 had ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a diagnosis of ADHD was associated with an increased risk of alcohol disorder and cannabis use disorder.
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Canada.
Fuller-Thomson E, et al. Alcohol Alcohol. 2021:agab048.

Science/Cells: Cannabinoids may interfere with medicinal drugs cleared by the kidneys
In a study with kidney cells the cannabinoids THC, CBN and CBD inhibited the activity of enzymes responsible for the elimination of medicinal drugs through the kidneys. The strongest inhibition of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes of the kidneys was seen with CBD.
Washington state university, United States.
Nasrin S, et al. Drug Metab Dispos. 2021:DMD-AR-2021-000530.

Science/Human: Scientists suggest that cannabis use may be associated with an increased risk for leukaemia
Due to in doubling of cases of acute lymphoid leukaemia (ALL) between 1975 and 2016 in the US researchers suggest that there may be an association with the increased use of cannabis.
Division of Psychiatry, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.
Reece AS, et al. BMC Cancer. 2021;21(1):984.

Science/Animal: Oleamide reduces muscle atrophy in mice housed in small cages
The endocannabinoid oleamide in the diet reduced the atrophy of a leg muscle (tibialis anterior muscle) in mice housed in small cages.
Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan.
Kobayashi Y, et al. Br J Nutr. 2021;126(4):481-491.

Science/Animal: Palmitoylethanolamine ameliorates arthritis
The administration of the endocannabinoid palmitoylethanolamine was shown to reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis of rats.
Regional Strategic Industry Innovation Center, Hallym University, Republic of Korea.
Jung JI, et al. Inflammopharmacology. 2021 Sep 1. [in press]

Science/Human: Long-term cannabis use may not be associated with the incidence of hypertension
In a study with 26 844 participants without hypertension at start of the study long-term cannabis use had no effect on the frequency to develop hypertension.
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
Haleem A, et al. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2021;40(6):914-919.

Science/Human: Cannabis may inhibit the development of fatty liver in HIV patients
In a 5-year study with 997 HIV-HCV co-infected patients cannabis use protected against the development of fatty liver.
INSERM, Marseille, France.
Barré T, et al. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2021;19(9):1147-1156.

Science/Human: Cannabis use may increase the risk for arrhythmia
In a study with 570,556 patients with the primary diagnosis for arrhythmia 2.6% had also a cannabis use disorder. In the cannabis you group the risk for arrhythmia was slightly increased.
Department of Psychiatry, Griffin Memorial Hospital, Norman, Oklahoma, USA.
Patel RS, et al. Am J Addict. 2021 Aug 25. [in press]

Science/Human: Recent cannabis use may increase the risk for heart attack
In a study with 33,173 young adults, of whom 4610 reported recent cannabis use, a history of myocardial infarction was more common in recent cannabis users relative to nonusers.
Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, Canada.
Ladha KS, et al. CMAJ. 2021;193(35):E1377-E1384.

Science/Human: The number of schizophrenia cases associated with cannabis has increased
A study from Denmark shows that the number of new schizophrenia cases attributable to the use of cannabis has considerably increased in the past 2 decades. Authors wrote that this was “expected given previously described increases in the use and potency of cannabis.”
Mental Health Center Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.
Hjorthøj C, et al. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021;78(9):1013-1019.

Science/Animal: The combination of CBD and ketamine shows antidepressant effects
In a study with mice the combination of CBD and ketamine showed good antidepressant-like effects without unwanted side effects.
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.
Sartim AG, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2021;195:108679.

Science/Animal: CBD may reverse memory impairment
In a study with rats CBD was able to reverse memory impairment due to lack of estrogen “supporting its potential as a treatment for estrogen decline-induced deterioration of neural functioning and maintenance.”
School of Health and Life Sciences, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Corrê MDS, et al. Behav Brain Res. 2021:113555.

Science/Animal: The antiepileptic effects of Echinacea root extract involves the CB2 receptor
In a study with rats a root extract from Echinacea purpurea showed anticonvulsant effects and this effect was mediated by the CB2 receptor.
Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran.
Gholami M, et al. J Complement Integr Med. 2021 Aug 31.

Science/Human: Many cancer patients in Denmark use cannabis
According to a survey among 2839 Danish cancer patients, of whom 13% used or had used cannabis, 77% of users experienced at least one positive effect of cannabis.
Department of Clinical Oncology and Palliative Care, Zealand University Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark.
Nielsen SW, et al. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Aug 28. [in press]

Science/Human: Young adults cannabis use disorder treatment admissions declined in the US
While the number of cannabis use increased in the USA treatment admission of young adults due to cannabis use disorder decreased.
Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.
Mennis J, et al. Addict Behav. 2021;123:107049.

Science/Animal: CBD improves the blood brain barrier after brain injury
In a study with rats CBD improved the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and reduced brain oedema in the brain after traumatic brain injury.
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China.
Jiang H, et al. Brain Res. 2021;1768:147586.

Science/Human: Cannabis use may be a risk factor for heart attack
In a study with about 3.4 million patients hospitalised in France between 2010 and 2018 due to myocardial infarction cannabis use was significantly associated with a higher risk by about 30%.
Service de cardiologie, France.
Ma I, et al. EUR Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2021:zuab073.

Science/Cells: Cannabinoids may induce programmed cell death in colon cancer cells
In a study with colorectal cancer cells a synthetic cannabinoids, which activates the CB2 receptor induced apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Urmia University, Iran.
Alenabi A, et al. Mol Cell Biochem. 2021;476(9):3285-3301.

Science/Human: Cannabis legalisation had no effect on adolescent cannabis use in the USA
“Consistent with estimates from prior studies, there was little evidence that RMLs (recreational marijuana laws) or MMLs (medical marijuana laws) encourage youth marijuana use.”
Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University, Bozeman.
Anderson DM, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2124638.

Science/Animal: A lack of the CB1 receptor accelerates skin ageing
In a study with mice without CB1 receptors researchers noted in acceleration of skin ageing.
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal.
C Leal E, et al. Exp Gerontol. 2021;154:111528.

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