Journal of Cannabis Research

Journal Information
EISSN: 25225782
Published by: Springer Nature
Total articles ≅ 166

Latest articles in this journal

Published: 3 November 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-6;

Background: Interest in industrial hemp is increasing steadily, as can be seen by the growing number of countries that have either decriminalized industrial hemp or are contemplating its decriminalization. In line with this trend, Ghana recently decriminalized the cultivation of industrial hemp (the cannabis variety with low Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high cannabidiol (CBD) content), resulting in the need for research into its benefits to Ghanaians. This article examines cannabis (including industrial hemp) production, facilities for industrial hemp exploitation, and the potential benefits of industrial hemp in Ghana. Main body: Indigenous cannabis strains in Ghana have high THC to CBD ratios suggesting the need for the government to purchase foreign hemp seeds, considering that the alternative will require significant research into decreasing the THC to CBD ratio of indigenous cannabis strains. Furthermore, there are several facilities within the country that could be leveraged for the production of medicinal hemp-based drugs, as well as the existence of a number of possible regulatory bodies in the country, suggesting the need for less capital. Research has also shown the potential for treatment of some medical conditions prevalent among Ghanaians using medicinal hemp-based products. These reasons suggest that the most feasible option may be for the government to invest in medicinal hemp. Conclusion: Considering the challenges associated with the development of other hemp-based products, the availability of resources in the country for exploitation of medicinal hemp, and the potential benefits of hemp-based drugs to Ghanaians, investing in medicinal hemp may be the best option for the government of Ghana.
, Christopher Pauli, Robert Givens, Jason Argyris, Keith Allen, Amparo Monfort, Reginald J. Gaudino
Published: 2 November 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-10;

Background: Cannabis sativa is a primarily dioecious angiosperm that exhibits sexual developmental plasticity. Developmental genes for staminate male flowers have yet to be elucidated; however, there are regions of male-associated DNA from Cannabis (MADC) that correlate with the formation of pollen producing staminate flowers. MADC2 is an example of a PCR-based genetic marker that has been shown to produce a 390-bp amplicon that correlates with the expression of male phenotypes. We demonstrate applications of a cost-effective high-throughput male genotyping assay and other genotyping applications of male identification in Cannabis sativa. Methods: In this study, we assessed data from 8200 leaf samples analyzed for real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) detection of MADC2 in a commercial testing application offered through Steep Hill Laboratories. Through validation, collaborative research projects, and follow-up retest analysis, we observed a > 98.5% accuracy of detection of MADC2 by qPCR. We also carried out assay development for high-resolution melting analysis (HRM), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and TwistDx recombinase amplification (RPA) assays using MADC2 for male identification. Results: We demonstrate a robust high-throughput duplex TaqMan qPCR assay for identification of male-specific genomic signatures using a novel MADC2 qPCR probe. The qPCR cycle quotient (Cq) value representative of MADC2 detection in 3156 males and the detection of tissue control cannabinoid synthesis for 8200 samples and the absence of MADC2 detection in 5047 non-males demonstrate a robust high-throughput real-time genotyping assay for Cannabis. Furthermore, we also demonstrated the viability of using nearby regions to MADC2 with novel primers as alternative assays. Finally, we also show proof of concept of several additional commercially viable sex determination methodologies for Cannabis sativa. Discussion: In industrial applications, males are desirable for their more rapid growth and higher quality fiber quality, as well as their ability to pollinate female plants and produce grain. In medicinal applications, female cultivars are more desirable for their ability to produce large amounts of secondary metabolites, specifically the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that have various medicinal and recreational properties. In previous studies, traditional PCR and non-high-throughput methods have been reported for the detection of male cannabis, and in our study, we present multiple methodologies that can be carried out in high-throughput commercial cannabis testing. Conclusion: With these markers developed for high-throughput testing assays, the Cannabis industry will be able to easily screen and select for the desired sex of a given cultivar depending on the application.
Published: 29 October 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-9;

