An experimental drug that potentiates the brain cannabis-like chemical can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and the use of cannabis in men who are addicted to or have a cannabis use disorder, as demonstrated by experimentation. The results, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, show for the first time that men with cannabis dependence or cannabis use disorder treated with the amide hydrolase inhibitor (FAAH) PF-04457845 used less cannabis and they experienced fewer withdrawal symptoms than placebo. The treatment works by blocking FAAH, an enzyme that breaks down a main chemical endocannabinoid in the brain called anandamide, which acts on the cannabinoid receptors of the brain such as cannabis. Less FAAH means higher levels of anandamide, which can potentially improve mood and reduce anxiety.
The Yale trial included 70 male cannabis users aged 18 to 55 who received treatment or a placebo before cutting cannabis. Those who took the drug had fewer withdrawal symptoms. The randomized phase 2 study was conducted by Yale University and saw 70 men aged between 18 and 55 receive PF-04457845 or a corresponding placebo for four weeks. All participants were admitted to the hospital for the first week to obtain abstinence from cannabis and then discharged to continue the remaining three weeks of treatment on an outpatient basis. The adherence to the drug was confirmed by the video call and the counting of the pills and confirmed by the weekly plasma concentration of PF-04457845 and anandamide. The use of cannabis has been evaluated by self-signaling and urine screening for THC-COOH metabolite levels of THC. Sleep problems, which have a predominant role in the suspension of cannabis, have been evaluated using questionnaires and polysomnography, a test that records brainwaves, the level of oxygen in the blood, heart rate, breathing and movements of the eyes and legs at night. At the start of the study, participants smoked more than three cannabis a day on average. During their first week as hospital residents, the use of cannabis in both groups reduced to zero. Those treated with PF-04457845 reported fewer withdrawal symptoms from cannabis including depression, irritability and anxiety compared to those treated with placebo. At the end of four weeks, PF-04457845 reported lower cannabis use than the placebo group (mean 0.40 vs 1.27 joints per day) and also had low levels of THC-COOH in the urine. Furthermore, improvements in overall sleep were observed compared to placebo. In contrast, the reductions in time spent in deep sleep occurred immediately after withdrawal from the placebo group, in line with the evidence of sleep disorders in the cannabis suspension syndrome. Professor Deepak Cyril D & # 39; Souza, from the Yale School of Medicine who led the research, said: "Many other drugs have been tested for their ability to reduce the use of cannabis and withdrawal, but until now it has not been shown to work consistently Furthermore, unlike cannabis or its main active constituent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), FAAH inhibitors do not appear to have psychoactive or rewarding effects and therefore they are not amenable to abuse. "PF-04457845 was well tolerated, however, further research is needed to show that PF-04457845 is safe and effective in a larger sample of individuals seeking treatment, particularly women. , and in other long-term outpatient facilities. "Cannabis remains the most widely used illegal recreational drug in the UK, but in the United States it is legally medical in many states, and is legal for use recreational in 10 states – to date. On Thursday, Michigan became the tenth state to legalize. Research shows that 10 percent of regular users become addicted, with the risk of higher dependency if started in an individual's teenage years or if used every day. Regular users who quit smoking may have withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, sleep disturbances, mood swings, irritability and restlessness.