Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 43

Search results for: cannabis

43 University Students’ Perceptions of the Influence of Cannabis Use on Mental Health

Authors: Konesh Navsaria, Itumeleng Ramodumo


The study explored university students’ perceptions of cannabis use on academic life at a higher education institution (HEI) in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Cannabis is described as the most commonly-used drug by youth, especially those who are in tertiary institutions. The use of cannabis has both negative and positive effects; this is evident in different areas of human functioning. Cannabis usage has been debated upon in courts regarding its legalization and decriminalization, and on the 18th of September 2018, the South African High Court decriminalized cannabis for personal use. Cannabis use has increased in academic settings, and this has raised concerns about how it affects the mental health of students. A qualitative approach was used for the study with an explorative, descriptive design. Purposive sampling was used to select 15 participants for the study. Data were collected using focused-group interviews, following ethical clearance from the HEI. The collected data were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis, and cognitive behavioural theory was used as the theoretical framework. The research findings indicated both positive and negative influences of cannabis use on mental health. Most participants who expressed positive effects have used cannabis before, whereas most participants with negative perspectives of cannabis use on mental health are non-cannabis users. The findings revealed that participants perceived that the quantity of cannabis smoked determined whether there was a positive or negative effect on mental health; that is, large doses of cannabis were perceived as having negative effects. The research findings also revealed that the legalization of cannabis is very likely to increase its use and also highlighted precautionary measures users take to avoid the substance’s negative effects on mental health.

Keywords: cannabis use, mental health, university students, legalization

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42 Genetic Variations of CYP2C9 in Thai Patients Taking Medical Cannabis

Authors: Naso Isaiah Thanavisuth


Medical cannabis can be used for treatment including pain, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and cancer. However, medical cannabis leads to adverse effects (AEs), which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In previous studies, the major of THC metabolism enzymes are CYP2C9. Especially, the variation of CYP2C9 gene consist of CYP2C9*2 on exon 3 and CYP2C9*3 on exon 7 to decrease enzyme activity. Notwithstanding, there is no data describing whether the variant of CYP2C9 genes are apharmacogenetics marker for the prediction of THC-induced AEs in Thai patients. We want to investigate the association between CYP2C9 gene and THC-induced AEs in Thai patients. We enrolled 39 Thai patients with medical cannabis treatment who were classified by clinical data. The CYP2C9*2 and *3 genotyping were conducted using the TaqMan real time PCR assay. All Thai patients who received the medical cannabis consist of twenty-four (61.54%) patients were female, and fifteen (38.46%) were male, with age range 27- 87 years. Moreover, the most AEs in Thai patients who were treated with medical cannabis between cases and controls were tachycardia, arrhythmia, dry mouth, and nausea. Particularly, thirteen (72.22%) medical cannabis-induced AEs were female and age range 33 – 69 years. In this study, none of the medical cannabis groups carried CYP2C9*2 variants in Thai patients. The CYP2C9*3 variants (*1/*3, intermediate metabolizer, IM) and (*3/*3, poor metabolizer, PM) were found, three of thirty-nine (7.69%) and one of thirty-nine (2.56%), respectively. Although, our results indicate that there is no found the CYP2C9*2. However, the variation of CYP2C9 allele might serve as a pharmacogenetics marker for screening before initiating the therapy with medical cannabis for the prevention of medical cannabis-induced AEs.

Keywords: CYP2C9, medical cannabis, adverse effects, THC, P450

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41 Medical Authorizations for Cannabis-Based Products in Canada: Sante Cannabis Data on Patient’s Safety and Treatment Profiles

Authors: Rihab Gamaoun, Cynthia El Hage, Laura Ruiz, Erin Prosk, Antonio Vigano


Introduction: Santé Cannabis (SC), a Canadian medical cannabis-specialized group of clinics based in Montreal and in the province of Québec, has served more than 5000 patients seeking cannabis-based treatment prescription for medical indications over the past five years. Within a research frame, data on the use of medical cannabis products from all the above patients were prospectively collected, leading to a large real-world database on the use of medical cannabis. The aim of this study was to gather information on the profiles of both patients and prescribed medical cannabis products at SC clinics and to assess the safety of medical cannabis among Canadian patients. Methods: Using a retrospective analysis of the database, records of 2585 patients who were prescribed medical cannabis products for therapeutic purposes between 01-November 2017 and 04-September 2019 were included. Patients’ demographics, primary diagnosis, route of administration, and chemovars recorded at the initial visits were investigated. Results: At baseline: 9% of SC patients were female, with a mean age of 57 (SD= 15.8, range= [18-96]); Cannabis products were prescribed mainly for patients with a diagnosis of chronic pain (65.9% of patients), cancer (9.4%), neurological disorders (6.5%), mood disorders (5.8 %) and inflammatory diseases (4.1%). Route of administration and chemovars of prescribed cannabis products were the following: 96% of patients received cannabis oil (51% CBD rich, 42.5% CBD:THC); 32.1% dried cannabis (21.3% CBD:THC, 7.4% THC rich, 3.4 CBD rich), and 2.1% oral spray cannabis (1.1% CBD:THC, 0.8% CBD rich, 0.2% THC rich). Most patients were prescribed simultaneously, a combination of products with different administration routes and chemovars. Safety analysis is undergoing. Conclusion: Our results provided initial information on the profile of medical cannabis products prescribed in a Canadian population and the experienced adverse events over the past three years. The Santé Cannabis database represents a unique opportunity for comparing clinical practices in prescribing and titrating cannabis-based medications across different centers. Ultimately real-world data, including information about safety and effectiveness, will help to create standardized and validated guidelines for choosing dose, route of administration, and chemovars types for the cannabis-based medication in different diseases and indications.

Keywords: medical cannabis, real-world data, safety, pharmacovigilance

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40 A Learning Package on Medical Cannabis for Nurses

Authors: Kulveer Sandhu


Background: In 1999, the Government of Canada legalized the use of cannabis for the therapeutic purpose (CTP); however, its users remain highly vulnerable to stigma and are judged by care providers and nonusers of cannabis. Findings from a literature review suggest health care providers (HCPs), including nurses in palliative care settings, lack knowledge about medical cannabis. For this reason, it is important to enhance HCPs’awarenessand knowledge of medical cannabis. Significance of the Project: Nurses are the first point of contact and spend more time with patients than other care providers; it is, therefore, important for them to be informed about CTPto provide quality and equitable care for medical cannabis users. Although nurses and other HCPs want information on CTP, the topic is rarely included in their educational curriculum. The purpose of this project is to create an evidence informed Package designed to increase knowledge among palliative care nurses about CTP. The information package will empower palliative nurses to help palliative patients make informed decisions about their treatment plan. Method: The information package will include a basic overview of the endocannabinoid system, common cannabis plants and products, and methods of consumption, as well as information to help nurses better understand consumption and harm reduction. The package will also include a set of cannabis fact sheets for nurses. Each fact sheet will comprise a high-level overview with graphics followed by a description of medical cannabis with links and references. At the end of the learning package, there are five self-reflection questions that allow nurses to examine their personal values, attitudes, and practices regarding medical cannabis. These questions will help each nurse understand their personal approach towards CTP and its users.

