Fwd: [en2] IACM-Bulletin of 26 September 2010

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David Knowles

Oct 5, 2010, 11:51:24 AM10/5/10
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Subject: [en2] IACM-Bulletin of 26 September 2010
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IACM-Bulletin of 26 September 2010

***Conference in September 2011***
The next IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine will be
held from 8 to 10 September 2011 in cooperation with the
European Workshop on Cannabinoids at the University of Bonn.
The conference will start on Thursday afternoon (8 September)
and end with an evening dinner on Saturday (10 September). The
conference website for registration and submission of abstracts
with a preliminary program will be online by November 2010. The
deadline for the submission of abstracts will be 31 May 2011.
Registration fees will be 240 Euros (reduced to 180 Euros for

* Science: Cannabidiol beneficial in social anxiety disorder in a
small clinical study
* Science: Cannabis extract effective in bladder dysfunction in
clinical study
* UK: Re-thinking cannabis prohibition: proposals by a British
cannabis expert


Science: Cannabidiol beneficial in social anxiety disorder in a small
clinical study

A small clinical study was conducted at the Division of Psychiatry
of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, with 10 patients suffering
from generalized social anxiety disorder. In the first session,
subjects were given an oral dose of cannabidiol (CBD) (400 mg)
or placebo, in a double-blind procedure. In the second session, the
same procedure was performed using the drug that had not been
administered in the previous session. Regional cerebral blood flow
at rest was measured by an established method (Single Photon
Emission Computed Tomography, SPECT) during each session.

Relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly
decreased subjective anxiety. CBD also caused changes in
regional cerebral blood flow. Researchers concluded that "these
results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD [social anxiety
disorder] and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic
and paralimbic brain areas."

(Source: Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, Wichert-Ana L,
Duran F, Marti N-Santos RO, Simões MV, Bhattacharyya S,
Fusar-Poli P, Atakan Z, Santos Filho A, Freitas-Ferrari MC,
McGuire P, Zuardi AW, Busatto G, Hallak JE. Neural basis of
anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social
anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2010
Sep 9. [in press])


Science: Cannabis extract effective in bladder dysfunction in
clinical study

At hospitals in the UK and Belgium 135 patients with multiple
sclerosis and overactive bladder were included in a double-blind
placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial to study the effect of the
cannabis extract Sativex. During 8 weeks they received either the
extract or a placebo.

There was only little difference between the cannabis extract and
placebo on the primary endpoint, the reduction in daily number of
urinary incontinence episodes from baseline to end of treatment.
Four out of seven secondary endpoints were significantly in
favour of Sativex: number of episodes of urinations (voids) during
the night, overall bladder condition, number of voids/day and
Patient's Global Impression of Change. Authors concluded:
"Although the primary endpoint did not reach statistical
significance, we conclude that Sativex did have some impact on
the symptoms of overactive bladder in patients with MS, providing
evidence of some improvement in symptoms associated with
bladder dysfunction in these subjects."

(Source: Kavia RBC, De Ridder D, Constantinescu CS, Stott CG,
Fowler CJ. Randomized controlled trial of Sativex to treat
detrusor overactivity in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 2010 Sept 9
[in press])


UK: Re-thinking cannabis prohibition: proposals by a British
cannabis expert

During the British Science Festival from 14 to 19 September 2010,
Dr. Roger Pertwee, Professor of Neuropharmacology at the
University of Aberdeen, suggested a change in cannabis policy.
We need to discuss licensing the recreational use of cannabis, he
said. "At the moment, cannabis is in the hands of criminals and I
think it's kind of crazy. We're allowed to take alcohol. If it's
properly handled, cannabis probably won't be more dangerous
than that."

Professor Pertwee, who is an eminent expert on cannabis and
cannabinoids for 40 years, is a former President of the
International Cannabinoid Research Society and a former
Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid
Medicines. He says that a group should be set up with expert
pharmacologists, lawyers and police, amongst others, to thrash out
the issue. He wants the "social, ethical, legal and economic
factors in addition to current medical and pharmacological" factors
to be taken into account: "We need a better solution than we have
now." "You need to avoid younger people taking it: perhaps have
a minimum age of 21. You might have to have it licensed so that
you can only take it if it's considered medically safe for you to do
so. We have car licences, so why not cannabis licences?" he said.
Professor David Nutt, former chairman of the Advisory Council
on the Misuse of Drugs, said: "I welcome this attempt by the
UK's leading expert on cannabis to bring rationality to the debate
on its legal status."

More at:
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/14/cannabis-

(Sources: British Science Association, The Guardian of 14
September 2010)


News in brief

*** Science: Pain
Researchers of the University of Texas, USA, investigated the
effects of THC (dronabinol) on the pain of 7 patients with spinal
cord injury and neuropathic pain in a double-blind, crossover
study. THC was compared with diphenhydramine as an active
control. Change of pain did not differ between the two
medications. Authors concluded that "on average, dronabinol was
no more effective than diphenhydramine for relieving chronic
neuropathic pain below the level of injury." (Source: Rintala DH,
et al. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2010;89(10):840-8.)

