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IACM-Bulletin of 01 April 2018

Science/Human: Cannabis use was associated with reduced mortality following orthopaedic surgery

In a large sample of 9.5 million US patients, who underwent one of five selected procedures in a four-year period cannabis use was associated with a highly decreased probability of mortality compared to no cannabis use. Researchers of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston analysed a large database, which included patients undergoing hip, knee, and shoulder arthroplasty, spinal fusion, and traumatic femur fracture fixation. 26,416 (0.28%) were identified with a diagnosis of cannabis use disorder.

Authors wrote that “the significance of these findings remains unclear. More research is needed to provide insight into these associations in a growing surgical population.” Cannabis use was associated with a slightly increased risk of heart failure, stroke, and cardiac disease.

Moon AS, Smith W, Mullen S, Ponce BA, McGwin G, Shah A, Naranje SM. Marijuana use and mortality following orthopedic surgical procedures. Subst Abus. 2018:1-20.

Science/Human: Nabilone improved appetite in cancer patients in a controlled clinical study

In a placebo controlled study with 47 patients with advanced lung cancer the synthetic THC derivative nabilone increased caloric intake. Scientists of the National Institute of Cancer Research of Mexico in San Fernando recently published these results in the journal Support Care Cancer. Patients were randomized to receive Nabilone (0.5 mg daily for 2 weeks followed by 1.0 mg daily for 6 weeks) or placebo.

Patients who received nabilone increased their caloric intake (342-kcal) and had a significantly higher intake of carbohydrates (64 g) compared to patients receiving placebo. Quality of life also showed significant improvements, particularly in role functioning, emotional functioning, social functioning, pain, and insomnia. Authors concluded that “nabilone is an adequate and safe therapeutic option to aid in the treatment of patients diagnosed with anorexia.”

Turcott JG, Del Rocío Guillen Núñez M, Flores-Estrada D, Oñate-Ocaña LF, Zatarain-Barrón ZL, Barrón F, Arrieta O. The effect of nabilone on appetite, nutritional status, and quality of life in lung cancer patients: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Support Care Cancer. 2018 Mar 17. [in press]

News in brief

Science: Some national Conferences on Cannabis in Medicine 2018
USA: The Twelfth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics on 10-12 May 2018 in Jersey City.
France: 7e Conference Internationale on 1 June 2018 in Paris.

IACM: New publications in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
New articles have been published in the CCR, the partner journal of the IACM:
Medicinal Cannabis on Prescription in The Netherlands: Statistics for 2003-2016 by Bas de Hoop, Eibert R. Heerdink, and Arno
Willingness to Participate in Longitudinal Research Among People with Chronic Pain Who Take Medical Cannabis: A Cross-Sectional Survey by Marcus A. Bachhuber, Julia H. Arnsten, Joanna L. Starrels, Chinazo O.Cunningham.
A Novel Observational Method for Assessing Acute Responses to Cannabis: Preliminary Validation Using Legal Market Strains by L. Cinnamon Bidwell, Raeghan Mueller, Sophie L. YorkWilliams, Sarah Hagerty, Angela D. Bryan, Kent E. Hutchison.
Therapeutic Effects of Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment on Psychological Symptoms and Cognitive Function in Regular Cannabis Users: A Pragmatic Open-Label Clinical Trial by Nadia Solowij, Samantha J. Broyd, Camilla Beale, Julie-Anne Prick, Lisa-marie Greenwood, Hendrika van Hell, Chao Suo, Peter Galettis, Nagesh Pai, Shanlin Fu, Rodney J. Croft, Jennifer H. Martin, Murat Yücel.

Science/Human: CBD may reduce pain in patients with kidney transplants
Scientists assessed 7 kidney transplant patients with chronic pain, who received CBD at an initial dose of 100 mg per day. In one patient the dose had to be reduced to 50 g per day due to nausea. Two patients had total pain improvement, 4 had a partial response and one no response.
Nephrology and Urology Institute, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Cuñetti L, et al. Transplant Proc. 2018;50(2):461-464.

Science/Human: Cannabinoids may be helpful in the treatment of Huntington's disease
Seven patients with Huntington's disease were treated with cannabinoids resulting in an improvement of motor symptoms. Authors wrote that “improvement of motor symptoms, mainly dystonia, led to several relevant improvements from a global clinical perspective.”
Ruhr-University Bochum, St. Josef-Hospital, Bochum, Germany.
Saft C, et al. J Huntingtons Dis. 2018 Mar 16. [in press]

Science/Human: In patients with autism there are low blood concentrations of anandamide
In a study, which compared 59 patients with autism to 53 healthy children, those with lower anandamide concentrations were more likely to have autism. Authors wrote that “these findings are the first empirical human data to translate preclinical rodent findings to confirm a link between plasma anandamide concentrations in children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder].”
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, USA.
Karhson DS, et al. Mol Autism. 2018;9:18.

Science/Animal: CBD restores normal network function of nerve cells in epilepsy
Scientists investigated that brain slices from rats, in which epileptic states had been induced and given CBD. Their data “suggest CBD restores excitability and morphological impairment in epileptic models to pre-epilepsy control levels through multiple mechanisms to restore normal network function.”
UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK.
Khan AA, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Mar 25. [in press]

Science/Animal: The activation of the CB2 receptor may delay the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
In a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis activation of the CB2 receptor of glia cells delayed the progression of the disease. Authors wrote that “such benefits derived apparently from the activation of CB2 receptors concentrated in astrocytes and reactive microglia located in spinal dorsal and ventral horns.”
Medical Faculty, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.
Espejo-Porras F, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Mar 25. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis use may accelerate the development of emphysema in tobacco smokers
In a study with 83 patients with spontaneous pneumothorax the prevalence of emphysema was not different between tobacco smokers and tobacco/cannabis smokers. However, it occurred at a younger age in tobacco and cannabis smokers. Authors concluded that this “result suggests that cannabis, when added to tobacco, may lead to emphysema at a younger age.”
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hospital Tenon, Paris, France
Ruppert AM, et al. Diagn Interv Imaging. 2018 Mar 20. [in press]

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