Keywords: medical cannabis, improve knowledge, cannabis for therapeutic purpose (CTP), patient experience, palliative care

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39 Monitoring of Cannabis Cultivation with High-Resolution Images

Authors: Levent Basayigit, Sinan Demir, Burhan Kara, Yusuf Ucar


Cannabis is mostly used for drug production. In some countries, an excessive amount of illegal cannabis is cultivated and sold. Most of the illegal cannabis cultivation occurs on the lands far from settlements. In farmlands, it is cultivated with other crops. In this method, cannabis is surrounded by tall plants like corn and sunflower. It is also cultivated with tall crops as the mixed culture. The common method of the determination of the illegal cultivation areas is to investigate the information obtained from people. This method is not sufficient for the determination of illegal cultivation in remote areas. For this reason, more effective methods are needed for the determination of illegal cultivation. Remote Sensing is one of the most important technologies to monitor the plant growth on the land. The aim of this study is to monitor cannabis cultivation area using satellite imagery. The main purpose of this study was to develop an applicable method for monitoring the cannabis cultivation. For this purpose, cannabis was grown as single or surrounded by the corn and sunflower in plots. The morphological characteristics of cannabis were recorded two times per month during the vegetation period. The spectral signature library was created with the spectroradiometer. The parcels were monitored with high-resolution satellite imagery. With the processing of satellite imagery, the cultivation areas of cannabis were classified. To separate the Cannabis plots from the other plants, the multiresolution segmentation algorithm was found to be the most successful for classification. WorldView Improved Vegetative Index (WV-VI) classification was the most accurate method for monitoring the plant density. As a result, an object-based classification method and vegetation indices were sufficient for monitoring the cannabis cultivation in multi-temporal Earthwiev images.

Keywords: Cannabis, drug, remote sensing, object-based classification

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38 Diversity and Distribution of Cytochrome P450 2C9 Genes Related with Medical Cannabis in Thai Patients

Authors: Tanakrit Doltanakarn


Introduction: These days, cannabis is being accepted in many countries due to the fact that cannabis could be use in medical. The medical cannabis is used to treat and reduce the pain many diseases. For example, neuropathic pain, Parkinson, autism disorders, cancer pain reduce the adverse effect of chemotherapy, diabetes, and migraine. Active ingredients in cannabis that modulate patients' perceptions of their conditions include Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), flavonoids, and terpenes. However, there is an adverse effect of cannabis, cardiovascular effects, psychosis, schizophrenia, mood disorder, and cognitive alternation. These effects are from the THC and CBD ingredients in the cannabis. The metabolize processes of delta-9 THC to 11-OH-delta 9 -THC (inactive form), THC were cause of adverse effects. Interestingly, the distributions of CYP2C9 gene (CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3, poor metabolizer) that might affect incidences of adverse effects in patients who treated with medical cannabis. Objective: The aim of this study we want to investigate the association between genetic polymorphism of CYP2C9 frequency and Thai patients who treated with medical cannabis. Materials and Methods:We recruited sixty-five unrelated Thai patients from the College of Pharmacy, Rangsit University. DNA were extracted using Genomic DNA Mini Kit. Genotyping of CYP2C9*2 (430C>T, rs1799853) and CYP2C9*3 (1075A>C, rs1057910) were genotyped by the TaqMan Real-time PCR assay. Results: Among these 31 medicals cannabis-induced ADRs patients, they were diagnosed with 22 (33.85%) tachycardia and 3 (4.62%) arrhythmia. There were 34 (52.31%) medical cannabis-tolerant controls who were included in this study.40 (61.53%) Thai patients were female, and 25 (38.46%) were male, with median age of 57 (range 27 – 87) years. In this study, we found none of the medical cannabis-induced ADRs carried CYP2C9*2 variant along with medical cannabis-tolerant control group. CYP2C9*3 variant (intermediate metabolizer, IM) was found just only one of thirty-one (3.23%) in the medical cannabis-induced ADRs and two of thirty-fourth (5.88%) in the tolerant controls. Conclusions: Thus, the distribution of CYP2C9 alleles offer a comprehensive view of pharmacogenomics marker in Thai population that could be used as a reference for worldwide to investigate the pharmacogenomics application.

Keywords: medical cannabis, adverse effect, CYP2C9, thai patients

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37 Distribution of Cytochrome P450 Gene in Patients Taking Medical Cannabis

Authors: Naso Isaiah Thanavisuth


Introduction: Medical cannabis can be used for treatment, including anorexia, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, cancer, and metabolic syndrome-related disorders. However, medical cannabis leads to adverse effects (AEs), which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In previous studies, the major of THC metabolism enzymes are CYP2C9. Especially, the variation of CYP2C9 gene consist of CYP2C9*2 on exon 3 (C430T) (Arg144Cys) and CYP2C9*3 on exon 7 (A1075C) (Ile359Leu) to decrease enzyme activity. Notwithstanding, there is no data describing whether the variant of CYP2C9 genes are a pharmacogenetics marker for prediction of THC-induced AEs in Thai patients. Objective: We want to investigate the association between CYP2C9 gene and THC-induced AEs in Thai patients. Method: We enrolled 39 Thai patients with medical cannabis treatment consisting of men and women who were classified by clinical data. The quality of DNA extraction was assessed by using NanoDrop ND-1000. The CYP2C9*2 and *3 genotyping were conducted using the TaqMan real time PCR assay (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA). Results: All Thai patients who received the medical cannabis consist of twenty four (61.54%) patients who were female and fifteen (38.46%) were male, with age range 27- 87 years. Moreover, the most AEs in Thai patients who were treated with medical cannabis between cases and controls were tachycardia, arrhythmia, dry mouth, and nausea. Particularly, thirteen (72.22%) medical cannabis-induced AEs were female and age range 33 – 69 years. In this study, none of the medical cannabis groups carried CYP2C9*2 variants in Thai patients. The CYP2C9*3 variants (*1/*3, intermediate metabolizer, IM) and (*3/*3, poor metabolizer, PM) were found, three of thirty nine (7.69%) and one of thirty nine (2.56%) , respectively. Conclusion: This is the first study to confirm the genetic polymorphism of CYP2C9 and medical cannabis-induced AEs in the Thai population. Although, our results indicates that there is no found the CYP2C9*2. However, the variation of CYP2C9 allele might serve as a pharmacogenetics marker for screening before initiating the therapy with medical cannabis for prevention of medical cannabis-induced AEs.

