More quick hits
The endocannabinoid system forms part of what makes us feel pleasure — from the runner’s high, eating good food, and according to new research singing. Saoirse O’Sullivan’s group at University of Nottingham (UK) examined the effects of singing and dancing on endocannabinoid levels.
The endocannabinoid system is fundamental to addiction, but not in obvious ways. All sorts of cannabinoids appear to have anti-addictive properties: CBD, THCV, Rimonabant, THC.
The kidneys are a workhorse of the body, filtering nutrients from toxins. Oily cannabinoids like THC and CBD slip out of the kidneys’ filtration system, but they stop to interact with cannabinoid receptors that regulate kidney function.
Scientists in at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, briefly review 10 studies that shed light on how CBD might interact with cancer treatments.
Sometimes, science fails to see the tree for the forest. Statistical significance and double-blind trials are important, but so is human experience. Case studies are meaningful. Case studies often portend future discovery. So the case study of two Brazilian brain cancer patients who successfully combined CBD with their cancer treatment should not be dismissed. In their report, Paula Dall’Stella and other doctors in São Paulo describe the typical treatment plan for patients with glioblastoma.
Breast cancers are often classified by the receptors they express. The three most common breast cancer receptors respond to estrogen, progesterone, or epidermal growth factor. The latter include HER2-positive breast cancers. Identifying these receptors facilitates treatment. A study led by scientists in Spain indicates that the
Doctors in the UK recently reported the case of an elderly man who’s lung cancer responded to CBD. The man — being 81 years old — decided against chemotherapy or radiation, which would worsen his quality of life without much hope for extending it. Four months after a CT scan, the tumor cross section had shrunk to nearly one tenth of its initial size! The doctors — obviously surprised — found out that the patient had begun using a CBD oil 2-3 months earlier.
An “orphan receptor” is the term for a receptor in the body whose natural activator is not known.
The first medical use of THC allowed by the FDA was the 1985 approval of isolate THC (Marinol) to treat nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
In clinical research, cannabis is often set up to fail. Federal restrictions privilege studying isolated molecules from cannabis over the plant itself. And even when cannabis research is done, scientists are often forced to use low-quality weed from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
According to a recent study by University of Pensylvannia scientists, there were
small or limited associations between [adolescent] cannabis use and structural brain measures. But even calling the effect small is aggrandizing harms. Their data didn’t support the notion that teens using cannabis causes any changes in the developing brain.
Preclinical studies are supposed to provide precise, controllable, and translational models for human diseases. But the manipulations that researchers use — like injecting a precise dose of THC into a rat — may sometimes miss important points. What if smoking and injection have different effects? How might this bias results? University of Florida researchers asked just that question, studying the effects of injected vs. smoked THC in rats. Injecting low doses of THC impaired memory.