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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Cannabinoids, Chemical Senses, and Regulation of Feeding Behavior.

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“The herb Cannabis sativa has been traditionally used in many cultures and all over the world for thousands of years as medicine and recreation.

However, because it was brought to the Western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy with respect to its physiological effects as well as the generation of specific behaviors. In this regard, the CB1 receptor represents the most relevant target molecule of cannabinoid components on nervous system and whole-body energy homeostasis.

Thus, the promotion of CB1 signaling can increase appetite and stimulate feeding, whereas blockade of CB1 suppresses hunger and induces hypophagia.

Taste and flavor are sensory experiences involving the oral perception of food-derived chemicals and drive a primal sense of acceptable or unacceptable for what is sampled. Therefore, research within the last decades focused on deciphering the effect of cannabinoids on the chemical senses involved in food perception and consequently in the pattern of feeding.

In this review, we summarize the data on the effect of cannabinoids on chemical senses and their influences on food intake control and feeding behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30481264

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The Impact of Δ9-THC on the Psychological Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa: A Pilot Study.

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“Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the active compound of Cannabis sativa with appetite stimulating properties.

This study evaluated the effect of low doses of oral Δ9-THC on self-reported symptoms of patients suffering from chronic anorexia nervosa (AN).

The primary outcome was improvement in the way patients perceived their eating behavior.

Significant improvements were found in self reported body care, sense of ineffectiveness, asceticism and depression. There were no significant changes in BMI.

Δ9-THC may be an effective component in treating the psychological symptoms of AN.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29735812

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Dronabinol oral solution in the management of anorexia and weight loss in AIDS and cancer.

“The true incidence of anorexia secondary to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and cancer is not well classified owing to the fact that there is a lack of standardized definitions and recent clinical data in these settings.

Dronabinol, or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a synthetic molecule that closely mimics the action of Cannabis sativa L., a naturally occurring compound activated in the central nervous system by cannabinoid receptors.

Dronabinol exerts its effects by directly acting on the vomiting and appetite control centers in the brain, which in turn increases appetite and prevents vomiting.

In the USA, dronabinol is currently available in two dosage formulations – oral capsule and oral solution. While the oral capsule was initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1985, the recent approval of the oral solution in 2016 presents an “easy-to-swallow” alternative for patients using or intending to use dronabinol.

Dronabinol is indicated in adult patients with HIV/AIDS for the treatment of anorexia and weight loss. However, there is no approved indication in the setting of cancer-related anorexia and weight loss. This review aims at presenting available data on the use of oral dronabinol in the management of anorexia and weight loss in HIV/AIDS and cancer, as well as characterizing and highlighting the pharmacotherapeutic considerations of the newest formulation of dronabinol.”

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The effect of nabilone on appetite, nutritional status, and quality of life in lung cancer patients: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial.

Supportive Care in Cancer

“Over one half of the patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer experience anorexia. In addition to its high incidence, cancer-induced anorexia promotes the development of the anorexia-cachexia syndrome, which is related to poor clinical outcomes.

Recently, drugs derived from cannabinoids, such as Nabilone, have been recognized for their appetite improvement properties.

METHODS:

This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of Nabilone vs. placebo on the appetite, nutritional status, and quality of life in patients diagnosed with advanced Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (NCT02802540).

CONCLUSION:

Nabilone is an adequate and safe therapeutic option to aid in the treatment of patients diagnosed with anorexia. Larger trials are necessary in order to draw robust conclusions in regard to its efficacy in lung cancer patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29550881

“Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid with therapeutic use as an antiemetic and as an adjunct analgesic for neuropathic pain. It mimics tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound found naturally occurring in Cannabis.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabilone
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Nutritional Value of Commercial Protein-Rich Plant Products.

 Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

“The goal of this work was to analyze nutritional value of various minimally processed commercial products of plant protein sources such as faba bean (Vicia faba), lupin (Lupinus angustifolius), rapeseed press cake (Brassica rapa/napus subsp. Oleifera), flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), oil hemp seed (Cannabis sativa), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Basic composition and various nutritional components like amino acids, sugars, minerals, and dietary fiber were determined. Nearly all the samples studied could be considered as good sources of essential amino acids, minerals and dietary fiber. The highest content of crude protein (over 30 g/100 g DW) was found in faba bean, blue lupin and rapeseed press cake. The total amount of essential amino acids (EAA) ranged from 25.8 g/16 g N in oil hemp hulls to 41.5 g/16 g N in pearled quinoa. All the samples studied have a nutritionally favorable composition with significant health benefit potential. Processing (dehulling or pearling) affected greatly to the contents of analyzed nutrients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29500810

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11130-018-0660-7

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Limited Access to a High Fat Diet Alters Endocannabinoid Tone in Female Rats.

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“Emerging evidence suggest an impaired endocannabinoid activity in the pathophysiology of binge eating disorder (BED). Herein, we investigated whether endocannabinoid tone could be modified as a consequence of dietary-induced binge eating in female rats.

For this purpose, brain levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), as well as two endocannabinoid-like lipids, oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), were assessed in different brain areas involved in the hedonic feeding (i.e., prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus).

