Anti-inflammatory properties

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Decreases Inflammation via the Endocannabinoid System

The role of n-3 PUFA-derived fatty acid derivatives and their oxygenated metabolites in the modulation of inflammation

Researchers have recently unveiled the role of n-3 PUFA-derived fatty acid, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, in the endocannabinoid systems anti-inflammatory and protective effects. The data reported shows that increasing the dietary intake of n-3 PUFA resulted in an increase in endocannabinoid concentrations. It was also found that n-3 PUFA derived endocannabinoids are metabolized by oxidative enzymes and their oxidized forms have higher anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties than the base form of the endocannabinoids. This research includes a possible method for examining the metabolism of these biochemicals, calling for more research to be done to understand the full potential of dietary n-3 PUFA. 

The authors take care to emphasize how little is known about the human body despite centuries of research. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly accepted as an essential part of humans diets which is why it is recommended to consume fatty fish, certain vegetables, or fish oil pills. As well recommended as these dietary supplements are there is still much debate surrounding the specific benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the mechanism behind those benefits. Considering that omega-3 fatty acids act upon the endocannabinoid system to enhance many systems within the body, such as the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and the nervous system, more research is needed to fully dissect the interactions between the endocannabinoid system and n-3 PUFA. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDOmega-3 Fatty Acids Decreases Inflammation via the Endocannabinoid System
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High Flavonoid Content of Dry Birch Leaves Makes for High Antioxidant Potential

Antioxidant Activity of Dry Birch (Betula Pendula) Leaves Extract

In Summary

Plants with high flavonoid content, including but not limited to cannabis, tend to exhibit vast health benefits, including but not limited to anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial applications.

The medicinal use of Betula Pendula, or dry birch leaves dates back as far as Ancient Greece. Birch leaf extracts exhibit anticancer, antifungal, diuretic, antimicrobial, antiflammatory properties, and more. In order to determine the antioxidant capabilities of birch leaf extract, researchers determined flavonoid content in leaves and administered extracts to rats and subsequently analyzed the antioxidant potential of the rats’ plasma. The leaves had a total flavonoid content of 42.5 milligrams per gram and short-term application of extract to rats resulted in enhanced antioxidant potential in their plasma. Chronic application was not as effective as short-term application. Overall, the high flavonoid content of dry birch leaves allows for high antioxidant potential, as well as a range of other health benefits.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDHigh Flavonoid Content of Dry Birch Leaves Makes for High Antioxidant Potential
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Brazilian Medicinal Plant Shows Important Anti-inflammatory Action

Anti-inflammatory activity of Protium spruceanum is associated to immunomodulation and enzymes inhibition

In Summary:

Protium spruceanum, a plant often used in traditional Brazilian medicine, can reduce inflammation. Investigation into the molecular action of the plant shows that treatment using both leaves and branches can result in the inhibition of ROS, NO, NAG, MMP-9, COX-2, and iNOS, all normal mediators of inflammation. Protium spruceanum is one of many plants containing high phenol/flavonoid, terpenoid, and glycoside content that exhibits notable anti-inflammatory properties.

Related image Protium spruceanum with anti-inflammatory activity

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Benjamin Caplan, MDBrazilian Medicinal Plant Shows Important Anti-inflammatory Action
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The Therapeutic Potential of Indenopyrazoles

An overview of the synthetic and medicinal perspectives of indenopyrazoles

In Summary:

 Indenopyrazoles, molecules crucial to many biological signaling pathways, have been found to bind to cannabinoid receptors and seem to exhibit therapeutic properties in a variety of conditions. A review of studies on the molecule describes previously documented antimycobacterial, antipsychotic, anti-tumor, and anti-microbial properties, among others. The molecule has demonstrated moderate affinity for both cannabinoid-1 and cannabinoid-2 receptors, suggesting possible additional anti-inflammatory and anti-neurodegenerative capabilities related to the interactions with these receptors. Further research may uncover additional therapeutic applications and shed light on additional benefits of cannabinoid receptors.

Graphical abstract of actions of indenopyrazoles

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Therapeutic Potential of Indenopyrazoles
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Participants in Cannabis for Chronic Pain Study Describe Life-Changing Results

Restored Self: A Phenomenological Study of Pain Relief by Cannabis

In Summary:

In an Israeli qualitative study investigating the impact of cannabis use on chronic pain patients, all but one of the nineteen study participants experienced pain relief after cannabis use. Participants explained how cannabis allowed them to not just discontinue medications treating their pain, but also medications treating secondary outcomes of their pain, such as poor sleep and anxiety. Patients described feeling “a sigh of relief,” being “reborn” or being saved by cannabis use after years of debilitating pain and medication side effects.

