Cannabidiol ameliorates the anxiogenic and compulsive-like behaviors induced by chronic consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet in male mice


“The excessive consumption of ultra-processed foods and the development of obesity has been associated with several comorbidities, including psychiatric disorders. Excess fat tissue promotes a low-intensity inflammatory state, mainly in the white tissue, which is essential in developing metabolic alterations and influences brain homeostasis.

In this scenario, Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound from Cannabis sativa, has presented anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects in murine models.

This study verified whether CBD treatment would ameliorate the compulsive-like and anxiety-like behaviors observed after mice’s chronic consumption of a high-refined carbohydrate (HC) diet.

BALB/c male mice received a control or HC diet for 12 weeks followed by vehicle and CBD (30 mg/Kg, i.p.) administration, and their behavior was evaluated in the Marble Burying test (MB) and Novel Suppressing Feeding test (NSF).

The sub-chronic, but not acute, treatment with CBD attenuated the compulsive-like and anxiogenic-like behavior induced by the HC diet.

Our data reinforced the harmful effects of the HC diet’s chronic consumption on compulsive and anxious behaviors and the potential of CBD as a drug treatment for psychiatric disorders associated with obesity.”

Experience With Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients in the Palliative Setting

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“Objectives: Medical marijuana is a symptom treatment option for palliative cancer patients; however, its useful applications remain limited. The goals of this study were to review the characteristics of patients who received medical marijuana under our ambulatory palliative care program and to determine barriers to access and use of medical marijuana in this population.

Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of patients who were enrolled in the medical marijuana registry through the ambulatory palliative care department at Upstate Cancer Center. Data from June 2017 to June 2020 were analyzed. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis of cancer, were certified by a qualified practitioner in the New York Medical Marijuana Program, and received care at Upstate Medical University. Patients were excluded if no marijuana certificate was found or if they transferred care.

Results: The study population was 184 patients. Ninety-three patients (51.5%) received at least one prescription from a New York licensed marijuana dispensary while 72 (39.13%) were certified but never obtained any medical marijuana. For patients who took at least one dose of medical marijuana, 48.14% experienced an improvement in pain, 44.95% used fewer opioids, and 85.11% had an improvement in at least one symptom. Adverse effects were low at 3.72%.

Conclusion: Medical marijuana has an important role in the palliation of symptoms in advanced cancers with few adverse effects. There are still many barriers to effective use. More prospective research is needed to optimize delivery and dosing.”

“Medical marijuana appears to have an important role in the palliation of symptoms in advanced cancers with few adverse effects although not all patients certified for use, go on to obtain it. There are many remaining barriers to effective use including financial toxicity and end-of-life care, introducing this so late in life that the benefit is limited.”

Long-Term Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws on the Burden of Cannabis Use Disorders in US Male and Female Adolescents and Young Adults


“Deregulation of cannabis use has raised concerns regarding its potential effects on health, particularly in adolescents and young adults.

Here, we extracted data from the Global Burden of Disease database to estimate the long-term effect (> 5 years) of medical marijuana laws (MML) on 2019 cannabis use disorders Disability Adjusted Life Years (2019 CUD DALYs) in US male and female adolescents (15-19 years old) and young adults (20-24 years old). Socio-cultural, demographic and economic characteristics were used as baseline covariates. To improve the robustness of estimation, we took advantage of machine learning techniques.

We found no significant effect of MML on 2019 CUD DALYS in each of our four age/sex groups. Estimates from a marginal structural model taking into account age and sex strata in the same model were also non-significant.

Our findings suggest that MML may have a negligible effect (if any) on cannabis use disorders in this population group.”

Cannabidivarin alleviates neuroinflammation by targeting TLR4 co-receptor MD2 and improves morphine-mediated analgesia

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“Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is a pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) that regulates the activation of immune cells, which is a target for treating inflammation.

In this study, Cannabidivarin (CBDV), an active component of Cannabis, was identified as an antagonist of TLR4. In vitro, intrinsic protein fluorescence titrations revealed that CBDV directly bound to TLR4 co-receptor myeloid differentiation protein 2 (MD2). Cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA) showed that CBDV binding decreased MD2 stability, which is consistent with in silico simulations that CBDV binding increased the flexibility of the internal loop of MD2.

Moreover, CBDV was found to restrain LPS-induced activation of TLR4 signaling axes of NF-κB and MAPKs, therefore blocking LPS-induced pro-inflammatory factors NO, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Hot plate test showed that CBDV potentiated morphine-induced antinociception. Furthermore, CBDV attenuated morphine analgesic tolerance as measured by the formalin test by specifically inhibiting chronic morphine-induced glial activation and pro-inflammatory factors expression in the nucleus accumbent.

This study confirms that MD2 is a direct binding target of CBDV for the anti-neuroinflammatory effect and implies that CBDV has great translational potential in pain management.”

“The results imply that CBDV could be a potential therapeutic agent for improving morphine-mediated analgesia.”

