Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users

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“Obesity is treatment-resistant, and is linked with a number of serious, chronic diseases. Adult obesity rates in the United States have tripled since the early 1960s.

Recent reviews show that an increased ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids contributes to obesity rates by increasing levels of the endocannabinoid signals AEA and 2-AG, overstimulating CB1R and leading to increased caloric intake, reduced metabolic rates, and weight gain.

Cannabis, or THC, also stimulates CB1R and increases caloric intake during acute exposures.

The present meta-analysis reveals significantly reduced body mass index and rates of obesity in Cannabis users, in conjunction with increased caloric intake.

We provide for the first time a causative explanation for this paradox, in which rapid and long-lasting downregulation of CB1R following acute Cannabis consumption reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thus reversing the impact on body mass index of elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios.

Evidence suggests that, in the United States, many people may actually achieve net health benefits from moderate Cannabis use, due to reduced risk of obesity and associated diseases.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0045?_ga=2.221453528.1791159238.1546024140-1083808004.1546024140

“Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users”  https://www.genengnews.com/insights/reduced-body-mass-index-and-obesity-rates-in-cannabis-users/?fbclid=IwAR3a0wbfGoPwAR-pYQGCeLz-KYUFdiLJoj6Ja7rTTNGBYwkjIGw1fUjf5LI

 

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n-3 polyunsaturated N-acylethanolamines are CB2 cannabinoid receptor-preferring endocannabinoids

 Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids“Anandamide, the first identified endogenous cannabinoid and TRPV1 agonist, is one of a series of endogenous N-acylethanolamines, NAEs. We have generated novel assays to quantify the levels of multiple NAEs in biological tissues and their rates of hydrolysis through fatty acid amide hydrolase. This range of NAEs was also tested in rapid response assays of CB1, CB2 cannabinoid and TRPV1 receptors. The data indicate that PEA, SEA and OEA are not endocannabinoids or endovanilloids, and that the higher endogenous levels of these metabolites compared to polyunsaturated analogues are a correlate of their slow rates of hydrolysis. The n-6 NAEs (AEA, docosatetraenoyl and docosapentaenoyl derivatives) activated both CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as TRPV1 channels, suggesting them to be ‘genuine’ endocannabinoids and ‘endovanilloids’. The n-3 NAEs (eicosapentaenoyl, docosapentaenoyl and docosahexaenoyl derivatives) activated CB2 receptors and some n-3 NAEs (docosapentaenoyl and docosahexaenoyl derivatives) also activated TRPV1 channels, but failed to activate the CB1 receptor. We hypothesise that the preferential activation of CB2 receptors by n-3 PUFA NAEs contributes, at least in some part, to their broad anti-inflammatory profile.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30591150

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388198118302026?via%3Dihub

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Associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors: A longitudinal study of men.

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“This study tested longitudinal associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors that underlie the development of cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS:

Greater cannabis exposure was associated with relatively lower BMI (β=-0.31, p<.001), smaller WHR (β=-0.23, p=.002), better HDL (β=0.14, p=.036) and LDL cholesterol (β=-0.15, p=.026), lower triglycerides (β=-0.17, p=.009), lower fasting glucose (β=-0.15, p<.001) and HOMA-IR (β=-0.21, p=.003), lower systolic (β=-0.22, p<.001) and diastolic blood pressure (β=-0.15, p=.028), and fewer metabolic syndrome criteria (β=-0.27, p<.001). With exception of BMI, cannabis users’ mean levels on cardiometabolic risk factors were generally below clinical cutoffs for high risk. Most associations between cannabis use and cardiometabolic risk factors remained after adjusting for tobacco use, childhood SES, and childhood health. However, after adjusting for adult BMI, these associations were no longer apparent, and mediation tests suggested that cannabis users’ relatively lower BMI might explain their lower levels of risk on other cardiometabolic risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cannabis use is associated with lower BMI, and lower BMI is related to lower levels of risk on other cardiometabolic risk factors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30589665

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006842-900000000-98666

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Bidirectional modulation of food habit expression by the endocannabinoid system.