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

The pathway through which cannabis works to combat pain is different from the usual pathways doctors have used for the last 90 years. Prior to the 1930s, cannabis was used routinely, just about everywhere, but political and social agendas kidnapped the medicine and hid it away from most of the mainstream and from routine medical education.

Patients often describe typical pain relievers as adjusting the impact of the pain. Reducing or quieting the pain, softening discomfort, allowing the sufferer to perform previously typical tasks without debilitation or dysfunction. Cannabis, on the other hand, is sometimes described as “taking the sufferer away from the pain,” rather than the other way around. The effects that cannabis can have on the reduction of inflammation, attention, memory, and relaxation, provide a new type of opportunity for relief.

Still, other patients describe the effects of cannabis through a lens of mental focus. Whereas in daily use we typically open a standard set of drawers, some have said, the use of cannabis allows the consumer to open up a different set of draws, and through this adjusted lens, to see discomfort from a different perspective.

For those suffering with chronic pain, years upon years of discomfort, suffering that, when paired with modern medicines, has only met frustration and further discomfort, cannabis is frequently seen as a welcome “sigh of relief.”

different types of  pain
Discussion  from text of research  doc
Sample of text discussing lack of adverse  side effects of cannabis

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Benjamin Caplan, MDParticipants in Cannabis for Chronic Pain Study Describe Life-Changing Results
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Extensive Cannabis Studies Underway Globally

Current Status and Prospects for Cannabidiol Preparations as New Therapeutic Agents

In Summary:

As of 2016, upwards of 60 clinical trials relating to the use of medical cannabis were in progress. The scope of clinical trials included conditions such as anxiety, cocaine dependence, infantile spasms, schizophrenia, solid tumor, and many more. The status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, under the Controlled Substance Act, limits researchers’ ability to freely collect data if they require support from NIH funding. While there are opportunities for researchers to study cannabis and its derivatives with the support of private funds, this typically risks an appearance of sacrificed scientific integrity and independence. Very few private entities would condone research which might shed an unfavorable light on their products. On the other hand, current NIH-funded research requires the use of the national supply of cannabis, a crop well-known to be very limited in quality. Increasingly, more states have been legalizing the medical and recreational use of cannabis in recent years, allowing scientists with more opportunities for private funding in which to shed more light on the vast medicinal benefits of cannabis. Animal models and human trials have pointed toward clinical applications of medical cannabis including anxiety, nausea, seizures, and inflammation, although the array of competing and synergistic compounds within the plant seem to continually open new doors to relief from a large array of illnesses.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDExtensive Cannabis Studies Underway Globally
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Spinal Cord Injury and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Use Cannabis to Manage Symptoms

Cannabis Use in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury or Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Colorado

In Summary:

Spinal cord injury patients report that medical cannabis helped them alleviate many symptoms of their injury including spasticity, pain, sleep disruptions, stress, and anxiety. Traumatic brain injury patients list their reason for use as reducing stress/anxiety and improving sleep. Both groups of patients reported recreational use prior to and following injury for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Caplan and the #MDTake:

Healing from traumatic injuries is never solely a matter of local tissue changes. The injured tissues, and the experience of being injured create ripple effects which can disrupt multiple other organ systems, and the entire experience of normalcy. A chemical stress response is one of the most common (and often adaptive) responses to an injury, but the burden of stress, adapting to a new illness, and associated loss of normalcy and sleep can be disastrous to the process of healing. As anxiety and sleeplessness snowball into daily problems themselves, a kernel of injury sometimes amplifies to become a life-altering change.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDSpinal Cord Injury and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Use Cannabis to Manage Symptoms
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Arthritis Sufferers Lead the Way for Advancing Cannabis as Pain Medicine

A Weedmaps News piece, looking earnestly at cannabis and arthritis. As the title suggests, arthritis sufferers are, indeed, leading the way for advancing cannabis as pain medicine.

“We know cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that functions differently from other drugs like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, steroids, or the biological options that work on the immune system and can present severe side-effects,” Caplan told Weedmaps News. “We don’t see that w/ cannabis”

“There is still not enough of what modern medicine calls the gold standard- randomized trials or review trials that collect multiple studies – but anecdote is not meaningless,” Caplan said.

“Stories we hear from individuals are very meaningful and worthwhile,” Caplan said. “We live in a scientific culture that thinks we should discount anecdotes and only pay attention to the highest quality data, which I think is misleading and not fair.”

