Cannabidiol reduces neuroinflammation and promotes neuroplasticity and functional recovery after brain ischemia.

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“This study investigated the effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic phytochemical present in Cannabis sativa, on the cognitive and emotional impairments induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) in mice.

Using a multi-tiered behavioral testing battery during 21days, we found that BCCAO mice exhibited long-lasting functional deficits reflected by increase in anxiety-like behavior (day 9), memory impairments (days 12-18) and despair-like behavior (day 21).

Short-term CBD 10mg/kg treatment prevented the cognitive and emotional impairments, attenuated hippocampal neurodegeneration and white matter (WM) injury, and reduced glial response that were induced by BCCAO.

In addition, ischemic mice treated with CBD exhibited an increase in the hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels.

CBD also stimulated neurogenesis and promoted dendritic restructuring in the hippocampus of BCCAO animals.

Collectively, the present results demonstrate that short-term CBD treatment results in global functional recovery in ischemic mice and impacts multiple and distinct targets involved in the pathophysiology of brain ischemic injury.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27889412

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Biased Agonism of Three Different Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists in Mouse Brain Cortex

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“Cannabinoid receptors are able to couple to different families of G proteins when activated by an agonist drug. It has been suggested that different intracellular responses may be activated depending on the ligand.

The goal of the present study was to characterize the pattern of G protein subunit stimulation triggered by three different cannabinoid ligands, Δ9-THC, WIN55212-2, and ACEA in mouse brain cortex.

Results show that, in mouse brain cortex, cannabinoid agonists are able to significantly stimulate not only the classical inhibitory Gαi/osubunits but also other G subunits like Gαz, Gαq/11, and Gα12/13. Moreover, the specific pattern of G protein subunit activation is different depending on the ligand.

In conclusion, our results demonstrate that, in mice brain native tissue, different exogenous cannabinoid ligands are able to selectively activate different inhibitory and non-inhibitory Gα protein subtypes, through the activation of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors.

Results of the present study may help to understand the specific molecular pathways involved in the pharmacological effects of cannabinoid-derived drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095132/

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The cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene (BCP) induces neuritogenesis in PC12 cells by a cannabinoid-receptor-independent mechanism.

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“Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a phytocannabinoid whose neuroprotective activity has been mainly associated with selective activation of cannabinoid-type-2 (CB2) receptors, inhibition of microglial activation and decrease of inflammation.

Here, we addressed the potential of BCP to induce neuritogenesis in PC12 cells, a model system for primary neuronal cells that express trkA receptors, respond to NGF and do not express CB2 receptors.

We demonstrated that BCP increases the survival and activates the NGF-specific receptor trkA in NGF-deprived PC12 cells, without increasing the expression of NGF itself. The neuritogenic effect of BCP in PC12 cells was abolished by k252a, an inhibitor of the NGF-specific receptor trkA. Accordingly, BCP did not induce neuritogenesis in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, a neuronal model that does not express trkA receptors and do not respond to NGF.

Additionally, we demonstrated that BCP increases the expression of axonal-plasticity-associated proteins (GAP-43, synapsin and synaptophysin) in PC12 cells. It is known that these proteins are up-regulated by NGF in neurons and neuron-like cells, such as PC12 cells.

Altogether, these findings suggest that BCP activates trka receptors and induces neuritogenesis by a mechanism independent of NGF or cannabinoid receptors. This is the first study to show such effects of BCP and their beneficial role in neurodegenerative processes should be further investigated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27871898

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“The oral intake of this dietary cannabinoid with vegetable food could be advantageous in the daily routine clinical practice over synthetic cannabinoid agonists.” http://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X(13)00302-7/fulltext

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Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Functional Variant Contributes to the Risk for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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“We conducted a case-control association analysis to establish the role of a common CB2 functional variant, Q63R, in the susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Endocannabinoids may limit intestinal inflammation through cannabinoid receptor 1 and/or 2 (CB1, CB2).

The CB2-Q63R variant contributes to the risk for pediatric IBD, in particular CD. The R63 variant is associated with a more severe phenotype in both UC and CD.

Taken together, our data point toward the involvement of the CB2 receptor in the pathogenesis and clinical features of pediatric IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27875353

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Cannabinoid receptors and TRPA1 on neuroprotection in a model of retinal ischemia.

