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30/Oct/2019

Will medical cannabis be legalised in the European Union?

As cannabis is on the rise in demand, EU governments still remain deeply divided in their attitudes to cannabis which is hindering the process of legalisation. Many patients, and even scientists, have pleaded for the use of cannabinoids to treat certain conditions which greatly benefit and improve the symptomologies of pathologies such as cancer pain, depression, sleep and neurological disorders. From this, a few countries have already allowed, or are in the process of allowing, medical cannabis for certain illnesses including the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and France. Some think that legalising cannabis production will be the best option in order to be able to regulate consumption, enable prevention and even create economic opportunities in agriculture.

Will recreational cannabis use be legalised?

Due to the stigma around the cannabis plant, the government is still divided because the people are divided. With appropriate legal framework, the legalisation of recreational use can benefit society by ensuring that safe products are sold to consumers and phase out black markets. In other words, complete legalisation may be the most efficient way to regulate cannabis, not leaving people at the mercy of the black market. A prime example of this is Canada, who have legalised and regulated and have greatly benefited from this decision.

Source: https://www.politico.eu/article/high-time-for-legal-cannabis-in-europe-weed-marijuana-health-care-eu-brussels/


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23/Oct/2019

In Germany, the sales of medicinal cannabis was at a steady increase until it boomed in the second quarter of 2019. By comparison to the second quarter of 2018, 74% more medical cannabis was reimbursed by German insurers this year. In May, it had surpassed the 10 million euro mark ever since this framework was implemented in 2017, however it dropped to 9.5 million euro in June.

The types of medicinal cannabis that were sold

This data which is published by the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) includes all medical cannabis sold until June 2019. These categories include cannabis preparations such as dronabinol, ground flower and full spectrum extracts, finished pharmaceutical products such as Sativex and Canemes, and unprocessed cannabis flower. The unprocessed flowers and flowers used in preparations represent 55% of the total reimbursed cannabis products during the second quarter. However, more flower was sold using private prescriptions which wasn’t applied to the data. Nevertheless, reimbursement among all categories of products grew.

Source: https://mjbizdaily.com


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17/Oct/2019

The World Anti-Doping Agency has officially removed cannabidiol from the 2020 list of prohibited substance

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recently published the new list of prohibited substance for the new year. Even though it still states that all natural and synthetic cannabinoids are banned, cannabidiol (CBD) is an exception. Tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs) are still on the list whether natural or synthetic as it has been thought to cause respiratory illnesses due to vaping. However, under the US federal law, if CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, it is legal.

THC still under investigation

THC, the psychoactive compound, has raised certain concerns due to its relation to respiratory illnesses. THC, CBD and even nicotine, mixed with other chemical substances within e-liquids can be a possible factor to these illnesses. However, this is still under investigation.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/sport/201910011076930256-cannabidiol-excluded-from-wadas-2020-prohibited-substances-list/


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09/Oct/2019

It was always suspected that CBD can reverse the psychiatric side effects of THC, however, researchers at Western University has proven this by showing the molecular mechanisms at work in the hippocampus. 

It wasn’t known why high levels of THC and low levels of CBD caused psychiatric effects such as paranoia, anxiety and even addictive behaviours.  At Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Professor Steven Laviolette and his team were able to identify which cannabidiol may actually block the psychoactive THC by using rats to investigate a molecule in the brain’s hippocampus which triggers the effects of THC, the extra cellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK).

CBD can block THC psychoactive effects

In their study, rats which were given more THC showed higher levels of activated ERK causing higher anxiety like behaviours.  When given only CBD, it had no effect in the ERK pathway. However, with CBD and THC combined it showed normal levels of active ERK, leading to lower anxiety levels.  According to this study, it provides strong evidence that CBD can block the THC’s psychoactive effects, by avoiding overstimulation in the ERK.

This finding shows great importance for prescribing medicinal cannabis by assuring effective and safe THC formulations

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190930


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13/Sep/2019

The association of cannabis with the reduction of developmental colorectal cancer

Case studies suggest that there is an anti-inflammatory agent in cannabis. 

One study found a link between cannabis use and a lower risk of colon cancer, anaemia and hospitalisation.

The nationwide inpatient sample data sets (2010-2014) were examined to identify adults with crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). 

Recent studies about Crohn’s disease and Cannabis

This is the result of a study conducted by Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, USA:

The study examined 6,002 patients  with CD (2,999 cannabis users & 3,003 non-users) and 1,481 patients with UC (742 cannabis users & 739 non-users). 

In patients with CD, the presence of colorectal cancer, the need for parenteral nutrition, and anemia were lower in cannabis users. 

However, active fistula disease or intra-abdominal abscess formation, non-specific bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract and hypovolemia were higher in recreational cannabis use. 

Additionally, the average hospital stay was shorter with lower hospital costs among cannabis users.

 

Source: Cannabis-med

Image: AGMG


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11/Sep/2019

According to a study published in 2017 by the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers have come to a conclusion that CBD can have a positive effect in patients with schizophrenia.

