Alcohol

The Effect of Cannabidiol on Alcohol

Effects of Cannabidiol on Alcohol-Related Outcomes- A Review of Preclinical and Human Research

In Summary

A review of preclinical research studies has revealed to possible beneficial effects of cannabidiol on alcohol-related outcomes. It was found that cannabidiol (CBD) is able to lessen alcohol consumption although the mechanism is not well understood. CBD may also protect consumers from the negative effects of alcohol use such as liver and brain damage. It is likely that CBD provides these protective effects through its modulation of inflammatory processes. It is recommended that further research is conducted in order to validate these findings and expand upon the knowledge of how CBD interacts with other common substances. 

As cannabis-based products become more widely accepted among the medical community and within society it is imperative that the interactions between cannabis and other drugs are known. Those who wish to use cannabis for certain ailments but are already on other medications may consume cannabis and experience negative side-effects due to the interaction of those drugs. Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids need to be modeled alongside other common medications so that physicians can safely recommend medications and so that pharmacists are able to accurately advise customers when they pick up prescriptions. Research is needed to ensure public safety in this time of evolving medications. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Effect of Cannabidiol on Alcohol
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Brief Interventions by Pediatricians can Reduce Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Understanding Which Teenagers Benefit Most From a Brief Primary Care Substance Use Intervention

In Summary

A recent study has revealed that brief interventions given by primary care physicians can reduce alcohol and drug abuse among at-risk adolescents. This study aimed to address only alcohol and cannabis use disorders in teenagers who already reported the misuse of such substances. Participants were randomly assigned to receive an intervention from their physician or assigned as controls and then asked about their substance use habits 12 months later. Those who received an intervention reported a marked decrease in substance use through self-reporting and chemical screening. This research suggests that pediatricians and other general practitioners should speak candidly about the risks of substance use disorders with their patients. 

Pieces like the featured article highlight the importance of responsible cannabis use. Cannabis is becoming more socially acceptable as states continue to put forth policies that legalize medical and recreational use. Like alcohol and other drugs, cannabis should remain a semi-controlled substance whose availability is restricted by age or other factors so that at-risk youth are unable or less likely to abuse its benefits. State laws currently decide who has access to cannabis but as at-home cultivators become more prominent it will be necessary to ensure the security of those plants to prevent adolescents from misusing plants grown by family or friends. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDBrief Interventions by Pediatricians can Reduce Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Abuse
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Beta-Caryophyllene Oxide Lessens the Sedative Effects of Alcohol

The sesquiterpene beta-caryophyllene oxide attenuates ethanol drinking and place conditioning in mice

In Summary

It has recently been revealed that the terpene beta-caryophyllene and its derivative, beta-caryophyllene oxide, are able to lessen the sedative effects of alcohol while not affecting its pharmacokinetics. Researchers determined that a high dose of ß-caryophyllene oxide was 10 times more effective at reducing the sedative effects than its precursor by conducting a loss of righting reflex (LORR) assay on mice who had been administered a consistent amount of ethanol. Interestingly the caryophyllene compounds were found to act on cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), not directly interact with the ethanol, and therefore not affect the pharmacokinetics of ethanol. This study provides a basis for further analysis of the mechanism for alcohol modulation by the endocannabinoid system. 

The need for research concerning drug interactions with cannabinoids, both endogenous, naturally occurring, or synthesized, is emphasized by this research. Opioid and cannabinoid interactions have been looked into but the results are inconsistent across the board, and very little is known about how cannabinoids interact with other common medications such as ibuprofen, birth control, blood thinners, and alcohol. This research is vital moving forward as state legislature continues to recognize the benefit of medical marijuana and chemists and pharmacists need to recognize how little is known about the mechanism behind the endocannabinoid systems far-reaching effects. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDBeta-Caryophyllene Oxide Lessens the Sedative Effects of Alcohol
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Cannabis Abuse May Be Caused By Genetic Factors

CNR1 and FAAH variation and affective states induced by marijuana smoking 

In Summary

Researchers have recently described how genetic variation determines individual mood state after the consumption of cannabis. The variation of genes may prove useful when attempting to understand either motivation for illicit cannabis use or risk for associated abuse behaviors. Researchers determined participants affect by utilizing tension-anxiety and confusion-bewilderment assessment in order two examine CRN1 and FAAH, two encoding factors for receptors of the endocannabinoid system. Further research should be conducted to elucidate the exact genetic variations so that the risk of abuse can be screened for in individuals. 

The possibility of being able to screen for genetic variations within the endocannabinoid system that affect mood may prove useful when recommending cannabis to particularly anxious patients. ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been known to cause excess anxiety is some patients and exacerbate some mood symptoms. If physicians were able to screen for particularly whose anxiety would be exacerbated by certain cannabinoids then they may be able to help guide the patient towards other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol, or a different method of treatment entirely. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabis Abuse May Be Caused By Genetic Factors
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THC Users Show No Increased Crash Risk

Cannabis use as a risk factor for causing motor vehicle crashes- a prospective study 

In Summary:

A recent study has revealed that drivers who use ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) do not show an increased risk of crashing. Users of THC were also showed a statistically insignificant increased risk of crash responsibility than drivers who tested negative for THC use. Further research should be conducted to include all types of vehicles while excluding those involving drugs of abuse. The results seen in the featured study may have been skewed by the inclusion of drivers who used one or more drugs in combination with cannabis, including alcohol. Accident rates involving just cannabis use may prove to be even less than those found here. 

