CBD Helps Dampen Cravings, Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
CBD Helps Dampen Cravings
In a report published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers find that patients treated with cannabidiol (CBD) reported lower cravings for heroin or other opioids than did patients who were either given a placebo or no treatment at all. As states and public health experts scramble to contain the drug epidemic, the findings could provide some hope.
ADHD And Medical Cannabis Patients, The aim of this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was to identify associations between the doses of cannabinoids and terpenes administered, and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Participants were adult patients licensed for medical cannabis (MC) treatment who also reported a diagnosis of ADHD by a physician.
Data on demographics, ADHD, sleep, and anxiety were collected using self-report questionnaires. Data collected on MC treatment included administration route, cultivator, cultivar name, and monthly dose. Comparison statistics were used to evaluate differences in reported parameters between low (20–30 g, n=18) and high (40–70 g, n=35) MC monthly dose and low adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS, 0–5) score (i.e. ≤3.17 score, n=30) or high ASRS score (i.e. ≥3.18 score, n=29) subgroups.
From the 59 patients that answered the questionnaire, MC chemovar could be calculated for 27 (45%) of them. The high MC monthly dose group consumed higher levels of most phyto-cannabinoids and terpenes, but that was not the case for all of the cannabis components. The high dose consumers and the ones with lower ASRS score reported a higher occurrence of stopping all ADHD medications. Moreover, there was an association between lower ASRS score subgroup and lower anxiety scores. In addition, we found an association between lower ASRS score and consumption of high doses of cannabinol (CBN), but not with ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
These findings reveal that the higher-dose consumption of MC components (phyto-cannabinoids and terpenes) is associated with ADHD medication reduction. In addition, high dosage of CBN was associated with a lower ASRS score. However, more studies are needed in order to fully understand if cannabis and its constituents can be used for management of ADHD.
Nearly 50% of US populations suffers from sleep disturbances; if cannabis can treat insomnia, this is clinically relevant.
Colorado county-level data show OTC sleep aid sales decline with recreational cannabis access, especially for diphenhydramine and doxylamine.
The negative association between cannabis access and sleep aid sales suggests a consumer preference for cannabis.
This study seeks to understand whether people substitute between recreational cannabis and conventional over-the-counter (OTC) sleep medications. UPC-level grocery store scanner data in a multivariable panel regression design were used to compare the change in the monthly market share of sleep aids with varying dispensary-based recreational cannabis access (existence, sales, and count) in Colorado counties between 12/2013 and 12/2014.
We measured annually-differenced market shares for sleep aids as a portion of the overall OTC medication market, thus accounting for store-level demand shifts in OTC medication markets and seasonality, and used the monthly changes in stores’ sleep aid market share to control for short-term trends. Relative to the overall OTC medication market, sleep aid market shares were growing prior to recreational cannabis availability.
The trend reverses (a 236% decrease) with dispensary entry (−0.33 percentage points, 95% CI −0.43 to −0.24, p < 0.01) from a mean market share growth of 0.14 ± 0.97. The magnitude of the market share decline increases as more dispensaries enter a county and with higher county-level cannabis sales.
The negative associations are driven by diphenhydramine- and doxylamine-based sleep aids rather than herbal sleep aids and melatonin. These findings support survey evidence that many individuals use cannabis to treat insomnia, although sleep disturbances are not a specific qualifying condition under any U.S. state-level medical cannabis law.
Investigations designed to measure the relative effectiveness and side effect profiles of conventional OTC sleep aids and cannabis-based products are urgently needed to improve treatment of sleep disturbances while minimizing potentially serious negative side effects.
With the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana in some countries and a few US states, its use has become more widely prevalent. Both exogenous cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have been shown to affect female gonadotropin pathways and female sexuality. Yet, our understanding of the mechanisms and effects on female sexual function is limited.
To review the literature regarding the effects of both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids on female sexual function in both animals and humans.
We performed a PubMed search for English-language articles in peer-reviewed journals between 1970 and 2019. We used the following search terms: “cannabinoids,” “endocannabinoids,” “marijuana,” “cannabis,” and “female sexual function” or “sexual function.” The main outcomes of the papers were reviewed.
Main Outcome Measure
The main outcome measure was sexual function in females.
