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20/Jan/2021

CBD can reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially pain-related symptoms. This is shown by an online survey with 2,700 participants, mainly from the USA, who suffer from fibromyalgia. The survey also reveals that the use of cannabidiol (CBD) is widespread among people with fibromyalgia.

Many fibromyalgia patients use CBD

The anonymous online survey was conducted by researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, USA. Overall, about 38 percent of respondents reported never using CBD, but 29 percent reported past use of CBD and 32 percent reported current CBD use. Thus, more than 60 percent of respondents have tried or are still using cannabidiol.

The people taking CBD mostly suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms that are not sufficiently relieved by their regular therapy. The patients who do not use CBD gave safety concerns as the main reason.

Two thirds of the interviewed patients who take CBD informed their doctor about it. It is noteworthy that only 33 percent sought medical advice on the use of CBD. Participants used CBD for many fibromyalgia symptoms, most commonly pain. CBD achieved mild to strong improvements in all symptom areas. About half of the respondents reported minor side effects.

Fibromyalgia – what is it?

Fibromyalgia often means severe pain, exhaustion, sleep disturbances and not infrequently psychological suffering. The symptoms of chronic pain syndrome are manifold and vary greatly from person to person. Many sufferers have great difficulty in coping with their daily lives and the level of suffering is very high. Some studies have already shown that the medical use of cannabis can have a beneficial effect on the symptoms.

The disease manifests itself through muscle and connective tissue pain, which is particularly expressed at certain pain points (tender points). The pain can occur all over the body, but usually shows up near the joints. In Germany, 2 percent of the population is affected by the chronic pain syndrome, women six to seven times more often than men.

Die Ursache der Erkrankung ist ungeklärt, medizinische Fachleute gehen aber davon aus, dass eine genetisch bedingte Krankheitsanfälligkeit eine Rolle spielt. Darüber hinaus können Traumata wie beispielsweise Misshandlungen im Kindesalter, aktuelle psychische Belastungen oder chronische psychische Belastungen wie Stress die Entstehung fördern.

The cause of the disease is unknown, but medical experts assume that a genetically determined susceptibility to the disease plays a role. In addition, traumas such as abuse in childhood, current psychological stress or chronic psychological stress such as stress can promote the development.

 

Source:

Boehnke KF, Gagnier JJ, Matallana L, Williams DA. Cannabidiol Use for Fibromyalgia: Prevalence of Use and Perceptions of Effectiveness in a Large Online Survey. J Pain. 2021 Jan 2:S1526-5900(20)30117-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2020.12.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33400996.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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13/Jan/2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) can provide relief for Parkinson’s patients. This was shown in a study by the Department of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora (USA). The motor symptoms of the disease were reduced, but also nighttime sleep and emotional disturbances improved significantly. However, liver enzymes elevated in some participants of the study due to the high dosage.

People with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from CBD

In the study, 13 people with PD and substantial rest tremor received herbal, highly purified CBD (Epidiolex; 100 mg/mL). The CBD extract was titrated from 5 to 20-25 mg per kilogram of body weight and maintained for 10 to 15 days. The patients had an average age of 68 years.

All 13 participants in the study reported mild side effects, such as diarrhoea (85%), somnolence (69%), fatigue (62%), weight gain (31%), dizziness (23%), abdominal pain (23%) and headache, weight loss, nausea, anorexia and increased appetite (5% each). Elevated liver enzymes occurred in five people, representing 38.5% of the total group.

Three people dropped out of the study due to intolerances. The remaining ten achieved an improvement in overall and motor scores. Other positive results were that nightly sleep and emotional or behavioural control disorders improved significantly. The researchers therefore conclude that CBD in the form of Epidiolex may be effective in PD. However, the relatively high dose used in this study was also associated with increases in liver enzymes.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. In Germany, about one percent of people over 60 are affected by the incurable disease. The medical treatment options are limited. Therapy is primarily aimed at alleviating the symptoms and improving the quality of life of those affected.

At the beginning of the disease, the symptoms are non-specific. These include pain in the shoulder or neck area or in the back, as well as a slowing down and decrease in movement. In addition, there is a rest tremor that begins on one side. In the course of the disease, the gait pattern changes. Those affected bend forward and take only small, short steps.

In addition to motor symptoms, sleep disturbances, pain in muscles and joints and depressive moods may occur. Later, affect lability, apathy, anxiety disorders and dementia may develop. These non-motor symptoms should not be underestimated, as they often severely limit the patient’s quality of life.

 

Source:

Leehey MA, Liu Y, Hart F, Epstein C, Cook M, Sillau S, Klawitter J, Newman H, Sempio C, Forman L, Seeberger L, Klepitskaya O, Baud Z, Bainbridge J. Safety and Tolerability of Cannabidiol in Parkinson Disease: An Open Label, Dose-Escalation Study. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(4):326-336.