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“Retinal ischemia is a pathological event present in several retinopathies such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, leading to partial or full blindness with no effective treatment available.

Since synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied as modulators of ischemic events in the central nervous system (CNS), the present study aimed to investigate the involvement of cannabinoid system in the cell death induced by ischemia in an avascular (chick) retina.

We observed that chick retinal treatment with a combination of WIN 55212-2 and cannabinoid receptor antagonists (either AM251/O-2050 or AM630) decreased the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) induced by retinal ischemia in an oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) model.

Further, the increased availability of endocannabinoids together with cannabinoid receptor antagonists also had a neuroprotective effect.

Surprisingly, retinal exposure to any of these drugs alone did not prevent the release of LDH stimulated by OGD.

Since cannabinoids may also activate transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, we investigated the involvement of TRPA1 receptors (TRPA1) in retinal cell death induced by ischemic events.

We demonstrated the presence of TRPA1 in the chick retina, and observed an increase in TRPA1 content after OGD, both by western blot and immunohistochemistry.

In addition, the selective activation of TRPA1 by mustard oil (MO) did not worsen retinal LDH release induced by OGD, whereas the blockage of TRPA1 completely prevented the extravasation of cellular LDH in ischemic condition.

Hence, these results show that during the ischemic event there is an augment of TRPA1, and activation of this receptor is important in cell death induction.

The data also indicate that metabotropic cannabinoid receptors, both type 1 and 2, are not involved with the cell death found in the early stages of ischemia. Therefore, the study points to a potential role of TRPA1 as a target for neuroprotective approaches in retinal ischemia.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27876485

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Application of carbon nanotubes as the carriers of the cannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol: Towards a novel treatment strategy in colitis.

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“Treatment of colitis has remained a major clinical challenge.

The cannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyglycerol (2-AG), has shown beneficial effects in colitis, however, poor solubility or rapid hydrolysis may limit its efficiency. According to the high biocompatibility of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their ability for controlled drug delivery, we aimed to prepare multi-walled CNTs-2-AG (MWCNTs-2-AG) complex in order to improve the pharmacological profile of 2-AG and evaluate the therapeutic potential of this nanocomplex in a rat model of colitis.

Aminated MWCNTs and MWCNTs-2-AG complex exhibited significantly lower cytotoxicity than acidified MWCNTs. Once daily intrarectal application of MWCNTs-2-AG complex (containing 2mg/kg of 2-AG) 2days before and 8days after the induction of colitis effectively reduced the macroscopic and microscopic injuries, malondialdehyde, tumour necrosis factor-α, and interlukin-1β concentrations, and myeloperoxidase activity. While, free 2-AG (2mg/kg), and acidified or aminated MWCNTs showed no beneficial effects.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Amino-functionalized MWCNTs appear as the suitable carriers for 2-AG which provide a sustained concentration for this cannabinoid leading to the promising therapeutic effects in the experimental colitis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888115

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A systematic review of the effect of cannabidiol on cognitive function: Relevance to schizophrenia.

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“Cognitive impairment is a core symptom domain of schizophrenia, neurological disorders and substance abuse. It is characterised by deficits in learning, memory, attention and executive functioning and can severely impact daily living.

Antipsychotic drugs prescribed to treat schizophrenia provide limited cognitive benefits and novel therapeutic targets are required. Cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the cannabis plant, has anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic-like properties; however, its ability to improve cognitive impairment has not been thoroughly explored. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate preclinical and clinical literature on the effects of CBD in cognitive domains relevant to schizophrenia.

CBD improves cognition in multiple preclinical models of cognitive impairment, including models of neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia), neurodegenerative (Alzheimer’s disease), neuro-inflammatory (meningitis, sepsis and cerebral malaria) and neurological disorders (hepatic encephalopathy and brain ischemia). To-date, there is one clinical investigation into the effects of CBD on cognition in schizophrenia patients, with negative results for the stroop test. CBD attenuates Δ9-THC-induced cognitive deficits.