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“The compulsive, habitual behaviors that have been observed in individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders may be due to disruptions in the neural circuits that mediate goal-directed actions.

The endocannabinoid system has been shown to play a critical role in habit learning, but the role of this neuromodulatory system in habit expression is unclear.

Here, we investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system in established habitual actions using contingency degradation in male C57BL/6 mice.

We found that administration of the endocannabinoid transport inhibitor AM404 reduced habitual responding for food and that antagonism of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), but not transient receptor potential cation subfamily V (TRPV1), receptors produced a similar reduction in habitual responding.

Moreover, pharmacological stimulation of CB1 receptors increased habitual responding for food. Co-administration of an enzyme inhibitor that selectively increases the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) with AM404 partially restored habitual responding for food.

Together, these findings demonstrate an important role for the endocannabinoid system in the expression of habits and provide novel insights into potential pharmacological strategies for reducing habitual behaviors in mental disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30589475

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ejn.14330

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Weight loss and improved mood after aerobic exercise training are linked to lower plasma anandamide in healthy people.

Physiology & Behavior

“Anandamide, a major endocannabinoid, participates in energy metabolism homeostasis and neurobehavioral processes. In a secondary analyses of an open-label, randomized controlled trial, we investigated the long-term effect of aerobic exercise on resting plasma anandamide, and explored its relationship with changes in body weight, cardiorespiratory fitness, and mood status in healthy, physically inactive individuals.

Thirty-four participants (age = 38 ± 11.5, BMI = 26.6 ± 3.6) were intention to treat-analysed (Exercise: n = 17; Control: n = 17). After intervention, there were significant decreases in plasma anandamide (p < .01), anger, anxiety, and body weight (all p < .05), whereas cardiorespiratory fitness increased (p < .05) in the exercise group. There were no significant changes in any variable for the control group. In the whole cohort, adjusted R2 of multiple linear regressions showed that 12.2% of change body weight was explained by changes in anandamide (β = 0.391, p = .033), while 27% of change in mood disturbance (β = 0.546, p = .003), and 13.1% of change in anger (β = 0.404, p = .03) was explained by changes in anandamide.

Our data suggest that the weight loss and mood improvement through regular moderate exercise may involve changes in anandamide metabolism/signaling.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30578894

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938418308254?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol reduces seizures and associated behavioral comorbidities in a range of animal seizure and epilepsy models.

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“Epilepsy is a progressive neurological disease characterized by recurrent seizures and behavioral comorbidities. We investigated the antiseizure effect of cannabidiol (CBD) in a battery of acute seizure models. Additionally, we defined the disease-modifying potential of chronic oral administration of CBD on associated comorbidities in the reduced intensity status epilepticus-spontaneous recurrent seizures (RISE-SRS) model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

RESULTS:

CBD was effective in a battery of acute seizure models in both mice and rats following intraperitoneal administration. In the pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus rat model, CBD attenuated maximum seizure severity following intravenous administration, further demonstrating CBD’s acute antiseizure efficacy in this rat model. We established that oral CBD attenuated the time-dependent increase in seizure burden and improved TLE-associated motor comorbidities of epileptic rats in the RISE-SRS model without affecting gait. Chronic administration of CBD after the onset of SRS ameliorated reference memory and working memory errors of epileptic animals in a spatial learning and memory task.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The present study illustrates that CBD is a well-tolerated and effective antiseizure agent and illustrates a potential disease-modifying effect of CBD on reducing both seizure burden and associated comorbidities well after the onset of symptomatic seizures in a model of TLE.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30588604

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/epi.14629

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Social isolation as a promising animal model of PTSD comorbid suicide: neurosteroids and cannabinoids as possible treatment options.

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by drastic alterations in mood, emotions, social abilities and cognition. Notably, one aspect of PTSD, particularly in veterans, is its comorbidity with suicide.

Elevated aggressiveness predicts high-risk to suicide in humans and despite the difficulty in reproducing a complex human suicidal behavior in rodents, aggressive behavior is a well reproducible behavioral trait of suicide. PTSD animal models are based on a peculiar phenotype, including exaggerated fear memory, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors associated with neurochemical dysregulations in emotional brain circuitry.

