The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target for the Treatment of Various Diseases

ijms-logo“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is primarily responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a balance in internal environment (temperature, mood, and immune system) and energy input and output in living, biological systems.

In addition to regulating physiological processes, the ECS directly influences anxiety, feeding behaviour/appetite, emotional behaviour, depression, nervous functions, neurogenesis, neuroprotection, reward, cognition, learning, memory, pain sensation, fertility, pregnancy, and pre-and post-natal development.

The ECS is also involved in several pathophysiological diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the ECS has gained significant interest in medicine, research, and drug discovery and development.

The distribution of the components of the ECS system throughout the body, and the physiological/pathophysiological role of the ECS-signalling pathways in many diseases, all offer promising opportunities for the development of novel cannabinergic, cannabimimetic, and cannabinoid-based therapeutic drugs that genetically or pharmacologically modulate the ECS via inhibition of metabolic pathways and/or agonism or antagonism of the receptors of the ECS. This modulation results in the differential expression/activity of the components of the ECS that may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of diseases.

This manuscript in-depth review will investigate the potential of the ECS in the treatment of various diseases, and to put forth the suggestion that many of these secondary metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. (hereafter referred to as “C. sativa L.” or “medical cannabis”), may also have potential as lead compounds in the development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals for a variety of diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34502379/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/17/9472

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Therapeutic Attributes of Endocannabinoid System against Neuro-Inflammatory Autoimmune Disorders

molecules-logo“In humans, various sites like cannabinoid receptors (CBR) having a binding affinity with cannabinoids are distributed on the surface of different cell types, where endocannabinoids (ECs) and derivatives of fatty acid can bind. The binding of these substance(s) triggers the activation of specific receptors required for various physiological functions, including pain sensation, memory, and appetite.

The ECs and CBR perform multiple functions via the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1); cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), having a key effect in restraining neurotransmitters and the arrangement of cytokines. The role of cannabinoids in the immune system is illustrated because of their immunosuppressive characteristics. These characteristics include inhibition of leucocyte proliferation, T cells apoptosis, and induction of macrophages along with reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion.

The review seeks to discuss the functional relationship between the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and anti-tumor characteristics of cannabinoids in various cancers.

The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer-both in vivo and in vitro clinical trials-has also been highlighted and reported to be effective in mice models in arthritis for the inflammation reduction, neuropathic pain, positive effect in multiple sclerosis and type-1 diabetes mellitus, and found beneficial for treating in various cancers.

In human models, such studies are limited; thereby, further research is indispensable in this field to get a conclusive outcome. Therefore, in autoimmune disorders, therapeutic cannabinoids can serve as promising immunosuppressive and anti-fibrotic agents.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34205169/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/11/3389

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Cannabinoid-based therapy as a future for joint degeneration. Focus on the role of CB 2 receptor in the arthritis progression and pain: an updated review

“Over the last several decades, the percentage of patients suffering from different forms of arthritis has increased due to the ageing population and the increasing risk of civilization diseases, e.g. obesity, which contributes to arthritis development. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are estimated to affect 50-60% of people over 65 years old and cause serious health and economic problems. Currently, therapeutic strategies are limited and focus mainly on pain attenuation and maintaining joint functionality. First-line therapies are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; in more advanced stages, stronger analgesics, such as opioids, are required, and in the most severe cases, joint arthroplasty is the only option to ensure joint mobility.

Cannabinoids, both endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid receptor (CB) agonists, are novel therapeutic options for the treatment of arthritis-associated pain. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the nervous system; thus, CB1 agonists induce many side effects, which limit their therapeutic efficacy. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are mainly located in the periphery on immune cells, and CB2 modulators exert analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo. In the current review, novel research on the cannabinoid-mediated analgesic effect on arthritis is presented, with particular emphasis on the role of the CB2 receptor in arthritis-related pain and the suppression of inflammation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34050525/

“Cannabinoids not only alleviate joint hyperalgesia but also may help to prevent joint damage, chronic pain development and disease progression.”

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In vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity evaluation of Lebanese Cannabis sativa L. ssp. indica (Lam.)

Journal of Ethnopharmacology “Cannabis sativa L. is an aromatic annual herb belonging to the family Cannabaceae and it is widely distributed worldwide. Cultivation, selling, and consumption of cannabis and cannabis related products, regardless of its use, was prohibited in Lebanon until April 22, 2020. Nevertheless, cannabis oil has been traditionally used unlawfully for many years in Lebanon to treat diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer and few neurological disorders.

Aim of the study: The present study aims to evaluate the phytochemical and anti-inflammatory properties of a cannabis oil preparation that is analogous to the illegally used cannabis oil in Lebanon.