Studies about medical cannabis efficacy for Schizophrenia

The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of CBD as an accompanying therapy for schizophrenia.  In a randomized (1:1 ratio) and double-blinded study, patients received either CBD (1000mg/day; N=43) or a placebo (N=45) as additional therapy to their existing antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks. Participants were assessed for effects of CBD before and after the treatment using the positive and negative Syndrom scale (PANSS), the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF), and the improvement and severity scales of the Clinical Global Impressions Scale (CGI-I and CGI-S).According to the study, the CBD group, compared to the placebo group, showed improvements in cognitive performance, functional range, and overall clinical impression of the patient. 

These results suggest that CBD may be a possible alternative in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29241357


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05/Sep/2019

According to a study, patients repeatedly reported that cannabis is used as a substitute for prescription drugs, but little is known about people who legally purchase cannabis through the adult cannabis market. 

The study was conducted in 2016 in Colorado, United States, in which 1000 adults were interviewed about their use of (medical) cannabis, 65% of respondents reported that they used cannabis to relieve their pain and 74% said they used cannabis to promote sleep. All respondents who reported medical certification were excluded. 

Among those who took cannabis to sleep, 84% found it very helpful, and those who took over-the-counter medicines (87%) or prescription sleeping pills (83%) said they either reduced their use or stopped using them completely. 

This suggests that medical use of cannabis is common where cannabis is legally available and also reduces drug use. Laws for adult cannabis use could increase access to cannabis to treat illnesses.

Source:

https://www.cannabis-med.org/


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30/Aug/2019

The increased development of obesity and excess weight can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. Recent findings suggest that cannabis use has a protective effect on weight gain and associated metabolic changes in  patients with psychosis.

According to a three year longitudinal study published in 2019, cannabis use can have a protective effect against liver steatosis.

390 patients were examined at two points in time.  Firstly, at the start of the study, and secondly, after 3 years of initiating antipsychotic treatment. Anthropometric measurements and liver, lipid, and glycemic parameters were obtained at both points in time. Patients were treated at the Department of Psychiatry of the University Hospital de Valdecilla in Santander, Spain. 

During the second examination, cannabis users significantly had lower FLI (Fatty Liver Index) values than non-users.

In addition, cannabis users met the criteria for liver steatosis less frequently than non-users. Patients who consistently used cannabis after 3 years of use represented the smallest increase in FLI over time. 

Source:Cannabis-Med


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28/Aug/2019

Research shows that CBD can be used to decrease the frequency of seizures without the psychoactive properties of medical cannabis.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that there medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and one of the pathologies which can be treated is epilepsy.

Epilepsy is when two or more unprovoked and unexpected seizures arise. Seizures are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve the entire body (generalized) or a part of the body (partial).

Medically, refractory epilepsy remains an area of scientific interest as up to 35% of patients continue to suffer from seizures despite current therapies. Recent evidence has focused on the benefit of cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana plant-based product with no psychoactive properties, can be used to decrease seizure frequency.

Medical Research with Oral CBD

In 2019, a group of researchers analysed several published articles of this pure oral CBD extract as an additional therapy for treating refractory epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, convulsive seizures decrease by 50%. Additionally, in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy of multiple aetiologies, similar benefits were observed.

Furthermore, a stopped/decreased dose of anti-seizure medication was observed when taking the CBD oil.

The therapeutic potential of CBD in epilepsy exists, however, further studies are still needed to better understand the full mechanism of action.

Source:

https://www.kalapa-clinic.com/en/new-stance-cbd-who/

 


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23/Aug/2019

The Obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD) is a mental disorder marked by anxiety or distress, characterized by the presence of persistent thoughts (better known as obsessions). These recurrent thoughts are suppressed by new ones or actions, known as compulsions (acts performed in response to the obsession). The compulsions aim at preventing the anxiety or distress.

Around 60% of patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder do not respond to first-line treatment. Options in these cases include an increase of dosages or switching to another drug. In this sense, new evidence reported patients with treatment-resistant OCD who could respond better to an increase dosage of medications combined with medical cannabis.

Clinical studies confirm effective results using cannabinoids in patients with OCD

In 2008, researchers published an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry. In this article, the researchers presented the experiences of two refractory OCD patients after synthetic THC administration.

To the female subject, doctors had prescribed for 8 months an antidepressant and psychological therapy to treat her OCD and major depression, but without success. Interestingly, the woman reported that when she smoked cannabis, her symptoms were relieved. It was then decided to supplement her current treatment with synthetic THC. Her OCD symptoms were reduced, and her severity disease score improved by 50%. Regarding the male subject, after the addition of the synthetic THC to the ongoing medication, his symptoms were reduced within 2 weeks, and his severity disease score improved by 35%.

In 2010, a clinical study was subsequently published in the Journal Behavioral Pharmacology, describing the observation of CBD effects on rodents. In this study, the researchers found that Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to have anxiolytic effects, both in animals and humans, could significantly reduce symptoms associated with stimulated compulsive animal behavior.

In general, these studies demonstrated a therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to reduce Refractory obsessive compulsive disorders. However, new studies are needed to definitively validate its utility or not.

Source:

https://www.kalapa-clinic.com/en/refractory-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/


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