Anti-inflammatory agents for smoking cessation? Focus on cognitive deficits associated with nicotine withdrawal in male mice.

 Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“Nicotine withdrawal is associated with cognitive deficits including attention, working memory, and episodic memory impairments.

Treatment with the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol abolished memory impairment of nicotine withdrawal and microglia reactivity, reduced the expression of IL1β and IFNγ in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, respectively, and normalized Ki67 levels. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin also prevented cognitive deficits and microglial reactivity during withdrawal.

These data underline the usefulness of anti-inflammatory agents to improve cognitive performance during early nicotine abstinence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30391635

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159118302599?via%3Dihub

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Adolescent THC exposure does not sensitize conditioned place preferences to subthreshold d-amphetamine in male and female rats.

 Click to expand“The acute effects of marijuana consumption on brain physiology and behaviour are well documented, but the long-term effects of its chronic use are less well known. Chronic marijuana use during adolescence is of increased interest, given that the majority of individuals first use marijuana during this developmental stage , and  adolescent marijuana use is thought to increase the susceptibility to abusing other drugs when exposed later in life. It is possible that marijuana use during critical periods in adolescence could lead to increased sensitivity to other drugs of abuse later on. To test this, we chronically administered ∆ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to male and female Long-Evans (LER) and Wistar (WR) rats directly after puberty onset. Rats matured to postnatal day 90 before being exposed to a conditioned place preference task (CPP). A subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine, found not to induce place preference in drug naïve rats, was used as the unconditioned stimulus. The effect of d-amphetamine on neural activity was inferred by quantifying cfos expression in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal hippocampus following CPP training. Chronic exposure to THC post-puberty had no potentiating effect on a subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine to induce CPP. No differences in cfosexpression were observed. These results show that chronic exposure to THC during puberty did not increase sensitivity to a sub-threshold dose of d-amphetamine in adult LER and WR rats. This supports the concept that THC may not sensitize the response to all drugs of abuse.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770212.2

https://f1000research.com/articles/7-342/v2

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Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.

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“Among the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that does not produce the typical subjective effects of marijuana.

The aim of the present review is to describe the main advances in the development of the experimental and clinical use of cannabidiol CBD in neuropsychiatry.

CBD was shown to have anxiolytic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties. In addition, basic and clinical investigations on the effects of CBD have been carried out in the context of many other health conditions, including its potential use in epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and Parkinson.

CBD is an useful and promising molecule that may help patients with a number of clinical conditions. Controlled clinical trials with different neuropsychiatric populations that are currently under investigation should bring important answers in the near future and support the translation of research findings to clinical settings.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30298064

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009/full

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A systematic review on the neuroprotective perspectives of beta-caryophyllene.

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“Beta (β)-caryophyllene (BCAR) is a major sesquiterpene of various plant essential oils reported for several important pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, nephroprotective, antimicrobial, and immune-modulatory activity. Recent studies suggest that it also possesses neuroprotective effect.

This study reviews published reports pertaining to the neuropharmacological activities of BCAR. Databases such as PubMed, Scopus, MedLine Plus, and Google Scholar with keywords “beta (β)-caryophyllene” and other neurological keywords were searched. Data were extracted by referring to articles with information about the dose or concentration/route of administration, test system, results and discussion, and proposed mechanism of action.

A total of 545 research articles were recorded, and 41 experimental studies were included in this review, after application of exclusion criterion. Search results suggest that BCAR exhibits a protective role in a number of nervous system-related disorders including pain, anxiety, spasm, convulsion, depression, alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, BCAR has local anesthetic-like activity, which could protect the nervous system from oxidative stress and inflammation and can act as an immunomodulatory agent. Most neurological activities of this natural product have been linked with the cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), especially the CB2R. This review suggests a possible application of BCAR as a neuroprotective agent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30281175

“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

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Repeated Cannabidiol treatment reduces cocaine intake and modulates neural proliferation and CB1R expression in the mouse hippocampus.

Neuropharmacology

“Cannabinoid derivatives have shown promising results for treating neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction.

Recent studies on the therapeutic effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on drug abuse showed mixed results, especially with psychostimulant substances such as cocaine. To determine whether CBD can attenuate cocaine reinforcement, we assessed behavioural responses induced by cocaine in mice, using the behavioural sensitization, conditioned place preference and intravenous self-administration paradigms.

We show that repeated CBD treatment produces anxiolytic effects in the elevated plus maze test, increases the discrimination index of the novel object recognition task and attenuates cocaine-induced conditioned place preference but does not affect behavioural sensitization.

CBD reduced cocaine voluntary consumption and progressive ratio breaking point in the self-administration paradigm, but not drug-induced reinstatement. In parallel, CBD increased expression of type 1 cannabinoid receptor, MAPK-CREB phosphorylation, BDNF expression, and neural cell proliferation in the hippocampus, and reduced the GluA1/2 AMPA subunit receptor ratio in the striatum.