Cannabidiol attenuates hypersensitivity and oxidative stress after traumatic spinal cord injury in rats

Neuroscience Letters

“Neuropathic pain (NP) arises as a direct consequence of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), which leads to devastating consequences for people suffering from this condition since no specific treatment has been defined. One relevant mechanism in generating painful stimuli involves the direct participation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the cellular and subcellular levels.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two most crucial cannabinoid components of the cannabis plant and has been proposed as a potential treatment for NP. Its antioxidant, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties have been documented. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding CBD as treatment of NP induced by SCI or the mechanisms that underlie this effect.

In this study, we evaluated the antinociceptive effect of CBD as an acute treatment after the nociceptive behaviors characteristic of NP were established (hypersensitivity threshold and hypersensitivity response). Furthermore, the participation of oxidative stress was determined by lipid peroxidation (LP) and glutathione concentration (GSH) in female Wistar rats with SCI.

Acute treatment with CBD (2.5-20 mg/kg, i.p.) decreased nociceptive behaviors in a dose-dependent manner, decreased LP, and increased GSH concentration in injured tissue 15 days after injury. The findings of this study suggest that the antinociceptive effect induced by CBD is regulated by reducing oxidative stress by decreasing the LP and increasing the concentration of antioxidant (GSH) defenses.”

“Cannabidiol decreases hyperalgesia in a dose–response manner after spinal cord injury.”

Cannabidiol enhances the antinociceptive effects of morphine and attenuates opioid-induced tolerance in the chronic constriction injury model

Behavioural Brain Research

“Neuropathic pain (NP) is a complex health problem that includes sensorial manifestations such as evoked and ongoing pain. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown potential in the treatment of NP and the combination between opioids and cannabinoids has provided promising results on pain relief. Thus, our study aimed to investigate the effect of treatment combination between CBD and morphine on evoked and ongoing pain, and the effect of CBD on morphine-induced tolerance in the model of chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve in rats.

Mechanical thresholds (i.e., evoked pain) were evaluated before and 7 days after surgery. We also employed a 4-day conditioned place preference (CPP) protocol, to evaluate relief of ongoing pain (6 to 9 days after surgery). Treatment with morphine (2 and 4mg/kg) or CBD (30mg/kg) induced a significant antinociceptive effect on evoked pain.

The combination of CBD (30mg/kg) and morphine (1mg/kg) produced an enhanced antinociceptive effect, when compared to morphine alone (1mg/Kg). Treatment with morphine (1 and 2mg/kg) or CBD (30mg/kg) alone failed to induce significant scores in the CPP test. However, combined treatment of CBD (30mg/kg) and morphine (1mg/kg) provided significant positive scores, increased the number of entrances in the drug-paired chamber in the CPP test and did not alter locomotor activity in rats. Lastly, treatment with CBD partially attenuated morphine-induced tolerance.

In summary, our results support the indication of CBD as an adjuvant to opioid therapy for the attenuation of NP and opioid-induced analgesic tolerance.”

“Taken together, the present results demonstrate that CBD or morphine exert antinociceptive effects in both mechanically evoked pain and ongoing pain after CCI in rats. The treatment combination of CBD and a sub-therapeutic dose of morphine, provided marked antinociceptive effects in both evoked and ongoing pain.”

Cannabinoid Cancer Biology and Prevention

Issue Cover

“Plant-based, synthetic, and endogenous cannabinoids have been shown to control a diverse array of biological processes, including regulation of cell fate across cancers. Their promise as broad-based antitumor agents in preclinical models has led to the initiation of pilot clinical trials. Session 5 of the National Cancer Institute’s Cannabis, Cannabinoids and Cancer Research Symposium provides an overview of this research topic.

Overall, the presentations highlight cannabinoid signal transduction and specific molecular mechanisms underlying cannabinoid antitumor activity. They also demonstrate the broad-based antitumor activity of the plant-based, synthetic, and endogenous cannabinoid compounds. Importantly, evidence is presented demonstrating when cannabinoids may be contraindicated as a treatment for cancer, as in the case of human papilloma virus-meditated oropharynx cancer or potentially other p38 MAPK pathway-driven cancers.

Finally, it is discussed that a key to advancing cannabinoids into the clinic is to conduct well-designed, large-scale clinical trials to determine whether cannabinoids are effective antitumor agents in cancer patients.”

“These sessions present multiple lines of preclinical evidence supporting that the cannabinoids THC and CBD act as broad-based antitumor agents controlling many aspects of cancer progression, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, metastasis, and immune surveillance. “

Analysis of Potential Anti-Cancer Effects of Cannabinol and Cannabidiol using HCC1806 and HEK293 Cell Lines

URSCA 2018

“Humans produce endocannabinoids that act as neuromodulators in the endocannabinoid system. They bind to Gαi protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors to control the release of many neurotransmitters. Cannabinoids receptor 1 (CB1) mediates psychoactive effects through its location mostly in the central nervous system while Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) regulates various immune responses through its location in peripheral tissues.

