Cannabis use in cancer patients: acute and sustained associations with pain, cognition, and quality of life

Given the myriad of negative sequalae associated with cancer and its treatment, the palliative use of cannabis by cancer patients is increasingly of special interest. This research sought to explore associations of acute and sustained use of legal market edible cannabis products on pain, cognition, and quality of life in a group of cancer patients. In this observational study, cancer patients completed a baseline appointment, a two-week ad libitum cannabis use period, and an acute administration appointment that included assessments before cannabis use, one-hour post-use, and two-hour post-use. Participants completed self-report questionnaires related to the primary outcomes and the Stroop task as a measure of objective cognitive function.

Gene Profiling of Cannabis-sativa-mediated Apoptosis in Human Melanoma Cells

Malignant melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer, accounting for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Prognosis is often poor and finding effective treatment remains a challenge. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are main bioactive components of Cannabis sativa plant extracts that have been shown to exert anti-tumor effects. In this study, we aimed to perform gene expression analysis of human melanoma A375 cells following stimulation with C. sativa extracts.

Phytocannabinoids in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment: Current Knowledge and Future Insights

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents an aggressive subtype of breast cancer, which is deficient in estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression. Thus, TNBC cells are unable to respond to the conventional hormonal therapies, making chemotherapy the only therapeutic choice. Patients with TNBC develop metastasis and recurrence over time and have reduced survival compared to patients with other subtypes of breast cancer. Therefore, there is a need for innovative therapies. Data emerged from pre-clinical studies, highlighted various antitumor activities of plant-derived Cannabis sativa and synthetic cannabinoids (CBs), including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). On the contrary, some studies indicated that CBs might also promote tumor progression. At present, clinical studies on the effects of CBs from Cannabis sativa in cancer patients are few. In the present study, we reviewed known and possible interactions between cannabinoids and TNBC therapies.

The Polypharmacological Effects of Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa (Linneo, 1753). This naturally occurring secondary metabolite does not induce intoxication or exhibit the characteristic profile of drugs of abuse from cannabis like Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) does. In contrast to ∆9-THC, our knowledge of the neuro-molecular mechanisms of CBD is limited, and its pharmacology, which appears to be complex, has not yet been fully elucidated. The study of the pharmacological effects of CBD has grown exponentially in recent years, making it necessary to generate frequently updated reports on this important metabolite. In this article, a rationalized integration of the mechanisms of action of CBD on molecular targets and pharmacological implications in animal models and human diseases, such as epilepsy, pain, neuropsychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory diseases, are presented. We identify around 56 different molecular targets for CBD, including enzymes and ion channels/metabotropic receptors involved in neurologic conditions. Herein, we compiled the knowledge found in the scientific literature on the multiple mechanisms of actions of CBD. The in vitro and in vivo findings are essential for fully understanding the polypharmacological nature of this natural product.

The Effects of Long-Term Self-Dosing of Cannabidiol on Drowsiness, Testosterone Levels, and Liver Function

Previous research indicated that cannabidiol (CBD) may result in low levels of male total testosterone (TT), elevations in liver tests (LTs), and daytime drowsiness (DD). We investigated the prevalences of TT and LT in a large adult sample self-administering CBD and determined the effect self- dosing of CBD has on the severity of DD. Methods: Adult participants (18–75 years of age) who self-dose CBD orally for a minimum of 30 days were recruited for this decentralized observational study from companies that offer CBD products. Participants were sent their usual CBD regimen. A clinical study platform was used on a phone app to obtain consent and collect study data.

Cannabidiol-associated hepatotoxicity: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic conditions of unknown cause or cure. Treatment seeks to reduce symptoms and induce and maintain remission. Many patients have turned to alternatives, such as cannabis, to alleviate living with IBD. This study reports the demographics, prevalence, and perception on cannabis use of patients attending an IBD clinic. Patients agreed to participate and completed an anonymous survey during their visit or online. Descriptive analysis, Fisher’s exact test, and Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank-sum test were used. One hundred and sixty- two adults (85 males, 77 with CD) completed the survey. Sixty (37%) reported use of cannabis, of which 38 (63%) used it to relieve their IBD. A value of 77% reported low to moderate knowledge about cannabis, and 15% reported little to no knowledge. Among cannabis users, 48% had discussed use with their physician, but 88% said they would feel comfortable discussing medical cannabis for IBD. Most saw improvement of their symptoms (85.7%). A considerable number of patients with IBD use medical cannabis for their disease, unknown to their physician. The study reinforces the importance that physicians understand the role of cannabis in the treatment of IBD in order to appropriately counsel patients.

