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IACM-Bulletin of 10 November 2019

IACM: General Meeting elects Kirsten Mueller-Vahl as new chairwoman and changes its statutes and membership fee structure

During its 10th Conference on Cannabis and and Cannabinoids In Medicine from 31 October to 2 November 2019 in Berlin, which attracted about 460 people from 35 countries, the IACM hold its General Meeting.
Conference website

Bonni Goldstein (USA), Debra Kimless (USA), Francisco Guimaraes (Brazil) and Daniele Piomelli (USA) were elected as members of the Board of Directors for the first time. Roger Pertwee (UK), Manuel Guzman (Spain), Ilya Reznik (Israel), Raquel Peyraube (Uruguay), Kirsten Mueller-Vahl (Germany), and Franjo Grotenhermen (Germany) were re-elected. Dr Kirsten Mueller-Vahl, professor at the Medical School of Hanover, Germany, was elected as 1st chairwoman. Dr Manuel Guzman, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, was elected as 2nd chairman.

Membership fees for regular members were increased, so that their membership fee includes several advantages, including subscription to the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, access to the members only site, and a reduction of registration fees to IACM Conferences .
The membership fees are as follows:
- Regular members: EURo 120
- Associate members (individuals): EURo 30
- Associate members (charities, associations): EURo 500
- Associate members (companies): EURo 1000
- Associate members (companies, stock exchange listed): EURo 5000
The fee may be reduced if an application to the Board of Directors is made.
Please note that currently membership applications are not possible due to problems on our website, which will be solved in the upcoming days.

The statutes were changed and new bodies of the IACM were implemented, the Patient Council and the Professional Council. The new statutes on these new bodies read as follows:
“The IACM Patient Council consists of patients, caregivers of patients and nominees from IACM Partner Organisations, who want to support the work of the IACM. The number of members may be limited by the Board of Directors. Members counsel the board with regard to patient issues.
Members of the IACM Patient Council may organize their own activities within the framework of the IACM and its conferences.”
“The IACM Professional Council consists of regular members (scientists, physicians, et cetera), who want to support the work of the Board of Directors. Members are selected by the IACM Board of Directors. Members counsel the board with regard to scientific and educational issues. Members of the IACM Professional Council may be invited to participate in IACM Committees and other IACM activities.”

Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce pain in patients with endometriosis

According to a survey with 240 patients and reports by 137 clinic patients suffering from endometriosis most participants reported, that cannabis was very or moderately effective. The survey was conducted by researchers of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. Both groups were asked on cannabis use and CBD intake and their effects.

Of 240 survey participants responding, 32% reported having tried cannabis, with the majority of these participants 68% reporting cannabis to be very or moderately effective. Of 124 clinic participants responding, 47% reported having tried cannabis, with the majority of patients 76% reporting cannabis to be very or moderately effective. CBD was rated less often as to be very or moderately effective (46% and 65%) in the 2 groups. Authors concluded that both cannabis and CBD “are reported as moderately or very effective for pelvic pain by the majority of women who have tried them, with marijuana reported as more effective than CBD.”

Reinert AE, Hibner M. Self-Reported Efficacy of Cannabis for Endometriosis Pain. J Minimal Inv Gynecol 2019;26(7):S27.

Science/Human: Cannabis may reduce depression in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder according to large epidemiological study

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and other Canadian Universities used data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health to investigate the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and some health outcomes. Among 24,089 eligible respondents, 420 reported a current clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. In total, 28% of people with post-traumatic stress disorder reported past-year cannabis use.

Post-traumatic stress disorder was significantly associated with recent major depressive episode and suicidal ideation among non-users. However, post-traumatic stress disorder was not associated with either outcome among cannabis users. Authors wrote, that this “study provides preliminary epidemiological evidence that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.”