The brain density of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1) was also evaluated. Furthermore, we determined plasma levels of leptin, ghrelin, and corticosterone hormones, which are well-known to control the levels of endocannabioids and/or CB1 receptors in the brain.

To induce binge eating behavior, rats were subject to an intermittent and limited access to a high fat diet (HFD) (margarine). Three experimental groups were used, all with ad libitum access to chow: control (CTRL), with no access to margarine; low restriction (LR), with 2 h margarine access 7 days/week; high restriction (HR), with 2 h margarine access 3 days/week. Bingeing was established when margarine intake in the HR group exceeded that of the LR group.

Our results show that, compared to CTRL, AEA significantly decreased in the caudate putamen, amygdala, and hippocampus of HR group. In contrast, 2-AG significantly increased in the hippocampus while OEA decreased in the hypothalamus. Similar to the HR group, AEA and OEA decreased respectively in the amygdala and hypothalamus and 2-AG increased in the hippocampus of LR group. Moreover, LR group also had AEA decreased in the prefrontal cortex and increased in the nucleus accumbens. In both groups we found the same reduction of CB1 receptor density in the prefrontal cortex compared to CTRL. Also, LR and HR groups showed alterations in both ghrelin and corticosterone levels, while leptin remained unaltered.

In conclusion, our findings show a modified endocannabinoid tone due to margarine exposure, in several brain areas that are known to influence the hedonic aspect of food. Even if not uniquely specific to binge eating, margarine-induced changes in endocannabinoid tone could contributes to the development and maintenance of this behavior.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29456490

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00040/full

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Changes in the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System as a Risk Factor for the Development of Eating Disorders.

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“Eating Disorder (ED) is characterized by persistently and severely disturbed eating behaviours. They arise from a combination of long-standing behavioural, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors and result in insufficient nutrient ingestion and/or adsorption. The three main EDs are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. We review the role of peripheral endocannabinoids in eating behaviour.

DISCUSSION:

The neuronal pathways involved in feeding behaviours are closely related to catecholaminergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic systems. Accordingly, feeding is promoted by serotonin, dopamine, and prostaglandin and inhibited by neuropeptide Y, norepinephrine, GABA, and opioid peptides. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in EDs, and multiple lines of evidence indicate that the cannabinoid signalling system is a key modulatory factor of the activity in the brain areas involved in EDs as well as in reward processes.

CONCLUSION:

Besides their central role in controlling food behaviours, peripheral cannabinoids are also involved in regulating adipose tissue and insulin signalling as well as cell metabolism in peripheral tissues such as liver, pancreas, fatty tissue, and skeletal muscle. Altogether, these data indicate that peripheral cannabinoids can provide new therapeutic targets not only for EDs but also for metabolic disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29437028

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A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric, Movement and Neurodegenerative Disorders.

“The discovery of endocannabinoid’s role within the central nervous system and its potential therapeutic benefits have brought forth rising interest in the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The present review aimed to synthesize and evaluate the available evidences on the efficacy of cannabis and its derivatives for psychiatric, neurodegenerative and movement disorders. A systematic search of randomized controlled trials of cannabis and its derivatives were conducted via databases (PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). A total of 24 reports that evaluated the use of medical cannabis for Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa, anxiety, dementia, dystonia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis and Tourette syndrome were included in this review. Trial quality was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. There is a lack of evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dystonia. Although trials with positive findings were identified for anorexia nervosa, anxiety, PTSD, psychotic symptoms, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease, definitive conclusion on its efficacy could not be drawn. Evaluation of these low-quality trials, as rated on the Cochrane risk of bias tools, was challenged by methodological issues such as inadequate description of allocation concealment, blinding and underpowered sample size. More adequately powered controlled trials that examine the long and short term efficacy, safety and tolerability of cannabis for medical use, and the mechanisms underpinning the therapeutic potential are warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29073741

http://www.cpn.or.kr/journal/view.html?doi=10.9758/cpn.2017.15.4.301

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Cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptor agonists attenuate hyperactivity and body weight loss in a rat model of activity-based anorexia.

British Journal of Pharmacology

“Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition characterized by excessive body weight loss and disturbed perceptions of body shape and size, often associated with excessive physical activity. There is currently no effective drug-related therapy of this disease and this leads to high relapse rate.

Clinical data suggest that a promising therapy to treat and reduce reoccurrence of AN may be based on the use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid (EC) system, which appears dysregulated in AN patients.

Our data show that subchronic treatment with both the CB1/CB2 receptor natural agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the synthetic CB1/CB2 receptor agonist CP-55,940 significantly reduced body weight loss and running wheel activity in ABA rats. These behavioral effects were accompanied by an increase in leptin signaling and a decrease in plasma levels of corticosterone.

Taken together, our results further demonstrate EC system involvement in AN pathophysiology and that strategies which modulate EC signaling are useful to treat this disorder, specifically in patients where physical hyperactivity plays a central role in its progression and maintenance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28561272

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.13892/abstract

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