Keywords: CYP2C9, medical cannabis, adverse effects, THC, P450

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36 Gene Distribution of CB1 Receptor rs2023239 in Thailand Cannabis Patients

Authors: Tanyaporn Chairoch


Introduction: Cannabis is a drug to treat patients with many diseases such as Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Epilepsy, where theycontain many active compounds such as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Especially, THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and binds to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. Moreover, CB1 is located on the neocortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and brainstem. In previous study, we found the association between the variant of CB1recptors gene (rs2023239) and decreased effect of nicotine reinforcement in patients. However, there are no data describing whether the distribution of CB1 receptor gene is a genetic marker for Thai patients who are treated with cannabis. Objective: Thus, the aim of this study we want to investigate the frequency of the CB1 receptor gene in Thai patients. Materials and Methods: All of sixty Thai patients received the medical cannabis for treatment who were recruited in this study. DNA will be extracted from EDTA whole blood by Genomic DNA Mini Kit. The genotyping of CNR1 gene (rs 2023239) was genotyped by the TaqMan real time PCR assay (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA).and using the real-time PCR ViiA7 (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA). Results: We found thirty-eight (63.3%) Thai patients were female, and twenty-two (36.70%) were male in this study with median age of 45.8 (range19 – 87 ) years. Especially, thirty-two (53.30%) medical cannabis tolerant controls were female ( 55%) and median age of52.1 (range 27 – 79 ) years. The most adverse effects for medical cannabis treatment was tachycardia. Furthermore, the number of rs 2023239 (TT) carriers was 26 of 27 (96.29%) in medical cannabis-induced adverse effects and 32 of 33 (96.96%) in tolerant controls. Additionally, rs 2023239 (CT) variant was found just only one of twenty-seven (3.7%) in medical cannabis-induced adverse effects and 1 of 33 (3.03%) in tolerant controls. Conclusions: The distribution of genetic variant in CNR1 gene might serve as a pharmacogenetics markers for screening before initiating the therapy with medical cannabis in Thai patients.

Keywords: cannabis, pharmacogenetics, CNR1 gene, thai patient

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35 Polymorphisms of the UM Genotype of CYP2C19*17 in Thais Taking Medical Cannabis

Authors: Athicha Cherdpunt, Patompong Satapornpong


The medical cannabis is made up of components also known as cannabinoids, which consists of two ingredients which are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Interestingly, the Cannabinoid can be used for many treatments such as chemotherapy, including nausea and vomiting, cachexia, anorexia nervosa, spinal cord injury and disease, epilepsy, pain, and many others. However, the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) of THC can cause sedation, anxiety, dizziness, appetite stimulation and impairments in driving and cognitive function. Furthermore, genetic polymorphisms of CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 influenced the THC metabolism and might be a cause of ADRs. Particularly, CYP2C19*17 allele increases gene transcription and therefore results in ultra-rapid metabolizer phenotype (UM). The aim of this study, is to investigate the frequency of CYP2C19*17 alleles in Thai patients who have been treated with medical cannabis. We prospectively enrolled 60 Thai patients who were treated with medical cannabis and clinical data from College of Pharmacy, Rangsit University. DNA of each patient was isolated from EDTA blood, using the Genomic DNA Mini Kit. CYP2C19*17 genotyping was conducted using the real time-PCR ViiA7 (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA). 30 patients with medical cannabis-induced ADRs group, 20 (67%) were female, and 10 (33%) were male, with an age range of 30-69 years. On the other hand, 30 patients without medical cannabis-induced ADRs (control group) consist of 17 (57%) female and 13 (43%) male. The most ADRs for medical cannabis treatment in the case group were dry mouth and dry throat (77%), tachycardia (70%), nausea (30%) and arrhythmia(10%). Accordingly, the case group carried CYP2C19*1/*1 (normal metabolizer) approximately 93%, while 7% patients carrying CYP2C19*1/*17 (ultra rapid metabolizers) exhibited in this group. Meanwhile, we found 90% of CYP2C19*1/*1 and 10% of CYP2C19*1/*17 in control group. In this study, we identified the frequency of CYP2C19*17 allele in Thai population which will support the pharmacogenetics biomarkers for screening and avoid ADRs of medical cannabis treatment.

Keywords: CYP2C19, allele frequency, ultra rapid metabolizer, medical cannabis

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34 Effects of Cannabis and Cocaine on Driving Related Tasks of Perception, Cognition, and Action

Authors: Michelle V. Tomczak, Reyhaneh Bakhtiari, Aaron Granley, Anthony Singhal


Objective: Cannabis and cocaine are associated with a range of mental and physical effects that can impair aspects of human behavior. Driving is a complex cognitive behavior that is an essential part of everyday life and can be broken down into many subcomponents, each of which can uniquely impact road safety. With the growing movement of jurisdictions to legalize cannabis, there is an increased focus on impairment and driving. The purpose of this study was to identify driving-related cognitive-performance deficits that are impacted by recreational drug use. Design and Methods: With the assistance of law enforcement agencies, we recruited over 300 participants under the influence of various drugs including cannabis and cocaine. These individuals performed a battery of computer-based tasks scientifically proven to be re-lated to on-road driving performance and designed to test response-speed, memory processes, perceptual-motor skills, and decision making. Data from a control group with healthy non-drug using adults was collected as well. Results: Compared to controls, the drug group showed def-icits in all tasks. The data also showed clear differences between the cannabis and cocaine groups where cannabis users were faster, and performed better on some aspects of the decision-making and perceptual-motor tasks. Memory performance was better in the cocaine group for simple tasks but not more complex tasks. Finally, the participants who consumed both drugs performed most similarly to the cannabis group. Conclusions: Our results show distinct and combined effects of cannabis and cocaine on human performance relating to driving. These dif-ferential effects are likely related to the unique effects of each drug on the human brain and how they distinctly contribute to mental states. Our results have important implications for road safety associated with driver impairment.

Keywords: driving, cognitive impairment, recreational drug use, cannabis and cocaine

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33 The Association Between CYP2C19 Gene Distribution and Medical Cannabis Treatment

Authors: Vichayada Laohapiboolkul


Introduction: As the legal use of cannabis is being widely accepted throughout the world, medical cannabis has been explored in order to become an alternative cure for patients. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are natural cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant which is proved to have positive treatment for various diseases and symptoms such as chronic pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis, reduce cancer-associated pain, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), dementia, cannabis and opioid dependence, psychoses/schizophrenia, general social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette's disorder. Regardless of all the medical benefits, THC, if not metabolized, can lead to mild up to severe adverse drug reactions (ADR). The enzyme CYP2C19 was found to be one of the metabolizers of THC. However, the suballele CYP2C19*2 manifests as a poor metabolizer which could lead to higher levels of THC than usual, possibly leading to various ADRs. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of CYP2C19, specifically CYP2C19*2, genes in Thai patients treated with medical cannabis along with adverse drug reactions. Materials and Methods: Clinical data and EDTA whole blood for DNA extraction and genotyping were collected from patients for this study. CYP2C19*2 (681G>A, rs4244285) genotyping was conducted using the Real-time PCR (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA). Results: There were 42 medical cannabis-induced ADRs cases and 18 medical cannabis tolerance controls who were included in this study. A total of 60 patients were observed where 38 (63.3%) patients were female and 22 (36.7%) were male, with a range of age approximately 19 - 87 years. The most apparent ADRs for medical cannabis treatment were dry mouth/dry throat (76.7%), followed by tachycardia (70%), nausea (30%) and a few arrhythmias (10%). In the total of 27 cases, we found a frequency of 18 CYP2C19*1/*1 alleles (normal metabolizers, 66.7%), 8 CYP2C19*1/*2 alleles (intermediate metabolizers, 29.6%) and 1 CYP2C19*2/*2 alleles (poor metabolizers, 3.7%). Meanwhile, 63.6% of CYP2C19*1/*1, 36.3% and 0% of CYP2C19*1/*2 and *2/*2 in the tolerance controls group, respectively. Conclusions: This is the first study to confirm the distribution of CYP2C19*2 allele and the prevalence of poor metabolizer genes in Thai patients who received medical cannabis for treatment. Thus, CYP2C19 allele might serve as a pharmacogenetics marker for screening before initiating treatment.

