Research on Cannabis January - March 2023
Hemp is a plant known and used for millennia for various ailments. It held an important place in folk and shamanic medicines as well as in early pharmacopeias. By the end of the 19th century, tinctures and medical extracts were available in most pharmacies. Hemp was then criminalized and removed from the list of medicines. Today, we are witnessing the return of hemp-based medicines and a gradual restoration of this plant’s role in medicine. An integral part of incorporating hemp into the list of medicines is scientific research: cohort, epidemiological, interventional, or less commonly, clinical studies. Many of these are conducted on animal models or in vitro – that is, under laboratory conditions outside a living organism. Scientists around the world are trying to uncover the exact mechanisms by which hemp affects various health problems. For many years, new research findings have been announced practically every month.
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January 2023 – Research on THC and CBD
In January, several significant studies were published. The first concerned the relationship between CBD and nicotine, others addressed the relationship between CBD and THC in Indian hemp flowers and their impact on harm reduction, and others analyzed data from the FAERS database on adverse effects related to the consumption of delta-8-THC. In addition, a study appeared in a biological model examining the influence of CBD on the expression of the TRPV2 channel.
Inhibition of Nicotine Metabolism by Cannabidiol (CBD) and 7-Hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD)
This study analyzes the interactions that occur in the human body after the consumption of hemp and nicotine-based products. The main premise of the study is the fact that the pharmacological effect of the simultaneous consumption of nicotine and hemp compounds is virtually unknown, and little research focuses on how CBD affects nicotine metabolism. Since the active substances contained in tobacco and Indian hemp use the same enzymatic pathways for metabolism and detoxification, they may result in undesirable reactions. The study suggests that cannabinoids like THC or CBD may inhibit the overall metabolism of nicotine in tobacco smokers.
Cannabidiol Sensitizes TRPV2 Channels to Activation by 2-APB
This study analyzes the impact of CBD on the activity of the TRPV2 channel, an essential part of biochemical processes in animal organisms. TRPV2 channel expression is vital for proper heart development and function, and in pancreatic β cells, it influences insulin secretion. It mediates various sensations such as pain, temperature, taste, and vision. Researchers suggest that cannabidiol activates TRPV2 channels in rodents with much higher affinity than 2-APB (a natural inhibitor of TRP channels), similar to other compounds derived from Indian hemp, including THC. The study indicates that CBD strongly sensitizes TRPV2 channels to activation by 2-APB in whole cells and excised tissues. This effect is potent, making it a promising experimental manipulation that may help better understand the TRPV2 channel activation mechanism.
Delta-8, an Isomer of Tetrahydrocannabinol Derived from Indian Hemp: Assessment of Data from Case Reports in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)
The aim of this study was to characterize the frequency of adverse effects related to the delta-8-THC compound, reported in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). Delta-8-THC is an isomer of the well-known delta-9-THC, exhibiting psychoactive effects and found in hemp, albeit in small quantities. It’s relatively expensive to obtain, so its synthetic counterpart is often produced, which acts similarly to THC but can be dangerous. In the recreational Indian hemp market, products containing delta-8 are increasingly common and may at first glance resemble the effects of marijuana. Unfortunately, these products, coming from unlicensed sellers, may have a higher likelihood of contamination or fraudulent composition. As of June 30, 2021, the FAERS database listed D8-THC as a suspected drug in 183 cases. The most common events included shortness of breath, respiratory disorders, and seizures. Between 2019 and 2021, there was a twofold increase in the number of reported adverse effects of this substance.
Effects of Cannabidiol Found in Indian Hemp Flowers: Implications for Harm Reduction
The study analyzed the effects of three chemotypes of hemp flowers with varying THC to CBD ratios. The purpose was to determine whether chemotypes with a higher CBD content yield different effects. Participants were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups, each receiving one of 3 varieties (THC-dominant: 24% THC, 1% CBD; THC+CBD: 9% THC, 10% CBD; and CBD-dominant: 1% THC, 23% CBD). A total of 159 regular Indian hemp users were studied. The effects were measured immediately after consumption and 1 hour after administration. Participants who used the CBD-dominant and THC+CBD chemotypes had significantly lower THC levels and more CBD in plasma samples compared to those who used the THC-dominant strains. Those using the THC+CBD chemovar had significantly lower THC concentrations in the plasma and reported fewer adverse effects such as anxiety and unease, feeling an improvement in mood – in contrast to the group receiving the high-THC-potency variety (24%).