The endocannabinoid system has been used as a molecular target by research to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, obesity and inflammatory pain. Thus, the endocannabinoid system is a potential molecular target to treat cancer. With the proposed legalization of recreational marijuana and with growing number of patients using cannabis for medicinal purpose, there is an urgent need to provide data on potential medicinal value of cannabis and cannabinoids.

The Cannabis Sativa plant naturally synthesizes numerous different cannabinoids of which (CBN) and cannabidiol (CBD) have promising properties in cancer treatment. CBD is a phytocannabinoid known for its anticonvulsant and anti-nausea properties. Previous research suggests that CBD can target breast cancer cells while preserving normal cells. CBN is another phyotocannabinoid with anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially aid to reduce inflammation resulting from cancer.

This study aims to determine if CBN and CBD have an effect on cancer cells and normal cells. We hypothesize that we may observe an increase in apoptosis of cancer cells treated with the two compounds but no effect or perhaps even a slight increase in normal cell growth. Preliminary data in lab suggests that these compounds have anti-cancer properties and we want to solidify this evidence through repetition of the experiment.”

Cannabinoids-Perspectives for Individual Treatment in Selected Patients: Analysis of the Case Series


“Cannabinoids can be successfully used in the treatment of many symptoms and diseases; however, most often they are not the drugs of first choice. They can be added to the primary therapy, which can improve its effectiveness, or be introduced as the basic treatment when the conventional methods have failed. Small clinical trials and case reports prove the benefits of applying medicinal cannabis in various indications; however, clinical trials in larger groups of patients are scarce and often controversial. Due to limited scientific evidence, it is essential to conduct further experimental trials. Understanding the role of endocannabinoids, as well as the composition of cannabis containing both phytocannabinoids and terpenes plays an important role in their clinical use. The clinical effects of cannabinoids depend, among other things, on the activity of the endocannabinoid system, the proportion of phytocannabinoids, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and the dosage used. The article discusses the role of phytocannabinoids and the potential of using them in different clinical cases in patients suffering from chronic pain, opioid dependence, depression and migraine, who did not respond to the conventional therapeutic methods. In each of the presented cases, the implementation of cannabinoids altered the course of the disease and resulted in symptom relief. Every decision to introduce cannabinoids to the treatment should be made individually with careful attention paid to details. Additionally, it is worth taking care of good clinical communication and education so that the implemented therapy is safe, effective and properly perceived by the patient.”

“Evidence derived from observational studies suggest that using cannabis may help to reduce symptoms, alleviate the course of many diseases, as well as withdrawal symptoms in substance abuse disorder, such as opioid abuse and dependence. The endocannabinoid system undoubtedly plays a vital role in the modulation of functioning of many systems, but further observations and clinical trials are necessary to assess both efficacy and dosage of cannabinoids in certain disorders. Unfortunately, so far there is still not enough clinical data, which would enable us to draw credible conclusions and establish standardized doses in the selected disorders. Every patient should be approached individually with careful assessment of their condition and treated according to the “start low, go slow” principle in order to determine the lowest effective dose. In the series of presented cases cannabinoids were not used as a first-line therapy, but proved their efficacy as a complementary or alternative approach when other available treatment methods did not deliver expected and satisfactory results. Prospective approach to using cannabis in everyday clinical practice, devoid of bias and apprehension on the physicians’ part, aims to study the research and other countries’ experience, where both plant form and pure extract already have medical usage. Although today it may seem unlikely, in the near future cannabis may become widely accessible and remarkably beneficial for our patients.”

Cannabidiol Prevents Spontaneous Fear Recovery after Extinction and Ameliorates Stress-Induced Extinction Resistance


“Cannabidiol, the main non-psychotropic constituent of cannabis, has potential as a treatment for anxiety-related disorders since it reduces learned fear expression and enhances fear extinction.

The return of fear over time after successful extinction and stress-induced extinction resistance are potential barriers to the treatment of these disorders with extinction-based psychological therapy. In two experiments using rats subjected to auditory fear conditioning, we determined the effects of systemic cannabidiol treatment on (1) delayed extinction and later spontaneous fear recovery, and (2) extinction resistance caused by immediate extinction (the immediate extinction deficit (IED)). In Experiment 1, cannabidiol was given before delayed extinction occurring 24 h after conditioning, with extinction recall and spontaneous fear recovery tested drug-free 1 and 21 days after extinction, respectively.

We found that cannabidiol had no effect on extinction recall but it prevented spontaneous fear recovery. In Experiment 2, the IED procedure was first validated, with immediate extinction occurring 30 min after conditioning. We confirmed that immediate extinction impaired extinction recall, compared to delayed extinction. Next, cannabidiol was given before immediate or no extinction, with extinction recall tested drug-free the next day. We found that cannabidiol rescued the IED, which did not involve effects on fear memory consolidation.

In summary, cannabidiol prevented spontaneous fear recovery after delayed extinction and ameliorated extinction resistance caused by immediate extinction. Although the pharmacological mechanisms underlying these effects remain to be determined, our results add to evidence indicating that cannabidiol might prove useful as an adjunct for potentiating the psychological treatment of anxiety-related disorders.”