Keywords: medical cannabis, adverse drug reactions, CYP2C19, tetrahydrocannabinol, poor metabolizer

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32 Spectral Mixture Model Applied to Cannabis Parcel Determination

Authors: Levent Basayigit, Sinan Demir, Yusuf Ucar, Burhan Kara


Many research projects require accurate delineation of the different land cover type of the agricultural area. Especially it is critically important for the definition of specific plants like cannabis. However, the complexity of vegetation stands structure, abundant vegetation species, and the smooth transition between different seconder section stages make vegetation classification difficult when using traditional approaches such as the maximum likelihood classifier. Most of the time, classification distinguishes only between trees/annual or grain. It has been difficult to accurately determine the cannabis mixed with other plants. In this paper, a mixed distribution models approach is applied to classify pure and mix cannabis parcels using Worldview-2 imagery in the Lakes region of Turkey. Five different land use types (i.e. sunflower, maize, bare soil, and cannabis) were identified in the image. A constrained Gaussian mixture discriminant analysis (GMDA) was used to unmix the image. In the study, 255 reflectance ratios derived from spectral signatures of seven bands (Blue-Green-Yellow-Red-Rededge-NIR1-NIR2) were randomly arranged as 80% for training and 20% for test data. Gaussian mixed distribution model approach is proved to be an effective and convenient way to combine very high spatial resolution imagery for distinguishing cannabis vegetation. Based on the overall accuracies of the classification, the Gaussian mixed distribution model was found to be very successful to achieve image classification tasks. This approach is sensitive to capture the illegal cannabis planting areas in the large plain. This approach can also be used for monitoring and determination with spectral reflections in illegal cannabis planting areas.

Keywords: Gaussian mixture discriminant analysis, spectral mixture model, Worldview-2, land parcels

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31 Building Brand Equity in a Stigmatised Market: A Cannabis Industry Case Study

Authors: Sibongile Masemola


In 2018, South Africa decriminalised recreational cannabis use and private cultivation, since then, cannabis businesses have been established to meet the demand. However, marketing activities remain limited in this industry, and businesses are unable to disseminate promotional messages, however, as a solution, firms can promote their brands and positioning instead of the actual product (Bick, 2015). Branding is essential to create differences among cannabis firms and to attract and keep customers (Abrahamsson, 2014). Building cannabis firms into brands can better position them in the mind of the consumer so that they become and remain competitive. The aim of this study was to explore how South African cannabis retailers can build brand equity in a stigmatised market, despite significant restrictions on marketing efforts. Keller’s (2001) customer-based brand equity (CBBE) model was used as the as the theoretical framework and explored how cannabis firms build their businesses into brands through developing their brand identity, meaning, performance, and relationships, and ultimately creating brand equity. The study employed a qualitative research method, using semi-structured in-depth interviews among 17 participants to gain insights from cannabis owners and marketers in the recreational cannabis environment. Most findings were presented according to the blocks of CBBE model. Furthermore, a conceptual framework named the stigma-based brand equity (SBBE) model was adapted from Keller’s CBBE model to include an additional building block that accounts for industry-specific characteristics unique to stigmatised markets. Findings revealed the pervasiveness of education and its significance to brand building in a stigmatised industry. Results also demonstrated the overall effect stigma has on businesses and their consumers due to the longstanding negative evaluations of cannabis. Hence, through stigma-bonding, brands can develop deep identity-related psychological bonds with their consumers that will potentially lead to strong brand resonance. This study aims to contribute business-relevant knowledge for firms operating in core-stigmatised markets under controlled marketing regulations by exploring how cannabis firms can build brand equity. Practically, this study presents recommendations for retailers in stigmatised markets on how to destigmatise, build brand identity, create brand meaning, elicit desired brand responses, and develop brand relationships – ultimately building brand equity.

Keywords: branding, brand equity, cannabis, organisational stigma

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30 The Emerging Role of Cannabis as an Anti-Nociceptive Agent in the Treatment of Chronic Back Pain

Authors: Josiah Damisa, Michelle Louise Richardson, Morenike Adewuyi


Lower back pain is a significant cause of disability worldwide and associated with great implications in terms of the well-being of affected individuals and society as a whole due to its undeniable socio-economic impact. With its prevalence on the increase as a result of an aging global population, the need for novel forms of pain management is ever paramount. This review aims to provide further insight into current research regarding a role for the endocannabinoid signaling pathway as a target in the treatment of chronic pain, with particular emphasis on its potential use as part of the treatment of lower back pain. Potential advantages and limitations of cannabis-based medicines over other forms of analgesia currently licensed for medical use are discussed in addition to areas that require ongoing consideration and research. To evaluate the efficacy of cannabis-based medicines in chronic pain, studies pertaining to the role of medical cannabis in chronic disease were reviewed. Standard searches of PubMed, Google Scholar and Web of Science databases were undertaken with peer-reviewed journal articles reviewed based on the indication for pain management, cannabis treatment modality used and study outcomes. Multiple studies suggest an emerging role for cannabis-based medicines as therapeutic agents in the treatment of chronic back pain. A potential synergistic effect has also been purported if these medicines are co-administered with opiate analgesia due to the similarity of the opiate and endocannabinoid signaling pathways. However, whilst recent changes to legislation in the United Kingdom mean that cannabis is now licensed for medicinal use on NHS prescription for a number of chronic health conditions, concerns remain as to the efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medicines. Research is lacking into both their side effect profiles and the long-term effects of cannabis use. Legal and ethical considerations to the use of these products in standardized medical practice also persist due to the notoriety of cannabis as a drug of abuse. Despite this, cannabis is beginning to gain traction as an alternative or even complementary drug to opiates, with some preclinical studies showing opiate-sparing effects. Whilst there is a paucity of clinical trials in this field, there is scope for cannabinoids to be successful anti-nociceptive agents in managing chronic back pain. The ultimate aim would be to utilize cannabis-based medicines as alternative or complementary therapies, thereby reducing opiate over-reliance and providing hope to individuals who have exhausted all other forms of standard treatment.

Keywords: endocannabinoids, cannabis-based medicines, chronic pain, lower back pain

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29 A Patient-Centered Approach to Clinical Trial Development: Real-World Evidence from a Canadian Medical Cannabis Clinic

Authors: Lucile Rapin, Cynthia El Hage, Rihab Gamaoun, Maria-Fernanda Arboleda, Erin Prosk


