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Jenny L Wiley, Julie A Marusich, Brian F Thomas
Originally developed as research tools for use in structure-activity relationship studies, synthetic cannabinoids contributed to significant scientific advances in the cannabinoid field. Unfortunately, a subset of these compounds was diverted for recreational use beginning in the early 2000s. As these compounds were banned, they were replaced with additional synthetic cannabinoids with increasingly diverse chemical structures. This chapter focuses on integration of recent results with those covered in previous reviews...
October 18, 2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Torbjörn U C Järbe, Jimit Girish Raghav
The phenomenon of consuming synthetic cannabinoids ("Spice") for recreational purposes is a fairly recent trend. However, consumption of cannabis dates back millennia, with numerous accounts written on the experience of its consumption, and thousands of scientific reports published on the effects of its constituents in laboratory animals and humans. Here, we focus on consolidating the scientific literature on the effects of "Spice" compounds in various behavioral assays, including assessing abuse liability, tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and potential toxicity...
October 18, 2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Pedram Ramin, Andreas Libonati Brock, Fabio Polesel, Ana Causanilles, Erik Emke, Pim de Voogt, Benedek Gy Plosz
Sewer pipelines, although primarily designed for sewage transport, can also be considered as bioreactors. In-sewer processes may lead to significant variations of chemical loadings from source release points to the treatment plant influent. In this study, we assessed in-sewer utilization of growth substrates (primary metabolic processes) and transformation of illicit drug biomarkers (secondary metabolic processes) by suspended biomass. Sixteen drug biomarkers were targeted, including mephedrone, methadone, cocaine, heroin, codeine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and their major human metabolites...
October 14, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology
Yuri P Springer, Roy Gerona, Erich Scheunemann, Sarah L Shafer, Thomas Lin, Samuel D Banister, Michael P Cooper, Louisa J Castrodale, Michael Levy, Jay C Butler, Joseph B McLaughlin
In July 2015, personnel in the Alaska Division of Public Health's Section of Epidemiology became aware of an increase in the number of patients being treated in Anchorage hospital emergency departments for adverse reactions associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs). SCs are a chemically diverse class of designer drugs that bind to the same cannabinoid receptors as tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. A public health investigation was initiated to describe clinical outcomes, characterize the outbreak, and identify SC chemicals circulating in Anchorage...
October 14, 2016: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Patrick Vermersch, Maria Trojano
BACKGROUND: Tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex®) is an add-on therapy for moderate-to-severe multiple sclerosis (MS)-related drug-resistant spasticity (MSS). AIM: The MOVE-2 EU study collected data from everyday clinical practice concerning the effectiveness and tolerability of THC:CBD. METHODS: This was an observational, prospective, multicentre, non-interventional study. Patients with resistant MSS prescribed add-on THC:CBD oromucosal spray according to approved labelling, were followed for 3 months...
October 13, 2016: European Neurology
Marianne Hädener, Marie Martin Fabritius, Stefan König, Christian Giroud, Wolfgang Weinmann
Heavy cannabis consumption is considered incompatible with safe driving. In Swiss traffic policy, drivers suspected of regular cannabis use are therefore required to undergo medical assessment of their long-term fitness to drive. A whole blood concentration of the cannabis metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THCCOOH) of 40 µg/L is currently used by Swiss forensic experts as decision limit for regular cannabis consumption. The present study aimed to investigate the suitability of THCCOOH-glucuronide blood levels as an additional and/or better marker for the frequency of cannabis use...
October 12, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
Marjan de Vries, Dagmar C M van Rijckevorsel, Kris C P Vissers, Oliver H G Wilder-Smith, Harry van Goor
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most abundant cannabinoid from the plant Cannabis sativa. There is only equivocal evidence that THC has analgesic effects. We performed a phase 2 controlled trial to evaluate the analgesic efficacy, pharmacokinetics, safety, and tolerability of an oral tablet containing purified THC in patients with chronic abdominal pain. METHODS: Sixty-five patients with chronic abdominal pain for 3 months or more (numeric rating scale scores of 3 or more) after surgery or due to chronic pancreatitis were randomly assigned to groups given the THC tablet or identical matching placebos for 50-52 days...
