Cannabis is available from medical dispensaries for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in many states of the union, yet its efficacy in treating PTSD symptoms remains uncertain. Evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions about the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations in patients with PTSD, but several ongoing studies may soon provide important results.
Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterised from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signalling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumour cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumour xenografts, including tumours that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics.
Systematic Review of the Costs and Benefits of Prescribed Cannabis-Based Medicines for the Management of Chronic Illness: Lessons from Multiple Sclerosis
Cannabis-based medicines (CBMs) may offer relief from symptoms of disease; however, their additional cost needs to be considered alongside their effectiveness. We sought to review the economic costs and benefits of prescribed CBMs in any chronic illness, and the frameworks used for their economic evaluation. Prescribed CBMs are a potentially cost-effective add-on treatment for MS spasticity; however, this evidence is uncertain. Further investment in randomised trials with in-built economic evaluations is warranted for a wider range of clinical indications.
Parent use of cannabis for intractable pediatric epilepsy: Everyday empiricism and the boundaries of scientific medicine
Cannabis is an increasingly sought-after remedy for US children with intractable (biomedically uncontrollable) epilepsy. However, like other complementary-alternative medicine (CAM) modalities, and particularly as a federally illegal, stigmatised substance, it is unsanctioned by mainstream medicine. Parents are largely on their own when it comes to learning about, procuring, dispensing, and monitoring treatments. Exploring how they manage is crucial to better assist them. Implications for understanding the boundaries of science are explored, as are norms for parent agency as ill children’s care managers, radicalisation among people affected by contested illnesses, and the future of ‘medical marijuana.’
Canada has the highest incidence of MS worldwide. Anecdotal evidence reveals that people with MS smoke, ingest or vaporise cannabis for a multiplicity of reasons. With the legal situation in relation to use currently in flux, we undertook a study investigating patterns of use amongst people with MS and their attitudes towards the drug.There is a wide acceptance of cannabis within the MS patient community. One in five people currently use the drug for reasons that differ between neuropsychiatry and neurology clinics. Use could potentially more than double if the drug were legalised.
Treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE) affects 30% of epilepsy patients and is associated with severe morbidity and increased mortality. Cannabis-based therapies have been used to treat epilepsy for millennia, but only in the last few years have we begun to collect data from adequately powered placebo-controlled, randomized trials (RCTs) with cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative. Previously, information was limited to case reports, small series, and surveys reporting on the use of CBD and diverse medical marijuana (MMJ) preparations containing: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD, and many other cannabinoids in differing combinations. These RCTs have studied the safety and explored the potential efficacy of CBD use in children with Dravet Syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).
Emerging therapeutic targets in cancer induced bone disease: A focus on the peripheral type 2 cannabinoid receptor
This review aims to provide an overview of findings relating to the role of Cnr2 receptor in the regulation of skeletal tumour growth, osteolysis and bone pain, and highlights the many unanswered questions and unmet needs. The development and testing of peripherally-acting, tumour-, Cnr2-selective ligands in preclinical models of metastatic cancer will pave the way for future research that will advance our knowledge about the basic mechanism(s) by which the endocannabinoid system regulate cancer metastasis, stimulate the development of a safer cannabis-based therapy for the treatment of cancer and provide policy makers with powerful tools to assess the science and therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based therapy. Thus, offering the prospect of identifying selective Cnr2 ligands, as novel, alternative to cannabis herbal extracts for the treatment of advanced cancer patients.
An Australian nationwide survey on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy: History of anti epileptic-drug treatment predicts medicinal cannabis use
Epilepsy Action Australia conducted an Australian nationwide online survey seeking opinions on and experiences with the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of epilepsy. The main reasons for medicinal cannabis use were to manage treatment-resistant epilepsy and to obtain a more favourable side-effect profile compared to standard anti-epileptic drugs. This survey provides an insight into the use of cannabis products for epilepsy, in particular some of the likely factors influencing use, as well as novel insights into the experiences of and attitudes.
Pre-clinical evidence largely shows that CBD can produce beneficial effects in AD, PD and MS patients, but its employment for these disorders needs further confirmation from well designed clinical studies. CBD pre-clinical demonstration of antiepileptic activity is supported by recent clinical studies in human epileptic subjects resistant to standard antiepileptic drugs showing its potential use in children and young adults affected by refractory epilepsy. Evidence for use of CBD in PD is still not supported by sufficient data whereas only a few studies including a small number of patients are available.
Depression and anxiety among chronic pain patients receiving prescription opioids and medical marijuana
High rates of depression and anxiety have been consistently reported among patients suffering from chronic pain. Prescription opioids are one of the most common modalities for pharmacological treatment of pain, however in recent years medical marijuana(MM) has been increasingly used for pain control in the US and in several countries worldwide. Levels of depression and anxiety are higher among chronic pain patients receiving prescription opioids compared to those receiving MM. Findings should be taken into consideration when deciding on the most appropriate treatment modality for chronic pain, particularly among those at risk for depression and anxiety.