Results: Chemical analysis of COE revealed that cannabidiol (CBD; 59.1%) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; 20.2%) were found to be the most abundant cannabinoids.Various monoterpenes (α-Pinene, Camphene, β-Myrecene and D-Limonene) and sesquiterpenes (β-Caryophyllene, α-Bergamotene, α-Humelene, Humulene epoxide II, and Caryophyllene oxide) were identified in the extract. Results showed that COE markedly suppressed the release of TNF-α in LPS-stimulated rat monocytes. Western blot analysis revealed that COE significantly inhibited LPS-induced COX-2 and i-NOS protein expressions and blocked the phosphorylation of MAPKs, specifically that of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK. COE displayed a significant inhibition of paw edema in both rat models. Histopathological examination revealed that COE reduced inflammation and edema in chronic paw edema model.

Conclusion: The current findings demonstrate that COE possesses remarkable in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activities which support the traditional use of the Lebanese cannabis oil extract in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases including arthritis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33359187/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887412033631X?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis: An Emerging Treatment for Common Symptoms in Older Adults

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society “Background/objectives: Use of cannabis is increasing in a variety of populations in the United States; however, few investigations about how and for what reasons cannabis is used in older populations exist.

Design: Anonymous survey.

Setting: Geriatrics clinic.

Participants: A total of 568 adults 65 years and older.

Intervention: Not applicable.

Measurements: Survey assessing characteristics of cannabis use.

Results: Approximately 15% (N = 83) of survey responders reported using cannabis within the past 3 years. Half (53%) reported using cannabis regularly on a daily or weekly basis, and reported using cannabidiol-only products (46%).

The majority (78%) used cannabis for medical purposes only, with the most common targeted conditions/symptoms being pain/arthritis (73%), sleep disturbance (29%), anxiety (24%), and depression (17%). Just over three-quarters reported cannabis “somewhat” or “extremely” helpful in managing one of these conditions, with few adverse effects.

Just over half obtained cannabis via a dispensary, and lotions (35%), tinctures (35%), and smoking (30%) were the most common administration forms. Most indicated family members (94%) knew about their cannabis use, about half reported their friends knew, and 41% reported their healthcare provider knowing. Sixty-one percent used cannabis for the first time as older adults (aged ≥61 years), and these users overall engaged in less risky use patterns (e.g., more likely to use for medical purposes, less likely to consume via smoking).

Conclusion: Most older adults in the sample initiated cannabis use after the age of 60 years and used it primarily for medical purposes to treat pain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and/or depression. Cannabis use by older adults is likely to increase due to medical need, favorable legalization, and attitudes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33026117/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.16833

“Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions”  https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2020-10-07-study-finds-older-adults-using-cannabis-to-treat-common-health-conditions.aspx

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Cannabidiol (CBD): a killer for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts

 Cell Death & Disease“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from cannabis sativa that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in several inflammatory conditions including arthritis.

In this study, we show that CBD increases intracellular calcium levels, reduces cell viability and IL-6/IL-8/MMP-3 production of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF).

CBD reduced cell viability, proliferation, and IL-6/IL-8 production of RASF. Moreover, CBD increased intracellular calcium and uptake of the cationic viability dye PoPo3 in RASF, which was enhanced by pre-treatment with TNF.

Thus, CBD possesses anti-arthritic activity and might ameliorate arthritis via targeting synovial fibroblasts under inflammatory conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32873774/

“In conclusion, CBD might be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment in rheumatoid arthritis that might support the action of currently used disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-020-02892-1

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Δ9‐TETRAHYDROCANNABINOLIC ACID ALLEVIATES COLLAGEN‐INDUCED ARTHRITIS: ROLE OF PPARγ AND CB1 RECEPTORS

British Journal of Pharmacology “Δ9‐THCA‐A, the precursor of Δ9‐THC, is a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid that shows PPARγ agonistic activity. Herein, we investigated Δ9‐THCA ability to modulate classic cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and evaluated its anti‐arthritis activity.

Experimental Approach

Cannabinoid receptors binding and intrinsic activity, as well as their downstream signaling were analyzed in vitro and in silico . The anti‐arthritis properties of Δ9‐THCA‐A were studied in human chondrocytes and in the murine model of collagen‐induced arthritis (CIA). Plasmatic disease biomarkers were identified by liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry (LC‐MS/MS) based on proteomic and ELISA assays.