Background: In the UK, legislation and regulations governing medical cannabis and over the counter cannabidiol (CBD) wellness products have rapidly evolved since 2018. This study aimed to assess the public awareness of the availability, regulations, and barriers to access medical cannabis and over the counter CBD wellness products. Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was performed through YouGov® using quota sampling methodology between March 22nd and March 31st 2021. Responses were matched and statistically weighted to UK adult population demographics, including those without internet access, and analysed according to percentage of respondents. Statistical significance was defined by p-value < 0.050. Results: Ten thousand six hundred eighty-four participants completed the survey. 5,494 (51.4%) respondents believed that medical cannabis is legal in the UK. 684 (6.4%) participants consumed CBD for wellness reasons, 286 (2.7%) were prescribed CBD for a medical reason and 222 (2.1%) consumed CBD for another reason. 10,076 (94.3%) respondents were unaware of April 2021 regulations meaning that all over the counter CBD wellness products in the UK must conform to European Novel Foods Regulations. The most frequently reported main barriers to accessing medical cannabis were its association with recreational cannabis (n = 2,686; 25.1%), being unsure if it was legal (n = 2,276; 21.3%) and being unsure what medical conditions its can be used for (n = 1,863; 17.4%). Conclusion: A large proportion of respondents are unaware of the legislation and regulations surrounding medical cannabis and over the counter CBD wellness products. Lack of knowledge may present a barrier to safe access to either product.
, Daniella Atzmony, Anna Frenklakh, Asaf Kroll, Ilana Zaks, Arno Hazekamp
Published: 24 October 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-9;

Background: Although the worldwide use of medical cannabis (MC) is on the rise, there is insufficient data regarding the long-term stability of phytocannabinoids in the plant material under different storage conditions. Specifically, there is insufficient data on the effect of storage conditions on the availability of (-)-∆9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in vaporized cannabis. The Syqe inhaler delivers metered doses of phytocannabinoids by inhalation and utilizes accurate quantities of ground cannabis inflorescence packaged in tamper-proof cartridges. We aimed to assess the stability of phytocannabinoids in ground cannabis before and after packaging in Syqe cartridges as well as the reproducibility of THC delivery in the aerosolized dose. Methods: Ground MC inflorescence was stored under different temperature and humidity conditions, before or after being packaged in Syqe cartridges. Concentrations of the major phytocannabinoids therein were analyzed at different time points using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (U-HPLC). THC doses aerosolized via the Syqe inhaler were evaluated using cartridges stored for up to 2 years at 25°C. Every vapor chip contains 13.5±0.9 mg of ground MC powder. Results: No significant changes were observed in phytocannabinoid concentrations in ground cannabis inflorescence after 3 months of bulk storage in a polypropylene container and sealed in an aluminum foil pouch at 5°C. In contrast, significant changes in phytocannabinoid concentrations were found when ground inflorescence was stored in the cartridges at 25°C for 2 years. Specifically, CBGA, THCA, and total THC concentrations decreased from 0.097±0.023, 2.7±0.3, and 2.80±0.16 mg/chip at baseline to 0.044±0.007 (55% decrease), 1.50±0.27 (44% decrease), and 2.20±0.083 (21% decrease) mg/chip following 2 years, respectively, while CBN and THC concentrations increased from 0.005±0.005 and 0.44±0.11 mg/chip at baseline to 0.14±0.006 (2700% increase) and 0.88±0.22 (100% increase) mg/chip following 2 years, respectively. Storage at 30°C revealed a steeper change in phytocannabinoid concentrations within an even shorter period. Despite the significant change of relative cannabinoid composition within the cartridge, the actual THC dose present in the aerosol remained relatively stable throughout this period and within the dosage range of 500mcg±25% required for pharmaceutical-grade inhalers. Conclusions: MC powder in Syqe cartridges may be stored at room temperature for at least 2 years after production without affecting the aerosolized THC dose delivered to patients by more than ±25%. Future studies should analyze additional phytocannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis inflorescence and assess the stability of different cannabis cultivars following storage in Syqe cartridges.
Harshavardhan Lingegowda, Bailey J. Williams, Katherine G. Spiess, Danielle J. Sisnett, Alan E. Lomax, Madhuri Koti,
Published: 7 October 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-13;

