Entries by Michelle Smith

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Topical cannabidiol (CBD) in skin pathology – A comprehensive review and prospects for new therapeutic opportunities

Humans have utilised cannabis products in various forms throughout the recorded history. To date, more than 500 biologically active components have been identified in the plants of the Cannabis genus, amongst which more than 100 were classified as phytocannabinoids (exocannabinoids). The plant genus Cannabis is a member of the plant family Cannabaceae, and there are three primary cannabis species which vary in their biochemical constituents: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. There has been a growing level of interest in research on the topical usage of a cannabis-based extract as a safer and more effective alternative to the usage of topical corticosteroids in treating some dermatoses. Together with the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors on the skin, it has been further illustrated that topical cannabis has anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, analgesics, wound healing and anti-proliferative effects on the skin.

Medical cannabis and automobile accidents: Evidence from auto insurance

While many states have legalized medical cannabis, many unintended consequences remain under-studied. We focus on one potential detriment-the effect of cannabis legalization on automobile safety. We examine this relationship through auto insurance premiums. Employing a modern difference-in-differences framework and zip code-level premium data from 2014 to 2019, we find that premiums declined, on average, by $22 per year following medical cannabis legalization. The effect is more substantial in areas near a dispensary and in areas with a higher prevalence of drunk driving before legalization. We estimate that existing legalization has reduced health expenditures related to auto accidents by almost $820 million per year with the potential for a further $350 million reduction if legalized nationally.

The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Coagulopathies

The legal status of Cannabis is changing, fueling an increasing diversity of Cannabis-derived products. Because Cannabis contains dozens of chemical compounds with potential psychoactive or medicinal effects, understanding this phytochemical diversity is crucial. The legal Cannabis industry heavily markets products to consumers based on widely used labeling systems purported to predict the effects of different “strains.” We analyzed the cannabinoid and terpene content of commercial Cannabis samples across six US states, finding distinct chemical phenotypes (chemotypes) which are reliably present. By comparing the observed phytochemical diversity to the commercial labels commonly attached to Cannabis-derived product samples, we show that commercial labels do not consistently align with the observed chemical diversity.

The phytochemical diversity of commercial Cannabis in the United States

The legal status of Cannabis is changing, fueling an increasing diversity of Cannabis-derived products. Because Cannabis contains dozens of chemical compounds with potential psychoactive or medicinal effects, understanding this phytochemical diversity is crucial. The legal Cannabis industry heavily markets products to consumers based on widely used labeling systems purported to predict the effects of different “strains.” We analyzed the cannabinoid and terpene content of commercial Cannabis samples across six US states, finding distinct chemical phenotypes (chemotypes) which are reliably present. By comparing the observed phytochemical diversity to the commercial labels commonly attached to Cannabis-derived product samples, we show that commercial labels do not consistently align with the observed chemical diversity. However, certain labels do show a biased association with specific chemotypes. These results have implications for the classification of commercial Cannabis, design of animal and human research, and regulation of consumer marketing—areas which today are often divorced from the chemical reality of the Cannabis-derived material they wish to represent.

Indeterminacy of cannabis impairment and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) levels in blood and breath

Previous investigators have found no clear relationship between specific blood concentrations of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) and impairment, and thus no scientific justification for use of legal “per se” ∆9-THC blood concentration limits. Analyzing blood from 30 subjects showed ∆9-THC concentrations that exceeded 5 ng/mL in 16 of the 30 subjects following a 12-h period of abstinence in the absence of any impairment. In blood and exhaled breath samples collected from a group of 34 subjects at baseline prior to smoking, increasing breath ∆9-THC levels were correlated with increasing blood levels (P < 0.0001) in the absence of impairment, suggesting that single measurements of ∆9-THC in breath, as in blood, are not related to impairment. When post-smoking duration of impairment was compared to baseline ∆9-THC blood concentrations, subjects with the highest baseline ∆9-THC levels tended to have the shortest duration of impairment.

Cannabinoids as Emergent Therapy Against COVID-19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-Cov-2), was identified for the first time in late 2019 in China, resulting in a global pandemic of massiveimpact. Despite a fast development and implementation of vaccination strategies, and the scouting of severalpharmacological treatments, alternative effective treatments are still needed. In this regard, cannabinoids repre-sent a promising approach because they have been proven to exhibit several immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties in COVID-19 disease models and related pathological conditions. Thismini-review aims at providing a practical brief overview of the potential applications of cannabinoids so far iden-tified for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, finally considering key aspects related to their technologicaland clinical implementation.

Cannabinoids Reduce Extracellular Vesicle Release from HIV-1 Infected Myeloid Cells and Inhibit Viral Transcription

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary cannabinoids present in cannabis, are effective in reducing inflammation. Studies show that cannabis use in people living with HIV-1 is associated with lower viral load, lower circulating CD16+ monocytes and high CD4+ T-cell counts, suggesting a potentially therapeutic application. Here, HIV-1 infected U1 monocytes and primary macrophages were used to assess the effects of CBD. Post-CBD treatment, EV concentrations were analyzed using nanoparticle tracking analysis.

Anti-Inflammatory and Antiviral Effects of Cannabinoids in Inhibiting and Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus made it necessary to search for new options for both causal treatment and mitigation of its symptoms. Scientists and researchers around the world are constantly looking for the best therapeutic options. These difficult circumstances have also spurred the re-examination of the potential of natural substances contained in Cannabis sativa L. Cannabinoids, apart from CB1 and CB2 receptors, may act multifacetedly through a number of other receptors, such as the GPR55, TRPV1, PPARs, 5-HT1A, adenosine and glycine receptors.

Cannabis for Medical Use: Versatile Plant Rather Than a Single Drug

Here, we discuss how phytocannabinoid profiles differ between plants depending on the chemovar types, review the major factors that affect secondary metabolite accumulation in the plant including the genotype, growth conditions, processing, storage and the delivery route; and highlight how these factors make Cannabis treatment highly complex.

Academic-industry partnership advancing cannabis science: A Complementary Care Practice-Based Research Network

Data collected during routine care holds the potential to support hypothesis generation, study feasi- bility, and provide insight regarding how to address problems under real world conditions. Currently there are no practice-based research networks in Florida that focus on complementary care in general or medical marijuana specifically. Through an academic-industry partnership, we sought to develop a practice-based research network focused on cannabis science and create a de-identified database for analyses that support hypothesis generation, study feasibility estimation, and a network that also facilitates recruitment into future research studies.

Medical marijuana knowledge and attitudes amongst internal medicine residents

Mounting evidence suggests the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana (MM) in treating chronic ailments, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and anorexia. Despite incremental use of medical and recreational cannabinoids, current limited evidence shows generalized unpreparedness of medical providers to discuss or recommend these substances to their patients. Herein, the present study aims to examine internal medicine residents’ knowledge of marijuana and their attitude towards its medical use.