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IACM-Bulletin of 02 August 2020

IACM: Deadline for submission of abstracts extended for the IACM 2020 Virtual Conference on Cannabinoids – Special sponsoring opportunities

Be part of the innovative project of IACM and AMMCann and share your research in Cannabinoid Medicines at the 11th IACM Conference in November 2020. The format offers sophisticated ways to present your posters and studies online and allows engagement between you and everybody who is interested in the research you do. All selected posters will be available online from 5 November - 15 December 2020, allowing a prolonged visibility and access from all over the world. The conference is integrated into the same platform as a webinar series in October 2020.

Extended deadline for oral abstracts : 31 August 2020
Deadline for posters abstracts: 30 September 2020

This conference format is also extremely interesting for sponsors, because visitors have access 24 hours 7 days a week to their virtual booth and recordings. The only investments they need to do are building their booth with templates and create their content. No travelling, no hotel costs, no booth building, no transportation cost and staff can be anywhere in the world. As sponsors you can be reached as well 24 hours and 7 days a week. The platform allows the possibility to chat with visitors and interact.

Registration
Call for abstracts

Europe: In a preliminary view the EURopean Commission states that industrial hemp is a narcotic drug

The executive body of the EURopean Union froze all applications of hemp extracts and natural cannabinoids under Novel Food regulation, considering them to be narcotic drugs. The EURopean Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) noted that this view if confirmed as “against all reason, the latest scientific literature and the EU green ambitions.” And that this position “is likely to strike the final blow to the sector and deprive farmers from a low maintenance and profitable rotation crop with the potential to bringing environmental benefits.”

After an interservice consultation, the EURopean Commission’s services came to the preliminary conclusion that extracts from industrial hemp varieties of Cannabis sativa L., and thus CBD, qualify as “drugs” in the framework of the EU legislation. This was communicated to companies, operating on the EURopean market that had submitted a Novel Food application under article 10 of Regulation 2015/2283. “This preliminary view stands against any logic and is nothing but unfair (…),” says Mrs Lorenza Romanese, EIHA Managing Director. “Other countries such as the US, Canada, China or Switzerland are making a headway.”

Statement of the EIHA of 27 July 2020

Science/Human: Cannabis effective in the treatment of migraine

According to a study by scientists of the Faculty of Economics of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA, the use of cannabis flowers was effective in the treatment of 699 patients suffering from migraine. Participants recorded real-time details of their cannabis use, including product characteristics and symptom intensity levels on a 0 to 10 scale prior and following self-administration to treat headache-or migraine - related pain in 1328 sessions.

94% of users experienced symptom relief within a two-hour observation window. The average symptom intensity reduction was 3.3 points. Among the product characteristics THC levels of 10% or higher were the strongest independent predictor of symptom relief. Authors concluded that study results “suggest that whole dried cannabis flower may be an effective medication for treatment of migraine- and headache-related pain.”

Stitha SS, Diviant JP, Brockelman F, Keeling K, Hall B, Lucern S, Vigild JM. Alleviative effects of Cannabis flower on migraine and headache. J Int Med 2020 Jul 18. [in press]

Argentina: The country allows cannabis sales in pharmacies and home cultivation

On Wednesday, the Health Minister met with key actors to close details on a draft regulation that will allow for home cultivation of cannabis and the production of oils and topicals by local pharmacies. The measure will also guarantee access to medical cannabis to all patients free of charge, regardless of their health coverage.

Argentina had formally legalized medical cannabis in 2017, but the existing law failed to cover for patients' needs. According to activists and critics, the law’s lack of clarity propelled a legal vacuum that forced patients to either rely on the illicit market or be left without treatment. With this new regulation, Argentina’s federal government will allow for personal cultivation of cannabis to all patients, researchers or users who register in the country’s national cannabis program (REPROCANN). Growers can cultivate through personal means or by the use of a growth network. Personal information regarding growers will remain anonymous. Limits on the number of plants allowed per person have not yet been defined.

Benzinga of 15 July 2020

Science/Human: CBD a safe treatment for cannabis use disorders, study finds

People with cannabis use disorders can safely use cannabidiol, or CBD, to reduce their reliance on the drug, a study published by The Lancet Psychiatry found. Although the Phase 2 study was designed to assess safety -- and not effectiveness -- of CBD for cannabis use disorder, preliminary findings indicate that a daily dose of 400 or 800 milligrams helps people with the condition abstain from using the drug, researchers said.

"Our study provides the first causal evidence to support CBD as a treatment for cannabis use disorders," study co-author Dr Tom Freeman said in a statement. "This is encouraging" because although cannabis addiction affects an estimated 22 million people worldwide, "there are currently no drug treatments for cannabis addiction," said Freeman, director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath in England.

