Chronic Cannabidiol Alters Genome-Wide DNA Methylation in Adult Mouse Hippocampus: Epigenetic Implications for Psychiatric Disease

Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and an increasingly popular dietary supplement as a result of widespread availability of CBD-containing products.

CBD is FDA-approved for the treatment of epilepsy and exhibits anxiolytic, antipsychotic, prosocial, and other behavioral effects in animal and human studies, however, the underlying mechanisms governing these phenotypes are still being elucidated. The epigenome, particularly DNA methylation, is responsive to environmental input and can govern persistent patterns of gene regulation affecting phenotype across the life course.

In order to understand the epigenomic activity of chronic cannabidiol exposure in the adult brain, 12-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to either 20 mg/kg CBD or vehicle daily by oral administration for fourteen days. Hippocampal tissue was collected and reduced-representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) was performed. Analyses revealed 3,323 differentially methylated loci (DMLs) in CBD-exposed animals with a small skew toward global hypomethylation.

Genes for cell adhesion and migration, dendritic spine development, and excitatory postsynaptic potential were found to be enriched in a gene ontology term analysis of DML-containing genes, and disease ontology enrichment revealed an overrepresentation of DMLs in gene sets associated with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and other phenotypes.

These results suggest that the epigenome may be a key substrate for CBD’s behavioral effects and provides a wealth of gene regulatory information for further study.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32579259/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/em.22396

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Cannabidiol Disrupts Conditioned Fear Expression and Cannabidiolic Acid Reduces Trauma-Induced Anxiety-Related Behaviour in Mice

Behavioural Pharmacology (journal) - Wikipedia“The major phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) has anxiolytic properties and lacks tetrahydrocannabinol-like psychoactivity. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the acidic precursor to CBD, and this compound appears more potent than CBD in animal models of emesis, pain and epilepsy. In this short report, we aimed to examine whether CBDA is more potent than CBD in disrupting expression of conditioned fear and generalised anxiety-related behaviour induced by Pavlovian fear conditioning. Mice underwent fear conditioning and 24 h later were administered CBD and CBDA before testing for fear expression and generalized anxiety-like behaviour. We found that CBD and CBDA had dissociable effects; while CBD but not CBDA disrupted cued fear memory expression, CBDA but not CBD normalized trauma-induced generalized anxiety-related behaviour. Neither phytocannabinoid affected contextual fear expression. Our findings form the basis for future experiments examining whether phytocannabinoids, alone and in combination, are effective in these mouse models of fear and anxiety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32483052/

https://journals.lww.com/behaviouralpharm/Abstract/9000/Cannabidiol_disrupts_conditioned_fear_expression.99176.aspx

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Two-weeks treatment with cannabidiol improves biophysical and behavioral deficits associated with experimental type-1 diabetes.

Neuroscience Letters“The prevalence rates of depression and anxiety are at least two times higher in diabetic patients, increasing morbidity and mortality.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been identified as a therapeutic agent viable to treat diverse psychiatric disorders. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effect of CBD treatment (once a day for 14 days starting two weeks after diabetes induction; at doses of 0, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) on depression- and anxiety-like behaviors associated with experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; i.p.) in rats.

Levels of plasma insulin, blood glucose, and weight gain were evaluated in all experimental groups, including a positive control group treated with imipramine. The rats were tested in the modified forced swimming test (mFST) and elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Besides, the levels of serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA) in two emotion-related brain regions, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIP) were evaluated using high-pressure liquid chromatography.

Our results showed that CBD treatment (only at the higher dose of 30 mg/kg) reduced the exaggerated depressive- and anxiogenic-like behaviors of diabetic (DBT) rats, which may be associated with altered 5-HT, NA and/or DA levels observed in the PFC and HIP. Treatment with CBD (higher dose) also induced a significant increase in weight gain and the insulin levels (and consequently reduced glycemia) in DBT rats. The long-term CBD effects gave rise to novel therapeutic strategies to limit the physiological and neurobehavioral deficits in DBT rats.