Lake S, Kerr T, Buxton J, Walsh Z, Marshall B, Wood E, Milloy MJ. Does cannabis use modify the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on severe depression and suicidal ideation? Evidence from a population-based cross-sectional study of Canadians. J Psychopharmacol. 2019 Nov 5. [in press]

Science/Human: Older adults may benefit from cannabis for various symptoms

In observational study with 184 patients above 65 years of age treated with cannabis several symptoms were improved. Scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, presented their study results in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Patients were treated from April 2017 to October 2018.

After 6 months 58% were still using cannabis, 64% were female, and the mean age was 81 years. 34 % reported adverse events, the most common of which were dizziness (12%) and sleepiness and fatigue (11%). Of the respondents, 85% reported some degree of improvement in their general condition, including pain and sleeping problems, that could not be treated by medication. Authors wrote that special caution “is warranted in older adults due to polypharmacy, pharmacokinetic changes, nervous system impairment, and increased cardiovascular risk.”

Abuhasira R, Ron A, Sikorin I, Novack V. Medical Cannabis for Older Patients-Treatment Protocol and Initial Results. J Clin Med. 2019;8(11).

News in brief

Science/Human: Large reduction of alcohol consumption after implementation of medical cannabis laws
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found only limited overall improvements in self-reported health after the legalisation of medical cannabis in US states. There were strong improvements in white individuals with chronic pain. They also find large reductions in alcohol use.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
Andreyeva E, et al. Forum Health Econ Policy. 2019 Oct 16. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis may be helpful in patients with myotonia according to case series
Scientists from Germany reported of a case series of 6 patients with myotonia, who profited from cannabis oil with THC and CBD. All patients reported of improvements. Authors wrote that “these first empirical results suggest a potentially beneficial role of CBD/THC in alleviating myotonia and should encourage further research in this field including a randomized-controlled trial on larger cohorts.”
Friedrich-Baur-Institute, Department of Neurology, Munich, Germany.
Montagnese F, et al, J Neurol. 2019 Oct 26 [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis may improve quality of life in chronic medical conditions
According to an online survey with 367 patients 75% reported to treat 2 or more health-related quality of life symptoms with medical cannabis.
Department of Health Sciences, DePaul University, Chicago, USA.
Bruce D, el at. Behav Med. 2019 Nov 6. [in press]

Mexico: Senate Committees support the legalisation of cannabis
The Justice, Health and Legislative Studies committees of the Senate want to allow the use of cannabis for recreational, industrial and medicinal purposes, which will be discussed in the Senate in November. The president of the Senate Justice Commission, Julio Menchaca -de Morena-, stressed that it has taken a lot of work to advance the law; with this proposal we believe that we have overcome the problem, but 100 years of prohibition and stigmatization of the use of cannabis, this is a revolutionary situation.
La Jornada of 28 October 2019

Finland: Parliament considers decriminalisation of cannabis
A citizens' initiative calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis use is headed to parliament for consideration by MPs. The initiative received the required 50,000 signatures, which means the document can now be handed to Finnish MPs for consideration.
href="yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finlands_parliament_to_consider_cannabis_decriminalisation/11036983">Yle of 25 October 2019

USA: Citizens say, that cannabis is much less harmful than alcohol and tobacco
Americans now think cannabis is much less harmful than alcohol, tobacco or e-cigarettes, according to new polling results from POLITICO and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Just 1 in 5 Americans believe cannabis is very harmful to people who use it. Twice as many said the same about alcohol, 52 percent characterized e-cigarettes as very harmful and 80 percent said tobacco cigarettes are very harmful. “Ten years ago, we were jailing people for marijuana,” said Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard who conducted the poll of 1,007 Americans. “Now people see this as not essentially very harmful.”
Politico of 5 November 2019

Science/Human: There is a lack of clinical data supporting the medical use in mental disorders
In a review of scientific studies that analyzed the impact of medicinal cannabinoids on six mental health disorders, the researchers found “a lack of evidence for their effectiveness.” Despite a lack of clinical trial evidence, anecdotally some military veterans and others who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety say they have found cannabis helpful in easing some of their symptoms.
Reuters of 28 October 2019

