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Cannabinoid-Based Ocular Therapies and Formulations

The interest in the pharmacological applications of cannabinoids is largely increasing in a wide range of medical areas. Recently, research on its potential role in eye conditions, many of which are chronic and/or disabling and in need of new alternative treatments, has intensified. However, due to cannabinoids’ unfavorable physicochemical properties and adverse systemic effects, along with ocular biological barriers to local drug administration, drug delivery systems are needed. Hence, this review focused on the following: (i) identifying eye disease conditions potentially subject to treatment with cannabinoids and their pharmacological role, with emphasis on glaucoma, uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, keratitis and the prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections; (ii) reviewing the physicochemical properties of formulations that must be controlled and/or optimized for successful ocular administration; (iii) analyzing works evaluating cannabinoid-based formulations for ocular administration, with emphasis on results and limitations; and (iv) identifying alternative cannabinoid- based formulations that could potentially be useful for ocular administration strategies. Finally, an overview of the current advances and limitations in the field, the technological challenges to overcome and the prospective further developments, is provided.

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).

Comparison of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles in Commercial Cannabis from Natural and Artificial Cultivation

Interest in cultivating cannabis for medical and recreational purposes is increasing due to a dramatic shift in cannabis legislation worldwide. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the composition of secondary metabolites, cannabinoids, and terpenes grown in different environmental conditions is of primary importance for the medical and recreational use of cannabis. We compared the terpene and cannabinoid profiles using gas/liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry for commercial cannabis from genetically identical plants grown indoors using artificial light and artificially grown media or outdoors grown in living soil and natural sunlight. By analyzing the cannabinoids, we found significant variations in the metabolomic profile of cannabis for the different environments.

Efficacy and Safety of Medical Marijuana in Migraine Headache: A Systematic Review

Medical marijuana treatment for migraine is becoming more common, although the legality and societal acceptance of marijuana for medical purposes in the United States have been challenged by the stigma attached to it as a recreational drug. These substances function to reduce nociception and decrease the frequency of migraine by having an impact on the endocannabinoid system. Our study reviewed the clinical response, dosing, and side effects of marijuana in migraine management. Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we conducted a literature search in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Science Direct, and nine studies were included in the systematic review. The studies demonstrated that medical marijuana has a significant clinical response by reducing the length and frequency of migraines. No severe adverse effects were noted. Due to its effectiveness and convenience, medical marijuana therapy may be helpful for patients suffering from migraines. However, additional clinical trials and observational studies with longer follow-ups are required to study the efficacy and safety of the drug.

Phytochemical Constituents and Derivatives of Cannabis sativa; Bridging the Gap in Melanoma Treatment

Melanoma is deadly, physically impairing, and has ongoing treatment deficiencies. Current treatment regimens include surgery, targeted kinase inhibitors, immunotherapy, and combined approaches. Each of these treatments face pitfalls, with diminutive five-year survival in patients with advanced metastatic invasion of lymph and secondary organ tissues. Polyphenolic compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids; both natural and synthetic, have emerging evidence of nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmacological potential, including specific anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and palliative utility. Cannabis sativa is a wellspring of medicinal compounds whose direct and adjunctive application may offer considerable relief for melanoma suffers worldwide. This review aims to address the diverse applications of C. sativa’s biocompounds in the scope of melanoma and suggest it as a strong candidate for ongoing pharmacological evaluation.

Beyond Pain Relief: A Review on Cannabidiol Potential in Medical Therapies

The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) is receiving increasing attention due to its pharmacological properties. Although CBD is extracted from Cannabis sativa, it lacks the psychoactive effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and has become an attractive compound for pharmacological uses due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic potential. The molecular mechanisms involved in CBD’s biological effects are not limited to its interaction with classical cannabinoid receptors, exerting anti-inflammatory or pain-relief effects. Several pieces of evidence demonstrate that CBD interacts with other receptors and cellular signaling cascades, which further support CBD’s therapeutic potential beyond pain management. In this review, we take a closer look at the molecular mechanisms of CBD and its potential therapeutic application in the context of cancer, neurodegeneration, and autoimmune diseases.