Introduction: Sante Cannabis (SC), a Canadian group of clinics dedicated to medical cannabis, based in Montreal and in the province of Quebec, has served more than 8000 patients seeking cannabis-based treatment over the past five years. As randomized clinical trials with natural medical cannabis are scarce, real-world evidence offers the opportunity to fill research gaps between scientific evidence and clinical practice. Data on the use of medical cannabis products from SC patients were prospectively collected, leading to a large real-world database on the use of medical cannabis. The aim of this study was to report information on the profiles of both patients and prescribed medical cannabis products at SC clinics, and to assess the safety of medical cannabis among Canadian patients. Methods: This is an observational retrospective study of 1342 adult patients who were authorized with medical cannabis products between October 2017 and September 2019. Information regarding demographic characteristics, therapeutic indications for medical cannabis use, patterns in dosing and dosage form of medical cannabis and adverse effects over one-year follow-up (initial and 4 follow-up (FUP) visits) were collected. Results: 59% of SC patients were female, with a mean age of 56.7 (SD= 15.6, range= (19-97)). Cannabis products were authorized mainly for patients with a diagnosis of chronic pain (68.8% of patients), cancer (6.7%), neurological disorders (5.6%), and mood disorders (5.4 %). At initial visit, a large majority (70%) of patients were authorized exclusively medical cannabis products, 27% were authorized a combination of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and medical cannabis and 3% were prescribed only pharmaceutical cannabinoids. This pattern was recurrent over the one-year follow-up. Overall, oil was the preferred formulation (average over visits 72.5%) followed by a combination of oil and dry (average 19%), other routes of administration accounted for less than 4%. Patients were predominantly prescribed products with a balanced THC:CBD ratio (59%-75% across visits). 28% of patients reported at least one adverse effect (AE) at the 3-month follow-up visit and 12% at the six-month FUP visit. 84.8% of total AEs were mild and transient. No serious AE was reported. Overall, the most common side effects reported were dizziness (11.95% of total AEs), drowsiness (11.4%), dry mouth (5.5%), nausea (4.8%), headaches (4.6%), cough (4.4%), anxiety (4.1%) and euphoria (3.5%). Other adverse effects accounted for less than 3% of total AE. Conclusion: Our results confirm that the primary area of clinical use for medical cannabis is in pain management. Patients in this cohort are largely utilizing plant-based cannabis oil products with a balanced ratio of THC:CBD. Reported adverse effects were mild and included dizziness and drowsiness. This real-world data confirms the tolerable safety profile of medical cannabis and suggests medical indications not yet validated in controlled clinical trials. Such data offers an important opportunity for the investigation of the long-term effects of cannabinoid exposure in real-life conditions. Real-world evidence can be used to direct clinical trial research efforts on specific indications and dosing patterns for product development.

Keywords: medical cannabis, safety, real-world data, Canada

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28 The Participation of Experts in the Criminal Policy on Drugs: The Proposal of a Cannabis Regulation Model in Spain by the Cannabis Policy Studies Group

Authors: Antonio Martín-Pardo


With regard to the context in which this paper is inserted, it is noteworthy that the current criminal policy model in which we find immersed, denominated by some doctrine sector as the citizen security model, is characterized by a marked tendency towards the discredit of expert knowledge. This type of technic knowledge has been displaced by the common sense and by the daily experience of the people at the time of legislative drafting, as well as by excessive attention to the short-term political effects of the law. Despite this criminal-political adverse scene, we still find valuable efforts in the side of experts to bring some rationality to the legislative development. This is the case of the proposal for a new cannabis regulation model in Spain carried out by the Cannabis Policy Studies Group (hereinafter referred as ‘GEPCA’). The GEPCA is a multidisciplinary group composed by authors with multiple/different orientations, trajectories and interests, but with a common minimum objective: the conviction that the current situation regarding cannabis is unsustainable and, that a rational legislative solution must be given to the growing social pressure for the regulation of their consumption and production. This paper details the main lines through which this technical proposal is developed with the purpose of its dissemination and discussion in the Congress. The basic methodology of the proposal is inductive-expository. In that way, firstly, we will offer a brief, but solid contextualization of the situation of cannabis in Spain. This contextualization will touch on issues such as the national regulatory situation and its relationship with the international context; the criminal, judicial and penitentiary impact of the offer and consumption of cannabis, or the therapeutic use of the substance, among others. In second place, we will get down to the business properly by detailing the minutia of the three main cannabis access channels that are proposed. Namely: the regulated market, the associations of cannabis users and personal self-cultivation. In each of these options, especially in the first two, special attention will be paid to both, the production and processing of the substance and the necessary administrative control of the activity. Finally, in a third block, some notes will be given on a series of subjects that surround the different access options just mentioned above and that give fullness and coherence to the proposal outlined. Among those related issues we find some such as consumption and tenure of the substance; the issue of advertising and promotion of cannabis; consumption in areas of special risk (work or driving v. g.); the tax regime; the need to articulate evaluation instruments for the entire process; etc. The main conclusion drawn from the analysis of the proposal is the unsustainability of the current repressive system, clearly unsuccessful, and the need to develop new access routes to cannabis that guarantee both public health and the rights of people who have freely chosen to consume it.

Keywords: cannabis regulation proposal, cannabis policies studies group, criminal policy, expertise participation

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27 Prevalence and Pattern of Drug Usage among Youth in Ogbomoso, Nigeria

Authors: Samson F. Agberotimi, Rachel B. Asagba, Choja Oduaran


Disturbing rate of use of different substances such as cannabis, alcohol, as well as pharmaceutical drugs among Nigerian youth in recent times has been affirmed in the literature. There is, however, a paucity of literature addressing the pattern of usage of such drugs, especially for clinical relevance and intervention planning. The present study investigated the prevalence and pattern of drug usage among youth in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey involving 92 purposively selected participants comprising of 82 males and 10 females aged between 15 and 24 years was conducted. A measure of drug involvement and demographic characteristics was administered to the participants. Descriptive analysis was done using the SPSS v.21. Cannabis (79.4%), alcohol (77.2%), codeine (70.7%), tobacco (65.2%) and tramadol (47.8%) are the five most frequently used substances. However, the majority of the users of tobacco (68.3%) and alcohol (62.0%) are casual users indicating a mild level of use of the substances among the participants. On the other hand, 49.2% of the codeine users, 27.3% of the tramadol users, and 21.9% of the cannabis users reported harmful/intensive levels of use. Furthermore, the results revealed individuals at the pathological level of use as 28.8% for cannabis, 25.0% for tramadol, and 21.6% for codeine, and thus require clinical/therapeutic intervention. In conclusion, cannabis remains the most frequently used substance among youths. However, there appears to be a shift from the use of conventional psychoactive substances to pharmaceutical/prescription drugs such as codeine and tramadol. The findings of this study raised the need for both preventive and therapeutic interventions addressing the problem of substance use disorder among youth in contemporary society.

Keywords: Ogbomoso, pattern of drug use, prevalence of drug use, youth

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26 Preliminary Analysis on the Distribution of Elements in Cannabis

