“Described during the late 1980s and 1990s, cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) activated by endogenous ligands and cannabinoid drug compounds, such as Δ9-THC. Whereas CB1R has a role in the regulation of neurotransmission in different brain regions and mainly mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids, CB2R is found predominantly in the cells and tissues of the immune system and mediates anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory processes. Studies have demonstrated that CB1R and CB2R can affect the activation of T cells, B cells, monocytes, and microglial cells, inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression and upregulating proresolution mediators. Thus, in this review, we summarize the mechanisms by which CBRs interact with the autoimmune environment and the potential to suppress the development and activation of autoreactive cells. Finally, we highlight how the modulation of CB1R and CB2R is advantageous in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”
“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory, synovitis-dominated systemic disease with unknown etiology. RA is characterized by the involvement of multiple affected joints, symmetry, and invasive arthritis of the limbs, which can lead to joint deformity, cartilage destruction, and loss of function. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has potent immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and is predominantly expressed in non-neuronal tissues. In the current study, the role of CB2 in the process of inflammatory bone erosion in RA was examined. The selective agonist or high-affinity ligand of CB2 (4-quinolone-3-carboxamides CB2 agonist, 4Q3C CB2agonist, 4Q3C) significantly reduced the severity of arthritis, decreased histopathological findings, and markedly reduced bone erosion in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice. In addition, 4Q3C prevented an increase in the nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) ratio and inhibited the formation of osteoclasts in CIA mice. Furthermore, the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1β, cyclooxygenase-2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase was lower in 4Q3C-treated CIA mice than in control CIA mice. Micro-computed tomography corroborated the finding that 4Q3C reduced joint destruction. These data clearly indicate that the CB2-selective agonist, 4Q3C, may have anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoclastogenesis effects in RA and may be considered to be a novel treatment for RA.”
“An increasing number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are using cannabis to treat their symptoms, although systematic studies regarding efficacy in RA are lacking. Within this review we will give an overview on the overall effects of cannabinoids in inflammation and why they might be useful in the treatment of RA.
Peripherally, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory effects by activating cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2) which decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilization. In contrast, cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) activation on immune cells is proinflammatory while CB1 antagonism provides anti-inflammatory effects by increasing β2-adrenergic signaling in the joint and secondary lymphoid organs. In addition, the nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrated antiarthritic effects independent of cannabinoid receptors. In addition to controlling inflammation, cannabinoids reduce pain by activating central and peripheral CB1, peripheral CB2 receptors and CBD-sensitive noncannabinoid receptor targets.
Cannabinoids might be a suitable treatment for RA, but it is important to target the right receptors in the right place. For clinical studies, we propose a combination of a CB2 agonist to decrease cytokine production, a peripheral CB1 antagonist to prevent detrimental CB1 signaling and to support anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 via activation of β2-adrenergic receptors and CBD to induce cannabinoid-receptor-independent anti-inflammatory effects.”
“Medical uses of Cannabis sativa have been known for over 6,000 years. Nowadays, cannabis is mostly known for its psychotropic effects and its ability to relieve pain, even though there is evidence of cannabis use for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis centuries ago. The pharmacological therapy in autoimmune diseases is mainly based on immunosuppression of diffefent axes of the immune system while many of the drugs have major side effects. In this review we set out to examine the rule of Cannabis sativa as an immunomodulator and its potential as a new treatment option. In order to examine this subject we will focus on some major autoimmune diseases such as diabetes type I and rheumatoid arthritis.”
“Chronic pain is a main symptom of osteoarthritis (OA). Moreover, a high percentage of OA patients suffer from mental health problems.
The endocannabinoid (EC) system has attracted attention as an emerging drug target for pain treatment together with its activity on the mesolimbic reward system.
Understanding the circuits that govern the reward of pain relief is crucial for the search for effective analgesics. Therefore, we investigated the role of the EC system on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) in an animal model of OA-related chronic pain.
Our results demonstrated that chronic pain in OA rats was reflected by the inhibition of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic transmission, and may indicate the pro-pain role of NA in the FCx.
The data provide understanding about changes in neurotransmission in chronic pain states and may explain the clinical improvement in perceived life quality following cannabinoid treatment.
Additional mechanistic studies in preclinical models examining the intersection between chronic pain and reward circuits may offer new approaches for improving pain therapy.”
“Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has been implicated as an important clinical regulator of inflammation and malignant osteolysis. Here, we observed that CB2 expression was markedly higher in the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice synovium and bone tissues than in the non-inflamed synovium and bone tissues. We found that JWH133 ameliorates pathologic bone destruction in CIA mice via the inhibition of osteoclastogenesis and modulation of inflammatory responses, thereby highlighting its potential as a treatment for human rheumatoid arthritis.”
