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Research Articles

Russo’s Grand Unified Theory

By | News, Research, Research Articles

Ethan Russo forwards his paper, Grand Unified Theory (GUT): The Endcannabinoid System, Cannabis and the Microbiome just published in Frontiers of Integrative Neuroscience. Russo notes:

“This article addresses five critical areas of clinical neurology practice wherein conventional medicine has fallen short: epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI)/chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and how cannabis-based treatment and nutritional approaches with prebiotics and probiotics may provide more effective treatment.”

The paper, which will be the basis of Russo’s talk at the CannMed conference in LA October 23, begins with this overview:

Neurological therapeutics have been hampered by its inability to advance beyond symptomatic treatment of neurodegenerative disorders into the realm of actual palliation, arrest or reversal of the attendant pathological processes. While cannabis-based medicines have demonstrated safety, efficacy and consistency sufficient for regulatory approval in spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), and in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes (LGS), many therapeutic challenges remain. This review will examine the intriguing promise that recent discoveries regarding cannabis-based medicines offer to neurological therapeutics by incorporating the neutral phytocannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), their acidic precursors, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabis terpenoids in the putative treatment of five syndromes, currently labeled recalcitrant to therapeutic success, and wherein improved pharmacological intervention is required: intractable epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson disease (PD), Alzheimer disease (AD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)/chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Current basic science and clinical investigations support the safety and efficacy of such interventions in treatment of these currently intractable conditions, that in some cases share pathological processes, and the plausibility of interventions that harness endocannabinoid mechanisms, whether mediated via direct activity on CB1 and CB2(tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, caryophyllene), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ; THCA), 5-HT1A (CBD, CBDA) or even nutritional approaches utilizing prebiotics and probiotics. The inherent polypharmaceutical properties of cannabis botanicals offer distinct advantages over the current single-target pharmaceutical model and portend to revolutionize neurological treatment into a new reality of effective interventional and even preventative treatment. Read More

Use of Prescription Pain Medications Among Medical Cannabis Patients

By | Opioids, Pain, Research Articles

Use of Prescription Pain Medications Among Medical Cannabis PatientsIn 2015, researchers at the University of Michigan published the first systematic comparison among medical cannabis users who use and do not use prescription pain medications (PPMs). PPM users and nonusers did not exhibit any difference in either lifetime or past-3-month use of other drugs, including cocaine, sedatives, street opioids, and amphetamines. PPM users rated the efficacy of cannabis higher than PPM for pain management and indicated a strong desire to reduce PPM usage. Longitudinal study designs are needed to better understand the trajectories of alcohol and other drug involvement over time among medical cannabis users. Read More

Use and Effects of Cannabinoids in Military Veterans with PTSD

By | PTSD, Research Articles

Use and Effects of Cannabinoids in Military Veterans with PTSD In the United States, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed in approximately 5.2 million people annually, and these people suffer a wide range of symptoms. A comprehensive literature search on PTSD and cannabis covering the period January 1, 1995, to October 1, 2014 was conducted. While further research into cannabinoid treatment effects on PTSD symptoms is required, the evaluated evidence indicates that substantial numbers of military veterans with PTSD use cannabis or derivative products to control PTSD symptoms, with some patients reporting benefits in terms of reduced anxiety and insomnia and improved coping ability. Read More

Cannabinoids and Epilepsy

By | Epilepsy, Research Articles, Seizure Disorder

Cannabinoids and EpilepsyA study recently published in Neurotherapeutics by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine reviews scientific evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials of cannabinoids in epilepsy. These studies suggest that CBD avoids the psychoactive effects of the endocannabinoid system to provide a well-tolerated, promising therapeutic for the treatment of seizures. Future placebo-controlled clinical trials will provide insight into cannabinoid function and the potential neuroprotective effects of the endocannabinoid system. Read More

Marijuana Use in Epilepsy: The Myth and the Reality

By | Epilepsy, Research Articles

Marijuana Use in Epilepsy: The Myth and the RealityResearchers at Yale University published this review in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports in 2015 with the goal of addressing the most important questions a clinician may have regarding the use of marijuana in epilepsy. They review data for the anticonvulsant properties of the different cannabinoids, mainly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and explore the safety data from animal and human studies. Read More

THC Inhibits Replication of Herpesviruses in Vitro

By | Research Articles, THC Herpes

THC Inhibits Replication Of Herpes Viruses In VitroResearchers at the University of South Florida published an article in BioMed Central in 2004 summarizing the antiviral effects of THC and comparing THC with well-characterized antiviral drugs. They compiled data from the literature as well as from their own experimental results. The authors’ observations suggest that THC either directly or indirectly targets a viral gene shared by the herpesviruses. Read More

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: An Under-Recognized Diagnosis

By | Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, Research Articles

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: An Under-Recognized DiagnosisWith the growing spread of cannabis abuse, a novel clinical disorder has emerged, termed Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS).

Researchers in Israel published a Case Communications report in the Israel Medical Association Journal in May 2015. The majority of patients with CHS are heavy users of cannabinoids, on a daily or almost daily basis for years.

Symptoms are characterized by recurrent attacks of severe nausea and vomiting and accompanying abdominal pain. Read More

Treatment of Crohn’s Disease with Cannabis

By | Crohn's Disease, Research Articles

Treatment of Crohn’s Disease with Cannabis: an Observational StudyIn 2011, researchers in Israel published the first study evaluating the effect of cannabis on patients with Crohn’s disease. All patients stated that consuming cannabis had a positive effect, ameliorating disease activity and reducing the need for other conventional medications. The researchers hypothesized that the observed beneficial effect in this study may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis, but additional effects of cannabinoids may also play a role. Read More

Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

By | Research Articles

Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic NeuropathyResearchers at the University of California, San Diego performed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled crossover study in 16 patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy to assess the short-term efficacy and tolerability of inhaled cannabis. This trial of inhaled cannabis demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain in patients with treatment-refractory pain. This adds preliminary evidence to support further research on the efficacy of cannabinoids in neuropathic pain. Read More