A total of 12 human studies and 8 animal studies that evaluated the relationship between cannabinoids and female sexual function were included. Study types in animals were blinded, prospective, placebo-controlled trials. Human studies were based primarily on questionnaire data. The data indicate dose-dependent effects on female sexual desire and receptivity, such that low doses generally facilitate or have no effect but high doses inhibit.
More research is needed to develop a better understanding of the effects of cannabinoids on female sexual function. There does appear to be an effect on both animals and humans, but whether the effect is positive or negative along dose and species lines requires more study. With the legalization of marijuana occurring in more countries and more US states, there needs to be more well-controlled studies evaluating the effects.
Emerging Role Of Cannabinoids, Cannabis was extensively utilized for its medicinal properties till the 19th century. A steep decline in its medicinal usage was observed later due to its emergence as an illegal recreational drug.
Advances in technology and scientific findings led to the discovery of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis, that further led to the discovery of endogenous cannabinoids system consisting of G-protein-coupled receptors – cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2 along with their ligands, mainly anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.
Endocannabinoid (EC) is shown to be a modulator not only for physiological functions but also for the immune system, endocrine network, and central nervous system. Medicinal research and meta-data analysis over the last few decades have shown a significant potential for both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to exert palliative effects.
People suffering from many forms of advanced stages of cancers undergo chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting followed by severe and chronic neuropathic pain and weight loss. THC and CBD exhibit effective analgesic, anxiolytic, and appetite-stimulating effect on patients suffering from cancer.
Drugs currently available in the market to treat such chemotherapy-induced cancer-related ailments are Sativex (GW Pharmaceutical), Dronabinol (Unimed Pharmaceuticals), and Nabilone (Valeant Pharmaceuticals).
Apart from exerting palliative effects, THC also shows promising role in the treatment of cancer growth, neurodegenerative diseases (multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease), and alcohol addiction and hence should be exploited for potential benefits.
The current review discusses the nature and role of CB receptors, specific applications of cannabinoids, and major studies that have assessed the role of cannabinoids in cancer management.
Cannabis Extracts As Antitumor Agents, The Cannabis plant contains over 100 phytocannabinoids and hundreds of other components. The biological effects and interplay of these Cannabis compounds are not fully understood and yet influence the plant’s therapeutic effects. Here we assessed the antitumor effects of whole Cannabis extracts, which contained significant amounts of differing phytocannabinoids, on different cancer lines from various tumor origins.
We first utilized our novel electrospray ionization liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method to analyze the phytocannabinoid contents of 124 Cannabis extracts. We then monitored the effects of 12 chosen different Cannabis extracts on 12 cancer cell lines. Our results show that specific Cannabis extracts impaired the survival and proliferation of cancer cell lines as well as induced apoptosis.
Our findings showed that pure (-)-Δ9–trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) did not produce the same effects on these cell lines as the whole Cannabis extracts.
Furthermore, Cannabis extracts with similar amounts of Δ9-THC produced significantly different effects on the survival of specific cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrated that specific Cannabis extracts may selectively and differentially affect cancer cells and differing cancer cell lines from the same organ origin.
We also found that cannabimimetic receptors were differentially expressed among various cancer cell lines and suggest that this receptor diversity may contribute to the heterogeneous effects produced by the differing Cannabis extracts on each cell line.
Our overall findings indicate that the effect of a Cannabis extract on a specific cancer cell line relies on the extract’s composition as well as on certain characteristics of the targeted cells.
Cannabis Effects On Pain And Sleep, Medical cannabis patients consistently report using cannabis as a substitute for prescription medications; however, little is known about individuals accessing cannabis through adult-use markets. A survey at two retail stores was conducted in Colorado, United States.
Between August 2016 and October 2016, store staff asked customers if they wanted to participate and, if so, provided an electronic survey link. All customers reporting medical certification were excluded. Of 1,000 adult-use only customer respondents, 65% reported taking cannabis to relieve pain and 74% reported taking cannabis to promote sleep.
Among respondents taking cannabis for pain, 80% reported that it was very or extremely helpful, and most of those taking over-the-counter pain medications (82%) or opioid analgesics (88%) reported reducing or stopping use of those medications.
Among respondents taking cannabis for sleep, 84% found it very or extremely helpful, and most of those taking over-the-counter (87%) or prescription sleep aids (83%) reported reducing or stopping use of those medications.