This approach provided evidence that CBD can be useful for treating psychiatry comorbidities in diabetic patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32360935

“Treatment of diabetic rats with cannabidiol induced antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like behaviors.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304394020302901?via%3Dihub

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Chronic Psychosocial Stress Causes Increased Anxiety-Like Behavior and Alters Endocannabinoid Levels in the Brain of C57Bl/6J Mice.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Chronic stress causes a variety of physiological and behavioral alterations, including social impairments, altered endocrine function, and an increased risk for psychiatric disorders. Thereby, social stress is one of the most effective stressful stimuli among mammals and considered to be one of the major risk factors for the onset and progression of neuropsychiatric diseases.

Although the chronic social defeat stress model has been extensively studied, little is known about the effects of repeated or chronic social defeat stress on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The present study aimed to understand the effects of chronic social stress on anxiety behavior and the levels of endocannabinoids (ECs) and two N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) in different brain regions of mice.

 

The current study confirms that the ECS plays an essential role in stress responses, whereby its modulation seems to be brain region dependent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322676

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0041

“Deficiency in endocannabinoid signaling in the nucleus accumbens induced by chronic unpredictable stress.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20664582

“Cannabinoids ameliorate impairments induced by chronic stress to synaptic plasticity and short-term memory.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426383

“Blunted stress reactivity in chronic cannabis users.”  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-017-4648-z?no-access=true

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A case study for the use of medical cannabis in generalized anxiety disorder.

logo“Despite the increasing prevalence and acceptance of the medical cannabis use among the general public, the evidence required by physicians to use cannabis as a treatment is generally lacking. Research on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids has been limited worldwide, leaving patients, health care professionals, and policymakers without the evidence they need to make sound decisions regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.

This case study outlines an intervention that involved a patient integrating medical cannabis into her treatment to better manage a generalized anxiety disorder and the debilitating symptoms of vertigo. This case demonstrates how the patient drastically improved her quality of life and reinforces the need for more rigorous testing on the use of medical cannabis to support patients and better manage the symptoms associated with their medical conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32309610

https://www.discoveriesjournals.org/discoveries/D.2019.02.OACS-Walkaden.DOI

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Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials.

“Considering data from in vitro and in vivo studies, cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be a promising candidate for the treatment of both somatic and psychiatric disorders.

The aim of this review was to collect dose(s), dosage schemes, efficacy and safety reports of CBD use in adults from clinical studies.

From the controlled trials, we identified anxiolytic effects with acute CBD administration, and therapeutic effects for social anxiety disorder, psychotic disorder and substance use disorders.

There was evidence to support single dose positive effect on social anxiety disorder, short medium-term effects on symptomatic improvement in schizophrenia and lack of effect in the short medium-term on cognitive functioning in psychotic disorders.

Overall, the administration was well tolerated with mild side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32231748

https://www.jocmr.org/index.php/JOCMR/article/view/4090

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Cannabidiol in sport : ergogenic or else?

Pharmacological Research“In the sports domain, cannabis is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) across all sports in competition since 2004. The few studies on physical exercise and cannabis focused on the main compound i.e. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another well-known phytocannabinoid present in dried or heated preparations of cannabis. Unlike Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is non-intoxicating but exhibits pharmacological properties that are interesting for medical use.

The worldwide regulatory status of CBD is complex and this compound is still a controlled substance in many countries. Interestingly, however, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances – in or out of competition – since 2018. This recent decision by the WADA leaves the door open for CBD use by athletes.

In the present opinion article we wish to expose the different CBD properties discovered in preclinical studies that could be further tested in the sport domain to ascertain its utility. Preclinical studies suggest that CBD could be useful to athletes due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, neuroprotective properties and its influence on the sleep-wake cycle. Unfortunately, almost no clinical data are available on CBD in the context of exercise, which makes its use in this context still premature.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32205233

“Athletes could benefit from CBD to manage pain, inflammation and the swelling processes associated with injury. CBD could be useful to manage anxiety, fear memory process, sleep and sleepiness in athletes. CBD could be interesting for the management of mild traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819326143?via%3Dihub

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2-Arachidonoylglycerol Modulation of Anxiety and Stress Adaptation: From Grass Roots to Novel Therapeutics.