***Austria: Conference
On 29 to 31 October 2010 the first Austrian Conference on
Cannabis Medicine will be held during the hemp exhibition Cultiva.
The speakers are Kurt Blaas, Sinisa Katanic, Marco van de
Velde, Alfred Springer, Kathrin Höner Snoeken, Lutz Musner,
Birgit Kraft, Lorenzo Nissen, Alexandra Dolezalova, Bernd
Fiebich, Gabriela Hammel, René Kurz, Jörg Fachner, Rudolf
Brenneisen, Christian Rätsch, Peter Rausch und William
Courtney. More information at http://www.cultiva.at. (Source:
Press release of 16 September 2010 by Cultiva)

***USA: Michigan
There are increasing numbers of applications for a registration to
use cannabis for medicinal purposes, representatives of the
Michigan Department of Community Health said on 21
September. They received 56,513 applications for its registry of
authorized users in the past 19 months, including new applications
and renewals. It has a policy to approve or deny applications in 15
days. The health department is thousands of applications behind
and now allows applicants who have waited at least 20 days to
show a copy to law enforcement. (Source: Detroit Free Press of
22 September 2010)

***USA: California
A coalition of medical cannabis advocates came out 21
September against a California ballot initiative that would legalize
the drug for recreational use and tax its sales. Proposition 19
would inadvertently harm the most vulnerable patients by allowing
local governments to prohibit the sale and purchase of cannabis in
their cities, California Cannabis Association members said. In
contrast, supporters of Proposition 19 said it explicitly protects the
rights of patients and would provide them with safer and easier
access to the drug by creating a strictly controlled, clearly defined
legal system for cannabis cultivation, distribution and sales.
(Source: Associated Press of 21 September 2010)

***Spain: Call for legalisation
In Spain's most important newspaper, El País, the country's
former drug commissioner, Araceli Manjón-Cabeza, called for an
end to drug prohibition. Manjon-Cabeza's call for legalisation
comes just a week after former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe
González also called for drug legalisation. "Prohibitionism, installed
in the United States at the beginning of the 20th Century, and
imposed by that country on the rest of the planet, has failed,"
Manjon-Cabeza wrote. "There are multiple law enforcement and
public health reasons that recommend legalization." (Source: El
País of 22 September 2010)

***Science: Pain
Scientists of the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France,
demonstrated that the vanilloid-1-receptor is involved in the pain-
relieving effects of acetaminophen. (Source: Mallet C, et al. PLoS
One 2010;5(9). pii: e12748.)

***Science: Pain
According to research at the University of California, USA, a
blocker of anandamide degradation reduced pain in a rodent
model of peripheral nerve injury and inflammation. This effect
was mediated by activation of peripheral CB1 receptors. (Source:
Clapper JR, et al. Nat Neurosci. 2010 Sep 19. [in press])

***Science: Pain
According to research at the Virginia Commonwealth University
in Richmond, USA, a selective CB2 receptor agonist (O-3223)
reduced pain and inflammation in several animal models of pain
without causing behavioural effects typical for CB1 receptor
activation. (Source: Kinsey SG, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2010
Sep 14. [in press])

***Science: THC and nabilone
According to research at the University of Kentucky, USA, THC
and nabilone caused similar behavioural effects in 6 cannabis
users who received different doses of nabilone (1, 2, 3, and 5 mg)
and of THC (5, 10, 20, and 30 mg). Authors noted that this
overlap of effects is "likely due to their shared mechanism as CB1
receptor agonists." (Source: Lile JA, et al. Clin Neuropharmacol.
2010 Sep 6. [in press])

***Science: Endometriosis
Researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee, USA,
investigated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the
pain associated with
endometriosis. In a rat model they found that CB1 receptor agonists decrease,
whereas CB1 receptor antagonists increase, endometriosis-associated
hyperalgesia. They suggest that these observations provide "a
novel approach for the development of badly-needed new
treatments." Endometriosis is a medical condition in women in
which endometrial-like cells appear in areas outside the uterine
cavity. (Source: Dmitrieva N, et al. Pain. 2010 Sep 10. [in press])

***Science: Bone marrow
According to research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
USA, endocannabinoids are expressed in bone marrow and play a
role in the interaction of stem cells of the blood and the
environment of bone marrow. (Source: Jiang S, et al. J Biol
Chem. 2010 Sep 7. [in press])

International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM)
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David Knowles

Safe Access to Medical cannabis in the US Virgin Islands
Decriminalize possession for
responsible adults
Agricultural Hemp

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