Cannabidiol’s neuroprotective properties and potential treatment of traumatic brain injuries

Cannabidiol (CBD) has numerous pharmacological targets that initiate anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antiepileptic properties. These neuroprotective benefits have generated interest in CBD’s therapeutic potential against the secondary injury cascade from traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are currently no effective broad treatment strategies for combating the damaging mechanisms that follow the primary injury and lead to lasting neurological consequences or death. However, CBD’s effects on different neurotransmitter systems, the blood brain barrier, oxidative stress mechanisms, and the inflammatory response provides mechanistic support for CBD’s clinical utility in TBI. This review describes the cascades of damage caused by TBI and CBD’s neuroprotective mechanisms to counter them. We also present challenges in the clinical treatment of TBI and discuss important future clinical research directions for integrating CBD in treatment protocols. The mechanistic evidence provided by pre-clinical research shows great potential for CBD as a much-needed improvement in the clinical treatment of TBI. Upcoming clinical trials sponsored by major professional sport leagues are the first attempts to test the efficacy of CBD in head injury treatment protocols and highlight the need for further clinical research.

Efficacy and safety of topical 0.1% cannabidiol for managing recurrent aphthous ulcers: a randomized controlled trial

Although topical steroids constitute the first-line therapy for recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAUs), their long-term use often leads to candidiasis. Although cannabidiol (CBD) can be an alternative for pharmacologically managing RAUs due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory in vivo effects, there is a lack of clinical and safety trials concerning its use. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of topical 0.1% CBD for managing RAU. A CBD patch test was performed on 100 healthy subjects. CBD was applied on the normal oral mucosa of 50 healthy subjects 3 times/day for 7 days. Oral examination, vital signs, and blood tests were performed pre- and post-CBD use. Another 69 RAU subjects randomly received one of three topical interventions: 0.1% CBD, 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide (TA), or placebo. These were applied on the ulcers 3 times/day for 7 days. The ulcer and erythematous size were measured on day 0, 2, 5, and 7. Pain ratings were recorded daily. The subjects rated their satisfaction with the intervention and completed a quality-of-life questionnaire (OHIP-14).

Table 2 Descriptions of frequently consumed Cannabis flower chemovar index codes

Little is known about the frequency with which different combinations of phytochemicals (chemovars) arise in Cannabis flower or whether common chemovars are associated with distinct pharmacodynamics and patient health outcomes. This study created a clinically relevant, user-friendly, scalable chemovar indexing system summarizing primary cannabinoid and terpene contents and tested whether the most frequently consumed chemovars differ in their treatment effectiveness and experienced side effects.

Cannabidiol as a potential novel treatment for endometriosis by its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and antiangiogenic effects in an experimental rat model

Endometrial implants were surgically induced in 36 female Wistar albino rats. After confirmation of endometriotic foci, the rats were randomized into four groups. In the leuprolide acetate group, rats were given a single 1 mg/kg s.c. leuprolide acetate injection. The other groups were 5 mg/kg CBD (CBD5), saline solution and 20 mg/kg CBD (CBD20); daily i.p. injections were administered for 7 days. After 21 days, the rats were euthanised, and total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), oxidative stress index (OSI), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) measurements in blood and peritoneal fluid samples, and immunohistochemical staining for TNF-α, IL-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) of endometriotic tissues were evaluated.

Is it the Ideal Time to Start Prescribing Cannabis Derivatives to Treat Endometriosis-associated Pain?

Endometriosis affects 5%-10% of women of reproductive age and is often associated with painful symptoms like dysmenorrhea, dyschezia, dyspareunia, and even non cyclical pain. The disease is diagnosed in at least 20% of women with dysmenorrhea and/or non-menstrual pelvic pain, reaching a prevalence of 50% pain among adolescents. There is an alignment among international societies3,4 that the pre- sumed diagnosis of this disease is enough to start clinical treatment. Moreover, there seems to be a consensus that first-line treatment should be hormonal contraceptives since the efficacy is similar to that of surgery but with lower complication rates and costs. However, these drugs are
effective in only approximately two-thirds of patients, have limited long-term efficacy and may occasionally lead to undesirable side effects. Additionally, there are serious limitations in the interpretation of clinical trials.

Anticancer properties of cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and synergistic effects with gemcitabine and cisplatin in bladder cancer cell lines

With the legalization of cannabis in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world, a larger proportion of the population consumes cannabis. Several studies have demonstrated anti-tumor effects of components present in cannabis in different models. Unfortunately, little is known about the potential anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids in bladder cancer, and how cannabinoids could potentially synergize with chemotherapeutic agents. Our study aims to identify whether a combination of cannabinoids, like cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol with agents commonly used to treat bladder cancer, such as gemcitabine and cisplatin, is able to produce desirable synergistic effects. We also evaluated whether co-treatment of different cannabinoids also generated synergistic effects.