Tag: anorexia

Study: Cannabinoids Attenuate Hyperactivity and Weight Loss in Anorexia

According to a new study, cannabinoids can attenuate (reduce the effects of) hyperactivity and body weight loss in activity-based anorexia.

The study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, was epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition characterized by excessive body weight loss and disturbed perceptions of body shape and size, often associated with excessive physical activity”, states the study’s abstract. “There is currently no effective drug-related therapy of this disease and this leads to high relapse rate. Clinical data suggest that a promising therapy to treat and reduce reoccurrence of AN may be based on the use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid (EC) system [such as cannabinoids], which appears dysregulated in AN patients.”

With this in mind, the study “investigated whether cannabinoid agonists can effectively modify anorexic-like behaviors and neuroendocrine changes in rats subjected to a repeated ABA regime in order to mimic the human condition in which patients repeatedly undergo recovery and illness cycle.”

According to researchers; “Our data show that subchronic treatment with both the CB1/CB2 receptor natural agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the synthetic CB1/CB2 receptor agonist CP-55,940 significantly reduced body weight loss and running wheel activity in ABA rats. These behavioral effects were accompanied by an increase in leptin signaling and a decrease in plasma levels of corticosterone.”

The study concludes by stating that; “Taken together, our results further demonstrate EC system involvement in AN pathophysiology and that strategies which modulate EC signaling are useful to treat this disorder, specifically in patients where physical hyperactivity plays a central role in its progression and maintenance.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cagliari in Italy, can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana Passed by Full West Virginia Senate

Medical marijuana would be legal under a bill approved today by West Virginia’s full Senate.

Substitute Senate Bill 386 was passed through its third and final reading today with a 28 to 6 vote, sending it to the House of Representatives. Passage in the House would send it to Governor Jim Justice for consideration.

The proposed legislation would legalize medical marijuana possession and use for those with a qualifying condition who receive a doctor recommendation. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission would be created to oversee a regulated and licensed system of cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Dispensaries would be authorized to distribute cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients.

The measure would allow up to 60 dispensaries to operate throughout the state. The commission overseeing these dispensaries would consist of 17 members, including members of law enforcement, attorneys and medical professionals. According to the bill, the purpose of the commission is to “develop policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner.”

For the purposes of the proposed law, a dispensary is described as “an entity licensed under this article that acquires, possesses, processes, transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers cannabis, products containing cannabis, related supplies, related products containing cannabis including food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments, or educational materials for use by a qualifying patient or caregiver.”

Qualifying medical marijuana conditions under Senate Bill 386 include

(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or

(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:

(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;

(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;

(iii) Severe nausea;

(iv) Seizures;

(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms;

(vi)  Refractory generalized anxiety disorder; or

(vii)  Post traumatic stress disorder

The commission “may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis”, and “may not limit treatment of a particular medical condition to one class of physicians”.

The law would allow minors to become legal medical marijuana patients, though they would need an adult caregiver if they wanted to purchase cannabis or cannabis products from a dispensary.

You can click here for the full text of Senate Bill 386. 

[Side Note: West Virginia’s Senate also passed a resolution today calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana.]

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Study: Cannabis Show Promise in Treatment of Anorexia

By Liam Davenport, Medscape.com (republished with special permission)

anorexia

(Photo: YouthVoices.net).

Impairments in the endocannabinoid system in the brain could play an important role in the development of anorexia nervosa, say Italian researchers, who report findings that point to novel cannabis-based therapeutic strategies for the eating disorder.

In a mouse model of anorexia, the team found not only that the density of cannabinoid receptors was significantly reduced in areas associated with appetite but also that administration of receptor agonists led to increases in body weight and a reduction in interest in exercise.

Roberto Collu, a PhD student in the Division of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Calgiari, Italy, told delegates here at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress that “pharmacological therapies based on drugs that modulate endocannabinoid system signaling might be useful in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.”

Collu began his presentation by noting that although the neurobiology of anorexia nervosa is complex and multifactorial, “it’s clear that dysregulation of appetite-regulating hormones is associated with an alteration of neurotransmitter activity, like the dopaminergic system, but also that an alteration of reward processes seems to contribute to the onset and to the development of this pathology.”

He said that the endocannabinoid system is an “important” neuromodulator system involved in regulating both the homeostatic and hedonic aspects of eating behavior and that the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is expressed in particular in the hypothalamus, which is the “key center” for the homeostatic regulation of feeding.

Collu noted that several previous studies have revealed associations between variants in the CB1 receptor gene and anorexia nervosa. The current study investigates a possible alteration of the endocannabinoid system in the activity-based model of anorexia nervosa in mice.

Activity-based anorexia involves a combination of diet restriction and physical activity that induces an alteration of the behavioral condition and the dysregulation of endocrine function that is similar to the human form of anorexia nervosa.

During the 6-day induction phase of activity-based anorexia, the mice were allowed access to food for 90 minutes per day and were given free access to a running wheel. Body weight, food intake, and running wheel activity (RWA) were measured daily, as were leptin, ghrelin, and corticosterone levels.

At the end of the induction phase, there were significant reductions in endocannabinoid levels in various regions of the brain, including the cortex, the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the hippocampus. Moreover, there were significant reductions in CB1 receptor density in the lateral hypothalamus and the dentate gyrus within the hippocampus.

Administration of the natural CB1/CB2 receptor agents delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at a dose of 0.75 mg/kg led to significant increases in body weight after 6 days. There were also early significant increases in food intake and significant reductions in daily RWA. THC administration was also associated with significant increases in leptin levels in comparison with baseline.

The researchers also administered the synthetic CB1 receptor agonist CP 55,940. They found that the 0.06-mg/kg dose had a similar effect on body weight, food intake, and daily RWA. Furthermore, the compound significantly increased leptin levels and significantly reduced ghrelin levels compared with baseline.

Collu concluded that the results showed that “the endocannabinoid system is involved in the anorexic-like behavior displayed in the activity based anorexia model.

“Administration of CB1 agonists improves, at least partially, the anorexic-like behavior and hormonal dysregulation,” he added.

Session cochair Olga Kazakova, MD, PhD, head of the psychiatric department at the Psychiatric Clinic of Minsk City, Belarus, described the study as “very interesting.” She said that patients with anorexia are hard to treat, adding: “I don’t think that we have any proper drug at the moment for this group of patients.

“What has really impressed me is that they decreased the level of interest in physical activity after administration of this cannabinoid.” Although there are a number of reasons that could account for this, she speculated that it may that the subjects were “more relaxed and do not want to be as active,” she told Medscape Medical News.

Dr Kazakova pointed out that the researchers also found cannabinoid therapy to be effective in the event of relapse.

“So we can say that it improved [outcomes] in the group of mice, but then later, if they had a kind of relapse, it also worked,” she said.

“I think that it sounds really promising, and I’m looking forward to further investigations. I think it’s far, far from [being used] in humans, but for the beginning, I think it’s a very promising start,” Dr Kazakova added.

The research was supported in part by Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research, and the Fondazione Banco di Sardegna. The investigators have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.