In recent years, there has been a surge in research investigating the effects of cannabinoids on various aspects of human health. From how CBD and THC plays with your driving skills to to innovative approaches in colitis prevention, this article is your backstage pass to the latest groundbreaking studies in the world of weed. So, grab your favorite munchies, kick back, and let’s explore the latest research on cannabinoids together!
Study 1: Smoked Cannabis and Hepatic Enzymes
Research Focus: Investigating the acute and residual effects of smoked cannabis on hepatic enzymes, this study explored parameters relevant to the disposition of ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its psychoactive metabolite, 11-OH-THC.
Key Findings: Crucial drug-dependent parameters necessary for predicting maternal-fetal exposure to cannabinoids through Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling were identified. CYP2C9 was confirmed as the major enzyme responsible for THC elimination, while UGT enzymes played a primary role in eliminating 11-OH-THC.
Study 2: Cannabinoids and Alzheimer’s Disease
Research Focus: A comprehensive review of nine peer-reviewed studies explored the effects of cannabinoids, particularly CBD and THC, on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Key Findings: CBD emerged as a potential pharmacotherapy, showing neuroprotective effects and promoting neuronal cell growth in the hippocampus. The combination of CBD and THC appeared more beneficial than individual cannabinoids in suppressing causal factors of Alzheimer’s disease, highlighting the need for continued research into cannabinoids for Alzheimer’s treatment.
Study 3: Prenatal Cannabis Use and Maternal Outcomes
Research Focus: This research on cannabinoids investigated the association between self-reported prenatal cannabis use and maternal, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes, analyzing a cohort of 661,617 women.
Key Findings: A significant correlation between cannabis use and early preterm births was identified. Women using cannabis during pregnancy experienced a higher rate of preterm births compared to non-users. The study emphasizes the importance of avoiding cannabis use during pregnancy, with potential implications for gestational stages.
Study 4: Genetic Variations in Cannabinoid Receptors
Research Focus: This cannabis health studies delved into the genetic variations in cannabinoid receptor two (CB2) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and their interactions with childhood trauma in anxious and depressive phenotypes.
Key Findings: Genetic variations in CB2 (R63Q) and FAAH (C385A) were associated with higher scores on depression and anxiety scales. The study underscores the importance of robust genetic studies to unravel the endocannabinoid system’s role in psychiatric disorders.
Study 5: Effect of Cannabidiol & THC on Driving Performance
Research Focus: This THC study assessed the effects of vaporized THC-dominant versus CBD-dominant cannabis on driving performance.
Key Findings: THC significantly increased the distance between the vehicle and the lane boundary, indicating impaired driving performance. CBD alone didn’t significantly alter driving performance, highlighting a potential safer alternative for individuals requiring therapeutic cannabinoids.
Study 6: THC-Related Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Adults Aged 50 and Older
Research Focus: Meta-analysis exploring the correlation between cannabis-based medications (CBMs) and neuropsychiatric adverse events in individuals aged 50 years and older.
Key Findings: Significant positive associations were observed between THC dose and neuropsychiatric symptoms, emphasizing the need for cautious use of cannabis-based medications in older populations. Limitations, including self-reports and age range, were acknowledged.
Study 7: Elevated Anandamide, Fear Extinction & Stress Responses
Research Focus: Examining the effects of elevated levels of anandamide through inhibition of Fatty Acid Amide Hydroxylase (FAAH) on fear extinction and stress responses in individuals with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Key Findings: FAAH inhibition increased anandamide levels and enhanced recall of fear extinction, suggesting a potential role in PTSD management. Larger clinical trials are warranted to further elucidate anandamide’s role in PTSD treatment.
Study 8: Cannabinoid Receptor Activation & Colitis Prevention
Research Focus: This medical cannabis studies investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor activation on immune cells and colonocytes in preventing colonic inflammation.
Key Findings: Cannabinoid receptor activation, particularly by THC, significantly reduced inflammation and weight loss in colitis models. The study highlighted a dynamic interplay between hematopoietic cells, enterocytes, immune cells, and cannabinoid receptor activation contributing to colitis improvement.
Study 9: Cannabidiol for Cannabis Use Disorder
Research Focus: A phase 2a, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessing cannabidiol as a treatment for cannabis use disorder.
Key Findings: Cannabidiol, at doses of 400mg and 800mg, significantly decreased THC-COOH: creatinine ratios and increased days per week abstaining from cannabis use. The study suggests the potential of cannabidiol in reducing cannabis use disorder.
Study 10: Inhaled Cannabis for Pain in Sickle Cell Disease
Research Focus: A randomized clinical trial assessing the effects of vaporized cannabis on pain in adults with sickle cell disease.
Key Findings: Vaporized cannabis did not significantly reduce pain and associated symptoms compared to placebo. However, a decreased interference of sickle cell symptoms with mood was observed, indicating potential areas for more research.
As researchers delve further into the cannabis benefits studies, the multifaceted applications of cannabinoids are gradually revealing themselves, offering exciting prospects for expanded medical research and innovative therapeutic interventions.