Key Results

Functional and docking analyses showed that Δ9‐THCA‐A can act as an orthosteric CB1 agonist and also as a positive allosteric modulator in the presence of CP‐55,940. In addition, Δ9‐THCA‐A seemed to be an inverse agonist for CB2. In vivo experiments showed that Δ9‐THCA‐A reduced arthritis in CIA mice. Δ9‐THCA‐A prevented the infiltration of inflammatory cells; synovium hyperplasia and cartilage damage. Furthermore, Δ9‐THCA‐A inhibited the expression of inflammatory and catabolic genes on knee joints. The anti‐arthritic effect of Δ9‐THCA‐A was ablated by either SR141716 or T0070907. Analysis of plasmatic biomarkers as well as determination of cytokines and anti‐collagen antibodies confirmed that Δ9‐THCA‐A mediates its activity mainly through PPARγ and CB1 pathways.

Conclusion and Implications

Δ9‐THCA‐A modulates CB1 receptor through the orthosteric and allosteric binding sites. In addition, our studies document that Δ9‐THCA‐A exerts anti‐arthritis activity through CB1/PPARγ pathways, highlighting its potential for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32510591/

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.15155

 British Pharmacological Society | Journals
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A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain.

PAIN Impact Factor Increase to 6.029 - IASP“Over the last two decades, affirmative diagnoses of osteoarthritis in the United States have tripled due to increasing rates of obesity and an aging population.

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-THC component of cannabis and has been promoted as a potential treatment for a wide variety of disparate inflammatory conditions.

Here we evaluated CBD for its ability to modulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro and in murine models of induced inflammation and further validated the ability of a liposomal formulation to increase bioavailability in mice and in humans.

Subsequently, the therapeutic potential of both naked and liposomally-encapsulated CBD was explored in a 4-week, randomized placebo-controlled, double-blinded study in a spontaneous canine model of osteoarthritis.

In vitro and in mouse models, CBD significantly attenuated the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α while elevating levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10. In the veterinary study, CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion among animals with an affirmative diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

Liposomal CBD (20 mg/day) was as effective as the highest dose of non-liposomal CBD (50 mg/day) in improving clinical outcomes. Hematocrit, comprehensive metabolic profile, and clinical chemistry indicated no significant detrimental impact of CBD administration over the four-week analysis period.

This study supports the safety and therapeutic potential of hemp-derived CBD for relieving arthritic pain and suggests follow-up investigations in humans is warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32345916

https://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/9000/A_randomized,_double_blind,_placebo_controlled.98420.aspx

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Cannabidiol: A Brief Review of Its Therapeutic and Pharmacologic Efficacy in the Management of Joint Disease.

Cureus | LinkedIn“Cannabis use in the management of musculoskeletal diseases has gained advocacy since several states have legalized its recreational use.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a commercially available, non-neurotropic marijuana constituent, has shown promise in arthritic animal models by attenuating pro-inflammatory immune responses. Additional research has demonstrated the benefit of CBD in decreasing the endogenous pain response in mice subjected to acute arthritic conditions, and further studies have highlighted improved fracture healing following CBD use in murine mid-femoral fractures.

However, there is a lack of high-quality, novel research investigating the use of CBD in human musculoskeletal diseases aside from anecdotal accounts and retrospective reviews, perhaps due to legal ramifications limiting the enrollment of patients. The purpose of this review article is to highlight the extent of current research on CBD and its biochemical and pharmacologic efficacy in the treatment of joint disease, as well as the evidence for use of CBD and cannabis in patients undergoing joint arthroplasty.

Based on available literature relying on retrospective data and case reports, it is challenging to propose a recommendation for CBD use in perioperative pain management. Additionally, a number of CBD products currently available as supplements with different methods of administration, and it is important to remember that these products are non-pharmaceuticals. However, given the increased social relevance of CBD and cannabis-based medicines, future, prospective controlled studies evaluating their efficacy are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32328386

https://www.cureus.com/articles/28249-cannabidiol-a-brief-review-of-its-therapeutic-and-pharmacologic-efficacy-in-the-management-of-joint-disease

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The Endocannabinoid System in Pediatric Inflammatory and Immune Diseases.

 ijms-logo“Endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors, their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation. CB2, to a great extent, and CB1, to a lesser extent, are involved in regulating the immune response. They also regulate the inflammatory processes by inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediator release and immune cell proliferation. This review provides an overview on the role of the endocannabinoid system with a major focus on cannabinoid receptors in the pathogenesis and onset of inflammatory and autoimmune pediatric diseases, such as immune thrombocytopenia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, obesity, neuroinflammatory diseases, and type 1 diabetes mellitus. These disorders have a high social impact and represent a burden for the healthcare system, hence the importance of individuating more innovative and effective treatments. The endocannabinoid system could address this need, representing a possible new diagnostic marker and therapeutic target.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31771129

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/23/5875

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