Therapeutic and Supportive Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with Brain Tumors (CBD Oil and Cannabis)

The potential medicinal properties of Cannabis continue to garner attention, especially in the brain tumor domain. This attention is centered on quality of life and symptom management; however, it is amplified by a significant lack of therapeutic choices for this specific patient population. While the literature on this matter is young, published and anecdotal evidence imply that cannabis could be useful in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, reducing pain, and managing seizures. It may also decrease inflammation and cancer cell proliferation and survival, resulting in a benefit in overall patient survival. Current literature poses the challenge that it does not provide standardized guidance on dosing for the above potential indications and cannabis use is dominated by recreational purposes. Furthermore, integrated and longitudinal studies are needed but these are a challenge due to arcane laws surrounding the legality of such substances. The increasing need for evidence-based arguments about potential harms and benefits of cannabis, not only in cancer patients but for other medical use and recreational purposes, is desperately needed.

The Effect of Cannabis Plant Extracts on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma and the Quest for Cannabis-Based Personalized Therapy

The survival rate of head and neck cancer has only improved slightly over the last quarter century, raising the need for novel therapies to better treat this disease. This research examined the anti-tumor effects of 24 different types of cannabis extracts on head and neck cancer cells. Type III decarboxylated extracts with high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) were the most effective in killing cancer cells. From these extracts, the specific active molecules were recognized. Combining CBD with Cannabichromene (CBC) in a 2:1 ratio made the effect even stronger. These findings can help doctors match cannabis extracts to treat head and neck cancer. CBD extracts enriched with the non-psychoactive CBC can offer patients more effective treatment. Further research is needed to develop new topical treatments from such extracts.

Therapeutic and Supportive Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with Brain Tumors (CBD Oil and Cannabis)

The potential medicinal properties of Cannabis continue to garner attention, especially in the brain tumor domain. This attention is centered on quality of life and symptom management; however, it is amplified by a significant lack of therapeutic choices for this specific patient population. While the literature on this matter is young, published and anecdotal evidence imply that cannabis could be useful in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, stimulating appetite, reducing pain, and managing seizures. It may also decrease inflammation and cancer cell proliferation and survival, resulting in a benefit in overall patient survival. Current literature poses the challenge that it does not provide standardized guidance on dosing for the above potential indications and cannabis use is dominated by recreational purposes. Furthermore, integrated and longitudinal studies are needed but these are a challenge due to arcane laws surrounding the legality of such substances. The increasing need for evidence-based arguments about potential harms and benefits of cannabis, not only in cancer patients but for other medical use and recreational purposes, is desperately needed.

Cannabis – A state of the art about the millenary plant: Part I

Multiple lines of evidence suggest a central role for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the neuronal development and cognitive function and in the pathogenesis of fragile X syndrome (FXS). This review describes the ECS, its role in the central nervous system, how it is dysregulated in FXS, and the potential role of cannabidiol as a treatment for FXS. FXS is caused by deficiency or absence of the fragile X messenger ribonucleoprotein 1 (FMR1) protein, FMRP, typically due to the presence of >200 cytosine, guanine, guanine sequence repeats leading to methylation of the FMR1 gene promoter.

Heterogeneity in hormone-dependent breast cancer and therapy: Steroid hormones, HER2, melanoma antigens, and cannabinoid receptors

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of death by cancer among women worldwide. The prognosis of the disease and patients’ response to different types of therapies varies in different subgroups of this heterogeneous disease. The subgroups are based on histological and molecular characteristics of the tumor, especially the expression of estrogen (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Hormone-dependent breast cancer, determined predominantly by the presence of ER, is the most common type of breast cancer. Patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer have an available targeted therapy, however, tumor cells can develop resistance to the therapy, which is a major obstacle limiting the success of treatment and enabling relapse to metastatic disease.

Phytochemical Constituents and Derivatives of Cannabis sativa; Bridging the Gap in Melanoma Treatment

Schanknecht, E., Bachari, A., Nassar, N., Piva, T., & Mantri, N. (2023). Phytochemical Constituents and Derivatives of Cannabis sativa; Bridging the Gap in Melanoma Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(1), 859.