New Cannabinoid Research 2018

What’s new in cannabinoid studies?

New studies are underway to ascertain the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating the following diseases.

1. Cannabidiol in children with epileptic encephalopathy.

Respondents: 30 children

Goal: Tolerance of product/seizure frequency

Deadline for completion: September 2018.

This neurological disorder results in frequent and difficult epileptic seizures, which is why efforts to create more effective and better-tolerated therapies are still being sought.

Phase I of the study will cover 30 children. Small patients will receive an extract consisting of CBD and THC in a ratio of 20: 1, produced by CanniMed (Canada). The main goal of the first phase of research will be to test tolerance to this product, but the seizure frequency and quality of life will also be measured.

The research will be carried out by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta in Canada.

2. The influence of cannabis and endocannabinoids on neuropathic pain in patients infected with HIV.

Respondents : 120 HIV patients

Goal: To determine the efficacy of cannabis use to treat HIV

Deadline for completion: December 2020

There are reports that cannabis can relieve neuropathic pain in patients with HIV infection. A study involving 120 patients will determine the efficacy of cannabis use.

Phase 1 of the study, the researchers will test the effect of marijuana (administered through vaporization) on the intensity of pain and the level of endocannabinoids in the blood. The project will test cannabis with different contents of cannabidiol: low level of CBD (0.5%), medium level of CBD (4.2%) and high level of CBD (15.8%). The study is conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and the expected completion date is the end of 2020.

3. Marijuana in combination with opioids for palliative patients.

Respondents: 60 patients

Goal: To determine if hemp products can help reduce pain and opioid addiction

Deadline for completion: July 2019

In treating the pain of terminally ill patients. High doses of opioids are often needed, which has short and long-term side effects.  That’s not the case with cannabis, which can help to reduce the ever-increasing demand for these strong drugs.

Sixty-six patients were orally administered cannabis extract three times a day for at least 5 days in addition to the standard opioid treatment. This open study will determine whether the use of hemp products as an additive to conventional therapy will help reduce pain and reduce the use of opioids. The study was conducted by a hospice in Connecticut, and its completion was expected at the end of November 2017. We are currently awaiting the results.

4. Cannabinoids and behavioral problems in autistic children.

Respondents: 120 children and adolescent with ASD

Goal: To determine the efficacy of cannabis use to treat ASD

Deadline for completion: December 2020

This study will assess the use of cannabinoids in 120 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants will take either placebo or cannabinoids (ratio CBD to THC 20: 1) for 3 months. The results of the study are to be developed based on the ADS symptom score scale completed by parents of patients. The study is conducted by Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel and is expected to be completed by July 2019.

5. Cannabis for adults with (COPD)

Respondents: 16 patients

Goal: To examine the influence of cannabis fumes in adults with COPD

Deadline for completion: April 2018

In the second phase of the study, the influence of cannabis in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be examined. Using a double-blind, 16 patients will receive 35 mg of 1% THC / 1% CBD (placebo) or 18% THC / 1% CBD. This study is conducted by the McGill University in Montreal. The project is expected to be completed by April 2018.

6. Cannabis for treating migraines and headaches

Respondents: 2032 patients (chronic pain 29.4%,  arthritis  9.3%, headache 3.7%,   )

Goal: To determine the efficacy of using cannabis for the treatment of all kinds of pains

Deadline for completion: May 2018

A total of 2032 patients participated in the study. Chronic pain (29.4%) was the most frequently reported medical condition in which marijuana was used. Arthritis cases were at 9.3% and headaches  3.7 %. Amongst the 505 patients who responded to the Migra ID questionnaire, 68% responded ‘yes’, and 20% answered yes to two questions, in other words, 88% of patients with a headache probably suffered from a migraine.

In addition, hybrid strains were found to be preferred among all pain subtypes, with “OG Shark” being the most preferred migraine easing the strain.

Researchers also found that many pain patients replaced prescription drugs with hemp products. This substitution consisted mainly of opioids (43.4%), antidepressants / anxiolytics (39%), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (21%), triptans (8.1%), anticonvulsants (7.7%), Muscle relaxants (7%) ) and preparations containing ergotamine used in migraines (0.4%).

