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Cannabis and inflammatory bowel disease – new evidence

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Recent studies suggest that medical cannabis can have a ‘significant’ impact on the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Researchers exploring the effects of cannabis on those with IBD, including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis believe the plant has ‘therapeutic potential’ that ‘must not be neglected’.

Dr. Timna Naftali, gastroenterologist at the University of Tel Aviv, was the first person to explore the effect of medicinal cannabis on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and has studied its impact on both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients.

Writing in the ‘Overview of cannabis-based treatment in Crohn’s disease’ published earlier this, Dr Naftali noted that to date there have only been three small placebo controlled studies.

Two of these showed ‘significant clinical improvement’ but no improvement in markers of inflammation.

Her most recent study of 50 patients with Crohn’s Disease, reported that those who received medical cannabis – of a ratio of four to one CBD and THC – saw their symptoms improve over a period of eight weeks.

Patients reported less diarrhea, reduced abdominal pain, an increase in their appetite and an overall better quality of life.

However, there was no change in the actual inflammation caused by the disease.

Speaking to Cannabis Health, Dr Nafatli said: “This time I not only looked at clinical data, but patients underwent a colonoscopy before and after.

“What we observed is that again, patients felt better, but there was no endoscopic change – the inflammation inside remained as it was before.”

She continued: “It was a short study, only eight weeks, but it could also be said that cannabis improves symptoms.

“Patients taking cannabis say they have less abdominal pain, less diarrhea and can reduce the amount of steroids they are taking. They all say they sleep much better, have a better appetite and generally feel better.”

However, Dr Nafatali believes cannabis does have the potential to treat inflammation, with more studies needed to investigate the effects of the various cannabis compounds.

“We need a lot more research,” she said.

“If you look at the animal and lab studies, it seems that cannabis does have the potential to cure inflammation, but somehow these studies have not yet been translated to human trials – it doesn’t work in humans or we didn’t do it the right way.

“Cannabis has so many different compounds. I’m sure if we managed to isolate the active ingredients in the right ones and the right way of taking it, it can turn out to be a useful treatment.”

In Israel, the Ministry of Health permits the use of medical cannabis for patients with Crohn’s Disease who meet certain criteria, including not responding to any alternative biologic treatments.

Until more research is conducted, Dr Naftali is hesitant to prescribe, seeing its role as largely one of a last resort.

“The main role that cannabis can have at the moment is as a support, either as a bridge for a period until the more effective medicines work, or for people who have such severe disease that they don’t respond to any other medicine,” she added.

“Currently we know that cannabis is very useful for symptomatic improvement, but it cannot replace the real anti-inflammatory treatments.”

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Beckham-backed cannabis brand floats on LSE

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Cannabis firms MGC Pharma and Kanabo became the first two companies to list on the LSE

A UK cannabis company, backed by David Beckham, has been valued in excess of £25 million in its first day trading on the London stock market.

UK-based Cellular Goods has become the first provider of consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids to join the London stock market.

The company has been admitted to the Official List following a significantly oversubscribed initial public offering that raised £13 million before expenses.

More than 6,000 valid applications for shares were received in respect of the IPO. 

Shares will commence trading on the main market of the LSE from 8am on Friday 26 February, under the ticker symbol CBX. 

A total of 260,000,000 ordinary shares have been issued at five pence each to institutional and retail investors, valuing Cellular Goods at a market capitalisation in excess of £25 million.

Cellular Goods was established in August 2018 to develop efficacy-led and research-backed cannabinoid products. 

The initial focus is on premium skincare and topical athletic recovery products to be launched from this autumn. 

Earlier this month it was revealed that former England footballer, David Beckham’s investment firm, DB Ventures had bought a stake in the company.

The firm follows European based MGC Pharma and Israeli firm Kanabo which made history as the first and second companies to list on the LSE this month.

The purpose of the flotation on the LSE is to raise the public profile and provide new funds for the company’s expansion and long-term growth. 