Authors: E. Zafeiraki, P. Nisianakis, K. Machera


Cannabis plant contains 113 cannabinoids and it is commonly known for its psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol or as a source of narcotic substances. The recent years’ cannabis cultivation also increases due to its wide use both for medical and industrial purposes as well as for uses as para-pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food commodities. Depending on the final product, different parts of the plant are utilized, with the leaves and bud (seeds) being the most frequently used. Cannabis can accumulate various contaminants, including heavy metals, both from the soil and the water in which the plant grows. More specifically, metals may occur naturally in the soil and water, or they can enter into the environment through fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides that are commonly applied to crops. The high probability of metals accumulation in cannabis, combined with the latter growing use, raise concerns about the potential health effects in humans and consequently lead to the need for the implementation of safety measures for cannabis products, such as guidelines for regulating contaminants, including metals, and especially the ones characterized by high toxicity in cannabis. Acknowledging the above, the aim of the current study was first to investigate metals contamination in cannabis samples collected from Greece, and secondly to examine potential differences in metals accumulation among the different parts of the plant. To our best knowledge, this is the first study presenting information on elements in cannabis cultivated in Greece, and also on the distribution pattern of the former in the plant body. To this end, the leaves and the seeds of all the samples were initially separated and dried and then digested with Nitric acid (HNO₃) and Hydrochloric acid (HCl). For the analysis of these samples, an Inductive Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method was developed, able to quantify 28 elements. Internal standards were added at a constant rate and concentration to all calibration standards and unknown samples, while two certified reference materials were analyzed in every batch to ensure the accuracy of the measurements. The repeatability of the method and the background contamination were controlled by the analysis of quality control (QC) standards and blank samples in every sequence, respectively. According to the results, essential metals, such as Ca, Zn and Mg, were detected at high levels. On the contrary, the concentration of high toxicity metals, like As (average: 0.10ppm), Pb (average: 0.36ppm), Cd (average: 0.04ppm), and Hg (average: 0.012ppm) were very low in all the samples, indicating that no harmful effects on human health can be caused by the analyzed samples. Moreover, it appears that the pattern of contamination of metals is very similar in all the analyzed samples, which could be attributed to the same origin of the analyzed cannabis, i.e., the common soil composition, use of fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Finally, as far as the distribution pattern between the different parts of the plant is concerned, it was revealed that leaves present a higher concentration in comparison to seeds for all metals examined.

Keywords: cannabis, heavy metals, ICP-MS, leaves and seeds, elements

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25 The Pharmacogenetics of Type 1 Cannabinoid Receptor (CB1) Gene Associated with Adverse Drug Reactions in Thai Patients

Authors: Kittitara Chunlakittiphan, Patompong Satapornpong


Introduction: The variation of genetics affects how our body responds to pharmaceuticals elucidates the correlation between long-term use of medical cannabis and adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Medical cannabis is regarded as the treatment for chronic pain, cancer pain, acute pain, psychological disorders, multiple sclerosis and migraine management. However, previous studies have shown that delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an ingredient found in cannabis, was the cause of ADRs in CB1 receptors found in humans. Previous research suggests that distributions of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor gene and pharmacogenetic markers, which vary amongst different populations, might affect incidences of ADRs. Although there is an evident need to investigate the level of the CB1 receptor gene (rs806365), studies on the distribution of CB1-pharmacogenetics markers in Thai patients are limited. Objective: Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the distribution of the rs806365 polymorphism in Thai patients who have been treated with medical cannabis. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 31 Thai patients with THC-induced ADRs and 34 THC-tolerant controls to take part in this study. All patients with THC-induced ADRs were accessed through a review of medical records by physicians. EDTA blood of 3ml was collected to obtain the CNR1 gene (rs806365) and genotyping of this gene was conducted using the real-time PCR ViiA7 (ABI, Foster City, CA, USA) following the manufacturer’s instruction. Results: The sample consisted of 65 patients (40/61.54%) were females and (25/38.46%) were males, with an age range of 19-87 years, who have been treated with medical cannabis. In this study, the most common THC-induced ADRs were dry mouth and/or dry throat, tachycardia, nausea, and arrhythmia. Across the whole sample, we found that 52.31% of Thai patients carried a heterozygous variant (rs806365, CT allele). Moreover, the number of rs806365 (CC, homozygous variant) carriers totaled seventeen people (26.15%) amongst the subjects of Thai patients treated with medical cannabis. Furthermore, 17 out of 22 patients (77.27%) who experienced severe ADRs: Tachycardia and/or arrhythmia, carried an abnormal rs806365 gene (CT and CC alleles). Conclusions: The results propose that the rs806365 gene is widely distributed amongst the Thai population and there is a link between this gene and vulnerability to developing THC-induced ADRs after being treated with medical cannabis. Therefore, it is necessary to screen for the rs806365 gene before using medical cannabis to treat a patient.

Keywords: rs806365, THC-induced adverse drug reactions, CB1 receptor, Thai population

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24 Cannabis for the Treatment of Drug Resistant Epilepsy in Children

Authors: Sarah E. Casey


Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in children and approximately one-third of children with epilepsy have seizures that are uncontrolled on anticonvulsants alone. Cannabidiol is shown to be an effective treatment at reducing the amount of breakthrough seizures experienced by children with drug resistant epilepsy. Improvements in quality of life and overall condition were noted during cannabidiol treatment. Adverse side effects were experienced and were generally mild to moderate in nature. Additional double-blind, controlled studies with a more diverse sample population and standardized dosing are needed to ensure the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol use in children with drug resistant epilepsy.

Keywords: cannabis, drug resistant epilepsy, children, epilepsy

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23 Stress, Coping, and Substance Use Among College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Eli Goldstein, David Moore


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought substantial changes to the lives of college students, impacting them negatively. A consequence of these impacts has led to a significant increase in the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as substance use. The present study investigated the relationship between substance use (alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, benzodiazepines, psychedelics, and opioids) among college students from March 2020 to March 2021 and the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the relationship between certain personality traits and substance use. Participants (N = 85) answered three questionnaires that measured their expressed symptoms of each negative emotional state, their frequency of substance use, and their levels of five specific personality traits. Investigators predicted that individuals experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as individuals showing higher levels of neuroticism and low levels of conscientiousness, would use more depressants (alcohol and benzodiazepines) and opioids to cope with their negative emotional states. Investigators also predicted that individuals who expressed high levels of openness to experience would be more likely to use psychedelics and cannabis to cope with symptoms of depression. Significant correlations showed that individuals primarily used depressants to cope with symptoms of anxiety, as well as cannabis and psychedelics to cope with symptoms of depression. It was also revealed that individuals with higher levels of openness to experience used cannabis and psychedelics, and those with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to use depressants. Two unexpected outcomes appeared for alcohol and depression and depressants and extraversion. Possible explanations for these outcomes are later discussed.

Keywords: substance use, mental health, personality traits, coping strategies

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22 Preclinical Evidence of Pharmacological Effect from Medicinal Hemp

Authors: Muhammad nor Farhan Sa'At, Xin Y. Lim, Terence Y. C. Tan, Siti Hajar M. Rosli, Syazwani S. Ali, Ami F. Syed Mohamed


INTRODUCTION: Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa), commonly used for industrial purposes, differs from marijuana by containing lower levels of delta-9-tetrahydronannabidiol- the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis. Due to its non-psychoactive nature, there has been growing interest in hemp’s therapeutic potential, which has been investigated through pre-clinical and clinical study modalities. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of the current landscape of hemp research, through recent scientific findings specific to the pharmacological effects of the medicinal hemp plant and its derived compounds. METHODS: This review was conducted through a systematic search strategy according to the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis-ScR (PRISMA-ScR) checklist on electronic databases including MEDLINE, OVID (OVFT, APC Journal Club, EBM Reviews), Cochrane Library Central and RESULTS: From 65 primary articles reviewed, there were 47 pre-clinical studies related to medicinal hemp. Interestingly, the hemp derivatives showed several potential activities such as anti-oxidative, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-neuroinflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-acne, and anti-microbial activities. Renal protective effects and estrogenic properties were also exhibited in vitro. CONCLUSION: Medicinal hemp possesses various pharmacological effects tested in vitro and in vivo. Information provided in this review could be used as tool to strengthen the study design of future clinical trial research.

