Entries by Michelle Smith

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Cannabidiol in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease – a comprehensive

Dementia is a major public health problem. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for 60% of dementia cases. However, AD is currently considered as an incurable disorder and the only few drugs available for its treatment are mostly symptomatic. In the quest for novel drugs for this devastating disease, cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently gaining attention due to its multiple properties, such as an ability to interact with various receptors, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects and many more. The aim of this review article was to summarize findings on the effect of CBD on AD with a focus on molecular mechanisms of CBD’s action and therapeutic effects which it exerts.

The Impact of Cannabis Decriminalization and Legalization on Road Safety Outcomes: A Systematic Review

There is substantial debate concerning the impact of cannabis decriminalization and legalization on road safety outcomes. Seven databases were systematically searched: Embase, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO through Ovid as well as Web of Science Core Collection, SafetyLit, Criminal Justice Database (ProQuest), and Transport Research International Documentation (from inception to June 16, 2021). Eligible primary studies examined group-level cannabis decriminalization or legalization and a road safety outcome in any population

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Cannabidiol exerts anti-proliferative activity via a cannabinoid receptor 2-dependent mechanism in human colorectal cancer cells

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States. Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant phytocannabinoid in Cannabis sativa, has potential use in cancer treatment on the basis of many studies showing its anti-cancer activity in diverse types of cancer, including colon cancer. However, its mechanism of action is not yet fully understood. In the current study, we observed CBD to repress viability of different human colorectal cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. CBD treatment led to G1-phase cell cycle arrest and an increased sub-G1 population (apoptotic cells); it also downregulated protein expression of cyclin D1, cyclin D3, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), CDK4, and CDK6. CBD further increased caspase 3/7 activity and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, and elevated expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress proteins including binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP), inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α), phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), and ATF4.

Systematic literature review of human studies assessing the efficacy of cannabidiol for social anxiety

The current review evaluates the potential of cannabidiol (CBD) as a promising pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Although a number of evidence-based treatments for SAD are available, less than a third of affected individuals experience symptom remission after one year of treatment. Therefore, improved treatment options are urgently needed, and CBD is one candidate medication that may have certain benefits over current pharmacotherapies, including the absence of sedating side effects, reduced abuse liability, and rapid course of action.

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Use of Medicinal Cannabis for Palliative Care Patients: A Systematic Review

Medical cannabis is a rapidly growing area of medicine. In this sense, due to the numerous benefits associated with its use, it has been increasingly proposed for patients in palliative care, in which the improvement of debilitating symptoms is directly associated with better quality of life. However, due to the complexity of treatments for these individuals, further studies are needed to determine the best possible prescription for them.

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Raising awareness: The implementation of medical cannabis and psychedelics used as an adjunct to standard therapy in the treatment of advanced metastatic breast cancer

A 49-year-old woman was diagnosed with an ER + , PR-, HER2 + , BRCA- invasive ductal carcinoma which progressed metastatically to include bone, liver, and lymph node involvement. Standardised care included a 26-month treatment period with targeted chemotherapy and a ketogenic diet. The patient also began a course of cannabinoid-based therapy, consisting initially of a titrated high-dose protocol of mixed cannabidiol (CBD) and d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) chemotypes, as well as psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy at macro and intermittent micro-doses. At the end of the five-month treatment period PET/CT investigations revealed no evidence of metastatic disease and chemotherapy was withdrawn.

