How effective and safe is medical cannabis as a treatment of mental disorders? A systematic review.

“We conducted a review of systematic reviews (SRs) and randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) to analyze efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medication in patients with mental disorders.

Five data bases were systematically searched (2006-August 2018); 4 SRs (of 11 RCTs) and 14 RCTs (1629 participants) were included. Diagnoses were: dementia, cannabis and opioid dependence, psychoses/schizophrenia, general social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Tourette`s disorder. Outcome variables were too heterogeneous to conduct a  meta-analysis. A narrative synthesis method was applied. The study quality was assessed using the risk-of-bias tool and SIGN-checklists.

THC- and CBD-based medicines, given as adjunct to pharmaco- and psychotherapy, were associated with improvements of several symptoms of mental disorders, but not with remission. Side effects occurred, but severe adverse effects were mentioned in single cases only. In order to provide reliable treatment recommendations, more and larger RCTs with follow-up assessments, consistent outcome measures and active comparisons are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30706168

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00406-019-00984-4

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[Endogenous Cannabinoid System of the Brain as the Target for Influences at Neurodegenerate Diseases]

“The review represents the analysis of works about role of endogenous cannabinoid (EC) system in the neuro- degenerate diseases (ND), in which the cellular death and disturbances of neuronal functions of the hippo- campus, neocortex and striatum are observed. Here, the diseases.ofAlzheimer, of Parkinson, of Hangtington, and the temporal lobe epilepsy are considered. In recent years the fundamental role of EC system in regu- lation of neuroexcitability, energy metabolism, inflammatory and many other processes has been opened in ND pathogenesis. It points to possibility of development of therapeutic approaches which use the prepara- tions for activation of EC system. In the review various mechanisms of cellular survival and their reparations provided to EC system during action of pathological factors are stated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30695519

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Indazolylketones as new multitarget cannabinoid drugs.

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

“Multitarget cannabinoids could be a promising therapeutic strategic to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

In this sense, our group has developed a new family of indazolylketones with multitarget profile including cannabinoids, cholinesterase and BACE-1 activity. A medicinal chemistry program that includes computational design, synthesis and in vitro and cellular evaluation has allowed to us to achieve lead compounds.

In this work, the synthesis and evaluation of a new class of indazolylketones have been performed. Pharmacological evaluation includes functional activity for cannabinoid receptors on isolated tissue. In addition, in vitro inhibitory assays in AChE/BuChE enzymes and BACE-1 have been carried out. Furthermore, studies of neuroprotective effects in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and studies of the mechanisms of survival/death in lymphoblasts of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been achieved.

The results of pharmacological tests have revealed that some of these derivatives (5, 6) behave as CB2 cannabinoid agonists and simultaneously show BuChE and/or BACE-1 inhibition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30685536

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0223523419300406?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoid system: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

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“Cannabis sativa, is also popularly known as marijuana, has been cultivated and used for recreational and medicinal purposes for many centuries.

The main psychoactive content in cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to plant cannabis sativa, there are two classes of cannabinoids—the synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., WIN55212–2) and the endogenous cannabinoids (eCB), anandamide (ANA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

The biological effects of cannabinoids are mainly mediated by two members of the G-protein-coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2 (CB2R). The endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes/proteins responsible for their biosynthesis, degradation, and re-updating constitute the endocannabinoid system.

In recent decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted considerable attention as a potential therapeutic target in numerous physiological conditions, such as in energy balance, appetite stimulation, blood pressure, pain modulation, embryogenesis, nausea and vomiting control, memory, learning and immune response, as well as in pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The major goal of this Special Issue is to discuss and evaluate the current progress in cannabis and cannabinoid research in order to increase our understanding about cannabinoid action and the underlying biological mechanisms and promote the development cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies.

 Overall, the present special issue provides an overview and insight on pharmacological mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of cannabis, cannabinoid receptors, and eCB system. I believe that this special issue will promote further efforts to apply cannabinoid ligands as the therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of diseases.”
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The protective effects of β-caryophyllene on LPS-induced primary microglia M1/M2 imbalance: A mechanistic evaluation.

Life Sciences

“Neuroinflammation is observed as a routine characterization of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s diseases (AD). Scientific evidence propounds both of the neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory effects of CB2 in the immune system. β-Caryophyllene (BCP) is a dietary selective CB2 agonist, which deserves the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects at both low and high doses through activation of the CB2 receptor.

METHODS:

In this study, we investigated the protective effects of a broad range concentration of BCP against LPS-induced primary microglia cells inflammation and M1/M2 imbalance and identifying the portion of the involvement of related signaling pathways on BCP effects using pharmacological antagonists of CB2, PPAR-γ, and sphingomyelinase (SMase).

KEY FINDINGS:

The protective effects of BCP on LPS-induced microglia imbalance is provided by the M2 healing phenotype of microglia, releasing the anti-inflammatory (IL-10, Arg-1, and urea) and anti-oxidant (GSH) parameters and reducing the inflammatory (IL-1β, TNF-α, PGE2, iNOS and NO) and oxidative (ROS) biomarkers. Moreover, we showed that BCP exerts its effects through CB2receptors which overproduction of ceramides by SMase at middle to higher concentrations of BCP reduce the protective activity of BCP and results in the activation of the PPAR-γ pathway.

