Cannabinoids in Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiac Fibrosis

 SpringerLink“This article provides a concise overview of how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, including cardiac fibrosis.

Recent findings: Over the past few years, the ECS has emerged as a pivotal component of the homeostatic mechanisms for the regulation of many bodily functions, including inflammation, digestion, and energy metabolism. Therefore, the pharmacological modulation of the ECS by cannabinoids represents a novel strategy for the management of many diseases. Specifically, increasing evidence from preclinical research studies has opened new avenues for the development of cannabinoid-based therapies for the management and potential treatment of MetS and cardiovascular diseases. Current information indicates that modulation of the ECS can help maintain overall health and well-being due to its homeostatic function. From a therapeutic perspective, cannabinoids and the ECS have also been shown to play a key role in modulating pathophysiological states such as inflammatory, neurodegenerative, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer and pain. Thus, targeting and modulating the ECS with cannabinoids or cannabinoid derivatives may represent a major disease-modifying medical advancement to achieve successful treatment for MetS and certain cardiovascular diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33089434/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11906-020-01112-7

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Therapeutic application of cannabidiol on UVA and UVB irradiated rat skin. A proteomic study

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis “UV phototherapy used in chronic skin diseases causes redox imbalance and pro-inflammatory reactions, especially in the case of unchanged skin cells.

To prevent the harmful effects of UV radiation, cannabidiol (CBD) has been used, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CBD on the metabolism of skin keratinocytes in nude rats exposed to UVA/UVB radiation using a proteomic approach.

The results obtained with SDS-PAGE/nanoHPLC/QexactiveOrbiTrap show that exposure of rat’s skin to UVA/UVB radiation, as well as the action of CBD, significantly modified the expression of proteins involved in inflammation, redox balance and apoptosis.

UVA/UVB radiation significantly increased the expression and biological effectiveness of the nuclear factor associated with erythroid factor 2 (Nrf2) and cytoprotective proteins being products of its transcriptional activity, including superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn-SOD) and the inflammatory response (nuclear receptor coactivator-3 and paralemmin-3), while CBD treatment counteracted and partially eliminated these changes.

Moreover, cannabidiol reversed changes in the UV-induced apoptotic pathways by modifying anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic factors (apoptosis regulator Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-β).

The results show that CBD maintains keratinocyte proteostasis and therefore could be suggested as a protective measure in the prevention of UV-induced metabolic changes in epidermal keratinocytes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33086172/

“In summary, UVA and UVB radiation affect the proteomic profile of keratinocytes of healthy rat skin in different ways. Both types of radiation change the level of proteins involved in the regulation of cellular redox balance, inflammation, and apoptosis. In contrast, topical application of CBD to rat skin, when exposed to UV radiation, helps normalize the expression of keratinocyte proteins that are metabolically relevant by modeling their biosynthesis and degradation. Thus, CBD can maintain the proteostasis of keratinocytes. Because UV therapy is a part of the treatment of skin diseases, e.g. psoriasis, the use of CBD on unchanged skin may be suggested as a protective factor to reduce the metabolic changes caused by UV radiation in unchanged keratinocytes. This suggestion is particularly important when the beneficial effect of cannabidiol on psoriasis-induced skin lesions has recently also been confirmed.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0731708520315429?via%3Dihub

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Reductions in alcohol use following medical cannabis initiation: results from a large cross-sectional survey of medical cannabis patients in Canada

 International Journal of Drug Policy“Evidence details how cannabis can influence the use of other psychoactive substances, including prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, but very little research has examined the factors associated with these changes in substance use patterns. This paper explores the self-reported use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol among a Canadian medical cannabis patient population.