Driving while under the influence is still very risky, but perhaps the featured research warrants an examination of how to trace the amount of THC effect driving. Adults who are above the legal drinking age can drive as long as they are under a 0.08 blood-alcohol level so theoretically, there may be a level of THC consumption that may be allowed when driving, especially considering the lasting effects of certain consumption methods such as edibles and tinctures. Researchers could possibly create a mechanism, similar to that of a diabetes test, that would prick a driver’s finger and test for various cannabinoid content in their blood. This would obviously have challenges as there is a vast array of natural and synthetic cannabinoids but may be worth looking into as cannabis becomes more popular throughout North America. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDTHC Users Show No Increased Crash Risk
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Cannabis Prevents Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

Cannabis consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A three years longitudinal study in first episode non-affective psychosis patients

A recent study has revealed that cannabis is able to prevent weight gain in psychiatric patients taking antipsychotics. Cannabis was found to have a protective effect against liver steatosis, which is an accumulation of fat in the liver that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. These findings may prove useful when developing improved treatments for schizophrenia as one of the main reasons patients find treatment so difficult to comply with is the weight gain caused by liver steatosis. 

Highlighted in this study is the lack of knowledge surrounding the mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system. In the featured study, the researchers were left uncertain about whether or not the cannabis was acting directly on the liver to prevent steatosis or if cannabis modulates weight indirectly through a related system. If more research concerning cannabis were able to be conducted so that the exact mechanisms underlying the endocannabinoid system could be elucidated than novel therapies could be developed for a slew of ailments. Our lack of knowledge concerning cannabis prevents us from possible developing therapies for treatment-resistant disorders. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabis Prevents Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain
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Binge Drinking While Using Cannabis Affects Brain Structure

Binge and Cannabis Co-Use Episodes in Relation to White Matter Integrity in Emerging Adults

In Summary

Researchers have recently revealed that the co-use of cannabis and alcohol can have deleterious effects on white matter in the brain. White matter integrity is frequently used as a measure of cognitive function and the negative effects of cannabis and alcohol on the white matter suggest a decrease of cognitive function in co-users. These negative effects were especially severe in co-users who frequented binge-drinking patterns. Researchers also found that those who co-used cannabis and alcohol were more likely to abuse more severe substances. These findings may prove useful when recommending cannabis for certain individuals whose cognitive function or abuse patterns are in question.

 This article highlights the nonlinear pattern that the effects of cannabis, meaning that too much cannabis can actually have negative effects rather than positive benefits. A way around negative effects from overindulging on cannabis when looking to alleviate symptoms from an ailment is micro-dosing. Micro-dosing refers to the practice of consuming the minimum amount of cannabis necessary to alleviate symptoms while avoiding possible psychoactive effects or anxiety. Micro-dosing is generally a safer way to ensure proper cannabis dosing as there is very little information or research to suggest a general dose for specific ailments.


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Benjamin Caplan, MDBinge Drinking While Using Cannabis Affects Brain Structure
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Cannabinoid Receptor 2 is Novel Target for Treatment of Alcoholism

Alcohol-induced conditioned place preference is modulated by CB2 cannabinoid receptors and modifies levels of endocannabinoids in the mesocorticolimbic system

In Summary

A recent study has revealed that the endocannabinoid system may provide a novel treatment for alcoholism. Researchers have found that cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is able to modulate the reward pathway for alcohol consumption. Specifically, when CB2 is antagonized or given an inverse agonist it is able to mitigate the positive effects of alcohol consumption. Dampening the positive effects felt when consuming alcohol will hopefully lower the need to drink felt by those suffering from alcohol use disorders. 

This article highlights the potential uses of synthetic cannabinoids and how different synthetic cannabinoids are able to have similar effects despite causing inverse reactions. Two synthetic cannabinoids were utilized for this study, an agonist and an antagonist for CB2, but both managed to minimize the positive effects of alcohol consumption. The only differing effect was that of the CB2 agonist in its ability to also decrease the positive effects felt when consuming food. Stumbling upon this secondary effect may provide a novel treatment for obesity, another prevalent disease in the United States. Further research into how the endocannabinoid system affects bodily processes and the development of synthetic cannabinoids may reveal hundreds of novel therapies. 


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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabinoid Receptor 2 is Novel Target for Treatment of Alcoholism
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Flavonoid-Like Compound, Resveratrol, Treats Non-Alcohol Liver Disease

Resveratrol attenuates high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by maintaining gut barrier integrity and inhibiting gut inflammation through regulation of the endocannabinoid system

In Summary

A recent study has discovered that resveratrol treats high-fat diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by modulating the endocannabinoid system. Resveratrol is a flavonoid-like compound found in grapes and berries that acts as an antagonist on cannabinoid receptors. Due to its antagonistic effect on the endocannabinoid system the compound has similar anti-inflammatory properties to cannabidiol and reduces inflammation associated with NASH, as well as maintaining gut barrier integrity. Further research should conclude the efficacy of this treatment. 

Highlighted in this study is the possible therapeutic benefits of polyphenols, such as flavonoids, due to their antioxidant and protective properties. Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenol found in common fruits, but fruits and other common crops already harvested in the United States are full of polyphenols that have therapeutic benefits. Cannabis plants are full of flavonoids that have been featured in recent literature as novel drug therapies but polyphenols found in a myriad of crops are still undervalued in western medicine and warrant further investigation. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDFlavonoid-Like Compound, Resveratrol, Treats Non-Alcohol Liver Disease
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