7. Transdermal CBD administration in the treatment of addiction (from cocaine and alcohol) 

Cannabidiol (CBD) has significant therapeutic potential in supporting the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Recently, the possibility of using CBD for the treatment of addiction to stimulants has been examined. Disorders associated with the use of substances are chronically recurring conditions, and the risk of restarting their reception is influenced by many factors, including persistent drug craving, unfavorable events in personal or professional life, exposure to high stress or impaired control of impulses.

CBD does not have addictive properties, so it can be a promising addiction drug that helps reduce impulsive decision making and suppress anxiety resulting from the withdrawal of a stimulant or severe shortage for a longer period of time.

In a recent study, the researchers assessed the ability of cannabidiol to reduce factors that promote relapse. In this experiment rats were given transdermal (transdermal) CBD at 24-hour intervals for 7 days, followed by experiments.

The researchers found that CBD reduced impulsive decision making and anxiety, the two main reasons for re-entering the drug. After a week of cannabidiol administration, there was no tolerance for this compound, no excessive sedation or disruption of normal motivational behavior. Despite the end of cannabidiol administration, the effect of impulsive reduction of decision making and reduction of anxiety lasted longer (according to results up to 5 months), although levels of CBD in the plasma and brain remained detectable only for 3 days.

The results provide evidence for the appropriateness of administering CBD to prevent re-use of the drug, including cocaine and alcohol. The results obtained also indicate the long-term effects of such an intervention, even with a short period of cannabidiol administration.

8. Rapid and long-lasting antidepressive effect of CBD in rodents

It is estimated that clinical depression can affect up to 20% of the population of people around the world. It seems, however, that the currently used pharmacological treatment is not enough. The very beginnings of therapy can be difficult because you need about 2-3 weeks of weeks before the patient feels the therapeutic effect of the drugs used. Unfortunately, almost one-third of patients do not respond to therapy.

Over the past few years, CBD has proven to be a promising anti-depressant. However, this claim was supported only by a small number of limited studies, and these did not explain how cannabidiol affects brain chemistry and therefore has antidepressant properties.

Brazilian researchers have recently published a more extensive report on the use of CBD in preclinical models of depression in rodents. Cannabidiol has clearly reduced the depression-related behaviors in a range of behavioral tests in various breeds of mice and rats. Importantly, antidepressant properties were observed after a single dose of CBD, and the effects lasted seven days after the end of treatment.

It was also found that the antidepressant action of CBD was associated with changes in brain chemistry because the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) significantly increased in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The number of connections between nerve cells (neurons) has also increased.

Both the decrease in BDNF level and the reduction of connections between neurons are elements characteristic of depression, and their restoration is a feature of effective treatment. This was the first study to determine the antidepressant benefits of administering CBD in a wide range of animal models and to determine the effect of cannabidiol at the level of cerebral chemistry.

 

9. CBD protects against endometrial cancer by activating TRPV1 receptors

Portuguese scientists have investigated the effect of THC and CBD on endometrial cancer (i.e., endometrial cancer), i.e. a malignant tumor developing in the mucosa lining the interior of the uterine body. Researchers used cell lines in the endometrium that undergo neoplastic transformation after exposure to high levels of estrogen. It turned out that CBD caused the death of many of these cancer cells, while THC did not have any effect.

Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 were not involved in this process, but instead cannabidiol induced cancer cell death by activating TRPV1 receptors. The TRPV1 receptors are known to be one of many cannabidiol targets and are not activated by THC, which explains the lack of action of tetrahydrocannabinol against this type of cancer.

In some women, endometrial cancer responds well to treatment. However, in a large proportion of patients, conventional therapy is not working because of its low effectiveness. Cannabidiol is, therefore, a promising therapeutic option, although it is necessary to carry out clinical trials of women who are ill.

Final thoughts

CBD as an alternative therapy is currently being tested in other ailments i.e. such as Prader-Willi Syndrome and hemp oil for pancreatic cancer. All of these are geared towards determining the efficacy of hemp products as an alternative medicine.

 

 

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