Biological Psychiatry Home“Over the past decade there has been a surge of interest in the development of endocannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches for the treatment of diverse neuropsychiatric conditions. Although initial preclinical and clinical development efforts focused on pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase to elevate levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, more recent efforts have focused on inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) to enhance signaling of the most abundant and efficacious endocannabinoid ligand, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). We review the biochemistry and physiology of 2-AG signaling and preclinical evidence supporting a role for this system in the regulation of anxiety-related outcomes and stress adaptation. We review preclinical evidence supporting MAGL inhibition for the treatment of affective, trauma-related, and stress-related disorders; describe the current state of MAGL inhibitor drug development; and discuss biological factors that could affect MAGL inhibitor efficacy. Issues related to the clinical advancement of MAGL inhibitors are also discussed. We are cautiously optimistic, as the field of MAGL inhibitor development transitions from preclinical to clinical and theoretical to practical, that pharmacological 2-AG augmentation could represent a mechanistically novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of affective and stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32197779

https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(20)30049-4/fulltext

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Possible therapeutic applications of cannabis in the neuropsychopharmacology field.

European Neuropsychopharmacology“Cannabis use induces a plethora of actions on the CNS via its active chemical ingredients, the so-called phytocannabinoids.

These compounds have been frequently associated with the intoxicating properties of cannabis preparations. However, not all phytocannabinoids are psychotropic, and, irrespective of whether they are psychotropic or not, they have also shown numerous therapeutic properties.

These properties are mostly associated with their ability to modulate the activity of an intercellular communication system, the so-called endocannabinoid system, which is highly active in the CNS and has been found altered in many neurological disorders.

Specifically, this includes the neuropsychopharmacology field, with diseases such as schizophrenia and related psychoses, anxiety-related disorders, mood disorders, addiction, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa and other feeding-related disorders, dementia, epileptic syndromes, as well as autism, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopment-related disorders.

Here, we gather, from a pharmacological and biochemical standpoint, the recent advances in the study of the therapeutic relevance of the endocannabinoid system in the CNS, with especial emphasis on the neuropsychopharmacology field. We also illustrate the efforts that are currently being made to investigate at the clinical level the potential therapeutic benefits derived from elevating or inhibiting endocannabinoid signaling in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32057592

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924977X20300365?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol-induced panicolytic-like effects and fear-induced antinociception impairment: the role of the CB1 receptor in the ventromedial hypothalamus.

Image result for Springer Link“The behavioural effects elicited by chemical constituents of Cannabis sativa, such as cannabidiol (CBD), on the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) are not well understood. There is evidence that VMH neurons play a relevant role in the modulation of unconditioned fear-related defensive behavioural reactions displayed by laboratory animals.

OBJECTIVES:

This study was designed to explore the specific pattern of distribution of the CB1 receptors in the VMH and to investigate the role played by this cannabinoid receptor in the effect of CBD on the control of defensive behaviours and unconditioned fear-induced antinociception.

METHODS:

A panic attack-like state was triggered in Wistar rats by intra-VMH microinjections of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). One of three different doses of CBD was microinjected into the VMH prior to local administration of NMDA. In addition, the most effective dose of CBD was used after pre-treatment with the CB1 receptor selective antagonist AM251, followed by NMDA microinjections in the VMH.

RESULTS:

The morphological procedures demonstrated distribution of labelled CB1 receptors on neuronal perikarya situated in dorsomedial, central and ventrolateral divisions of the VMH. The neuropharmacological approaches showed that both panic attack-like behaviours and unconditioned fear-induced antinociception decreased after intra-hypothalamic microinjections of CBD at the highest dose (100 nmol). These effects, however, were blocked by the administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (100 pmol) in the VMH.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that CBD causes panicolytic-like effects and reduces unconditioned fear-induced antinociception when administered in the VMH, and these effects are mediated by the CB1 receptor-endocannabinoid signalling mechanism in VMH.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31919563

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-019-05435-5

“panicolytic: That reduces the flight reflex in animals when faced with danger. Any drug that has this effect.” https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/panicolytic

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