October 5, 2016: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Robin M Murray, Harriet Quigley, Diego Quattrone, Amir Englund, Marta Di Forti
Epidemiological evidence demonstrates that cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychotic outcomes, and confirms a dose-response relationship between the level of use and the risk of later psychosis. High-potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids carry the greatest risk. Experimental administration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient of cannabis, induces transient psychosis in normal subjects, but this effect can be ameliorated by co-administration of cannabidiol. This latter is a constituent of traditional hashish, but is largely absent from modern high-potency forms of cannabis...
October 2016: World Psychiatry: Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
Emma Gracia-Lor, Ettore Zuccato, Sara Castiglioni
The estimation of illicit drugs use through wastewater analysis has become an important issue in the last few years due to their large worldwide consumption, which results in economic, social and health costs. The amounts of urinary biomarkers of illicit drugs (selected drugs or their metabolites) measured in wastewater are used to back-calculate the consumption of a particular drug by the population and to monitor temporal and spatial trends of illicit drug use in a community. The reliability of back-calculation depends on different factors, one being the accuracy of correction factors...
September 29, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
David S Jacobs, Stephen J Kohut, Shan Jiang, Spyros P Nikas, Alexandros Makriyannis, Jack Bergman
Recent clinical and preclinical research has suggested that cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) have interactive effects on measures of cognition; however, the nature of these interactions is not yet fully characterized. To address this, we investigated the effects of Δ9-THC and CBD independently and in combination with proposed therapeutic dose ratios of 1:1 and 1:3 Δ9-THC:CBD in adult rhesus monkeys (n = 6) performing a stop signal task (SST). Additionally, the development of tolerance to the effects of Δ9-THC on SST performance was evaluated by determining the effects of acutely administered Δ9-THC (0...
October 2016: Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Damon Borg, Anna Tverdovsky, Richard Stripp
Synthetic cannabinoids are a group of psychoactive compounds that mimic the effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana (Cannabis sativa L). The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified many of the most common cannabinoids as Schedule 1 controlled substances. As a result, several novel synthetic cannabinoid series have emerged in the illicit drug market, including PINACA, FUBINACA, PB-22, AKB-48 and multiple derivatives of these compounds. Our laboratory developed and validated an analytical method for the analysis 32 synthetic cannabinoid metabolites in urine samples...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Giovanni Ottaviani, Roberto Cameriere, Marta Cippitelli, Rino Froldi, Giovanna Tassoni, Massimiliano Zampi, Mariano Cingolani
The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method to detect drugs of abuse in a single sample of tooth. Pulverized samples of dental materials were subjected to acid hydrolysis to detect opiates, cocaine and their metabolites. The residual dental materials from these analyses were subjected to basic extraction to detect cannabis products (Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and cannabinol). The method showed a good linearity between 0.05 and 2 ng/mg for all substances...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Camille Cohier, Bruno Mégarbane, Olivier Roussel
Driving after illicit drug use is a worldwide growing concern requiring rapid and sensitive screening at the roadside. It is noteworthy that the sampling method used to collect oral fluid (OF) may significantly influence drug concentrations in the collected sample and thus alter the accuracy of the measurement. We evaluated two OF collection devices, Quantisal(®) and Certus(®) collectors, for their suitability for collecting samples to allow laboratory confirmation of driving after illicit drug use. Four parameters were studied including (i) the collected OF volume; (ii) the recovery efficiency using OFs spiked with opiates, cannabinoids, amphetamines, cocaine and its metabolites; (iii) drug stability after storage for 1, 7 and 14 days at -20°C, +4°C and room temperature; and (iv) the impact of mouth cells present in the collected OF on drug stability...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Analytical Toxicology
D S Karhson, A Y Hardan, K J Parker
Core deficits in social functioning are associated with various neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, yet biomarker identification and the development of effective pharmacological interventions has been limited. Recent data suggest the intriguing possibility that endogenous cannabinoids, a class of lipid neuromodulators generally implicated in the regulation of neurotransmitter release, may contribute to species-typical social functioning. Systematic study of the endogenous cannabinoid signaling could, therefore, yield novel approaches to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of atypical social functioning...
