The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.
As cancer therapies improve, patients are living longer. With these improvements in therapy comes a responsibility to optimize patients’ quality of life during cancer therapy and beyond. Although clinical trials are difficult to conduct because of the political and social stigma of this class of drugs, this review provides evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treatment of pain and nausea.
Standardized Cannabis sativa extract attenuates tau and stathmin gene expression in the melanoma cell line
Metastasis is the main cause of death in patients with melanoma. Cannabis-based medicines are effective adjunctive drugs in cancer patients. Tau and Stathmin proteins are the key proteins in cancer metastasis. Here we have investigated the effect of a standardized Cannabis sativa extract on cell migration and Tau and Stathmin gene expression in the melanoma cell line. C. sativa decreased tau and stathmin gene expression and cancer metastasis. The results may have some clinical relevance for the use of cannabis-based medicines in patients with metastatic melanoma.
Medical cannabis patterns of use and substitution for opioids & other pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances; results from a cross-sectional survey of authorized patients
A 239-question cross-sectional survey was sent out via email in January 2017 to gather comprehensive information on cannabis use from Canadian medical cannabis patients registered with a federally authorized licensed cannabis producer, resulting in 2032 complete surveys. The findings provide a granular view of patient patterns of medical cannabis use, and the subsequent self-reported impacts on the use of opioids, alcohol, and other substances, adding to a growing body of academic research suggesting that increased regulated access to medical and recreational cannabis can result in a reduction in the use of and subsequent harms associated with opioids, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
Several recent findings suggest that targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system can be considered as a potential therapeutic approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The present study supports this hypothesis demonstrating that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) botanical extracts, as well as the combination of both natural cannabinoids, which are the components of an already approved cannabis-based medicine, preserved memory in AβPP/PS1 transgenic mice when chronically administered during the early symptomatic stage.
Cannabis sativa L. is possibly one of the oldest plants cultivated by man, but has remained a source of controversy throughout its history. Cannabis historians of the past have provided promising clues to potential treatments for a wide array of currently puzzling medical syndromes including chronic pain, spasticity, cancer, seizure disorders, nausea, anorexia, and infectious disease that remain challenges for 21st century medicine.
Current status of cannabis treatment of multiple sclerosis with an illustrative case presentation of a patient with MS, complex vocal tics, paroxysmal dystonia, and marijuana dependence treated with dronabinol
Pain, spasticity, tremor, spasms, poor sleep quality, and bladder and bowel dysfunction, among other symptoms, contribute significantly to the disability and impaired quality of life of many patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical trials of cannabis plant extracts and synthetic delta9-THC provide support for therapeutic benefit on at least some patient self-report measures.
An accumulating body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB(1), CB(2)) play a significant role in physiologic and pathologic processes, including cognitive and immune functions. While the addictive properties of marijuana, an extract from the Cannabis plant, are well recognized, there is growing appreciation of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in multiple pathologic conditions involving chronic inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV-1 infection, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease to name a few), mainly mediated by CB(2) activation.
After the elucidation of the chemical structure of cannabidiol in 1963, the initial studies showed that cannabidiol was unable to mimic the effects of Cannabis. The last five years have shown a remarkable increase in publications on cannabidiol mainly stimulated by the discovery of its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects. These studies have suggested a wide range of possible therapeutic effects of cannabidiol on several conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory diseases, nausea and cancer.
The pharmacology, therapeutic uses, safety, drug-drug interactions, and drug-disease interactions of medical marijuana are reviewed, and the legal issues related to its use and the implications of medical marijuana for the pharmacist are presented. Several states have legalized the use of marijuana for chronic and debilitating medication conditions. Pharmacists need to understand the complex legal framework surrounding this issue so that they can protect themselves and better serve their patients.