Endometriosis patients experience debilitating chronic pain, and the first-line treatment is ineffective at managing symptoms. Although surgical removal of the lesions provides temporary relief, more than 50% of the patients experience disease recurrence. Despite being a leading cause of hysterectomy, endometriosis lacks satisfactory treatments and a cure. Another challenge is the poor understanding of disease pathophysiology which adds to the delays in diagnosis and overall compromised quality of life. Endometriosis patients are in dire need of an effective therapeutic strategy that is both economical and effective in managing symptoms, while fertility is unaffected. Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and anti-proliferative properties that may prove beneficial for endometriosis management, given that inflammation, vascularization, and pain are hallmark features of endometriosis. Endocannabinoids are a complex network of molecules that play a central role in physiological processes including homeostasis and tissue repair, but endocannabinoids have also been associated in the pathophysiology of several chronic inflammatory diseases including endometriosis and cancers. The lack of satisfactory treatment options combined with the recent legalization of recreational cannabinoids in some parts of the world has led to a rise in self-management strategies including the use of cannabinoids for endometriosis-related pain and other symptoms. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of endocannabinoids with a focus on their potential roles in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. We further provide evidence-driven perspectives on the current state of knowledge on endometriosis-associated pain, inflammation, and therapeutic avenues exploiting the endocannabinoid system for its management.
Monique van Es-Remers, Jesus Arellano Spadaro, Eefje Poppelaars, Hye Kyong Kim, Marieke van Haaster, Marcel de Wit, Eva Iliopoulou, , Henrie Korthout
Published: 3 October 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-17;

Background: The medicinal effects of cannabis varieties on the market cannot be explained solely by the presence of the major cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Evidence for putative entourage effects caused by other compounds present in cannabis is hard to obtain due to the subjective nature of patient experience data. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an objective test system to identify cannabis compounds involved in claimed health and entourage effects. Methods: From a medicinal cannabis breeding program by MariPharm BV, the Netherlands a set of 12 varieties were selected both THC rich varieties as well as CBD rich varieties. A consecutive extraction process was applied resulting in a non-polar (cannabinoid-rich) and polar (cannabinoid-poor) extract of each variety. The test model C. elegans was exposed to these extracts in a broad set of bioassays for appetite control, body oscillation, motility, and nervous system function. Results: Exposing C. elegans to extracts with a high concentration of cannabinoids (> 1 μg/mL) reduces the life span of C. elegans dramatically. Exposing the nematodes to the low-cannabinoid (< 0.005 μg/mL) polar extracts, however, resulted in significant effects with respect to appetite control, body oscillation, motility, and nervous system-related functions in a dose-dependent and variety-dependent manner. Discussion: C. elegans is a small, transparent organism with a complete nervous system, behavior and is due to its genetic robustness and short life cycle highly suitable to unravel entourage effects of Cannabis compounds. Although C. elegans lacks an obvious CB1 and CB2 receptor it has orthologs of Serotonin and Vanilloid receptor which are also involved in (endo)cannabinoid signaling. Conclusion: By using C. elegans, we were able to objectively distinguish different effects of different varieties despite the cannabinoid content. C. elegans seems a useful test system for studying entourage effects, for targeted medicinal cannabis breeding programs and product development.
Published: 28 September 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-7;

Background: The emergence of colonial medicine in the North-Eastern Frontier witnessed different phases of consistent competition and resistance. Herbs such as cannabis provided native physicians with a coherent power to resist colonial medical intervention. Before British rule, cannabis assumed great significance in the socio-economic, cultural, and religious spheres. The colonizers’ bioprospection of cannabis shifted the production and use of cannabis from a medical and recreational plant to an industrial and commercial commodity. British policies on cannabis caused its ban leading to natives’ reliance on colonial cannabis products. As a result, the native medical practitioners resisted for reviving cannabis in the indigenous therapeutics. This paper mainly aims to investigate the decline of medicinal cannabis in indigenous therapeutics, causing subtle resistance of the native physicians of the North-Eastern Frontier. Methods: This paper follows a nomadology method based on primary and secondary sources to understand the impact on native physicians after the ban on private use, cultivation, and sale of cannabis. The primary sources/data have been collected from the Directorate of Archives: Government of Assam and Directorate of State Archives and Research Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal. Secondary sources have been collected from books, articles, and theses accessed from various libraries and websites. Results: Ban on cannabis led to dual responses from the indigenous population of the frontier. First is the interest of the native physicians resisting the revival of cannabis in indigenous therapeutics. The second is the interest of the frontier’s elites, who viewed cannabis as a “dangerous drug.” The British policies of control and restrictions on cannabis, the rift of response from the natives, and the over-powering of the indigenous therapeutics by the colonial medical system led to the decline of medicinal uses of cannabis in the North-Eastern Frontier. Discussions: Various pre-colonial and colonial factors helped colonial medical practices to get the upper hand over indigenous therapeutics. Such a shift led to the decline of indigenous medicinal cannabis causing native resistance, which was patient and silent. Conclusions: British ban on cannabis resulted in a rift of native responses, resistance, and decline of cannabis in the indigenous therapeutics of the North-Eastern Frontier.
Laura MacNair, , Erica N. Peters, Matthew T. Feldner, Graham M. L. Eglit, Lucile Rapin, Cynthia El Hage, Erin Prosk, Mark A. Ware
Published: 22 September 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-10;

