Select Minor Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa are Cannabimimetic and Antinociceptive in a Mouse Model of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

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“Chronic pain conditions affect nearly 20% of the population in the United States. Current medical interventions, such as opioid drugs, are effective at relieving pain but are accompanied by many undesirable side effects. This is one reason increased numbers of chronic pain patients have been turning to Cannabis for pain management. 

Cannabis contains many bioactive chemical compounds; however, current research looking into lesser-studied minor cannabinoids in Cannabis lacks uniformity between experimental groups and/or excludes female mice from investigation. This makes it challenging to draw conclusions between experiments done with different minor cannabinoid compounds between labs or parse out potential sex differences that could be present.

We chose five minor cannabinoids found in lower quantities within Cannabis: cannabinol (CBN), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). These compounds were then tested for their cannabimimetic and pain-relieving behaviors in a cannabinoid tetrad assay and a chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) pain model in male and female CD-1 mice.

We found that the minor cannabinoids we tested differed in the cannabimimetic behaviors evoked, as well as the extent. We found that CBN, CBG, and high dose Δ8-THC evoked some tetrad behaviors in both sexes, while THCV and low dose Δ8-THC exhibited cannabimimetic tetrad behaviors only in females. Only CBN efficaciously relieved CIPN pain, which contrasts with reports from other researchers. Together these findings provide further clarity to the pharmacology of minor cannabinoids and suggest further investigation into their mechanism and therapeutic potential. 

Significance Statement Minor cannabinoids are poorly studied ligands present in lower levels in Cannabis than cannabinoids like THC. In this study we evaluated 5 minor cannabinoids (CBN, CBDV, CBG, THCV, and Δ8-THC) for their cannabimimetic and analgesic effects in mice. We found that 4 of the 5 minor cannabinoids showed cannabimimetic activity, while one was efficacious in relieving chronic neuropathic pain. This work is important in further evaluating the activity of these drugs, which are seeing wider public use with marijuana legalization.”

Cannabidiol in the dorsal hippocampus attenuates emotional and cognitive impairments related to neuropathic pain: Role of prelimbic neocortex-hippocampal connections

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“Background and purpose: Chronic neuropathic pain (NP) is commonly associated with cognitive and emotional impairments. Cannabidiol (CBD) presents a broad spectrum of action with a potential analgesic effect. This work investigates the CBD effect on comorbidity between chronic NP, depression, and memory impairment.

Experimental approach: The connection between the neocortex and the hippocampus was investigated with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) deposits in the prelimbic cortex (PrL). Wistar rats were submitted to chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve and CA1 treatment with CBD (15, 30, 60 nmol).

Key results: BDA-labeled were found in CA1 and dentate gyrus. CCI-induced mechanical and cold allodynia increased c-Fos protein expression in the PrL and CA1. The number of astrocytes in PrL and CA1 increased, and the number of neuroblasts decreased in CA1. The CCI animals showed increasing depressive-like behaviors, such as memory impairment. CBD (60 nmol) treatment decreased mechanical and cold allodynia, attenuated depressive-associated behaviors, and improved memory performance. Cobalt chloride (CoCl2: 1 nM), WAY-100635 (0.37 nmol), and AM251 (100 nmol) intra-PrL reversed the CBD (60 nmol) effect intra-CA1, both in nociceptive, cognitive, and depressive behaviors.

Conclusion: CBD represents a promising therapeutic perspective in the pharmacological treatment of chronic NP and associated comorbidities such as depression and memory impairments. The CBD effects possibly recruit the CA1-PrL pathway, inducing neuroplasticity. CBD acute treatment into the CA1 produces functional and molecular morphological improvements.”

“Cannabidiol (CBD), in turn, is an essential tool for treating symptoms associated with pain and comorbidities with emotional and cognitive changes.”

The Potential Antinociceptive Effect and Mechanism of Cannabis sativa L. Extract on Paclitaxel-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Rats Uncovered by Multi-Omics Analysis

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“Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) is a herbaceous plant rich in cannabinoids with a long history of use in pain treatment.

The most well-characterized cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), garnered much attention in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) treatment. However, few studies have investigated the biological benefits and mechanism of hemp extract on CIPN.

In the present study, hemp extract (JG) rich in cannabinoids was extracted by supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction (SFCE). The antinociceptive efficacy was evaluated using a paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN) rat model based on behavioral tests. Further omics-based approaches were applied to explore the potential mechanisms.

The results showed that JG decreased mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia, and inflammatory cytokines in PIPN rats significantly. Transcriptome analysis identified seven key genes significantly regulated by JG in PIPN model rats, mainly related to the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway, PPAR signaling pathway, and cAMP signaling pathway. In metabolomic analysis, a total of 39 significantly altered metabolites were identified, mainly correlated with pentose and glucuronate interconversions and the glycerophospholipid metabolism pathway.

Gut microbiota analysis suggested that increased community Lachnoclostridium and Lachnospiraceae_UCG-006 in PIPN rats can be reversed significantly by JG.