In summary, we show that CBD can modulate some behavioural and molecular manifestations of cocaine reinforcement. Moreover, our findings show that CBD has pro-neurogenic effects also in cocaine consuming animals.

Overall, this novel evidence provides new perspectives to use CBD as a therapeutic tool.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30273593

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390818307135?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol treatment reduces the motivation to self-administer methamphetamine and methamphetamine-primed relapse in rats.

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“Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that can cause many adverse physical, psychological and psychosocial effects.

Preliminary evidence shows cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating constituent of the cannabis plant, may have efficacy in treating opioid and nicotine dependence. However, no study has yet examined whether cannabidiol treatment might impact on methamphetamine addiction.

AIMS:

The current study investigated whether cannabidiol administration reduces the motivation to self-administer methamphetamine and relapse to methamphetamine-seeking behavior following abstinence.

RESULTS:

Cannabidiol (80 mg/kg, but not 40 mg/kg, or 20 mg/kg) reduced the motivation to self-administer methamphetamine and attenuated methamphetamine-primed relapse to methamphetamine-seeking behavior after extinction.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first demonstration that cannabidiol can reduce the motivation to seek and consume methamphetamine, and suggests that cannabidiol might be worth trialing as a novel pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30260267

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881118799954?journalCode=jopa

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Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, has received attention for therapeutic potential in treating neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Recently, CBD has also been explored for potential in treating drug addiction.

Substance use disorders are chronically relapsing conditions and relapse risk persists for multiple reasons including craving induced by drug contexts, susceptibility to stress, elevated anxiety, and impaired impulse control.

Here, we evaluated the “anti-relapse” potential of a transdermal CBD preparation in animal models of drug seeking, anxiety and impulsivity.

The results provide proof of principle supporting potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment.

The findings also inform the ongoing medical marijuana debate concerning medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids and their promise for development and use as therapeutics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29686308

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0050-8

“Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0218-2

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Adolescent cannabinoid exposure induces irritability-like behavior and cocaine cross-sensitization without affecting the escalation of cocaine self-administration in adulthood.

Scientific Reports

“In summary, these results suggest that psychoactive cannabinoid exposure during adolescence is unlikely to have a major effect on the escalation of cocaine intake or the development of compulsive-like responding per se in adulthood in a rat model of cocaine self-administration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30224774

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31921-5

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Emerging Evidence for Cannabis’ Role in Opioid Use Disorder.

 Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image “The opioid epidemic has become an immense problem in North America, and despite decades of research on the most effective means to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), overdose deaths are at an all-time high, and relapse remains pervasive.

Although there are a number of FDA-approved opioid replacement therapies and maintenance medications to help ease the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms and aid in relapse prevention, these medications are not risk free nor are they successful for all patients. Furthermore, there are legal and logistical bottlenecks to obtaining traditional opioid replacement therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine, and the demand for these services far outweighs the supply and access.

To fill the gap between efficacious OUD treatments and the widespread prevalence of misuse, relapse, and overdose, the development of novel, alternative, or adjunct OUD treatment therapies is highly warranted. In this article, we review emerging evidence that suggests that cannabis may play a role in ameliorating the impact of OUD. Herein, we highlight knowledge gaps and discuss cannabis’ potential to prevent opioid misuse (as an analgesic alternative), alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms, and decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Conclusion: The compelling nature of these data and the relative safety profile of cannabis warrant further exploration of cannabis as an adjunct or alternative treatment for OUD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30221197

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0022

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Role of the endocannabinoid system in drug addiction.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder that produces a dramaticglobal health burden worldwide. Not effective treatment of drug addiction is currently available probably due to the difficulties to find an appropriate target to manage this complex disease raising the needs for further identification of novel therapeutic approaches.

The endocannabinoid system has been found to play a crucial role in the neurobiological substrate underlying drug addiction.

Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are widely expressed in the main areas of the mesocorticolimbic system that participate in the initiation and maintenance of drug consumption and in the development of compulsion and loss of behavioral control occurring during drug addiction.

The identification of the important role played by CB1 cannabinoid receptors in drug addiction encouraged the possible used of an early commercialized CB1 receptor antagonist for treating drug addiction.

However, the incidence of serious psychiatric adverse events leaded to the sudden withdrawal from the market of this CB1 antagonist and all the research programs developed by pharmaceutical companies to obtain new CB1 antagonists were stopped.

Currently, new research strategies are under development to target the endocannabinoid system for drug addiction avoiding these side effects, which include allosteric negative modulators of CB1 receptors and compounds targeting CB2 receptors.

Recent studies showing the potential role of CB2 receptors in the addictive properties of different drugs of abuse have open a promising research opportunity to develop novel possible therapeutic approaches.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30217570

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295218303952

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