Connect with us

Science

Number of cannabis research papers hits all-time high in 2021

Almost 4,000 scientific research papers were published on cannabis this year.

Published

on

Cannabis research papers
Almost 4,000 scientific papers were published on the subject of cannabis in 2021.

According to US-based organisation, NORML, this year saw a record number of scientific research papers published on cannabis.

The US group, which advocates for cannabis reform, carried out a keyword search of the National Library of Medicine/PubMed.gov website.

Results showed that in the first 11 months of 2021, researchers worldwide published almost 4,000 scientific papers on the subject of cannabis – a record number according to the organisation.

Throughout 2020 more than 3,500 papers on cannabis were published in peer-reviewed journals. At the time, this was the most ever in a single year.

The annual number of papers published appears to be increasing year on year, and since 2010, NORML estimates that scientists have published around 27,000 peer-reviewed papers specific to cannabis.

By comparison, researchers published fewer than 3,000 total papers about marijuana in the years between 1990 and 1999 and fewer than 2,000 total studies during the 1980s.

In a 2018 study, which explored the trends in cannabis-related publications, investigators reported that the total number of peer-reviewed publications dedicated to medical cannabis has increased nine-fold since the year 2000.

PubMed.gov now cites a total of over 38,5000 scientific papers on cannabis.

In a statement on the NORML website, its deputy director, Paul Armentano said it was time to “stop assessing cannabis through the lens of what we don’t know” and for “evidence-based discussions” to take place.

“Despite claims by some that marijuana has yet to be subject to adequate scientific scrutiny, scientists’ interest in studying cannabis has increased exponentially in recent years, as has our understanding of the plant, its active constituents, their mechanisms of action, and their effects on both the user and upon society,” Armentano commented.

READ MORE  Could the endocannabinoid system and CBD help with treating SAD?

“It is time for politicians and others to stop assessing cannabis through the lens of ‘what we don’t know’ and instead start engaging in evidence-based discussions about marijuana and marijuana reform policies that are indicative of all that we do know.”

 

Science

CBN discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s, say researchers

A new study suggests CBN has the potential for treating age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Published

on

CBN shows potential for Alzeimer's

More findings on the cannabinoid CBN could lead to the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, say researchers.

A new study by scientists at the Salk Institute in California, suggests CBN has the potential for treating age-related neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

Derived from the cannabis plant, CBN is similar to THC, but is not psychoactive and is less heavily regulated by bodies such as the FDA. 

Previous research by senior author Pamela Maher, a research professor and head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, found that CBN had neuroprotective properties, but it wasn’t clear how it worked. 

Now, these new findings, published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, explain the mechanism through which CBN protects brain cells from damage and death.

“We’ve found that cannabinol protects neurons from oxidative stress and cell death, two of the major contributors to Alzheimer’s,” says Maher.

“This discovery could one day lead to the development of new therapeutics for treating this disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s disease.”

Maher’s team looked at the process of oxytosis, which is thought to occur in the ageing brain, and which growing evidence suggests may be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. 

In the study, the scientists treated nerve cells with CBN, and then introduced an agent to stimulate oxidative damage.

They found that the CBN worked by protecting mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouses, within the neurons. In damaged cells, oxidation causes the mitochondria to curl up like donuts—a change that’s also been seen in ageing cells taken from the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. 

READ MORE  CBGA may be 'more potent' than CBD against seizures in Dravet syndrome

However, treating cells with CBN prevented the mitochondria from curling up and kept them functioning well.  

To confirm the interaction between CBN and mitochondria, researchers then replicated the experiment in nerve cells that had the mitochondria removed. In these cells, CBN no longer demonstrated its protective effect.

“We were able to directly show that maintenance of mitochondrial function was specifically required for the protective effects of the compound,” Maher said.

Potential for other diseases

In another key finding, researchers showed that CBN did not activate cannabinoid receptors, which are required for cannabinoids to produce a psychoactive response. Thus, CBN therapeutics would work without causing the individual to become “high.”

First author Zhibin Liang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Maher lab, said: “CBN is not a controlled substance like THC, the psychotropic compound in cannabis, and evidence has shown that CBN is safe in animals and humans. And because CBN works independently of cannabinoid receptors, CBN could also work in a wide variety of cells with ample therapeutic potential.”

In addition to Alzheimer’s, the findings have implications for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, which is also linked to glutathione loss.

“Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in changes in various tissues, not just in the brain and ageing, so the fact that this compound is able to maintain mitochondrial function suggests it could have more benefits beyond the context of Alzheimer’s disease,” Maher said.

She added that the study shows the need for further research into CBN and other lesser-studied cannabinoids.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Home » Science » Number of cannabis research papers hits all-time high in 2021

READ MORE  Placebo effect of CBD could boost pain-relieving benefits
Continue Reading

News

New studies examine effects of THC and CBD on stroke

New data suggests both positive and negative effects of cannabis in stroke patients

Published

on

A new study has shown that pre-treatment CBD may have a neuroprotective effect in stroke patients.

The study aimed to investigate the effect of CBD on oxidative stress and cell death which occurs in ischemic stroke patients.

It revealed that the cannabinoid may reduce the destructive effects of cell damage associated with stroke.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. They occur when a blood clot blocks a flow of oxygen or blood to the brain. This takes place in arteries that have been narrowed or blocked over time by fatty deposits (plaques). The most common symptoms of a stroke include facial drooping on one side, not being able to lift your arms and slurred speech.

If this occurs, it is vital that a person be taken to the emergency room immediately.

