All posts tagged: Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The Endocannabinoid System’s Effect on the Cerebellum is a Drawback for Anti-Inflammatory Meds

Title: Monoacylglycerol lipase blockade impairs fine motor coordination and triggers cerebellar neuroinflammation through cyclooxygenase-2

Researchers are constantly considering how cannabis may impact the human brain, for better or worse. A recently published work points out a negative effect on the cerebellum, caused by the inhibition of the main enzyme that is used to break down the endocannabinoid “2- arachidonoylglycerol” (2-AG). By inhibiting the degradation of 2-AG, more of the endocannabinoid is allowed to remain in, and act upon, the human nervous system. This abundance of 2-AG results in reduced synthesis of prostaglandins, which produces an anti-inflammatory effect.

Unfortunately, the abundance of 2-AG also results in motor coordination deficits related to the effect on the cerebellum, but the addition of a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor (commonly found in many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications) reverses these cerebellar deficits. 

This highlights the far-reaching capabilities of the endocannabinoid system and at least one powerful angle where researchers could develop medications to indirectly impact the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids are still a politically hot topic, but synthesizing drugs that alter the level of endogenous cannabinoids available in the body is an ideal way to study the endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic benefits, without engaging with the red tape that surrounds cannabis. The receptors mechanisms for the endocannabinoid system certainly warrants further investigation.

Tweet: Researchers have recently revealed the negative effects on the #cerebellum caused by the inhibition of the main enzyme utilized for the degradation of the #endocannabinoid 2- arachidonoylglycerol (#2-AG). Learn more at

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Endocannabinoid System’s Effect on the Cerebellum is a Drawback for Anti-Inflammatory Meds
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Medicinal Value of Citrus Peels

Citrus peels waste as a source of value-added compounds: extraction and quantification of bioactive polyphenols

Previous analysis of citrus peels has demonstrated high content of biologically active polyphenols, with significant quantities of flavonoids and phenolic acids present. Both these compounds have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-allergic, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial properties.

A recent paper points out that citrus peel waste alone makes up nearly 50% of wet fruit mass discarded as waste and proposes extraction of polyphenols to minimize waste. The bioactive substances in peels can be used in dietary supplements, cosmetics, food products, and pharmaceutical products.

Citrus peels contain significant polyphenols, compounds which have health benefits ranging from antioxidant to anticancer. Polyphenols are also found in large quantities in cannabis, undoubtedly contributing to it many of its well-known health benefits. 

Image result for citrus peel eating

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Benjamin Caplan, MDMedicinal Value of Citrus Peels
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Between Bitter and Sweet Honey, from Algeria Mediterranean Coast, Different Flavonoid Content Contributes to Distinct Antioxidant Potentials

Characteristics of the bitter and sweet honey from Algeria Mediterranean coast

Previous research on honey and its historical use in traditional medicine has pointed toward its therapeutic application for the immune system, anemia, and heart function, among other conditions.

Two kinds of honey harvested from the Algeria Mediterranean coast, so-called poly-floral sweet honey and uni-floral bitter honey, have demonstrated their many medicinal uses. In a comparative analysis of the two kinds of honey, bitter honey had higher flavonoid content, lower sucrose content, and higher total polyphenols and tannins levels, giving it an increased antioxidant potential over sweet honey.

Additional Point: Factors including a higher flavonoid content in uni-floral bitter content gives it an improved antioxidant potential over poly-floral sweet honey. This makes for a wide variety of clinical benefits, including treatment of anemia, colon cancer, improved immune function, and more.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDBetween Bitter and Sweet Honey, from Algeria Mediterranean Coast, Different Flavonoid Content Contributes to Distinct Antioxidant Potentials
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Topical Cannabis to help heal chronic wounds

Another thoughtful piece by Abbie Rosner at Forbes, reviewing the healing of chronic wounds with topical cannabis treatments.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/abbierosner/2019/07/09/cannabis-based-medicine-a-breakthrough-for-healing-intractable-chronic-wounds/#7b1362bf9387

Benjamin Caplan, MDTopical Cannabis to help heal chronic wounds
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One theory for why cannabis affects people differently

Something still not entirely understood is why cannabis affects people differently. A study looking at THC interactions in the brain show that rewarding and adverse effects are produced by anatomically different areas. Individual experiences likely differ due to genetic variation.

http://bit.ly/2Jnjg8q 

Benjamin Caplan, MDOne theory for why cannabis affects people differently
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Cannabis is a Safe and Effect for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia 

A recent study has concluded that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and issues sleeping. Cannabis is well known for its ability to treat pain, especially in lieu of opioids as the side effects are minimal and the risk of addiction minimal. This study found that over 200 patients were greatly benefited by cannabis as it moderated their pain and improved their mood. Future studies should aim to directly compare cannabis-based treatment with the currently accepted methods of fibromyalgia treatment to validate efficacy. 

