Learning and Memory is Modulated by Cannabidiol When Administered During Trace Fear-Conditioning.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is thought to have therapeutic potential for treating psychiatric conditions that affect cognitive aspects of learning and memory, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Studies have shown that CBD enhances extinction of fear memory when given after conditioning. This led us to hypothesize that CBD, if administered prior to fear conditioning, might modulate cognitive learning and memory processes in additional ways that would further guide its potential use for treating PTSD.

Therefore, we designed a study to investigate effects of CBD on fear learning and memory when administered to mice prior to administering a trace fear conditioning protocol which imposes cognitive demands on the learning and memory process.

Overall, the memory-modulating effects of a single pre-conditioning dose of CBD, which we show here, demonstrate the need to more fully characterize its basic effects on memory, suggest caution when using it clinically as an anxiolytic, and point to a need for more research into its potential as a therapeutic for treating memory-loss disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29432803

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074742718300224

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Chronic High Doses of Cannabinoids Promote Hippocampal Neurogenesis

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“Hippocampal neurogenesis is suppressed following chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse (including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine). However, CB1-knockout mice display significantly decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that CB1 receptors activated by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may promote hippocampal neurogenesis.

Cannabinoids can regulate the proliferation of hippocampal NS/PCs by acting on CB1 receptors. They found that both the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 and the endocannabinoid anandamide profoundly promote embryonic hippocampal NS/PC proliferation. Chronic, but not acute, HU210 significantly increases the number of newborn hippocampal neurons in adult rats by promoting NS/PC proliferation.

A significant increase was observed in the hipoppocampal newborn neurons of mice following twice-daily HU210 injection for 10 days.

This suggests that cannabinoids are the only illicit drug that can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis following chronic  administration.”

Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects.” https://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509

http://www.science20.com/science_why_not/blog/chronic_high_doses_cannabinoids_promote_hippocampal_neurogenesis

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[Genetic association analyses of the endocannabinoid system on anxious phenotype].

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“Accumulating data confirmed that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in the regulation of stress response and emotional processes, therefore ECS became an important pharmacological target as a potential anxiolytic.

Our results confirmed earlier positive data on the association between ECS and anxious phenotype. According to our findings ECS plays a significant role in the pathomechanism of anxious disorders by a complex mechanism of genetic interaction with the serotonin transporter gene and childhood traumas.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29411704

 

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Cannabinoid Modulation of the Stressed Hippocampus.

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“Exposure to stressful situations is one of the risk factors for the precipitation of several psychiatric disorders, including Major Depressive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Schizophrenia.

The hippocampal formation is a forebrain structure highly associated with emotional, learning and memory processes; being particularly vulnerable to stress. Exposure to stressful stimuli leads to neuroplastic changes and imbalance between inhibitory/excitatory networks. These changes have been associated with an impaired hippocampal function.

Endocannabinoids (eCB) are one of the main systems controlling both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, as well as neuroplasticity within the hippocampus.

Cannabinoids receptors are highly expressed in the hippocampus, and several lines of evidence suggest that facilitation of cannabinoid signaling within this brain region prevents stress-induced behavioral changes.

Also, chronic stress modulates hippocampal CB1 receptors expression and endocannabinoid levels.

Moreover, cannabinoids participate in mechanisms related to synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis. Here, we discussed the main findings supporting the involvement of hippocampal cannabinoid neurotransmission in stress-induced behavioral and neuroplastic changes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29311804

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2017.00411/full

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Regulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems by cannabinoids: relevance to cannabinoid-induced effects.

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“The cannabinoid system is composed of Gi/o protein-coupled cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor and endogenous compounds. The CB1 receptor is widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) and it is involved in the regulation of common physiological functions. At the neuronal level, the CB1 receptor is mainly placed at GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals, where it modulates excitatory and inhibitory synapses. To date, the involvement of CB2 receptor in the regulation of neurotransmission in the CNS has not been clearly shown. The majority of noradrenergic (NA) cells in mammalian tissues are located in the locus coeruleus (LC) while serotonergic (5-HT) cells are mainly distributed in the raphe nuclei including the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In the CNS, NA and 5-HT systems play a crucial role in the control of pain, mood, arousal, sleep-wake cycle, learning/memory, anxiety, and rewarding behaviour. This review summarizes the electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural evidences for modulation of the NA/5-HT systems by cannabinoids and the CB1 receptor. Cannabinoids regulate the neuronal activity of NA and 5-HT cells and the release of NA and 5-HT by direct and indirect mechanisms. The interaction between cannabinoid and NA/5-HT systems may underlie several behavioural changes induced by cannabis such as anxiolytic and antidepressant effects or side effects (e.g. disruption of attention). Further research is needed to better understand different aspects of NA and 5-HT systems regulation by cannabinoids, which would be relevant for their use in therapeutics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29169951

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320517306069

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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.

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“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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