Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics of Oral Cannabidiol Following Administration of PTL101: A New Formulation Based on Gelatin Matrix Pellets Technology.

Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main nonpsychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It has been associated with antiseizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects.

PTL101 is an oral gelatin matrix pellets technology-based formulation containing highly purified CBD embedded in seamless gelatin matrix beadlets. Study objectives were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of PTL101 containing 10 and 100 mg CBD, following single administrations to healthy volunteers and to compare the pharmacokinetic profiles and relative bioavailability of CBD with Sativex oromucosal spray (the reference product) in a randomized, crossover study design.

Administration of PTL101 containing 10 CBD, led to a 1.7-fold higher Cmax and 1.3-fold higher AUC compared with the oromucosal spray. Tmax following both modes of delivery was 3-3.5 hours postdosing. CBD exhibited about a 1-hour lag in absorption when delivered via PTL101. A 10-fold increase in the dose resulted in an ∼15-fold increase in Cmax and AUC. Bioavailability of CBD in the 10-mg PTL101 dose was 134% relative to the reference spray.

PTL101 is a pharmaceutical-grade, user-friendly oral formulation that demonstrated safe and efficient delivery of CBD and therefore could be an attractive candidate for therapeutic indications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29125702

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpdd.408/abstract

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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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Pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling reduces the neuroendocrine response to stress.

Psychoneuroendocrinology

“Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is critical for survival when the organism is exposed to a stressful stimulus. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is currently considered an important neuromodulator involved in numerous pathophysiological processes and whose primary function is to maintain homeostasis. In the tissues constituting the HPA axis, all the components of the ECS are present and the activation of this system acts in parallel with changes in the activity of numerous neurotransmitters, including nitric oxide (NO). NO is widely distributed in the brain and adrenal glands and recent studies have shown that free radicals, and in particular NO, may play a crucial role in the regulation of stress response. Our objective was to determine the participation of the endocannabinoid and NOergic systems as probable mediators of the neuroendocrine HPA axis response to a psychophysical acute stress model in the adult male rat. Animals were pre-treated with cannabinoid receptors agonists and antagonists at central and systemic level prior to acute restraint exposure. We also performed in vitro studies incubating adrenal glands in the presence of ACTH and pharmacological compounds that modifies ECS components. Our results showed that the increase in corticosterone observed after acute restraint stress is blocked by anandamide administered at both central and peripheral level. At hypothalamic level both cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are involved, while in the adrenal gland, anandamide has a very potent effect in suppressing ACTH-induced corticosterone release that is mainly mediated by vanilloid TRPV1 receptors. We also observed that stress significantly increased hypothalamic mRNA levels of CB1 as well as adrenal mRNA levels of TRPV1 receptor. In addition, anandamide reduced the activity of the nitric oxide synthase enzyme during stress, indicating that the anti-stress action of endocannabinoids may involve a reduction in NO production at hypothalamic and adrenal levels. In conclusion, an endogenous cannabinoid tone maintains the HPA axis in a stable basal state, which is lost with a noxious stimulus. In this case, the ECS dampens the response to stress allowing the recovery of homeostasis. Moreover, our work further contributes to in vitro evidence for a participation of the endocannabinoid system by inhibiting corticosterone release directly at the adrenal gland level.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29065362

http://www.psyneuen-journal.com/article/S0306-4530(17)30614-5/fulltext

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Endocannabinoid mechanism in amphetamine-type stimulant use disorders: A short review.

Journal of Clinical Neuroscience Home

“Recent evidence shows that the endocannabinoid system is involved in amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use disorders. To elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid system in ATS addiction, we reviewed results of studies using cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists as well as knockout model.

The endocannabinoid system seems to play a role in reinstatement and relapse of ATS addiction and ATS-induced psychiatric symptoms. The molecular mechanisms of this system remains unclear, the association with dopamine system in nucleus accumbens is most likely involved. However, the function of the endocannabinoid system in anxiety and anti-anxiety effects induced by ATS is more complicated.

These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in the mechanism of ATS addiction and provide new idea for treating ATS addiction.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28912087

http://www.jocn-journal.com/article/S0967-5868(17)30989-X/fulltext

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Distinct roles of neuronal and microglial CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the mouse hippocampus.

Cover image

“The effects of cannabinoids are primarily mediated by type-1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2Rs) in the peripheral immune system. However, recent evidence demonstrates that CB2Rs are also expressed in the brain and implicated in neuropsychiatric effects. Diverse types of cells in various regions in the brain express CB2Rs but the cellular loci of CB2Rs that induce specific behavioral effects have not been determined. To manipulate CB2R expression in specific types of cells in the dorsal hippocampus of adult mice, we used Cre-dependent overexpression and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing techniques in combination with adeno-associated viruses and transgenic mice. Elevation and disruption of CB2R expression in microglia in the CA1 area increased and decreased, respectively, contextual fear memory. In CA1 pyramidal neurons, disruption of CB2R expression enhanced spatial working memory, whereas their overexpression reduced anxiety levels assessed as an increase in the exploration time in the central area of open field. Interneuronal CB2Rs were not involved in the modulation of cognitive or emotional behaviors tested in this study. The targeted manipulation of CB2R expression in pyramidal neurons and microglia suggests that CB2Rs in different types of cells in the mature hippocampus play distinct roles in the regulation of memory and anxiety.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28888955

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452217306292

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Therapeutical strategies for anxiety and anxiety-like disorders using plant-derived natural compounds and plant extracts.