“Cellular  Goods’ debut on the London Stock Exchange is a major step in the company’s development and provides a strong foundation to execute our long-term growth strategy,”commented Alexis Abraham, chief executive officer

“We are delighted with the strong support from a wide range of institutional and retail investors to build premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids under the Cellular Goods brand.” 

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First study of cannabis in veterans with PTSD

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Up to half a million US army veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD in the last 13 years

The first observational study to determine the efficacy of cannabis for veterans with PTSD has gained approval from regulators in the US.

US charity, The Battle Brothers Foundation has received approval to launch an observational study on the use of medical cannabis to help combat PTSD in veterans. 

In conjunction with NiaMedic, a medical data and research company, the study will determine if cannabis treatment will be beneficial in reducing symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD

The two groups received approval to proceed with the study from the national Independent Review Board (IRB), the independent committee that reviews the methods proposed for research to ensure that they are ethical.

“This news could not come at a better time,” Bryan Buckley, founder and president of the board for Battle Brothers Foundation.

“Every day, 22 veterans are dying due to effects of post-traumatic stress from opioid addiction to depression. Through anecdotal experiences, we know that cannabis can alleviate symptoms and provide relief. 

“We appreciate that the IRB recognises the validity of and the need for this study.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, the rate of PTSD among returning service members varies widely across wars and eras. 

In one major study of 60,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 13.5 percent of deployed and non-deployed veterans screened positive for PTSD, while other studies show the rate to be as high as 20 to 30 percent. 

As many as 500,000 US troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD.

The study will enroll 60 California veterans, with moderate or severe PTSD over the next year.

Participants will dose and titrate individually purchased products under their own discretion and will be followed for 90 days to evaluate the safety and efficiency of cannabis on their symptoms. 

Results of the study will be documented and monitored at that time.

The Battle Brothers Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC), a cannabis company founded by disabled United States Special Operations veterans that donates 100 percent of its profits to fund research on the medical use of cannabis for veterans.

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Can CBD improve your fitness?

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Utilising CBD can help boost your fitness routine

The market is full of products which promise weight loss, muscle gain and recovery benefits, with glowing endorsements from all kinds of sportspeople. Here we explore what CBD has to offer.

From reducing risks of conditions such as heart disease to improving overall mood, getting the right amount and right kind of exercise provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.

With the likes of gyms, leisure centres and exercise classes closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have resorted to home workouts for the first time and are looking for the perfect supplement to aid these sessions – could CBD be the one?

 

One of the most popular reasons for using CBD as part of your exercise routine is the effect it has on recovery and pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from a slight niggle or a long-term injury, the remedy has been proven to speed recovery and fight fatigue, with one study finding that by reducing oxidative damage – which is caused by physical stress – CBD can help us recover faster and perform better.

Topical CBD products such as creams can be particularly beneficial to those who are prone to joint pain, by providing highly targeted relief to ensure that those unavoidable twinges don’t negatively impact your overall workout.  

In addition, CBD may also be effective in relieving muscular aches and soreness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2009 study into the effects of cannabinoids on the body found that they can suppress inflammatory response, leading to less tension in the area and, in turn, less of a break needed between your workouts. 

One of the biggest pre-workout struggles is building enough motivation and momentum to get started and keep your routine going. While it hasn’t been shown to be a performance-enhancing product, the research into CBD’s effect on areas such as mental health and sleep quality leads us to believe that it can be a great supplement for breaking down mental barriers.

Several studies have linked CBD to overall improvement in mood, while it has also been well documented that the remedy can effectively ease symptoms of depression thanks to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. While CBD doesn’t necessarily boost these levels, its impact on the brain’s receptors may affect how we respond to the serotonin already in our systems.

Research backs up these claims, with a 2014 animal study finding that CBD’s effect on the receptors produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects – both of which can be extremely helpful when gathering motivation to exercise. 

Too tired for a workout? A review of studies in 2017 found that CBD “may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia”, meaning it’s likely to improve sleep quality, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a workout. 

While research into certain areas is still ongoing, and it’s worth noting that effects will depend on external factors such as dosage, it would appear that CBD has several pre- and post-workout benefits.

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