Inhaled Marijuana and the Lung

Although vaping has recently increased as a mode of inhaling marijuana and has been associated with numerous and sometimes fatal cases of acute severe lung injury, smoking remains the most common method of inhaling marijuana and has been studied more extensively. Smoking marijuana has been shown to produce modest but significant short-term bronchodilation both in healthy subjects and in those with asthma. Long-term effects of habitual marijuana smoking include the following: (1) symptoms of chronic bronchitis (increased cough, sputum production, and wheezing); (2) modest effects on lung function in cross-sectional studies (no significant decrease in FEV1 but mild reductions in FEV1/forced vital capacity ratio, an increase in forced vital capacity and other lung volumes, reductions in specific airway conductance, and variable effects of maximal midexpiratory flow rates and diffusing capacity); and (3) variable effects on age-related decline in FEV1 in longitudinal studies. Most cohort and case-control studies have failed to show that marijuana smoking is a significant risk factor for lung cancer despite the presence of procarcinogenic components in marijuana smoke, although further study is warranted. The question whether marijuana smoking is associated with asthma is unclear and requires further investigation.

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A Case Series of the Role of Cannabis Based Medicine in the Palliative Care Setting

Complex refractory pain is highly prevalent in the palliative care setting. Opioid therapies play a pivotal role in pain management, but have an extensive side effect profile and frequently fail to provide sufficient relief, despite dose optimisation or concurrent use of standard adjuvant analgesics.(1) Therefore, identification of novel analgesics to alleviate pain would be very beneficial.(2)Currently, there is equipoise within the available clinical evidence of the efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medications in the management of pain.(3) This is a case series of three patients with complex pain, with inadequate pain relief with standard multimodal analgesia. Each of these patients were commenced on Sativex, an oromucosal spray composed of two cannabis extracts, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and the dose was titrated until therapeutic benefit was
achieved. All three cases demonstrated a positive analgesic effect without any adverse symptoms.

A bibliometric analysis of the cannabis and cannabinoid research literature

Cannabis refers to a plant in the family Cannabaceae, which has been used medically, recreationally, and industrially. The last two decades, in particular, have seen a large increase in the volume of literature on this topic. The present bibliometric analysis aims to capture the characteristics of scholarly journal publications on the topic of cannabis and cannabinoid research.

Brain Anatomical Alterations in Young Cannabis Users: Is it All Hype? A Meta-Analysis of Structural Neuroimaging Studies

The last two decades have seen a dramatic shift in cannabis legislation around the world. Cannabis products are now widely available and commercial production and use of phytocannabinoid products is rapidly growing. However, this growth is outpacing the research needed to elucidate the therapeutic efficacy of the myriad of chemical compounds found primarily in the flower of the female cannabis plant. This lack of research and corresponding regulation has resulted in processing methods, products, and terminology that are variable and confusing for consumers.

The impact of extraction protocol on the chemical profile of cannabis extracts from a single cultivar

The last two decades have seen a dramatic shift in cannabis legislation around the world. Cannabis products are now widely available and commercial production and use of phytocannabinoid products is rapidly growing. However, this growth is outpacing the research needed to elucidate the therapeutic efficacy of the myriad of chemical compounds found primarily in the flower of the female cannabis plant. This lack of research and corresponding regulation has resulted in processing methods, products, and terminology that are variable and confusing for consumers.

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The Effectiveness and Safety of Medical Cannabis for Treating Cancer Related Symptoms in Oncology Patients

The use of medical cannabis (MC) to treat cancer-related symptoms is rising. However, there is a lack of long-term trials to assess the benefits and safety of MC treatment in this population. In this work, we followed up prospectively and longitudinally on the effectiveness and safety of MC treatment. Oncology patients reported on multiple symptoms before and after MC treatment initiation at one-, three-, and 6-month follow-ups. Oncologists reported on the patients’ disease characteristics. Intention-to-treat models were used to assess changes in outcomes from baseline. MC treatment was initiated by 324 patients and 212, 158 and 126 reported at follow-ups. Most outcome measures improved significantly during MC treatment for most patients (p < 0.005). Specifically, at 6 months, total cancer symptoms burden declined from baseline by a median of 18%, from 122 (82–157) at baseline to 89 (45–138) at endpoint (−18.98; 95%CI= −26.95 to −11.00; p < 0.001). Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious and remained stable during MC treatment. The results of this study suggest that MC treatment is generally safe for oncology patients and can potentially reduce the burden of associated symptoms with no serious MC-related adverse effects.