Tumor-promoting effects of cannabinoid receptor type 1 in human melanoma cells.

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“The role of endocannabinoid system in melanoma development and progression is actually not fully understood.

This study was aimed at clarifying whether cannabinoid-type 1 (CB1) receptor may function as tumor-promoting or -suppressing signal in human cutaneous melanoma.

Findings of this study suggest that CB1 receptor might function as tumor-promoting signal in human cutaneous melanoma.”


“Antitumor effects of THC.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11097557
“Cannabinoids (CB) like ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can induce cancer cell apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. Our results confirm the value of exogenous cannabinoids for the treatment of melanoma” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25921771

The involvement of cannabinoids and mTOR in the reconsolidation of an emotional memory in the hippocampal-amygdala-insular circuit.

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“Memory reconsolidation is the process in which reactivated long-term memory becomes transiently sensitive to amnesic agents.

We evaluated the ability of post reactivation administration of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, separately and in combination with the cannabinoid CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN), given systemically or specifically into the hippocampal CA1 area, basolateral amygdala (BLA) or insular cortex (IC), to reduce inhibitory avoidance fear in rats.

Taken together, the results suggest that rapamycin or a combined treatment that involves blocking mTOR and activating cannabinoids may be a promising pharmacological approach for the attenuation of reactivated emotional memories, and thus, it could represent a potential treatment strategy for disorders associated with traumatic memories.”


Antihyperalgesic effect of CB1 receptor activation involves the modulation of P2X3 receptor in the primary afferent neuron.

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“Cannabinoid system is a potential target for pain control.

Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) activation play a role in the analgesic effect of cannabinoids once it is expressed in primary afferent neurons.

This study investigates whether the anti-hyperalgesic effect of CB1receptor activation involves P2×3 receptor in primary afferent neurons.

Our data suggest that the analgesic effect of CB1 receptor activation is mediated by a negative modulation of the P2×3 receptor in the primary afferent neurons.”


Endocannabinoid Signaling and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.

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“The elucidation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the active principal of Cannabis sativa in 1963 initiated a fruitful half-century of scientific discovery, culminating in the identification of the endocannabinoid signaling system, a previously unknown neuromodulatory system.

A primary function of the endocannabinoid signaling system is to maintain or recover homeostasis following psychological and physiological threats. We provide a brief introduction to the endocannabinoid signaling system and its role in synaptic plasticity.

The majority of the article is devoted to a summary of current knowledge regarding the role of endocannabinoid signaling as both a regulator of endocrine responses to stress and as an effector of glucocorticoid and corticotrophin-releasing hormone signaling in the brain.

We summarize data demonstrating that cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) signaling can both inhibit and potentiate the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by stress.

We present a hypothesis that the inhibitory arm has high endocannabinoid tone and also serves to enhance recovery to baseline following stress, while the potentiating arm is not tonically active but can be activated by exogenous agonists.

We discuss recent findings that corticotropin-releasing hormone in the amygdala enables hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation via an increase in the catabolism of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonylethanolamine.

We review data supporting the hypotheses that CB1R activation is required for many glucocorticoid effects, particularly feedback inhibition of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, and that glucocorticoids mobilize the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

These features of endocannabinoid signaling make it a tantalizing therapeutic target for treatment of stress-related disorders but to date, this promise is largely unrealized.”


The endocannabinoid system: no longer anonymous in the control of nitrergic signalling?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a key cellular signalling system that has been implicated in the regulation of diverse cellular functions. Importantly, growing evidence suggests that the biological actions of the ECS may, in part, be mediated through its ability to regulate the production and/or release of nitric oxide, a ubiquitous bioactive molecule, which functions as a versatile signalling intermediate. Herein, we review and discuss evidence pertaining to ECS-mediated regulation of nitric oxide production, as well as the involvement of reactive nitrogen species in regulating ECS-induced signal transduction by highlighting emerging work supporting nitrergic modulation of ECS function. Importantly, the studies outlined reveal that interactions between the ECS and nitrergic signalling systems can be both stimulatory and inhibitory in nature, depending on cellular context. Moreover, such crosstalk may act to maintain proper cell function, whereas abnormalities in either system can undermine cellular homoeostasis and contribute to various pathologies associated with their dysregulation. Consequently, future studies targeting these signalling systems may provide new insights into the potential role of the ECS -: nitric oxide signalling axis in disease development and/or lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of nitrosative stress-related neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders.”


A cannabigerol-rich Cannabis sativa extract, devoid of [INCREMENT]9-tetrahydrocannabinol, elicits hyperphagia in rats.