Science/Animal: Animals without bacteria in the bowel have an altered endocannabinoid system
Researchers found, that mice without bacteria in the bowel presented with modifications of endocannabinoids and their receptors. This was partly reversible after faecal microbiome transfer from normal mice.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Laval, Canada.
Manca C, et al. J Lipid Res. 2019 Nov 5. [in press]

Science/Cells: Omega-3: fatty acids and their endocannabinoid derivatives may have anti-cancer effects
In a study with breast cancer cells omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA, DHA) and their endocannabinoids derivatives attenuated cell viability.
Division of Applied Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, UK.
Brown I, et al. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2019 Oct 16:102024.

Science/Animal: Activation of the CB2 receptor may reduce symptoms in a mouse model of dyskinesia
In a mouse model of L-dopa induced dyskinesia a synthetic cannabinoid (HU-308), which activates the CB2 receptor, reduced inflammation of the brain, a mechanism which has been suggested to contribute to L-dopa induced dyskinesia.
Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
Rentsch P, et al.Neurobiol Dis. 2019 Oct 25:104646.

Science/Animal: Hemp seeds may reduce hypercholesterolaemia
Feeding of hemp seeds to rats improved lipid profiles and damage to the arteries in rats.
Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Kaushal N, et al. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2019 Sep 13. [in press]

Science/Human: Patients with prostatic cancer may find some relief from cannabis
Patients with prostate cancer receiving androgen-deprivation therapy often used cannabis and report some degree of relief following cannabis use. Authors wrote that “lower testosterone levels and reported therapeutic benefit among cannabis users warrants confirmation in appropriate clinical trials.”
University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Canada.
Mousa A, et al. Can Urol Assoc J. 2019 Jun 17. [in press]

Science/Human: THC-COOH may be often detected more than 4 weeks after last consumption of cannabis
In an analysis of 70 adolescents and young adults, who were abstinent from regular cannabis, 40% had THC-COOH concentrations in urine of more than 5 ng/mL after more than 25 days of abstinence. The probability to be positive for THC metabolites in urine did not depend on frequency of use.
Center for Addiction Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston , USA.
AE,el at. J Psychopharmacol. 2019 Sep 19. [in press]

Science/Cells: A cannabinoid may be helpful in osteosarcoma
Basic research with osteosarcoma cells showed that the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 may reduce cell migration and according to the authors “can thus be considered as a potential innovative therapeutic agent in the treatment of osteosarcoma.”
Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnostics (BIND), University of Palermo, Italy.
Notaro A, el . Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Oct 22. [in press]

Science/Animal: Cannabinoid receptors are involved in mitigating fear by CBD
According to studies in rats the CB1, the CB2 and the PPAR-Gamma receptors in the hippocampus, a certain brain region, are involved in reducing aversive memories by cannabidiol.
Dept. of Pharmacology, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil.
Raymundi AM,el at. Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Oct 24. [in press]

Science/Cells: How CBD reduces inflammation of brain cells
Research in microglia cells showed, that CBD exerted its anti-inflammatory effects towards microglia through antioxidant effects, among others. Authors wrote, that this results “further confirm that CBD may have therapeutic utility in conditions where neuroinflammatory processes are prominent.”
Sorbonne Université, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), Paris, France.
Dos-Santos-Pereira M,el at. Glia. 2019 Oct 24. [in press]

Science/Animal: CBD may be helpful in narcolepsy
In a rat model of narcolepsy CBD reduced sleepiness during the lights-off period, where rats are usually active. Authors concluded that “these findings suggest that CBD might prevent sleepiness in narcolepsy.”
Laboratorio de Neurociencias Moleculares e Integrativas. Escuela de Medicina. División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac Mayab.Yucatán. Mexico
Murillo-Rodríguez E, el at. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2019 Oct 21. [in press]

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