UPI of 28 July 2020

News in brief

France: Fines instead of prison for cannabis use
French police will start hitting users of illicit drugs, especially cannabis, with on-the-spot fines starting in September, Prime Minister Jean Castex said. Spot fines of 200 EURos (233 US dollars) have been tested in several French cities in recent weeks and will now be applied nationwide, he said on Saturday. A French law dating back to 1970 allows for illicit drug use to be punished with up to a year in prison and fined with up to 3,750 EURos, but few users actually do jail time.
Euronews of 25 July 2020

USA: Congress approves CBD and products from industrial hemp for military members
This week, Congress passed an amendment to allow military members the use of hemp and CBD products. “The Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces,” the amendment reads.
The Fresh Toast of 21 July 2020

Science/Human: Prescription stimulant use is higher in US states without medical cannabis laws
Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for adults with 126463 participants prescription stimulant use was higher in states without legal access to medical cannabis for most lesbian, gay and bisexual subgroups.
Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, USA.
Philbin MM, et al. Int J Drug Policy. 2020;84:102861.

Science/Human: Most pain patients believe that cannabis should be legalised for medicinal use
According to a survey with 555 patients in a joint arthroplasty practice 75% were interested to be prescribed cannabis for acute and chronic pain. 77% of patients strongly agree or agree that cannabis should be legalised for medical use.
Colorado Joint Replacement, Denver, CO, USA.
Jennings JM, et al. J Arthroplasty. 2020:S0883-5403(20)30716-6

Science/Human: More young Australians would use cannabis if legal
According to a survey with 3052 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and young adults aged 18 to 25 years it was estimated that 17% of adolescents would try (13%) or use (4%), and 32% of young adults would try (15%) or use (17%) cannabis if it were legal. Among those who reported an intention to try it, 85% of adolescents and 59% of young adults had never used cannabis.
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Leung J, et al. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2020 Jul 29. [in press]

Science/Human: More adolescents were using cannabis in the past month in US states with medical cannabis laws
According to data from the National Study on Drug Use and Health of the years 2013-2016 adolescents residing in states with medical cannabis laws had a high risk for using cannabis in the past month and in the past year.
School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA.
Wong SW, et al. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2020:1-10

Science/Cells: Vitamin D is binding to the vanilloid-1 receptor
Vitamin D is an endogenous partial agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel (vanilloid-1 receptor). Authors noted that vitamin D may “play an important physiological role in addition to its known effects through the nuclear vitamin D receptor pathway,” for example in neuropathic pain.
Alberta Diabetes Institute, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Long W, et al. J Physiol. 2020 Jul 28. [in press]

Science/Human: Cannabis use is associated with improved sexual function in women
According to a survey among 452 women increased frequency of cannabis use was associated with improved sexual function. Women, who reported more cannabis use, reported higher Female Sexual Function Index scores, with improved desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction.
Department of Urology, Stanford University Medical Center, USA.
Kasman AM, et al. Sex Med. 2020:S2050-1161(20)30086-6

Science/Human: Tolerance may develop to the antiepileptic effects of CBD
In a prospective study with 92 patients aged 1 to 37 years with treatment resistant epilepsy, who were treated with a combination of THC and CBD in the ratio of 1 to 20 researchers observed a development of tolerance. Mean follow-up time was 20 months. Tolerance was defined as needs to increase the dose by 30% or more. Tolerance was observed in 25% of patients after a mean duration of 7 months.
Pediatric Neurology Institute, Dana-Dwek Children's Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel.
Uliel-Sibony S, et al. Brain Dev 2020:S0387-7604(20)30183-2.

Science/Animal: Cholesterol regulates pain relieving effects of cannabinoids through glycine receptors
Reduction of membrane cholesterol in the spinal cord significantly reduces pain reduction by a derivative of CBD (DH-CBD), which activates the glycine receptor. Also simvastatin, a medicinal drug which reduces cholesterol levels, decreased pain reduction by DH-CBD. Authors concluded that “spinal cholesterol is critical for the efficacy of glycinergic cannabinoid-induced analgesia.”
Institute on Aging and Brain Disorders, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.
Yao L, et al. Neuropharmacology 2020:108242

Science: A review shows that several constituents of cannabis may have anti-cancer effects
The potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, present in cannabis, were explored in a literature review.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Tomko AM, et al. Cancers (Basel) 2020;12(7):E1985

Science/Animal: Hempseed may reduce fatty liver disease
In a study with rats hempseed lipid fractions alleviated high-fat diet-induced fatty liver disease through regulation of inflammation and oxidative stress.
Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Kaushal N, et al. Heliyon. 2020;6(7):e04422

Science/Cells: CBD increased conventional chemotherapy against ovarian cancer
Research shows the promising potential of CBD microparticles administered in combination with paclitaxel (PTX) for ovarian cancer treatment, “since it would allow to reduce the administered dose of this antineoplastic drug maintaining the same efficacy and, as a consequence, reducing PTX adverse effects.”
Department of Pharmaceutics and Food Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
Fraguas-Sánchez AI, et al. EUR J Pharm Biopharm. 2020:S0939-6411(20)30211-3

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The IACM is holding a free webinar series and a free anniversary online meeting from October to November 2020

All webinars will be held in English with subtitles in German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. All webinars will be available online until March 2021

The anniversary online meeting to celebrate the IACM's 20th anniversary and to honour the 90th birthday of Raphael Mechoulam will be a live session only on the 5th November 2020.

The speakers in the webinar series are Donald I. Abrams, Bonni Goldstein, Franjo Grotenhermen, Manuel Guzmán, Raphael Mechoulam, Kirsten Müller-Vahl, Roger Pertwee, Daniele Piomelli, and Ethan Russo.

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The 12th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from 14 to 16 October 2021.

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