“The objectives of this study were to determine basic oral pharmacokinetics, and assess safety and analgesic efficacy of a cannabidiol (CBD) based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA).
Results: Pharmacokinetics revealed an elimination half-life of 4.2 h at both doses and no observable side effects. Clinically, canine brief pain inventory and Hudson activity scores showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity (p < 0.01) with CBD oil. Veterinary assessment showed decreased pain during CBD treatment (p < 0.02). No side effects were reported by owners, however, serum chemistry showed an increase in alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment (p < 0.01).
Clinical significance: This pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.”
“The cannabinoid (CB) receptor 2, primarily expressed in immune cells, was shown to play important immune-regulatory functions. In particular, the CB2-R63 functional variant has been shown to alter the ability of the CB2 receptor to exert its inhibitory function on T lymphocytes.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between a common dinucleotide polymorphism, Q63R, in the cannabinoid receptor 2 gene (CNR2) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the Lebanese population.
One hundred five unrelated Lebanese RA patients and one hundred five controls from different Lebanese governorates were recruited in this study. Genomic DNA was extracted, polymerase chain reaction was performed, and CNR2 was genotyped in a blinded fashion. The χ2 test was used to determine the differences in genotypes and allele frequencies. CNR2 genotyping showed significantly higher frequencies of the CB2-R63 variant (allele frequencies, P < 0.00001; genotype distribution, P < 0.00001) in RA patients when compared with healthy controls. Moreover, RR carriers had more than 10-fold risk for developing RA (OR = 10.8444, 95% CI = 5.0950-23.0818; P < 0.0001), and QR carriers had more than 3-fold risk (OR = 3.8667, 95% CI = 1.7886-8.3591; P = 0.0006) as compared with QQ carriers.
Our preliminary results suggest a role of CB2-Q63R gene polymorphism in the etiology of RA, thus supporting its potential use as a pharmacological target for selective agonists in clinical practice.”
“Medicinal cannabis registries typically report pain as the most common reason for use. It would be clinically useful to identify patterns of cannabis treatment in migraine and headache, as compared to arthritis and chronic pain, and to analyze preferred cannabis strains, biochemical profiles, and prescription medication substitutions with cannabis.
Of 2032 patients, 21 illnesses were treated with cannabis. Pain syndromes accounted for 42.4% (n = 861) overall; chronic pain 29.4% (n = 598;), arthritis 9.3% (n = 188), and headache 3.7% (n = 75;). Across all 21 illnesses, headache was a symptom treated with cannabis in 24.9% (n = 505). These patients were given the ID Migraine™ questionnaire, with 68% (n = 343) giving 3 “Yes” responses, 20% (n = 102) giving 2 “Yes” responses (97% and 93% probability of migraine, respectively). Therefore, 88% (n = 445) of headache patients were treating probable migraine with cannabis. Hybrid strains were most preferred across all pain subtypes, with “OG Shark” the most preferred strain in the ID Migraine™ and headache groups. Many pain patients substituted prescription medications with cannabis (41.2-59.5%), most commonly opiates/opioids (40.5-72.8%). Prescription substitution in headache patients included opiates/opioids (43.4%), anti-depressant/anti-anxiety (39%), NSAIDs (21%), triptans (8.1%), anti-convulsants (7.7%), muscle relaxers (7%), ergots (0.4%).
Chronic pain was the most common reason for cannabis use, consistent with most registries. The majority of headache patients treating with cannabis were positive for migraine. Hybrid strains were preferred in ID Migraine™, headache, and most pain groups, with “OG Shark”, a high THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol)/THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), low CBD (cannabidiol)/CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), strain with predominant terpenes β-caryophyllene and β-myrcene, most preferred in the headache and ID Migraine™ groups. This could reflect the potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-emetic properties of THC, with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of β-caryophyllene and β-myrcene. Opiates/opioids were most commonly substituted with cannabis. Prospective studies are needed, but results may provide early insight into optimizing crossbred cannabis strains, synergistic biochemical profiles, dosing, and patterns of use in the treatment of headache, migraine, and chronic pain syndromes.”
“Cannabis has been used for millennia to treat a multitude of medical conditions including chronic pain.
Osteoarthritis (OA) pain is one of the most common types of pain and patients often turn to medical cannabis to manage their symptoms.
While the majority of these reports are anecdotal, there is a growing body of scientific evidence which supports the analgesic potential of cannabinoids to treat OA pain.
OA pain manifests as a combination of inflammatory, nociceptive, and neuropathic pain, each requiring modality-specific analgesics. The body’s innate endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been shown to ameliorate all of these pain subtypes.
This review summarizes the components of the ECS and details the latest research pertaining to plant-based and man-made cannabinoids for the treatment of OA pain. Recent pre-clinical evidence supporting a role for the ECS to control OA pain is described as well as current clinical evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treating OA pain in mixed patient populations.