Benjamin Caplan, MDArthritis Sufferers Lead the Way for Advancing Cannabis as Pain Medicine
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Cannabinoid Receptors Play Important Roles in Anti-inflammation, Anti-depression, Immune modulation, and HIV support

Cannabinoid receptor 2: Potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation Review

Summary Info:

Previous research and characterization of cannabinoid receptors (CBs) have consistently demonstrated the therapeutic potential for many medical conditions. CB1, the receptor responsible for the intoxicating (and other psychoactive) effects of cannabis, has demonstrated the ability to modulate concentrations of certain other neurotransmitters, giving it the capability of acting as an antidepressant. Additionally, mice lacking CB1 receptors exhibited increased neurodegeneration, increased susceptibility for autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and inferior recovery to some traumatic nerve injuries. The CB2 receptor is generally attributed to support for modulating the immune system and calming some of the body’s natural, core inflammatory signaling systems. Activation of the receptor has been found to associate with neuroinflammatory conditions in the brain, and in appropriate circumstances, can result in the programming of cell death among some immune cells. This effect points toward a role in communication, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, evidence points to CB2 holding significant potential in HIV therapy. Binding partners of CB2 inhibit the HIV-1 infection and help to diminish HIV replication. Historically, these staggering findings have escaped traditional modern medical understanding. Further investigation into the therapeutic potential of cannabis, with respect to the treatment of inflammation, depression, autoimmune diseases, and HIV is at a minimum, clearly warranted for a more comprehensive understanding of effective medical therapy.

Dr Caplan and the #MDTake:

The main points here no longer seem to be investigational trends, but just pillars of Cannabis Medicine that are embarrassingly new, and poorly recognized by the modern medical establishment. While the bulk of consumers, including patients, may not engage with the science on a molecular basis, by iterative or intuitive science, individuals are diligently discovering what forms of cannabis serve their personal interests more effectively. This is, through a scientific lens, a trial-and-error adventure through products, which have various ratios of cannabinoid-receptor activation or inhibition, that ultimately achieves a similar result, which is a clinical relief for a particular ailment. Does the fact that the process does not begin with a clear understanding of the involved receptors and receptor modulators really matter? If one of the primary objectives of Medicine is to treat and/or ease suffering, and the products are built upon a bedrock of chemical safety (misuse, inappropriate, or misinformed production of products notwithstanding), it should not matter that people discover it by happy accident, or through more direct achievement.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabinoid Receptors Play Important Roles in Anti-inflammation, Anti-depression, Immune modulation, and HIV support
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Psychiatric Disorders Reduce Survival Among Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease Patients

Psychiatric comorbidity increases mortality in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases

Summary Information:

A new study finds that a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and/or bipolar disorder increases mortality rates for patients of one of three immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID):

1) multiple sclerosis (MS), or

2) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or

3) rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Depression and bipolar disorder can cause poor health behaviors in patients, as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders are “associated with increased inflammation and immune dysregulation.” Suicide risk and attempts are increased among IMID patients with mental illness, compared with IMID patients who are not also suffering from one of these additional battles. Given that cannabis has shown promise in treating both inflammation and a range of psychiatric disorders, there is reason to be optimistic for further cannabis research to uncover multifunctional treatment options.  

Dr Caplan and the #MDTake:

Clinically, it’s rare to see medical patients who have only one concern. Sure, there are some who are hoping that cannabis will help them to treat seizures, headaches, anxiety, sleep troubles, or terrible back pain, but more often, it is a combination of several troubles that each add to a cumulative tipping point.

Naturally, very few individual systems act alone. When a body part is injured, sleeping (or not sleeping) effects the course of illness. Similarly, feeling less anxious, or improving sleep, may make symptoms of a struggle with consistent headaches seem more tolerable. Even when there aren’t direct connections between symptoms, a treatment which implements a systemic treatment can have multiplied benefits.

Many patients have found that cannabis offers them a way to attack more than one problem, with a single actor. Some with Diabetes are finding that some formulations are not only helping them reduce blood sugar levels, but also reducing appetite. Similarly, some patients with ADD are turning to cannabis options which may help them focus, without their ability to get to sleep at night.

To a related note, many elderly patients are treated with too many medications. Modern Western medical treatment often compels patients into silos of treatments by isolated specialists, who are not always monitoring the patient as a being beyond individual organ systems. Medications, such as cannabis, which have the opportunity to treat more than one system, without multiplying the risk of potential drug-drug interactions presents a much safer approach to care

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Benjamin Caplan, MDPsychiatric Disorders Reduce Survival Among Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease Patients
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