 

The efficacy of CBD to improve cognition in schizophrenia cannot be elucidated due to lack of clinical evidence; however, given the ability of CBD to restore cognition in multiple studies of impairment, further investigation into its efficacy in schizophrenia is warranted. Potential mechanisms underlying the efficacy of CBD to improve cognition are discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27884751

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Endocannabinoid system in sexual motivational processes: is it a novel therapeutic horizon?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is composed of the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) for marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the endogenous ligands (AEA and 2-AG) and the enzymatic systems involved in their biosynthesis and degradation, recently emerged as important modulator of emotional and non-emotional behaviors.

For centuries, in addition to its recreational actions, several contradictory claims regarding the effects of Cannabis use in sexual functioning and behavior (e.g. aphrodisiac vs anti-aphrodisiac) of both sexes have been accumulated. The identification of Δ9-THC and later on, the discovery of the ECS have opened a potential therapeutic target for sexual dysfunctions, given the partial efficacy of current pharmacological treatment.

In agreement with the bidirectional modulation induced by cannabinoids on several behavioral responses, the endogenous cannabinoid AEA elicited biphasic effects on sexual behavior as well. The present article reviews current available knowledge on herbal, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids with respect to the modulation of several aspects of sexuality in preclinical and human studies, highlighting their therapeutic potential.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27884725

“Cannabis As An Aphrodisiac? The Evidence Is Mounting”  https://www.civilized.life/articles/aphrodisiac-evidence-is-mounting/

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Allosteric Modulation: An Alternate Approach Targeting the Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor.

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“The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is a G protein coupled receptor and plays an important role in many biological processes and physiological functions.

A variety of CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists, including endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids, have been discovered or developed over the past 20 years.

In 2005, it was discovered that the CB1 receptor contains allosteric site(s) that can be recognized by small molecules or allosteric modulators.

A number of CB1 receptor allosteric modulators, both positive and negative, have since been reported and importantly, they display pharmacological characteristics that are distinct from those of orthosteric agonists and antagonists.

Given the psychoactive effects commonly associated with CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists/inverse agonists, allosteric modulation may offer an alternate approach to attain potential therapeutic benefits while avoiding inherent side effects of orthosteric ligands.

This review details the complex pharmacological profiles of these allosteric modulators, their structure-activity relationships, and efforts in elucidating binding modes and mechanisms of actions of reported CB1 allosteric modulators.

The ultimate development of CB1 receptor allosteric ligands could potentially lead to improved therapies for CB1-mediated neurological disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27879006

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Cannabidiol as a Potential New Type of an Antipsychotic. A Critical Review of the Evidence

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“There is urgent need for the development of mechanistically different and less side-effect prone antipsychotic compounds.

The endocannabinoid system has been suggested to represent a potential new target in this indication.

Although, results from animal studies are inconsistent to a certain extent and seem to depend on behavioral paradigms, treatment duration and experimental conditions applied, cannabidiol has shown antipsychotic properties in both rodents and rhesus monkeys.

After some individual treatment attempts, the first randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial demonstrated that in acute schizophrenia cannabidiol exerts antipsychotic properties comparable to the antipsychotic drug amisulpride while being accompanied by a superior, placebo-like side effect profile.

As the clinical improvement by cannabidiol was significantly associated with elevated anandamide levels, it appears likely that its antipsychotic action is based on mechanisms associated with increased anandamide concentrations.

The antipsychotic potential of cannabidiol has been investigated in various behavioral paradigms and different animal models of aspects of schizophrenia.

Although the results were partially inconsistent, they indicate that cannabidiol treatment ameliorates impairments of PPI, social interaction behavior and cognition in rodents and rhesus monkeys.

In addition, individual treatment attempts as well as one randomized, double-blind clinical study, demonstrated the antipsychotic potential of cannabidiol and its superior side effect profile compared to conventional antipsychotics. In addition, a recently conducted clinical trial investigating cannabidiol as an add-on medication showed promising results, although these have not yet been published in a peer reviewed process.

Obviously more clinical trials are needed to substantiate the current findings, and in particular to investigate long-term efficacy and safety in larger cohorts.

However, cannabidiol seems to represent a mechanistically different and less side-effect prone antipsychotic compound for the treatment of schizophrenia, even though the underlying pharmacological mechanisms are still under debate.

Nevertheless, the association between increased anandamide levels and reduced psychotic symptoms in schizophrenic patients treated with cannabidiol, points to a potentially new antipsychotic mechanism of action involving anandamide.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5099166/

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