Background: Use of medical cannabis is increasing among older adults. However, few investigations have examined cannabis use in this population. Methods: We assessed the authorization patterns, safety, and effects of medical cannabis in a sub-analysis of 201 older adults (aged ≥ 65 years) who completed a 3-month follow-up during this observational study of patients who were legally authorized a medical cannabis product (N = 67). Cannabis authorization patterns, adverse events (AEs), Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale-revised (ESAS-r), and Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (BPI-SF) data were collected. Results: The most common symptoms for which medical cannabis was authorized were pain (159, 85.0%) and insomnia (9, 4.8%). At baseline and at the 3-month follow-up, cannabidiol (CBD)-dominant products were authorized most frequently (99, 54%), followed by balanced products (76, 42%), and then delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-dominant products (8, 4.4%). The most frequent AEs were dizziness (18.2%), nausea (9.1%), dry mouth (9.1%), and tinnitus (9.1%). Significant reductions in ESAS-r scores were observed over time in the domains of drowsiness (p = .013) and tiredness (p = .031), but not pain (p = .106) or well-being (p = .274). Significant reductions in BPI-SF scores over time were observed for worst pain (p = .010), average pain (p = .012), and overall pain severity (p = 0.009), but not pain right now (p = .052) or least pain (p = .141). Conclusions: Overall, results suggest medical cannabis was safe, well-tolerated, and associated with clinically meaningful reductions in pain in this sample of older adults. However, the potential bias introduced by the high subject attrition rate means that all findings should be interpreted cautiously and confirmed by more rigorous studies.
, Matthew Timmins, , Katinka X. Ruthrof, Giles E. St. J. Hardy, John Howieson, Graham O’Hara
Published: 22 September 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-14;

Background: Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a producer of cannabinoids. These organic compounds are of increasing interest due to their potential applications in the medicinal field. Advances in analytical methods of identifying and quantifying these molecules are needed. Method: This study describes a new method of cannabinoid separation from plant material using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) as the analytical tool to detect low abundance cannabinoids that will likely have implications for future therapeutical treatments. A novel approach was adopted to separate trichomes from plant material to analyse cannabinoids of low abundance not observed in raw plant extract. Required plant sample used for analysis was greatly reduced compared to other methods. Derivatisation method was simplified and deconvolution software was utilised to recognise unknown cannabinoid compounds of low abundance. Results: The method produces well-separated spectra and allows the detection of major and minor cannabinoids. Ten cannabinoids that had available standards could be identified and quantified and numerous unidentified cannabinoids or pathway intermediates based on GC-MS spectra similarities could be extracted and analysed simultaneously with this method. Conclusions: This is a rapid novel extraction and analytical method from plant material that can identify major and minor cannabinoids using a simple technique. The method will be of use to future researchers seeking to study the multitude of cannabinoids whose values are currently not understood.
Ria Garg, Kam Shojania,
Published: 9 September 2022
Journal of Cannabis Research, Volume 4, pp 1-8;

Background: Due to the growing use of cannabis for the purposes of pain relief, evidence is needed on the impact of cannabis use on concurrent analgesic use. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate the association between the use of cannabis and codeine. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the nationally representative Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (2017). The primary explanatory variable was self-reported use of cannabis within the past year. The outcome was the use of codeine-containing product(s) within the past year. We used multivariable binomial logistic regression models. Results: Our study sample comprised 15,459 respondents including 3338 individuals who reported cannabis use within the past year of whom 955 (36.2%) used it for medical purposes. Among individuals who reported cannabis use, the majority were male (N = 1833, 62.2%). Self-reported use of cannabis was associated with codeine use (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.89, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.62). Additionally, when limited to cannabis users only, we found people who used cannabis for medical purposes to be three times more likely to also report codeine use (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.96, 95% CI 1.72 to 5.09). Discussion: The use of cannabis was associated with increased odds of codeine use, especially among individuals who used it for medical purposes. Our findings suggest a potential role for healthcare providers to be aware of or monitor patients’ use of cannabis, as the long-term adverse events associated with concurrent cannabis and opioid use remain unknown.
Back to Top Top