SIGNIFICANCE:

In conclusion, the low concentration of BCP has higher selective anti-inflammatory effects rather than high levels. On this occasion, BCP by modulating the microglia is able to have potential therapeutic effects in neuro-inflammation conditions and microglia cells such as MS and AD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620895

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320518308610?via%3Dihub

“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

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 Agonist ACEA Improves Cognitive Deficit on STZ-Induced Neurotoxicity Through Apoptosis Pathway and NO Modulation.

“The cannabinoid system has the ability to modulate cellular and molecular mechanisms, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation, acting as a neuroprotective agent, by its relationship with signaling pathways associated to the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Recent reports have raised new perspectives on the possible role of cannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer disease’s (AD).

Our study has demonstrated a participation of the cannabinoid system in cellular survival, involving the CB1 receptor, which occurs by positive regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins, suggesting the participation of this system in neurodegenerative processes. Our data suggest that the cannabinoid system is an interesting therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30607903

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12640-018-9991-2

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Cannabinoids as Regulators of Neural Development and Adult Neurogenesis

“Neurogenesis plays an indispensable role in the formation of the nervous system during development. The discovery that the adult brain still maintains neurogenic niches that allow the continued production of new cells after birth has changed the field of neuroscience. It has also opened a new venue of opportunities for the treatment of central nervous system disorders related to neuronal loss. This chapter has reviewed the studies showing that genetic or pharmacological manipulation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) or the enzymes responsible for endocannabinoid metabolism modify/regulate cell proliferation and neurogenesis during development and in the adult brain. A better characterization of the mechanisms involved in these effects could contribute to the development of new therapeutic alternatives to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.”

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-49343-5_6?fbclid=IwAR1yxGqvrq_9Zva3HLEqjh2WrNRTxPN6Hy_IO8l2IN8v9BCNBG2jDks9N1w

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Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of GPR55 antagonists in LPS-activated primary microglial cells.

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“Neuroinflammation plays a vital role in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

The orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) has been reported to modulate inflammation and is expressed in immune cells such as monocytes and microglia.

Targeting GPR55 might be a new therapeutic option to treat neurodegenerative diseases with a neuroinflammatory background such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, and multiple sclerosis (MS).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30453998

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-018-1362-7

“Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20298715

“Our findings also suggest that GPR55 may be a new pharmacological target for the following C. sativa constituents: Δ9-THCV, CBDV, CBGA, and CBGV. These Cannabis sativa constituents may represent novel therapeutics targeting GPR55.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249141/

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Activation of GPR55 induces neuroprotection of hippocampal neurogenesis and immune responses of neural stem cells following chronic, systemic inflammation.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“New neurons are continuously produced by neural stem cells (NSCs) within the adult hippocampus. Numerous diseases, including major depressive disorder and HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder, are associated with decreased rates of adult neurogenesis. A hallmark of these conditions is a chronic release of neuroinflammatory mediators by activated resident glia.

Recent studies have shown a neuroprotective role on NSCs of cannabinoid receptor activation. Yet, little is known about the effects of GPR55, a candidate cannabinoid receptor, activation on reductions of neurogenesis in response to inflammatory insult.

In the present study, we examined NSCs exposed to IL-1β in vitro to assess inflammation-caused effects on NSC differentiation and the ability of GPR55 agonists to attenuate NSC injury.

Taken together, these results suggest a neuroprotective role of GPR55 activation on NSCs in vitro and in vivo and that GPR55 provides a novel therapeutic target against negative regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis by inflammatory insult.”

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Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology.

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“Neurological therapeutics have been hampered by its inability to advance beyond symptomatic treatment of neurodegenerative disorders into the realm of actual palliation, arrest or reversal of the attendant pathological processes.

While cannabis-based medicines have demonstrated safety, efficacy and consistency sufficient for regulatory approval in spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), and in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes (LGS), many therapeutic challenges remain.

This review will examine the intriguing promise that recent discoveries regarding cannabis-based medicines offer to neurological therapeutics by incorporating the neutral phytocannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), their acidic precursors, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabis terpenoids in the putative treatment of five syndromes, currently labeled recalcitrant to therapeutic success, and wherein improved pharmacological intervention is required: intractable epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson disease (PD), Alzheimer disease (AD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)/chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Current basic science and clinical investigations support the safety and efficacy of such interventions in treatment of these currently intractable conditions, that in some cases share pathological processes, and the plausibility of interventions that harness endocannabinoid mechanisms, whether mediated via direct activity on CB1 and CB2 (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, caryophyllene), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ; THCA), 5-HT1A (CBD, CBDA) or even nutritional approaches utilizing prebiotics and probiotics.

The inherent polypharmaceutical properties of cannabis botanicals offer distinct advantages over the current single-target pharmaceutical model and portend to revolutionize neurological treatment into a new reality of effective interventional and even preventative treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30405366

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnint.2018.00051/full

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