2016: Translational Psychiatry
R M Craft, A E Haas, J L Wiley, Z Yu, B H Clowers
The gonadal hormones testosterone (T) in adult males and estradiol (E2) in adult females have been reported to modulate behavioral effects of ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This study determined whether activational effects of T and E2 are sex-specific, and whether hormones modulate production of the active metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) and the inactive metabolite 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH). Adult male and female rats were gonadectomized (GDX) and treated with nothing (0), T (10-mm Silastic capsule/100g body weight), or E2 (1-mm Silastic capsule/rat)...
September 24, 2016: Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior
Charles D Ciccone
Medical marijuana continues to gain acceptance and become legalized in many states. Various species of the marijuana plant have been cultivated, and this plant can contain up to 100 active compounds known as cannabinoids. Two cannabinoids seem the most clinically relevant: Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which tends to produce the psychotropic effects commonly associated with marijuana, and cannabidiol (CBD), which may produce therapeutic effects without appreciable psychoactive properties. Smoking marijuana, or ingesting extracts from the whole plant orally (in baked goods, teas, and so forth), introduces variable amounts of THC, CBD, and other minor cannabinoids into the systemic circulation where they ultimately reach the central and peripheral nervous systems...
September 22, 2016: Physical Therapy
Emma Beasley, Simona Francese, Tom Bassindale
The sample preparation method reported in this work has permitted for the first time the application of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) profiling and imaging for the detection and mapping of cannabinoids in a single hair sample. MALDI-MS imaging analysis of hair samples has recently been suggested as an alternative technique to traditional methods of GC/MS and LC/MS due to simpler sample preparation, the ability to detect a narrower time frame of drug use, and a reduction in sample amount required...
October 18, 2016: Analytical Chemistry
Atheer Zgair, Jonathan Cm Wong, Jong Bong Lee, Jatin Mistry, Olena Sivak, Kishor M Wasan, Ivo M Hennig, David A Barrett, Cris S Constantinescu, Peter M Fischer, Pavel Gershkovich
There has been an escalating interest in the medicinal use of Cannabis sativa in recent years. Cannabis is often administered orally with fat-containing foods, or in lipid-based pharmaceutical preparations. However, the impact of lipids on the exposure of patients to cannabis components has not been explored. Therefore, the aim of this study is to elucidate the effect of oral co-administration of lipids on the exposure to two main active cannabinoids, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In this study, oral co-administration of lipids enhanced the systemic exposure of rats to THC and CBD by 2...
2016: American Journal of Translational Research
Madeleine J Swortwood, Matthew N Newmeyer, Maria Andersson, Osama A Abulseoud, Karl B Scheidweiler, Marilyn A Huestis
Oral fluid (OF) is an important matrix for monitoring drugs. Smoking cannabis is common, but vaporization and edible consumption also are popular. OF pharmacokinetics are available for controlled smoked cannabis, but few data exist for vaporized and oral routes. Frequent and occasional cannabis smokers were recruited as participants for four dosing sessions including one active (6.9% Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol, THC) or placebo cannabis-containing brownie, followed by one active or placebo cigarette, or one active or placebo vaporized cannabis dose...
September 19, 2016: Drug Testing and Analysis
Valerie C M Shang, David A Kendall, Richard E Roberts
Despite pharmacological treatment, bronchial hyperresponsiveness continues to deteriorate as airway remodelling persists in airway inflammation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the phytocannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reverses bronchoconstriction with an anti-inflammatory action. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of THC on bronchial epithelial cell permeability after exposure to the pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα. Calu-3 bronchial epithelial cells were cultured at air-liquid interface...
September 15, 2016: Biochemical Pharmacology
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