How do exogenous cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids) affect physiologic systems like the endocrine system?
Exogenous cannabinoids bind to endogenous cannabinoid receptors in various organs, and may also modulate cannabinoid receptor expression. As a result, exogenous cannabinoids may alter endocannabinoid target effects and organ function.
When the endocannabinoid system was originally discovered in the 1990’s, it was described as a neural communication system. Does the endocannabinoid system have functions other than neural communication?
Yes. The endocannabinoid system can be found in almost every cell/ tissue and this system plays an important role in the normal functioning of many organ systems.
Besides the endogenous cannabinoids arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) and 2‐arachidonoyl- glycerol (2‐AG), are there other endogenous cannabinoids?
Other than anandamide and 2-AG, there are actually several other endocannabinoids, including the lipophilic neurotransmitters 2-arachidonoylglyceryl ether (noladin ether), virodhamine, and N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA).
What is the annual prevalence of cannabis use across the globe?
According to the World Health Organization, the annual prevalence of cannabis use is about 2.5% of the world’s population. As more marijuana legalization laws are enacted , the prevalence of marijuana use is expected to increase.
As of September 2021, 36 states have legalized medical marijuana and 18 states have passed recreational marijuana laws. Does the passage of medical and recreational marijuana laws lead to an increase in teen marijuana use?
According to a research letter published in the September 7 , 2021 JAMA Open Network, NO- legalization of marijuana does not increase teen use of marijuana. Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for the period 1993-2019, researchers determined that “there was little evidence that the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana encourages youth marijuana use.” The authors stated that “the overall association between recreational marijuana legalization and marijuana use among adolescents was statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
In Australia, many jurisdictions use point-of-collection oral fluid testing devices (the DrugWipe®-5S and the Drug Test® 5000) to detect driving under the influence of cannabis (which is indexed by the presence of Δ9-THC in oral fluid). Can these devices used in Australia reliably distinguish between CBD and THC, which have similar chemical structures?
Yes. A randomized, double-blind, crossover design study with healthy participants (n = 17) determined that orally administered CBD does not appear to produce false-positive (or true-positive) tests for THC on the DrugWipe®-5S and the Drug Test® 5000. The participants completed four treatment sessions involving the administration of either placebo or 15mg, 300mg or 1500mg pure CBD in a high-fat dietary supplement. Oral fluid cannabinoid concentrations were measured using ultra-HPLC tandem mass spectrometry.
“McCartney D, Irwin C, Kevin R, Grunstein R. Orally administered cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce false‐positive tests
Yes, CB2 activation leads to the release of endogenous opioids. Also, CB2 receptors have anti-inflammatory activity – CB2 receptor activation inhibits proinflammatory signals near nociceptive nerve cells. The expression of CB2 receptors is inducible and these receptors are often expressed when there is active inflammation or injury.