In conclusion, hemp extract exhibited antinociceptive effects on PIPN. The analgesic mechanism was probably related to the regulation of inflammation, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway, sphingolipid metabolism, etc. This study provides novel insights into the functional interactions of Cannabis sativa L. extract on PIPN.”

“In conclusion, the antinociceptive effects and mechanism of Cannabis sativa L. extract rich in cannabinoids in PIPN rats were evaluated by using pharmacological methods integrated with transcriptomic analysis, metabolomic analysis, and gut microbiota analysis. 

Cannabis sativa L. extract effectively alleviated neuropathic pain induced by PTX, mainly by the identified 7 key genes, 39 metabolic biomarkers, and 2 bacterial genera.

Related pathways may be involved in the inflammatory response, regulating neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction pathway, PPAR signaling pathway, inflammatory mediator regulation of TRP channels, glycerophospholipid metabolism, pentose and glucuronate interconversions, etc.

Our study provides novel insights into the functional interactions of Cannabis sativa L. extract on PIPN, which offers key information for new strategies in PIPN treatment and provides a reference for the medicinal development of hemp.”

Cannabidiol-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Ameliorate the Inhibition of Proinflammatory Cytokines and Free Radicals in an In Vitro Inflammation-Induced Cell Model

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound derived from Cannabis sativa. It has demonstrated promising effects in combating inflammation and holds potential as a treatment for the progression of chronic inflammation. However, the clinical application of CBD is limited due to its poor solubility and bioavailability.

This study introduces an effective method for preparing CBD-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (CBD-SLNs) using a combination of low-energy hot homogenization and ultrasonication. We enhanced this process by employing statistical optimization with response surface methodology (RSM). The optimized CBD-SLN formulation utilizes glyceryl monostearate as the primary lipid component of the nanocarrier. The CBD-SLN formulation is screened as a potential tool for managing chronic inflammation. Stable, uniformly dispersed spherical nanoparticles with a size of 123 nm, a surface charge of -32.1 mV, an encapsulation efficiency of 95.16%, and a drug loading of 2.36% were obtained.

The CBD-SLNs exhibited sustained release properties, ensuring prolonged and controlled CBD delivery, which could potentially amplify its therapeutic effects. Additionally, we observed that CBD-SLNs significantly reduced both reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and proinflammatory cytokines in chondrocyte and macrophage cell lines, with these inhibitory effects being more pronounced than those of free CBD.

In conclusion, CBD-SLNs demonstrated superiority over free CBD, highlighting its potential as an effective delivery system for CBD.”

Terpenes from Cannabis sativa induce antinociception in a mouse model of chronic neuropathic pain via activation of adenosine A2A receptors

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“Terpenes are small hydrocarbon compounds that impart aroma and taste to many plants, including Cannabis sativa.

A number of studies have shown that terpenes can produce pain relief in various pain states in both humans and animals. However, these studies were methodologically limited and few established mechanisms of action.

In our previous work, we showed that the terpenes geraniol, linalool, β-pinene, α-humulene, and β-caryophyllene produced cannabimimetic behavioral effects via multiple receptor targets. We thus expanded this work to explore the potential antinociception and mechanism of these Cannabis terpenes in a mouse model of chronic pain.

We first tested for antinociception by injecting terpenes (200 mg/kg, IP) into male and female CD-1 mice with mouse models of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) or lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory pain, finding that the terpenes produced roughly equal antinociception to 10 mg/kg morphine or 3.2 mg/kg WIN55,212. We further found that none of the terpenes produced reward as measured by conditioned place preference, while low doses of terpene (100 mg/kg) combined with morphine (3.2 mg/kg) produced enhanced antinociception vs either alone. We then used the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) selective antagonist istradefylline (3.2 mg/kg, IP) and spinal cord-specific CRISPR knockdown of the A2AR to identify this receptor as the mechanism for terpene antinociception in CIPN. In vitro cAMP and binding studies and in silico modeling studies further suggested that the terpenes act as A2AR agonists.

Together these studies identify Cannabis terpenes as potential therapeutics for chronic neuropathic pain and identify a receptor mechanism for this activity.”

[Topical Use of Cannabis in Inflammatory Diseases in patients of the IPS Salud Social in Barranquilla, Colombia]

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“Objective: To relate the topical use of cannabis as an analgesic therapeutic alternative in patients with some inflammatory diseases in Salud Social I.P.S during May to July 2023.

Methods: An analytical, retrospective study was carried out. The population from which the sample was obtained corresponds to patients diagnosed with Arthrosis, Unspecified, Non-Toxic Multinodular Goiter, Epilepsy, Unspecified Type Venous Insufficiency (Chronic) (Peripheral), Unspecified Lumbago, Secondary Gonarthrosis, Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, in Salud Social I.P.S of Barranquilla, Atlántico. A sample of 23 patients diagnosed with these pathologies was obtained by non-probabilistic convenience sampling.

