Entries by Michelle Smith

Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants

As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection–mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein.

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Medical cannabis for severe treatment resistant epilepsy in children: a case- series of 10 patients

To report the findings of a case-series of 10 children suffering with intractable epilepsies in the UK to determine the feasibility for using whole-plant cannabis medicines to treat seizures in children. This study was conducted retrospectively through collecting clinical data from caretakers and clinicians on study outcome variables. Participants were recruited through the MedCann Support and End our Pain charity groups which are patient representative groups that support children who are using medical cannabis

Biological basis of cannabinoid medicines

Since its first mention ∼4000 BCE, Cannabis sativa has evolved through selective cultivation from being a source of durable fiber (hemp) to a plant enriched in bioactive ingredients. Currently, >100 potentially bioactive phytocannabinoids from Cannabis spp. have been cataloged, yet their precise structure-function relationships are mostly unclear (1).

Comparative assessment of antimicrobial, antiradical and cytotoxic activities of cannabidiol and its propyl analogue cannabidivarin

Cannabidiol and cannabidivarin are phytocannabinoids produced by Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cannabidiol has been studied more extensively than its propyl analogue cannabidivarin. Therefore, we performed a battery of in vitro biological assays to compare the cytotoxic, antiradical and antibacterial activities of both cannabinoids.

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Cannabidiol Induces Cell Death in Human Lung Cancer Cells and Cancer Stem Cells

Currently, there is no effective therapy against lung cancer due to the development of resistance. Resistance contributes to disease progression, recurrence, and mortality. The presence of so-called cancer stem cells could explain the ineffectiveness of conventional treatment, and the development of successful cancer treatment depends on the targeting also of cancer stem cells. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid with anti-tumor properties. However, the effects on cancer stem cells are not well understood. The effects of CBD were evaluated in spheres enriched in lung cancer stem cells and adherent lung cancer cells. We found that CBD decreased viability and induced cell death in both cell populations.

Perceived Efficacy, Reduced Prescription Drug Use, and Minimal Side Effects of Cannabis in Patients with Chronic Orthopedic Pain

The most important discoveries in pharmacology, such as certain classes of analgesics or chemotherapeutics, started from natural extracts which have been found to have effects in traditional medicine. Cannabis, traditionally used in Asia for the treatment of pain, nausea, spasms, sleep, depression, and low appetite, is still a good candidate for the development of new compounds. If initially all attention was directed to the endocannabinoid system, recent studies suggest that many of the clinically proven effects are based on an intrinsic chain of mechanisms that do not necessarily involve only cannabinoid receptors.

Major Phytocannabinoids and Their Related Compounds: Should We Only Search for Drugs That Act on Cannabinoid Receptors?

The most important discoveries in pharmacology, such as certain classes of analgesics or chemotherapeutics, started from natural extracts which have been found to have effects in traditional medicine. Cannabis, traditionally used in Asia for the treatment of pain, nausea, spasms, sleep, depression, and low appetite, is still a good candidate for the development of new compounds. If initially all attention was directed to the endocannabinoid system, recent studies suggest that many of the clinically proven effects are based on an intrinsic chain of mechanisms that do not necessarily involve only cannabinoid receptors.

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Endocannabinoid Metabolism and Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a major cause of morbidity and disability and is a risk factor for developing neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, no effective therapies are currently available for TBI-induced AD-like disease. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid mediators involved in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. The compound 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is the most abundant endocannabinoid with profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

“Is medical cannabis safe for my patients?” A practical review of cannabis safety considerations

Medical cannabis use is increasing worldwide. Clinicians are commonly asked by patients to provide guidance on its safety and efficacy. Although there has been an increase in research on the role of medical cannabis for a number of different conditions, we found that there was a paucity of clear safety guidance on its use. We aim to address this issue by answering two pertinent clinician safety questions:
1 Can medical cannabis be safely used in this patient?
2. What strategies can be used to ensure that any harms from medical cannabis are mitigated?