Results: Overall, 419 (44%) participants reported decreases in alcohol usage frequency over 30 days, 323 (34%) decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week, and 76 (8%) reported no alcohol use at all in the 30 days prior to the survey. Being below 55 years of age and reporting higher rates of alcohol use in the pre-period were both associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol use, and an intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption was associated with significantly greater odds of both reducing and ceasing alcohol use altogether.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that medical cannabis initiation may be associated with self-reported reductions and cessation of alcohol use among medical cannabis patients. Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in North America, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33068830/

“Following medical cannabis initiation, 44% of participants reported decreases in alcohol use frequency over 30 days, and 34% decreased the number of standard drinks they had per week. Younger age (<55 years old) and higher rates of alcohol use prior to medical cannabis initiation were associated with greater odds of reducing alcohol. Specific intention to use medical cannabis to reduce alcohol consumption resulted in greater odds of reducing and/or ceasing use altogether.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395920303017?via%3Dihub

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A Literature Analysis on Medicinal Use and Research of Cannabis in the Meiji Era of Japan

 Journal of Pharmacopuncture“Cannabis is a historical plant which has been used as a medicine in East Asia.

 

Cannabis was prescribed in Meiji era of Japan to alleviate pain and cure the digestive, respiratory, urinary, and nervous system diseases such as indigestion, asthma, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and its complications, insomnia, and nervous prostration.

Cannabis was medically used in Meiji era of Japan and the reporting and sharing of its clinical effect was published on the medical journals like present days.

There were already Cannabis regulations in that era, but its medicinal use was more liberated than nowadays.

It may be a chance to reconsider the current legal system, which strictly controls the use of Cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072412/

http://www.journal-jop.org/journal/view.html?doi=10.3831/KPI.2020.23.3.142

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Medical Marijuana Effects in Movement Disorders, Focus on Huntington Disease; A Literature Review

“We aimed to comprehensively evaluate the effects of medical marijuana on symptoms that are relevant to movement disorders with a focus on Huntington disease (HD).

A systematic review by literature search through PubMed and EBSCO electronic databases was conducted for relevant studies reported after 2002 on the effects of medical marijuana or cannabis use on tremor, spasm, spasticity, chorea, sleep quality and HD-specific rating scales. Study selection, quality assessment and data extraction was performed by three reviewers. Outcome measures were changes in psychomotor, and sleep related symptoms. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated.

Results: A total of 22 studies were reviewed. There was strong evidence for significant improvement in the neurologic symptoms of spasms, tremors, spasticity, chorea, and quality of sleep following treatment with medical marijuana. Analysis of specific motor symptoms revealed significant improvement after treatment in tremors and rigidity. Furthermore, all pretreatment and post-treatment measures indicated a significant increase in average number of hours slept.

Conclusion: Larger scale studies are warranted to test the benefits of medical marijuana in HD patients. In the meanwhile, clinicians may consider prescribing medical marijuana as part of their strategy for better symptomatic treatment of patients with HD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33064979/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/30967

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Medical Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain: Outcomes and Prediction of Response

Although studied in a few randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the efficacy of medical cannabis (MC) for chronic pain remains controversial. Using an alternative approach, this multicenter, questionnaire-based prospective cohort was aimed to assess the long-term effects of MC on chronic pain of various etiologies and to identify predictors for MC treatment success.

Results: 1045 patients completed the baseline questionnaires and initiated MC treatment, and 551 completed the 12 month follow-up. At one year, average pain intensity declined from baseline by 20% [-1.97 points (95%CI= -2.13 to -1.81; p<0.001)]. All other parameters improved by 10-30% (p<0.001). A significant decrease of 42% [reduction of 27mg; (95%CI= -34.89 to -18.56, p<0.001)] from baseline in morphine equivalent daily dosage of opioids was also observed. Reported adverse effects were common but mostly non-serious. Presence of normal to long sleep duration, lower body mass index (BMI) and lower depression score predicted relatively higher treatment success, whereas presence of neuropathic pain predicted the opposite.

Conclusions: This prospective study provides further evidence for the effects of MC on chronic pain and related symptoms, demonstrating an overall mild to modest long-term improvement of the tested measures and identifying possible predictors for treatment success.