Keywords: Preclinical, Herbal Medicine, Hemp, Cannabis

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21 Antimicrobial Activity of CBD to be Used as a Preservative Against Listeria Monocytogenes in Milk & Dairy Products

Authors: Kazi N. Tahsin, David W. Watson, David E. Heinrichs, Paul A. Charpentier


Many plants and their extracts have significant antimicrobial activity, as can be found in folk medicine, essential oils, or isolated compounds. One infamous plant known as Cannabis Sativa has been grown specifically for its medical/recreational use. The constituents of C. Sativa consist of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has drawn extensive interest because of its antimicrobial attributes on many food pathogens. After legalization, food and beverage industries are developing CBD - infused foods and beverages such as CBD ice-cream and Muuna Cannabis cottage cheese. This research focused on studying the antimicrobial properties of CBD against one of the most common pathogens found in milk and dairy produce, Listeria Monocytogenes. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of CBD were measured against Listeria Monocytogenes (strain EGD) using trypticase soy broth (TSB), incubated at 35 °C/24 h and in skim milk and whole milk incubated at 35 °C/24 h and 7 °C/7 days. The effect of fat content on CBD antibacterial activity was investigated in whole and skim milk cultured at 7°C for 7 days by comparing kill curves. The MIC for L. monocytogenes was found to be 0.5 μg/mL, and the MBC was 5 μg/mL measured dilution series in liquid culture and disk diffusion assays in TSB, respectively. Similarly, the MICs in semi-skim milk and whole milk were studied at 35 °C/24 h, and at 7 °C/7 days, respectively. The effect of incubation temperatures on the MBC and MIC of the CBD in skim milk was also studied. Although CBD showed good antimicrobial activity on skim milk, it showed a lack of activity on whole milk. This lowered antibacterial activity of CBD in skim milk is attributed to the associated fat molecules. CBD being a highly unstable compound and soluble in lipids, causes the compound to breakdown when exposed to milk high in fat content by micellarization. This research shows that cannabis can potentially be used as a preservative for dairy products low in fat content in the years to come, not just used as flavoring.

Keywords: CBD, antimicrobial studies, L. monocytogenes, dairy products

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20 Prevailing Clinical Evidence on Medicinal Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.)

Authors: Siti Hajar Muhamad Rosli, Xin Yi Lim, Terence Yew Chin Tan, Muhammad nor Farhan Sa’At, Syazwani Sirdar Ali, Ami Fazlin Syed Mohamed


A growing interest on therapeutic benefits of hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) is evident in the pharmaceutical market, attributed to its lower levels of psychoactive constituent delta-9-tetrahydronannabidiol (THC). Deemed as a legal and safer alternative to its counterpart marijuana, the use of medicinal hemp is highly debatable as current scientific evidence on the efficacy for clinical use is yet to be established This study was aimed to provide an overview of the current landscape of hemp research, through recent clinical findings specific to the pharmacological properties of the hemp plant and its derived compounds. A systematic search was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis-ScR (PRISMA) checklist on electronic databases (MEDLINE, OVID, Cochrane Library Central, and for articles published from 2009 to 2019. With predetermined inclusion criteria, all human trials with hemp intervention were included. A total of 18 human trials were identified, investigating therapeutic effects on the neuronal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and immune system, with sample sizes ranging from one to 194 subjects. Three randomised controlled trials showed hempseed pills (in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulation MaZiRenWan) consumption significantly improved spontaneous bowel movement in functional constipation. The use of commercial cannabidiol (CBD) sourced from hemp suggested benefits in cannabis dependence, epilepsy, and anxiety disorders. However, there was insufficient evidence to suggest analgesic or anxiolytics effects of hemp being equivalent to marijuana. All clinical trials reviewed varied in terms of test item formulation and standardisation, which made it challenging to confirm overall efficacy for a specific disease or condition. Published efficacy data on hemp are still at a preliminary level, with limited high quality clinical evidence for any specific therapeutic indication. With multiple variants of this plant having different phytochemical and bioactive compounds, future empirical research should focus on uniformity in experimental designs to further strengthen the notion of using medicinal hemp.

Keywords: cannabis, complementary medicine, hemp, herbal medicine.

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19 Prevalence and Effect of Substance Use and Psychological Co-Morbidities in Medical and Dental Students of a Medical University of Nepal

Authors: Nidesh Sapkota, Garima Pudasaini, Dikshya Agrawal, Binav Baral, Umesh Bhagat, Dharanidhar Baral


Background: Medical and Dental students are vulnerable to higher levels of Psychological distress than other age matched peers. Many studies reveals that there is high prevalence of psychoactive substance use and Psychiatric co-morbidities among them. Objectives: -To study the prevalence of substance use among medical and dental students of a Medical University. -To study the prevalence of depression and anxiety in medical and dental students of a Medical University. Materials and Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study in which simple random sampling was done. Semi-structured questionnaire, AUDIT for alcohol use, Fagerstrom test for Nicotine dependence, Cannabis screening test (CAST), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck’s Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were used for the assessment. Results: Total sample size was 588 in which the mean age of participants was 22±2years. Among them the prevalence of alcohol users was 47.75%(281) in which 32%(90) were harmful users. Among 19.55%(115) nicotine users 56.5%(65), 37.4%(43), 6.1%(7) had low, low to moderate and moderate dependence respectively. The prevalence of cannabis users was 9%(53) with 45.3%(24), 18.9%(10) having low and high addiction respectively. Depressive symptoms were recorded in 25.3%(149) out of which 12.6%(74), 6.5%(38), 5.3%(31), 0.5%(3), 0.5%(3) had mild, borderline, moderate, severe and extreme depressive symptoms respectively. Similarly anxiety was recorded among 7.8%(46) students with 42 having moderate and 4 having severe anxiety symptoms. Among them 6.3%(37) had suicidal thoughts and 4(0.7%) of them had suicide attempt in last one year. Statistically significant association was noted with harmful alcohol users, Depression and suicidal attempts. Similar association was noted between Depression and suicide with moderate use of nicotine. Conclusion: There is high prevalence of Psychoactive substance use and psychiatric co-morbidities noted in the studies sample. Statistically significant association was noted with Psychiatric co-morbidities and substance use.

Keywords: alcohol, cannabis, dependence, depression, medical students

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18 Phosphate Bonded Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Fibre Composites

Authors: Stephen O. Amiandamhen, Martina Meinken, Luvuyo Tyhoda


The properties of Hemp (Cannabis sativa) in phosphate bonded composites were investigated in this research. Hemp hurds were collected from the Hemporium institute for research, South Africa. The hurds were air-dried and shredded using a hammer mill. The shives were screened into different particle sizes and were treated separately with 5% solution of acetic anhydride and sodium hydroxide. The binding matrix was prepared using a reactive magnesia, phosphoric acid, class S fly ash and unslaked lime. The treated and untreated hemp fibers were mixed thoroughly in different ratios with the inorganic matrix. Boric acid and excess water were used to retard and control the rate of the reaction and the setting of the binder. The Hemp composite was formed in a rectangular mold and compressed at room temperature at a pressure of 100KPa. After de-molding the composites, they were cured in a conditioning room for 96 h. Physical and mechanical tests were conducted to evaluate the properties of the composites. A central composite design (CCD) was used to determine the best conditions to optimize the performance of the composites. Thereafter, these combinations were applied in the production of the composites, and the properties were evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to carry out the advance examination of the behavior of the composites while X-ray diffractometry (XRD) was used to analyze the reaction pathway in the composites. The results revealed that all properties of phosphate bonded Hemp composites exceeded the LD-1 grade classification of particle boards. The proposed product can be used for ceiling, partitioning, wall claddings and underlayment.