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“Nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoids (pCBs) from Cannabis sativa may represent novel therapeutic options for cachexia because of their pleiotropic pharmacological activities, including appetite stimulation.

We have recently shown that purified cannabigerol (CBG) is a novel appetite stimulant in rats.

As standardized extracts from Cannabis chemotypes dominant in one pCB [botanical drug substances (BDSs)] often show greater efficacy and/or potency than purified pCBs, we investigated the effects of a CBG-rich BDS, devoid of psychoactive [INCREMENT]-tetrahydrocannabinol, on feeding behaviour.

CBG-BDS is a novel appetite stimulant, which may have greater potency than purified CBG, despite the absence of [INCREMENT]-tetrahydrocannabinol in the extract.”


Cannabidiol enhances microglial phagocytosis via transient receptor potential (TRP) channel activation.

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“Microglial cells are important mediators of the immune response in the CNS. The phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), has been shown to have central anti-inflammatory properties, and the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of CBD and other phytocannabinoids on microglial phagocytosis.


The TRPV-dependent phagocytosis-enhancing effect of CBD suggests that pharmacological modification of TRPV channel activity could be a rational approach to treating neuroinflammatory disorders involving changes in microglial function and that CBD is a potential starting point for future development of novel therapeutics acting on the TRPV receptor family.”


Topical application of THC containing products is not able to cause positive cannabinoid finding in blood or urine.

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“A male driver was checked during a traffic stop.

A blood sample was collected 35min later and contained 7.3ng/mL THC, 3.5ng/mL 11-hydroxy-THC and 44.6ng/mL 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC. The subject claimed to have used two commercially produced products topically that contained 1.7ng and 102ng THC per mg, respectively. In an experiment, three volunteers (25, 26 and 34 years) applied both types of salves over a period of 3days every 2-4h. The application was extensive (50-100cm2). Each volunteer applied the products to different parts of the body (neck, arm/leg and trunk, respectively). After the first application blood and urine samples of the participants were taken every 2-4h until 15h after the last application (overall n=10 urine and n=10 blood samples, respectively, for each participant).

All of these blood and urine samples were tested negative for THC, 11-hydroxy-THC and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC by a GC-MS method (LoD (THC)=0.40ng/mL; LoD (11-hydroxy-THC)=0.28ng/mL; LoD (THC-COOH)=1.6ng/mL;. LoD (THC-COOH in urine)=1.2ng/mL).

According to our studies and further literature research on in vitro testing of transdermal uptake of THC, the exclusive application of (these two) topically applied products did not produce cannabinoid findings in blood or urine.”


Targeted metabolomics shows plasticity in the evolution of signaling lipids and uncovers old and new endocannabinoids in the plant kingdom.

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“The remarkable absence of arachidonic acid (AA) in seed plants prompted us to systematically study the presence of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids, stearic acid, oleic acid, jasmonic acid (JA), N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) and endocannabinoids (ECs) in 71 plant species representative of major phylogenetic clades. Given the difficulty of extrapolating information about lipid metabolites from genetic data we employed targeted metabolomics using LC-MS/MS and GC-MS to study these signaling lipids in plant evolution. Intriguingly, the distribution of AA among the clades showed an inverse correlation with JA which was less present in algae, bryophytes and monilophytes. Conversely, ECs co-occurred with AA in algae and in the lower plants (bryophytes and monilophytes), thus prior to the evolution of cannabinoid receptors in Animalia. We identified two novel EC-like molecules derived from the eicosatetraenoic acid juniperonic acid, an omega-3 structural isomer of AA, namely juniperoyl ethanolamide and 2-juniperoyl glycerol in gymnosperms, lycophytes and few monilophytes. Principal component analysis of the targeted metabolic profiles suggested that distinct NAEs may occur in different monophyletic taxa. This is the first report on the molecular phylogenetic distribution of apparently ancient lipids in the plant kingdom, indicating biosynthetic plasticity and potential physiological roles of EC-like lipids in plants.”


Molecular Targets of the Phytocannabinoids: A Complex Picture.

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“For centuries, hashish and marihuana, both derived from the Indian hemp Cannabis sativa L., have been used for their medicinal, as well as, their psychotropic effects.

These effects are associated with the phytocannabinoids which are oxygen containing C21 aromatic hydrocarbons found in Cannabis sativa L.

To date, over 120 phytocannabinoids have been isolated from Cannabis.

For many years, it was assumed that the beneficial effects of the phytocannabinoids were mediated by the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. However, today we know that the picture is much more complex, with the same phytocannabinoid acting at multiple targets.

This contribution focuses on the molecular pharmacology of the phytocannabinoids, including Δ9-THC and CBD, from the prospective of the targets at which these important compounds act.”