Image result for Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

“Anxiety and anxiety-like disorders describe many mental disorders, yet fear is a common overwhelming symptom often leading to depression. Currently two basic strategies are discussed to treat anxiety: pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. In the pharmacotherapeutical clinical approach, several conventional synthetic anxiolytic drugs are being used with several adverse effects. Therefore, studies to find suitable safe medicines from natural sources are being sought by researchers. The results of a plethora experimental studies demonstrated that dietary phytochemicals like alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, cinnamates, and saponins or various plant extracts with the mixture of different phytochemicals possess anxiolytic effects in a wide range of animal models of anxiety. The involved mechanisms of anxiolytics action include interaction with γ-aminobutyric acid A receptors at benzodiazepine (BZD) and non-BZD sites with various affinity to different subunits, serotonergic 5-hydrodytryptamine receptors, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems, glutamate receptors, and cannabinoid receptors. This review focuses on the use of both plant-derived natural compounds and plant extracts with anxiolytic effects, describing their biological effects and clinical application.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28863384

 

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Cannabidiol Does Not Dampen Responses to Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Adults.

“Introduction: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive constituent of whole plant cannabis that has been reported to reduce anxiety-like behaviors in both pre-clinical and human laboratory studies. Yet, no controlled clinical studies have demonstrated its ability to reduce negative mood or dampen responses to negative emotional stimuli in humans. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of CBD on responses to negative emotional stimuli, as a model for its potential anxiety-reducing effects.

Discussion: CBD did not dampen responses to negative emotional stimuli and did not affect feelings of social rejection. The high dose of CBD (900 mg) marginally reduced attentional bias toward happy and sad facial expressions, and produced a slight increase in late-session heart rate. CBD did not produce detectable subjective effects or alterations in mood or anxiety.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that CBD has minimal behavioral and subjective effects in healthy volunteers, even when they are presented with emotional stimuli. Further research into the behavioral and neural mechanisms of CBD and other phytocannabinoids is needed to ascertain the clinical function of this drug.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861510

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Even High Doses of Oral Cannabidol Do Not Cause THC-Like Effects in Humans

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant devoid of intoxicating effects. It may be of therapeutic value in a large number of diseases, including epilepsy, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenic psychosis, inflammatory diseases, dystonia, nausea, and vomiting without causing relevant or severe side effects.

No biosynthetic enzyme or pathway exists in the human body to convert CBD to THC.

This short communication examines the question whether the experimental data presented in a study by Merrick et al. are of clinical relevance. These authors found that cannabidiol (CBD), a major cannabinoid of the cannabis plant devoid of psychotropic effects and of great interest for therapeutic use in several medical conditions, may be converted in gastric fluid into the psychoactive cannabinoids delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC to a relevant degree. They concluded that “the acidic environment during normal gastrointestinal transit can expose orally CBD-treated patients to levels of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids that may exceed the threshold for a positive physiological response.” They issued a warning concerning oral use of CBD and recommend the development of other delivery methods.

However, the available clinical data do not support this conclusion and recommendation, since even high doses of oral CBD do not cause psychological, psychomotor, cognitive, or physical effects that are characteristic for THC or cannabis rich in THC. On the contrary, in the past decades and by several groups, high doses of oral CBD were consistently shown to cause opposite effects to those of THC in clinical studies. In addition, administration of CBD did not result in detectable THC blood concentrations.

Thus, there is no reason to avoid oral use of CBD, which has been demonstrated to be a safe means of administration of CBD, even at very high doses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861499

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2016.0036

“A Conversion of Oral Cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Seems Not to Occur in Humans.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861507

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The novel cannabinoid receptor GPR55 mediates anxiolytic-like effects in the medial orbital cortex of mice with acute stress.

Biomed Central

“The G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is a novel cannabinoid receptor, whose exact role in anxiety remains unknown. The present study was conducted to explore the possible mechanisms by which GPR55 regulates anxiety and to evaluate the effectiveness of O-1602 in the treatment of anxiety-like symptoms. Mice were exposed to two types of acute stressors: restraint and forced swimming. Anxiety behavior was evaluated using the elevated plus maze and the open field test. We found that O-1602 alleviated anxiety-like behavior in acutely stressed mice. We used lentiviral shRNA to selective ly knockdown GPR55 in the medial orbital cortex and found that knockdown of GPR55 abolished the anxiolytic effect of O-1602. We also used Y-27632, a specific inhibitor of ROCK, and U73122, an inhibitor of PLC, and found that both inhibitors attenuated the effectiveness of O-1602. Western blot analysis revealed that O-1602 downregulated the expression of GluA1 and GluN2A in mice. Taken together, these results suggest that GPR55 plays an important role in anxiety and O-1602 may have therapeutic potential in treating anxiety-like symptoms.”

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Blunted stress reactivity in chronic cannabis users

Psychopharmacology

“One of the most commonly cited reasons for chronic cannabis use is to cope with stress.

Consistent with this, cannabis users have shown reduced emotional arousal and dampened stress reactivity in response to negative imagery.

Chronic cannabis use is associated with blunted stress reactivity.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-017-4648-z?no-access=true

“WSU study: Regular marijuana users more calm under stress” http://komonews.com/news/local/wsu-study-regular-marijuana-users-more-calm-under-stress
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