Results: All patients showed pain relief after two months of follow-up, two experienced adverse effects. Some studies suggest that cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as CBD and THC, may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that could alleviate pain and inflammation associated with these conditions. This is consistent with the present study.

Conclusion: Topical cannabis is presented as a therapeutic alternative in inflammatory diseases, however, it is important to highlight that research on the use of cannabis in these diseases is limited and more studies are needed to fully understand its effects and potential benefits.”

Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment-An Update on the Evidence

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“In light of the current International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) guidelines, the topic of cannabinoids in relation to pain remains controversial, with insufficient research presently available.

Cannabinoids are an attractive pain management option due to their synergistic effects when administered with opioids, thereby also limiting the extent of respiratory depression.

On their own, however, cannabinoids have been shown to have the potential to relieve specific subtypes of chronic pain in adults, although controversies remain. Among these subtypes are neuropathic, musculoskeletal, cancer, and geriatric pain.

Another interesting feature is their effectiveness in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Analgesic benefits are hypothesized to extend to HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as to lower back pain in the elderly.

The aim of this article is to provide an up-to-date review of the existing preclinical as well as clinical studies, along with relevant systematic reviews addressing the roles of various types of cannabinoids in neuropathic pain settings. The impact of cannabinoids in chronic cancer pain and in non-cancer conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and headaches, are all discussed, as well as novel techniques of administration and relevant mechanisms of action.”

Suppression of neuropathic pain in the circadian clock-deficient Per2m/m mice involves up-regulation of endocannabinoid system

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“Neuropathic pain often results from injuries and diseases that affect the somatosensory system. Disruption of the circadian clock has been implicated in the exacerbation of the neuropathic pain state. However, in this study, we report that mice deficient in a core clock component Period2 (Per2m/m mice) fail to develop tactile pain hypersensitivity even following peripheral nerve injury. Similar to male wild-type mice, partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSL)-Per2m/m male mice showed activation of glial cells in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and increased expression of pain-related genes. Interestingly, α1D-adrenergic receptor (α1D-AR) expression was up-regulated in the spinal cord of Per2m/m mice, leading to increased production of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endocannabinoid receptor ligand. This increase in 2-AG suppressed the PSL-induced tactile pain hypersensitivity. Furthermore, intraspinal dorsal horn injection of adeno-associated viral vectors expressing α1D-AR also attenuated pain hypersensitivity in PSL-wild-type male mice by increasing 2-AG production.

Our findings reveal an uncovered role of the circadian clock in neuropathic pain disorders and suggest a link between α1D-AR signaling and the endocannabinoid system.”

Antinociceptive Effects of Cannabichromene (CBC) in Mice: Insights from von Frey, Tail-Flick, Formalin, and Acetone Tests

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“Cannabis sativa contains minor cannabinoids that have potential therapeutic value in pain management. However, detailed experimental evidence for the antinociceptive effects of many of these minor cannabinoids remains lacking. Here, we employed artificial intelligence (AI) to perform compound-protein interaction estimates with cannabichromene (CBC) and receptors involved in nociceptive signaling.

Based on our findings, we investigated the antinociceptive properties of CBC in naïve or neuropathic C57BL/6 male and female mice using von Frey (mechanical allodynia), tail-flick (noxious radiant heat), formalin (acute and persistent inflammatory pain), and acetone (cold thermal) tests. For von Frey assessments, CBC dose (0-20 mg/kg, i.p.) and time (0-6 h) responses were measured in male and female neuropathic mice. For tail-flick, formalin, and acetone assays, CBC (20 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to naïve male and female mice 1 h prior to testing.

The results show that CBC (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced mechanical allodynia in neuropathic male and female mice 1-2 h after treatment. Additionally, CBC treatment caused significant reductions in nociceptive behaviors in the tail-flick assay and in both phase 1 and phase 2 of the formalin test. Finally, we found a significant interaction in neuropathic male mice in the acetone test.

In conclusion, our results suggest that CBC targets receptors involved in nociceptive signaling and imparts antinociceptive properties that may benefit males and females afflicted with diverse forms of acute or chronic/persistent pain.”

The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol in Revolutionising Opioid Use Disorder Management

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“Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is linked to a complex interplay of biopsychosocial factors as well as the increasing overprescription and availability of opioid medications. Current OUD management relies on the controlled provision of opioid medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, known as opioid replacement therapy. There is variable evidence regarding the long-term efficacy of these medications in improving the management of OUD, thereby necessitating an exploration into innovative approaches to complement, or even take the place of, existing treatment paradigms.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, has garnered attention for its diverse pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects. Preliminary studies suggest that CBD may target opioid withdrawal pathways that make CBD a potential therapeutic option for OUD.

This narrative review synthesises current literature surrounding OUD and offers a nuanced review of the current and future role of CBD in managing this condition. In doing so, we highlight the potential avenues to explore with respect to CBD research for the guidance and development of further research opportunities, framework and policy development, and clinical considerations before medicinal CBD can be integrated into evidence-based clinical guidelines.”!/