SciCombinator

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Concept: Raphael Mechoulam

309

Hair analysis for cannabinoids is extensively applied in workplace drug testing and in child protection cases, although valid data on incorporation of the main analytical targets, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH), into human hair is widely missing. Furthermore, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A), the biogenetic precursor of THC, is found in the hair of persons who solely handled cannabis material. In the light of the serious consequences of positive test results the mechanisms of drug incorporation into hair urgently need scientific evaluation. Here we show that neither THC nor THCA-A are incorporated into human hair in relevant amounts after systemic uptake. THC-COOH, which is considered an incontestable proof of THC uptake according to the current scientific doctrine, was found in hair, but was also present in older hair segments, which already grew before the oral THC intake and in sebum/sweat samples. Our studies show that all three cannabinoids can be present in hair of non-consuming individuals because of transfer through cannabis consumers, via their hands, their sebum/sweat, or cannabis smoke. This is of concern for e.g. child-custody cases as cannabinoid findings in a child’s hair may be caused by close contact to cannabis consumers rather than by inhalation of side-stream smoke.

Concepts: Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoids, Recreational drug use, Raphael Mechoulam

57

Increased medical and legal cannabis intake is accompanied by greater use of cannabis vaporization and more cases of driving under the influence of cannabis. Although simultaneous Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and alcohol use is frequent, potential pharmacokinetic interactions are poorly understood. Here we studied blood and plasma vaporized cannabinoid disposition, with and without simultaneous oral low-dose alcohol.

Concepts: Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoids, Vaporizer, Raphael Mechoulam

17

Cannabis smokers often report that they use the drug to relax or to relieve emotional stress. However, few clinical studies have shown evidence of the stress-relieving effects of cannabis or cannabinoid agonists. In this study, we sought to assess the influence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a main active ingredient of cannabis, upon emotional responses to an acute psychosocial stressor among healthy young adults.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Cannabinoid receptor, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Cannabis smoking, Cannabidiol, Raphael Mechoulam

7

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a serious traffic safety concern in the United States. Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active compound in marijuana. Although blood THC testing is a more accurate measure of THC-induced impairment, measuring THC in oral fluid is a less intrusive and less costly method of testing.

Concepts: United States, Measurement, Psychometrics, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Hashish, Raphael Mechoulam

7

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. Moreover, THC + CBD reduced learning impairment in AβPP/PS1 mice. A significant decrease in soluble Aβ42 peptide levels and a change in plaques composition were also observed in THC + CBD-treated AβPP/PS1 mice, suggesting a cannabinoid-induced reduction in the harmful effect of the most toxic form of the Aβ peptide. Among the mechanisms related with these positive cognitive effects, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids may also play a relevant role. Here we observed reduced astrogliosis, microgliosis, and inflammatory-related molecules in treated AβPP/PS1 mice, which were more marked after treatment with THC + CBD than with either THC or CBD. Moreover, other cannabinoid-induced effects were uncovered by a genome-wide gene expression study. Thus, we have identified the redox protein thioredoxin 2 and the signaling protein Wnt16 as significant substrates for the THC + CBD-induced effects in our AD model. In summary, the present findings show that the combination of THC and CBD exhibits a better therapeutic profile than each cannabis component alone and support the consideration of a cannabis-based medicine as potential therapy against AD.

Concepts: Anti-inflammatory, Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, Raphael Mechoulam, Cannabigerol

5

Spasticity is a common symptom among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study aims to assess the effectiveness and safety of the combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in clinical practice for the treatment of spasticity in MS.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Multiple sclerosis, Cannabinoid receptor, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoids, Raphael Mechoulam

4

Evidence suggests that cannabinoids can prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has also been suggested for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), but evidence is very limited and inconclusive. To evaluate the effectiveness of IV THC in the prevention of PONV, we performed this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with patient stratification according to the risk of PONV. Our hypothesis was that THC would reduce the relative risk of PONV by 25% compared with placebo.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Chemotherapy, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Vomiting, Postoperative nausea and vomiting, Raphael Mechoulam

3

1: To determine whether measured concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in individuals' own cannabis predict their estimates of drug potency and actual titration. 2: To ascertain if these effects are influenced by frequency of use and cannabis type.

Concepts: Cannabinoid receptor, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, Sativex, Raphael Mechoulam

2

Oral cannabinoids (i.e., dronabinol, nabilone) containing the active component of marijuana, delta(Δ)9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are available for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in patients with cancer who have failed to adequately respond to conventional antiemetic therapy. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and safety of oral cannabinoids for patients with CINV.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Antiemetic, Medical cannabis, Nabilone, Raphael Mechoulam

2

This systematic review aims to integrate the evidence on indications, efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of medical cannabinoids in older subjects. The literature search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane Library. We selected controlled trials including solely older subjects (≥ 65 years) or reporting data on older subgroups. 105 (74%) papers, on controlled intervention trials, reported the inclusion of older subjects. Five studies reported data on older persons separately. These were randomized controlled trials, including in total 267 participants (mean age 47-78 years). Interventions were oral tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (n=3) and oral THC combined with cannabidiol (n=2). The studies showed no efficacy on dyskinesia, breathlessness and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Two studies showed that THC might be useful in treatment of anorexia and behavioral symptoms in dementia. Adverse events were more common during cannabinoid treatment compared to the control treatment, and were most frequently sedation like symptoms. Although trials studying medical cannabinoids included older subjects, there is a lack of evidence of its use specifically in older patients. Adequately powered trials are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids in older subjects, as the potential symptomatic benefit is especially attractive in this age group.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Cannabinoid receptor, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabis, Cannabidiol, Raphael Mechoulam