Significance: This “real world” paper shows that MC mildly to modestly attenuates chronic pain and related symptoms. MC treatment can also cause frequent, but mostly non-serious adverse effects, although central nervous system (CNS)-related AEs that can impair the ability to drive vehicles are not uncommon. This study is novel in identifying possible predictors for treatment success, including normal to long sleep duration, lower BMI and lower depression scores. In contrast to current beliefs the diagnosis of neuropathic pain predicts a less favorable outcome. These findings provide physicians with new data to support decision making on recommendations for MC treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33065768/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejp.1675

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Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Relationship With Chronic Pain: A Narrative Review

CB1-versus-CB2-receptors “The burden of chronic pain has affected many individuals leading to distress and discomfort, alongside numerous side effects with conventional therapeutic approaches.

Cannabinoid receptors are naturally found in the human body and have long been an interest in antinociception. These include CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are promising candidates for the treatment of chronic inflammatory pain.

The mechanism of action of the receptors and how they approach pain control in inflammatory conditions show that it can be an adjunctive approach towards controlling these symptoms. Numerous studies have shown how the targeted approach towards these receptors has activated them promoting a release in cytokines, all leading to anti-inflammatory effects and immune system regulation.

Cannabinoid activation of glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) models also showed efficacy in pain management. Chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis were shown to also benefit from this considerable treatment. However, it is unclear how the cannabinoid system works in relation with the pain pathway. Therefore, in this review we aim to analyse the role of the cannabinoid system in chronic inflammatory pain.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072446/

https://www.cureus.com/articles/39887-cannabinoid-receptors-and-their-relationship-with-chronic-pain-a-narrative-review

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Cannabinoid Receptors: An Update on Cell Signaling, Pathophysiological Roles and Therapeutic Opportunities in Neurological, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Diseases

ijms-logo “The identification of the human cannabinoid receptors and their roles in health and disease, has been one of the most significant biochemical and pharmacological advancements to have occurred in the past few decades. In spite of the major strides made in furthering endocannabinoid research, therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system has often been a challenging task.

An impaired endocannabinoid tone often manifests as changes in expression and/or functions of type 1 and/or type 2 cannabinoid receptors. It becomes important to understand how alterations in cannabinoid receptor cellular signaling can lead to disruptions in major physiological and biological functions, as they are often associated with the pathogenesis of several neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases.

This review focuses mostly on the pathophysiological roles of type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors, and it attempts to integrate both cellular and physiological functions of the cannabinoid receptors. Apart from an updated review of pre-clinical and clinical studies, the adequacy/inadequacy of cannabinoid-based therapeutics in various pathological conditions is also highlighted. Finally, alternative strategies to modulate endocannabinoid tone, and future directions are also emphasized.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33080916/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/20/7693

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Cannabinoid Combination Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

molecules-logo“This study evaluated the synergistic anti-cancer potential of cannabinoid combinations across the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids were combined and their synergistic interactions were evaluated using median effect analysis.

The most promising cannabinoid combination (C6) consisted of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBD), and displayed favorable dose reduction indices and limited cytotoxicity against the non-cancerous breast cell line, MCF-10A. C6 exerted its effects in the MCF-7 cell line by inducing cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase, followed by the induction of apoptosis.

Morphological observations indicated the induction of cytoplasmic vacuolation, with further investigation suggesting that the vacuole membrane was derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, lipid accumulation, increased lysosome size, and significant increases in the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) expression were also observed.

The selectivity and ability of cannabinoids to halt cancer cell proliferation via pathways resembling apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis shows promise for cannabinoid use in standardized breast cancer treatment.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33066359/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/20/4682

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Cannabidiol (CBD) modulation of apelin in acute respiratory distress syndrome

“Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes.

In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system.

CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33058425/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid that regulates immune responses in multiple experimental disease models, including work by our laboratory showing a benefit following ARDS‐like injury in mice. Consistent with our findings, a recent commentary, based on anecdotal reports, supports the therapeutic use of CBD in COVID‐19‐infected patients. Our data demonstrate that CBD improves lung structure and exerts a potent anti‐inflammatory effect following experimental ARDS.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.15883

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