Photo by Hugo Delauney on Unsplash


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17/Jun/2020

Washington State University has published the results of an observational study. It states that patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder were able to reduce their symptoms such as flashbacks, anxiety and irritability by using medical cannabis.

People who have gone through an extreme situation are at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such extreme situations can include serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, mistreatment in childhood or adulthood. But also, witnessing wars, captivity or terrorist attacks can be triggers for this mental illness. It does not necessarily occur immediately after the traumatic experience. Even weeks, months or even years later, various symptoms can still appear.

Typical symptoms manifest themselves in the form of intrusions and flashbacks when those affected are overwhelmed by the emerging memories of the trauma. Intrusions and flashbacks are usually triggered by key stimuli. For example, when a war victim hears a loud bang or a burn victim perhaps smells smoke. Other symptoms of PTSD can manifest themselves as follows:

  • Nightmares
  • Wild outbreaks
  • Tachycardia and shortness of breath
  • Swindle
  • Anxiety, irritability and nervousness
  • Depression

Treatment of PTSD

Those affected need above all psychological care and in severe cases also an inpatient stay in a psychiatric clinic. Therapy usually consists of three phases: creation of a safe environment, stabilization and overcoming trauma.

Drug therapy is usually only used if the person concerned suffers from severe sleep disorders, restlessness, anxiety or depression, for example. Various studies have already shown that medical cannabis can be used as a supportive therapy in PTSD to alleviate the symptoms.

Results of the current observational study

404 medical cannabis users with PTSD used an app over a period of 31 months to track changes in their symptoms (flashbacks, intrusions, anxiety, irritability) depending on different cannabis varieties and doses before and after inhalation.

The results show that the symptoms were reduced by more than 50 percent after inhalation of medical cannabis. In the further course of time, a decrease in intrusions and irritability were also observed, especially at higher doses.

Washington State University researchers stated that medical cannabis could be used temporarily to relieve PTSD symptoms. But according to the researchers it may not be suitable as a long-term treatment, because in the observational study, those affected increased the dose steadily. This could indicate the development of tolerance.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32469819/


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10/Jun/2020

The results of an Israeli observational study show that fibromyalgia patients who had self-medicated with cannabis improved their symptoms of pain and were able to reduce the painkiller dose.

Fibromyalgia, a fibre-muscle pain, is a very complex pain syndrome. Those affected suffer from muscle and connective tissue pain in various parts of the body. Pressure pain above certain pain points can also occur. In addition, affected people often report other complaints such as exhaustion, headaches, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems.

The cause of fibromyalgia has not yet been fully clarified. It is assumed that various factors play a role in its development. For example, disturbed pain processing or altered nerve fibres in the muscle tissue can be the cause. In addition, various psychological complaints can also promote the disease.

Patients can alleviate symptoms with the help of movement therapy and relaxation techniques and are often prescribed painkillers or antidepressants.

Observational study in Israel

The doctors of the Laniado Hospital in Netanya and the Hospital of Nazareth observed a total of 101 fibromyalgia patients. 73% of the participants were female. The average age was 45 years old. Pure cannabis was smoked by 54% of the participants. Only 18% of the participants vaporized cannabis and just three participants used cannabis oil. The remaining participants medicated themselves with different combinations.

The results show that 47% of the participants did not take any further medication to alleviate symptoms due to self-medication with cannabis. 51% were able to reduce the dose of pain medication. Only one participant stopped medication with cannabis.

In addition, the doctors reported that pain symptoms and sleep improved by about 77% among the participants. The average daily cannabis consumption was relatively low. It was less than 1 gram.

From the results, the doctors concluded that cannabis may be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32431124/


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03/Jun/2020

The active ingredient, haloperidol, is a highly potent antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drug that is approved to treat acute mania, acute chronic schizophrenia and for tic disorders (Tourette’s syndrome). However, consumption of the drug is associated with severe side effects. These include long-term movement disorders and late dyskinesias.

Researchers from Lagos have now been able to show in animal models that the simultaneous administration of haloperidol and cannabidiol (CBD) could prevent these side effects.

How does Haloperidol work?

The nerve cells in the brain communicate via different neurotransmitters (messenger substances). These can be roughly divided into two groups: While some messenger substances such as norepinephrine have an activating, excitatory and stimulating effect, other messenger substances such as serotonin, the “happiness hormone”, trigger calming and attenuating effects.

Haloperidol is prescribed when an excess of the messenger substance, dopamine, is detected in patients. Dopamine is also known as the “happiness hormone”. An excess of this can trigger schizophrenia, psychosis, delusions and loss of reality.

The active substance haloperidol binds to the dopamine receptors and blocks them so that the dopamine signals are not transmitted. As a result, the high levels of dopamine normalise.