Keywords: CCD, fly ash, magnesia, phosphate bonded hemp composites, phosphoric acid, unslaked lime

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17 Time-dependent Association between Recreational Cannabinoid Use and Memory Performance in Healthy Adults: A Neuroimaging Study of Human Connectome Project

Authors: Kamyar Moradi


Background: There is mixed evidence regarding the association between recreational cannabinoid use and memory performance. One of the major reasons for the present controversy is different cannabinoid use-related covariates that influence the cognitive status of an individual. Adjustment of these confounding variables provides accurate insight into the real effects of cannabinoid use on memory status. In this study, we sought to investigate the association between recent recreational cannabinoid use and memory performance while correcting the model for other possible covariates such as demographic characteristics and duration, and amount of cannabinoid use. Methods: Cannabinoid users were assigned to two groups based on the results of THC urine drug screen test (THC+ group: n = 110, THC- group: n = 410). THC urine drug screen test has a high sensitivity and specificity in detecting cannabinoid use in the last 3-4 weeks. The memory domain of NIH Toolbox battery and brain MRI volumetric measures were compared between the groups while adjusting for confounding variables. Results: After Benjamini-Hochberg p-value correction, the performance in all of the measured memory outcomes, including vocabulary comprehension, episodic memory, executive function/cognitive flexibility, processing speed, reading skill, working memory, and fluid cognition, were significantly weaker in THC+ group (p values less than 0.05). Also, volume of gray matter, left supramarginal, right precuneus, right inferior/middle temporal, right hippocampus, left entorhinal, and right pars orbitalis regions were significantly smaller in THC+ group. Conclusions: this study provides evidence regarding the acute effect of recreational cannabis use on memory performance. Further studies are warranted to confirm the results.

Keywords: brain MRI, cannabis, memory, recreational use, THC urine test

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16 Use of Adjunctive Cannabinoids in Opioid Dosing for Patients with Chronic Pain

Authors: Kristina De Milt, Nicole Huang, Jihye Park


Opioids have been a mainstay of the treatment of chronic pain, but their overprescription and misuse have led to an opioid epidemic. Recently, as an attempt to decrease the number of opioids prescribed, the use of cannabinoid therapy has become an increasingly popular adjunctive chronic pain management choice among providers. This review of literature investigates the effects of adjunctive cannabinoids to opioids in the management of chronic pain. The nine articles are included in the literature review range from observational studies to meta-analyses published in the year 2016 and after. A majority of the studies showed a decrease in the need for opioids after adjunctive cannabinoids were introduced and, in some instances, the cessation of opioid consumption. More high-quality evidence is needed to further support this stance and providers should weigh the benefits and risks of adjunctive cannabinoids according to the clinical picture.

Keywords: cannabis, chronic pain, opioids, pain management

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15 Improvement of Low Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Hemp Cultivars for High Fiber Content

Authors: Sarita Pinmanee, Saipan Krapbia, Rataya Yanaphan


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is multi-purpose crop delivering fibers, shives, and seed. The fiber is used today for special paper, insulation material, and biocomposites. This research was to improve low delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp variety for high fiber contents. Mass selection for increased fiber content in four low THC Thai cultivars (including RPF1, RPF2, RPF3, and RPF4) was carried out in highland areas in the northern Thailand. Research work was conducted for three consecutive growing seasons during 2012 to 2014 at Pangda Royal Agricultural Station, Samoeng District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Results of selection indicated that after selecting for three successive generations, the average fiber content of four low THC Thai cultivars increased to 28-36 %. The resulted of selection was found that fiber content of RPF1, RPF2, RPF3 and RPF4 increased to 20.6, 19.1, 19.9 and 22.8%, respectively. In addition, THC contents of these four varieties were 0.07, 0.138, 0.08 and 0.072 % respectively. As well, mass selection method was considered as an effective and suitable method for improving this fiber content.

Keywords: Hemp, mass selection, fiber content, low THC content

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14 Chemopreventive Properties of Cannabis sativa L. var. USO31 in Relation to Its Phenolic and Terpenoid Content

Authors: Antonella Di Sotto, Cinzia Ingallina, Caterina Fraschetti, Simone Circi, Marcello Locatelli, Simone Carradori, Gabriela Mazzanti, Luisa Mannina, Silvia Di Giacomo


Cannabis sativa L. is one of the oldest cultivated plant species known not only for its voluptuous use but also for the wide application in food, textile, and therapeutic industries. Recently, the progress of biotechnologies applied to medicinal plants has allowed to produce different hemp varieties with low content of psychotropic phytoconstituents (tetrahydrocannabinol < 0.2% w/v), thus leading to a renewed industrial and therapeutic interest for this plant. In this context, in order to discover new potential remedies of pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical interest, the chemopreventive properties of different organic and hydroalcoholic extracts, obtained from the inflorescences of C. sativa L. var. USO31, collected in June and September harvesting, were assessed. Particularly, the antimutagenic activity towards the oxidative DNA-damage induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH) was evaluated, and the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) radical scavenging power of the samples were assessed as possible mechanisms of antimutagenicity. Furthermore, the ability of the extracts to inhibit the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), whose overexpression has been found to play a critical role in neoplastic transformation and tumor progression, has been studied as a possible chemopreventive strategy. A careful phytochemical characterization of the extracts for phenolic and terpenoid composition has been obtained by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) methods. Under our experimental condition, all the extracts were found able to interfere with the tBOOH-induced mutagenicity in WP2uvrAR strain, although with different potency and effectiveness. The organic extracts from both the harvesting periods were found to be the main effective antimutagenic samples, reaching about a 55% inhibition of the tBOOH-mutagenicity at the highest concentration tested (250 μg/ml). All the extracts exhibited radical scavenger activity against DPPH and ABTS radicals, with a higher potency of the hydroalcoholic samples. The organic extracts were also able to inhibit the G6PD enzyme, being the samples from September harvesting the highly potent (about 50% inhibition respect to the vehicle). At the phytochemical analysis, all the extracts resulted to contain both polar and apolar phenolic compounds. The HPLC analysis revealed the presence of catechin and rutin as the major constituents of the hydroalcoholic extracts, with lower levels of quercetin and ferulic acid. The monoterpene carvacrol was found to be an ubiquitarian constituent. At GC-MS analysis, different terpenoids, among which caryophyllene sesquiterpenes, were identified. This evidence suggests a possible role of both polyphenols and terpenoids in the chemopreventive properties of the extracts from the inflorescences of C. sativa var. USO31. According to the literature, carvacrol and caryophyllene sesquiterpenes can contribute to the strong antimutagenicity although the role of all the hemp phytocomplex cannot be excluded. In conclusion, present results highlight a possible interest for the inflorescences of C. sativa var. USO31 as source of bioactive molecules and stimulate further studies in order to characterize its possible application for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical purposes.

Keywords: antimutagenicity, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, hemp inflorescences, nutraceuticals, sesquiterpenes

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