De facto medical use of cannabis for symptom relief was common among adult-use dispensary customers and the majority reported that cannabis decreased their medication use. Adult use cannabis laws may broaden access to cannabis for the purpose of symptom relief.
Cannabis Use And Exercise Behavior, Scientific literature examining cannabis use in the context of health behaviors, such as exercise engagement, is extremely sparse and has yielded inconsistent findings. This issue is becoming increasingly relevant as cannabis legalization continues, a situation that has been associated with increased initiation of use among adults, and increased potency of available products in legalized states.
Physical activity is among the most important health behaviors, but many Americans do not meet minimum exercise recommendations for healthy living. Common issues surrounding low exercise rates include inadequate enjoyment of and motivation to exercise, and poor recovery from exercise.
It is unclear whether cannabis use shortly before and/or after exercise impacts these issues, and whether this co-use affects exercise performance. The present online survey study examines attitudes and behaviors regarding cannabis use with exercise among adult cannabis users living in states with full legal access (N = 605).
Results indicated that the majority (81.7%) of participants endorsed using cannabis concurrently with exercise, and those who did tended to be younger and more likely to be males (p < 0.0005 for both). Even after controlling for these differences, co-users reported engaging in more minutes of aerobic and anaerobic exercise per week (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively).
In addition, the majority of participants who endorsed using cannabis shortly before/after exercise reported that doing so enhances their enjoyment of and recovery from exercise, and approximately half reported that it increases their motivation to exercise.
This study represents an important step in clarifying cannabis use with exercise among adult users in states with legal cannabis markets, and provides guidance for future research directions.
Marijuana Use And Partner Intimacy, Although marijuana use has been linked to negative consequences for intimate relationships, an emerging literature suggests that under some circumstances it may have positive consequences. Couples who use substances together report better relationship functioning over time and may experience positive short-term outcomes.
Using a sample of 183 heterosexual, frequent marijuana-using couples from the community, reporting over 30 consecutive days, we examined whether marijuana use episodes were associated temporally with reports of couple intimacy experiences within the next two hours. We used multilevel modeling, within an Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) framework, modeling male and female outcomes simultaneously.
Consistent with hypotheses, simultaneous marijuana use (male and female partners reported use at the same hour) increased the likelihood of an intimate experience for both men and women. However, we also found positive effects for Actor and Partner solo marijuana use on male and female reports of intimacy events.
When analyses were limited to marijuana use episodes in which the respondent reported on presence of partner, we found that positive effects on intimate experiences were limited to marijuana use episodes in which partner was present; use without partner did not influence likelihood of intimacy.
The robust positive effects of using marijuana with one’s partner on intimacy events may serve to reinforce continued couple use and explain the positive effects of concordant substance use on relationship functioning over time.
Cannabis Users And Weight Gain, Pre-clinical studies indicate increased food intake and weight gain as cannabinoid effects. Cross-sectional epidemiological studies, however, indicate lower prevalence of obesity among cannabis users. Here, we aim to study the weight-gain research question in the prospectively conducted National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).
NESARC was designed to produce nationally representative estimates for the US population. Participants (aged 18+) completed computer-assisted personal interviews on cannabis use, body weight and height at Waves 1 (W1, 2001–02) and 2 (W2, 2004–05). General linear modelling yields estimates for change in body mass index (BMI) regressed on cannabis-use status, with covariate adjustment based on a conceptual model for BMI determinants (n = 33 000).
At W2, 77% of the participants never used cannabis, 18% had discontinued use (‘quit’), 3% were initiates and 2% were persistent users. Estimated W1-to-W2 BMI change shows an increase for all subgroups. Compared with never-users (reference), inverse slope estimates and attenuated change (%) in BMI between W1 and W2 are seen for cannabis-use subgroups: quitters [β = –0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) = –1.01, –0.60], initiates (β = –0.97; 95% CI = –1.36, –0.57) and persistent users (β = –1.26; 95% CI = –1.81, –0.72).
This new prospective study builds from anecdotes, pre-clinical studies and cross-sectional evidence on inverse associations linking cannabis use and obesity and shows an inverse cannabis–BMI increase association. Confirmatory studies with rigorous cannabis and BMI assays will be needed.