In Parkinson’s disease, patients show a lack of dopamine so that the body’s movement patterns are disturbed. Since haloperidol blocks the dopamine signals, movement disorders may also occur. These are known as extrapyramidal motor disorders and can manifest themselves in the form of an urge to move, restlessness and involuntary movements.

Haloperidol in combination with cannabidiol

The researchers investigated the effects of CBD on haloperidol-induced extrapyramidal motor disorders. There were a total of six experimental groups with rats receiving different combinations of oral cannabidiol with 5 mg/kg haloperidol.

The researchers concluded from the results that haloperidol in combination with CBD could alleviate motor impairments and prevent long-term movement disorders such as acute dystonic disorders.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32264772/


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20/May/2020

A report by “Medical Xpress” states that roughky 75,000 Australians are suffering from a chronic bowel disease known as Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. These are caused by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, those affected often suffer from diarrhoea, constipation, pain and weight loss, which has an enormous impact on the quality of their everyday life.

The report also states that recent research by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney shows a quarter of those affected in Australia use illegal cannabis for treatment. A total of 838 patients were interviewed, 25.3% of whom reported using cannabis to treat their symptoms. Only 1.4% received legal medical cannabis.

The principal researcher and academic director of the Lambert Initiative, Professor Iain McGregor, stated according to the report:

“The survey was inspired by the experiences of the Taylor family from the Blue Mountains: father Steven Taylor was arrested for growing cannabis to alleviate the suffering of his daughters Morgan and Taylor who suffered from severe IBD and found great relief from non-intoxicating cannabis leaf juice preparations”.

McGregor further explained that this case shows that many patients suffering cannot adequately treat their disease with common medication and therefore turn to alternative treatment options.

Survey: Cannabis relieves symptoms

More than 90% of those affected said that cannabis helped improve symptoms such as pain and cramps. The quality of sleep and anxiety symptoms also improved. In contrast, the benefit for other symptoms such as bleeding, stool frequency, consistency and urgency is smaller.

Furthermore, patients receiving medical cannabis therapy were reported to have significantly improved their quality of life. In addition, cannabis clients reported that they were able to reduce the doses of their prescribed medications and needed specialist treatment less frequently.

The patients were also asked about side effects of cannabis use. These were minor and mainly limited to drowsiness and memory disorders.

Source https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-survey-results-reveal-australian-usage.html


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13/May/2020

Various studies have already shown that cannabidiol (CBD) can have anti-inflammatory properties. According to a media report, researchers from Tel Aviv University are now conducting several clinical studies to investigate the use of CBD in the respiratory disease, COVID-19.

As COVID-19 affects the respiratory system, researchers will administer CBD-enriched exosomes to affected patients through an inhaler. Previous studies have already shown that CBD can possibly help to regulate the immune system and inhibit inflammation. The researchers assume that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could repair the damaged cells through a synergistic effect. 

Another clinical trial is being conducted in COVID-19 patients currently being treated at Rabin Medical Center in Israel. Here, the researchers will combine inhalable steroids with CBD, as CBD may be able to improve the effect of the steroids. 

In addition, it will be investigated whether cannabis, with all its cannabinoids, might possibly be able to slow down or stop COVID-19. 

Source: https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/COVID


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07/May/2020

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have conducted a survey of 200 people who used opioids and cannabis in the past four weeks

The results show that 125 people (62.5%) benefited from cannabis in opioid withdrawal symptoms. Women reported a greater positive effect than in men. In particular, symptoms such as sleep disturbance, trembling and anxiety were improved by the use of cannabis.

In contrast, 12 people (6%) reported that opioid withdrawal had worsened as a result of cannabis use. They reported an increase in symptoms such as watery eyes and a runny nose.

According to the researchers, the results of the study suggest that cannabis can improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the effect is clinically significant. The researchers further explain that cannabis only worsened the symptoms in the minority. This justifies prospective studies that investigate the effects of cannabis in opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Source:

Bergeria CL, Chicken AS, Dunn KE. The impact of naturalistic cannabis use on self-reported opioid withdrawal. J Subst Abuse Treat 2020;113:108005


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29/Apr/2020

Staphylococcus aureus bacterium can colonise in several people without causing any disease. However, in some cases, especially when the immune system is weakened, the bacterium can cause wound infections, pneumonia and meningitis. A particular problem here is that some variants of the bacterium are resistant to antibiotics.

In order to circumvent this resistance and increase the antibiotic effect, researchers are looking for new approaches. One of these approaches is to use so-called helper substances that are assumed to increase the effectiveness of an antibiotic.

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark recently discovered that cannabidiol (CBD) in combination with the antibiotic bacitracin may be able to fight the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.

In conclusion, this CBD-bacitracin combination was able to prevent the bacterium from dividing, resulting in an unstable bacterial membrane. According to the researchers, the reduced administration of antibiotics could prevent further resistances.

 

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32139776/


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23/Apr/2020


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