The endocannabinoid and the neurosteroid systems regulate emotions and stress responses, and recent evidence shows these two systems are interrelated and critically compromised in neuropsychiatric disorders. For instance, levels of the neurosteroid, allopregnanolone, as well as those of the endocannabinoids, anandamide and its congener, palmitoylethanolamide are decreased in PTSD.

Similarly, the endocannabinoid system and neurosteroid biosynthesis are altered in suicidal individuals.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the only FDA-approved treatments for PTSD and depression, fail to help half of the treatment-seeking patients. This highlights the need for developing biomarker-based efficient therapies. One promising hypothesis points to stimulation of allopregnanolone biosynthesis as a valid end-point to predict treatment response in PTSD patients.

This review highlights running findings on the role of the endocannabinoid and neurosteroid systems in PTSD and suicidal behavior both in a preclinical and clinical perspective. A specific focus is given to predictive PTSD/suicide animal models. Ultimately, we discuss the idea that disruption of neurosteroid and endocannabinoid biosynthesis may offer novel promising biomarker candidates to develop new treatments for PTSD and, perhaps, suicidal behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30586627

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618305839?via%3Dihub

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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Cannabinoids in the Dermatology Community

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“Recent research has identified potential uses of cannabinoids in dermatology, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and wound healing.

This study examined dermatology providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions on therapeutic cannabinoids using a 20-question online survey.

The response rate was 21% (n=531). Most responders thought cannabinoids should be legal for medical treatment (86%). Nearly all (94%) believed it is worthwhile to research dermatologic uses of cannabinoids. 55% reported at least one patient-initiated discussion about cannabinoids in the last year. Yet, 48% were concerned about a negative stigma when proposing cannabinoid therapies to patients. While most responders (86%) were willing to prescribe an FDA-approved cannabinoid as a topical treatment, fewer (71%) were willing to prescribe an oral form. 64% of respondents did not know that cannabidiol is not psychoactive and 29% did not know that tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Dermatology providers are interested in prescribing cannabinoids and patients are speaking about cannabinoids with their dermatologists. However, providers’ fund of knowledge on this subject is lacking. These results highlight the need for further education and research to detangle the dermatologic benefits and risks of cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30586258

“Cannabinoid system in the skin – a possible target for future therapies in dermatology.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19664006

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An experimental randomized study on the analgesic effects of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia.

 

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“In this experimental randomized placebo-controlled 4-way crossover trial, we explored the analgesic effects of inhaled pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in twenty chronic pain patients with fibromyalgia.

We tested four different cannabis varieties with exact knowledge on their [INCREMENT]-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD) content: Bedrocan® (22.4 mg THC, < 1 mg CBD), Bediol® (13.4 mg THC, 17.8 mg CBD), Bedrolite® (18.4 mg CBD, < 1 mg THC) and a placebo variety without any THC or CBD.

Following a single vapor inhalation, THC and CBD plasma concentrations, pressure and electrical pain thresholds, spontaneous pain scores and drug high were measured for 3 hours. None of the treatments had an effect greater than placebo on spontaneous or electrical pain responses, although more subjects receiving Bediol® displayed a 30% decrease in pain scores compared to placebo (90% vs. 55% of patients, p = 0.01), with spontaneous pain scores correlating with the magnitude of drug high (ρ = -0.5, p < 0.001). Cannabis varieties containing THC caused a significant increase in pressure pain threshold relative to placebo (p < 0.01). CBD inhalation increased THC plasma concentrations but diminished THC-induced analgesic effects, indicative of a synergistic pharmacokinetic but antagonistic pharmacodynamic interactions of THC and CBD.

This experimental trial shows the complex behavior of inhaled cannabinoids in chronic pain patients with just small analgesic responses after a single inhalation. Further studies are needed to determine long-term treatment effects on spontaneous pain scores, THC-CBD interactions and the role of psychotropic symptoms on pain relief.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30585986

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006396-900000000-98794

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