The National Institute of Health Care and Excellence (NICE) estimate that there are around 100,000 strokes every year in the UK. It is also thought that 1.3 million people live with the effects of a stroke.

Stroke recovery and CBD results

The Study showed that CBD reduced the amount of infarction in those samples which had been given the cannabinoid. Infarction refers to the death of tissue as a result of a lack of blood supply and is commonly due to a blood vessel being obstructed or narrowed.

There were also differences in malondialdehyde level (MDA) – a common marker of oxidative stress – between the brains of the CBD group and the vehicle group.

It also revealed that CBD may help to protect tissue by preventing further damage.

READ MORE  Does CBD affect driving? Researchers aim to find out

THC and stroke risk

Another recent study examined the effect that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could have on strokes. It found that it may increase the risk of a certain type of stroke among cannabis consumers.

According to findings, cannabis consumers who experience a stroke known as an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH), are twice as likely to develop further complications.

An aSAH occurs when a weakened blood vessel bursts on the surface of the brain leading to bleeding between the brain and tissue that covers it. It can result in neurological disabilities, long-term slurred speech or even death. It is estimated that aSAH affects around eight people per 100,000 of the population each year, accounting for six per cent of first strokes.

The study by the American Stroke Association suggested there is twice the risk of developing delayed cerebral ischemia for cannabis consumers. The researchers analysed data from 1,000 patients who had received treatment for bleeding over a 12 year period. In the group of participants, 36 per cent developed cerebral ischemia and 50 per cent had moderate to severe disabilities.

When comparing the results of patients who tested positive for THC with those who did not, they found cannabis consumers were 2.7 times more likely to develop cerebral ischemia. They were also 2.8 times more likely to develop long-term moderate to severe physical disabilities.

However, compared to those who tested negative for THC, the cannabis group did not have larger aneurysms, higher blood pressures or worse stroke symptoms when admitted to the hospital. They did not have any higher cardiovascular risk factors than the negative group.

READ MORE  Endometriosis & cannabis medicines: What does the research say?

Researchers are now conducting further studies in which they hope to better understand if THC can impact aneurysm formation and rupture.

Stroke: A banner advert for cannabis health news sign ups

Continue Reading

News

New study shows CBD may prevent Covid-19 infection

Researchers are calling for more trials to determine if CBD could be a preventative or early treatment for the virus.

Published

on

Covid: A covid infection

Researchers are recommending clinical trials to examine if CBD could help to prevent Covid infection after more positive findings have been published.

Researchers from the University of Chicago have reported that CBD may stop the infection of Covid-19 by blocking its ability to replicate in the lungs.

A number of cannabinoids including CBD and THC were tested along with 7-Hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD) which is thought to be produced when cannabidiol is processed by the body.

The study found that CBD showed a significant negative association with SARS-CoV-2 positive tests in a national sample of patients who were taking  high doses of CBD, prescribed for epilepsy.

As a result of their findings, researchers are calling for more clinical trials to determine whether CBD could eventually be used as a preventative or early treatment for the virus.

Covid- Covid infection

Covid and CBD study

Researchers treated human lung cells with a non-toxic dose of CBD for two hours before exposing the cells to SARS-CoV-2 and monitoring them for the virus and the viral spike protein.

They found that, above a certain threshold concentration, CBD inhibited the virus’ ability to replicate.

Further investigation found that CBD had the same effect in two other types of cells and for three variants of SARS-CoV-2 in addition to the original strain.

CBD did not affect the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to enter the cell. Instead, CBD was effective at blocking replication early in the infection cycle and six hours after the virus had already infected the cell.

Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 affects the host cell by hijacking its gene expression machinery to produce more copies of itself and its viral proteins. This effect can be observed by tracking virus-induced changes in cellular RNAs. High concentrations of CBD almost completely eradicated the expression of viral RNAs.

READ MORE  'I was a shadow of a person, then medical cannabis changed my life'

When it came to the other cannabinoids, CBD was found to be the only potentially potent agent. There was no or limited antiviral activity noted by the similar cannabinoids including THC, CBDA, CBDV, CBC or even CBG.

Marsha Rosner, PhD, professor and senior author of the study said it was a completely unexpected result, she commented: “CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, so we thought that maybe it would stop the second phase of COVID infection involving the immune system, the so-called ‘cytokine storm.’ Surprisingly, it directly inhibited viral replication in lung cells.

She added: “We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system. No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did.”

The researchers do caution that this is not possible with commercially available CBD. The CBD tested was high-purity and also medical grade.

However, Rosner cautioned:  “Going to your corner bakery and buying some CBD muffins or gummy bears probably won’t do anything. The commercially available CBD powder we looked at, which was off the shelf and something you could order online, was sometimes surprisingly of high purity but also of inconsistent quality. It is also hard to get into an oral solution that can be absorbed without the special, FDA-approved formulation.”

CBD and Covid studies

This is the second study to be released showing the potential for cannabinoids in Covid management and prevention.

A study by Oregon State University has revealed that the compounds cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), may have the ability to prevent the virus that causes Covid-19 from entering human cells.

READ MORE  Cannabinoid clinical trials - where, what and how?

Researchers and scientists, led by Richard van Breedan, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a step in the process the virus takes for infection.

Targeting compounds that block the virus-receptor interaction has been helpful for patients with other viral infections such as HIV-1 and hepatitis.

The researchers and scientists identified the two cannabinoid acids through a screening technique, developed previously in van Breeman’s laboratory. The team also screened different botanicals such as red clover, hops, wild yam and three types of liquorice.

Continue Reading

Trending