This study highlights how beneficial cannabis can be for those patients who are treatment-resistant for the general treatment of most disorders, especially when pain is involved. Cannabis has been proven to be much safer than opioids, and yet our lack of complete information, concerning the exact mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system and how different cannabinoids act on those mechanisms severely limits our ability to offer practical, novel therapies. Cannabis has previously been shown to be beneficial for treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy and depression, which holds promise when continuing to look for novel treatments for other disorders that have proven difficult to treat. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabis is a Safe and Effect for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
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A Report on the Psychiatric Effects of Cannabis Demonstrates the Progress and the Gaps in Cannabis Knowledge

Psychiatric effects of cannabis 

A report published by the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2001 demonstrates the progress the medical community has made but also what gaps still need to be filled in when utilizing cannabis. This report found that excess consumption of cannabis leads to feelings of panic and anxiety and that 15% of those willing to respond to a survey experienced acute psychotic symptoms. It was also found that cannabis dependence can occur, as well as withdrawal, which can last for close to a week.  This article was a review that synthesized relevant studies but also claimed that the casual conclusions of these papers were difficult to find or replicate. 

This paper is interesting given its age considering it put out what was current data but then ended by stating the casual conclusions of each paper may not stand. 18 years later, some of the data has stood, and some have not. Users can gain a tolerance to cannabis but many are looking to mitigate it. The author uses the word dependence when discussing cannabis which is a word that holds weight and is up for debate. Intoxicating cannabinoids, like THC, affect the reward center, but non-altering cannabinoids, such as CBD, tend to work more noticeably outside of the brain, although all have mixed effects in both regions. Cannabinoids are not all the same, apply quite differently to various ailments, and have divergent effects. Blanketing an entire crop with a misinformed warning label seems irresponsible and unduly harsh. Users or those looking into cannabis-based medicine are encouraged to do their research. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDA Report on the Psychiatric Effects of Cannabis Demonstrates the Progress and the Gaps in Cannabis Knowledge
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Video: Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment

A 2018 literature review summarizes the various ways patients can consume cannabis (orally, topically, etc.) and the pain reductions associated with each method. The review focuses on the treatment of multiple sclerosis, cancer, anorexia, arthritis, and other painful disorders.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDVideo: Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
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80%: Cannabis extremely helpful for pain; 82%: helped reduce or stop over-the-counter medications; 88% able to stop taking opioid painkillers

“The study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, which looked at 1,000 people taking legalized marijuana in an American state found that among the 65% of people taking cannabis for pain, 80% found it was very or extremely helpful.”

“82% of these people being able to reduce, or stop taking over the counter pain medications, and 88% being able to stop taking opioid painkillers.”

“74% of the 1,000 interviewees bought it to help them sleep – 84% of whom said the marijuana had helped them, and over 83% said that they had since reduced or stopped taking over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.”

“The study adds weight to the theory that widening access to medical cannabis could lower the use of prescription painkillers, allowing more people to manage and treat their pain without relying on opioid prescription drugs that have dangerous side effects.”

“This is backed up with other research that shows that states with medical cannabis laws have a 6.38% lower rate of opioid prescribing and that Colorado’s adult-use cannabis law is associated with a relative reduction in opioid overdose death rate from 1999 to 2010.”

“”Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen cause GI bleeding or kidney damage with chronic use. Paracetemol (Acetaminophen) toxicity is the second most common cause of liver transplantation worldwide, and is responsible for 56,000 ER visits, 2600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths per year in the U.S.”

Link to news brief: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/tfg-cmb062819.php

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Benjamin Caplan, MD80%: Cannabis extremely helpful for pain; 82%: helped reduce or stop over-the-counter medications; 88% able to stop taking opioid painkillers
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Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Treatments for Chronic Muscle Pain

Cannabidiol, cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain

Some of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN), have recently been found to produce analgesic effects (pain relief) in mouse models. A combination of CBD and CBN causes a decrease in sensitization of muscles, leading researchers to believe the combination could provide relief for those suffering from chronic muscle pain disorders. Cannabis products are already being prescribed for chronic pain disorders and this new study provides evidence that cannabis-based medicine can also be applicable when treating chronic pain associated with disorders such as fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorders.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDNon-Psychoactive Cannabis Treatments for Chronic Muscle Pain
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