Cannabinoid interactions with ion channels and receptors.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, acts on a diverse selection of membrane proteins with promising therapeutic potential in epilepsy and chronic pain. In this review, we will outline the studies that report reproducible results of CBD and other cannabinoids changing membrane channel function, with particular interest on Nav. Nav are implicated in fatal forms of epilepsy and are also associated with chronic pain. This makes Nav potential targets for CBD interaction since it has been reported to reduce pain and seizures. This discovery will not only prompt further research towards CBD’s characterization, but also promotes the application of cannabinoids as potentially therapeutic compounds for diseases like epilepsy and pain.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31088312
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19336950.2019.1615824

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Tetrahydrocannabinol Reduces Hapten-Driven Mast Cell Accumulation and Persistent Tactile Sensitivity in Mouse Model of Allergen-Provoked Localized Vulvodynia.

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“Vulvodynia is a remarkably prevalent chronic pain condition of unknown etiology.

Therapeutic intra-vaginal administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced mast cell accumulation and tactile sensitivity.

Mast cell-targeted therapeutic strategies may therefore provide new ways to manage and treat vulvar pain potentially instigated by repeated allergenic exposures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31052404

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/9/2163

“Marijuana Relieves Chronic Pain, Research Shows”  https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20100830/marijuana-relieves-chronic-pain-research-show#1

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Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates oxycodone self-administration under extended access conditions.

Neuropharmacology

“Growing nonmedical use of prescription opioids is a global problem, motivating research on ways to reduce use and combat addiction.

Medical cannabis (“medical marijuana”) legalization has been associated epidemiologically with reduced opioid harms and cannabinoids have been shown to modulate effects of opioids in animal models.

This study was conducted to determine if Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhances the behavioral effects of oxycodone.

Together these data demonstrate additive effects of THC and oxycodone and suggest the potential use of THC to enhance therapeutic efficacy, and to reduce the abuse, of opioids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30980837

“Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhances the antinociceptive effects of oxycodone. Vaporized and injected THC reduces oxycodone self-administration. Cannabinoids may reduce opioid use for analgesia. Cannabinoids may reduce nonmedical opioid use.”  

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819301212?via%3Dihub

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Role of endocannabinoid system in dopamine signalling within the reward circuits affected by chronic pain.

Pharmacological Research

“The association between chronic pain, depression and anxiety has gained particular attention due to high rates of comorbidity. Recent data demonstrated that the mesolimbic reward circuitry is involved in the pathology of chronic pain. Interestingly, the mesolimbic reward circuit participates both in pain perception and in pain relief.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has emerged as a highly relevant player involved in both pain perception and reward processing. Targeting ECS could become a novel treatment strategy for chronic pain patients.

However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of action of cannabinoids at the intersection of neurochemical changes in reward circuits and chronic pain. Because understanding the benefits and risks of cannabinoids is paramount, the aim of this review is to evaluate the state-of-art knowledge about the involvement of the ECS in dopamine signalling within the reward circuits affected by chronic pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30831242

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819300088?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoids: a new approach for pain control?

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“To analyze available data related to the use of cannabinoids in medicine, with a special focus on pain management in cancer. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is growing but there are still numerous questions to be solved: effectiveness, safety, and specific indications.

RECENT FINDINGS:

There is considerable variation between countries in the approaches taken, reflecting a variety of historical and cultural factors and despite few randomized controlled studies using natural cannabinoids, there is a trend to state that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of cancer-related pain. Cannabidiol, a nontoxic phytocannabinoid with few side-effects is promising in various indications in medicine.

SUMMARY:

The endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target. Cannabinoids may be considered as potential adjuvant in cancer-related pain management. Cannabidiol appears to be the drug of choice. Analgesic trial designs should evolve to get closer to real-life practice and to avoid biases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30789867

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00001622-900000000-00002

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An Update of Current Cannabis-Based Pharmaceuticals in Pain Medicine.

 

“Cannabis users have long reported therapeutic properties of the plant for a variety of conditions, some of which include nausea, emesis, seizures, cancer, neurogenic diseases and pain control. Research has elucidated many cannabinoid pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, expanding the potential use of cannabinoids as a medical therapy.

Due to the inconsistent delivery and control of the active components involved with smoking, pharmaceutical companies are investigating and prioritizing routes other than smoke inhalation for therapeutic use of cannabinoids. In this relatively new field of pharmaceutical development, ongoing drug development promises great benefit from targeted endocannabinoid receptor agonism.

Available in Canada and Europe, nabiximols, a specific extract from the Cannabis plant, has demonstrated great benefit in the treatment of pain related to spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cancer and otherwise chronic pain conditions.

The cannabidiol oral solution Epidiolex®, which is available in the USA, is indicated for management of refractory epilepsy but may offer therapeutic relief to chronic pain conditions as well.

Current investigative drugs, such as those developed by Cara Therapeutics and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, are synthetic cannabinoids which show promise to specifically target neuropsychiatric conditions and chronic pain symptoms such as neuropathy and allodynia.

The objective of this review is to provide clinicians with an update of currently available and promising developmental cannabis pharmaceutical derivatives which may stand to greatly benefit patients with otherwise difficult-to-treat chronic conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30721403

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40122-019-0114-4

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Dark Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.

 ACS Chemical Neuroscience

“Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, with an estimated 192 million users globally.

The main psychoactive component of cannabis is (-)-trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), a molecule with a diverse range of pharmacological actions. The unique and distinctive intoxication caused by Δ9-THC primarily reflects partial agonist action at central cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors.

Δ9-THC is an approved therapeutic treatment for a range of conditions, including chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and is being investigated in indications such as anorexia nervosa, agitation in dementia, and Tourette’s syndrome.

It is available as a regulated pharmaceutical in products such as Marinol®, Sativex®, and Namisol®, as well as in an ever-increasing range of unregistered medicinal and recreational cannabis products.

While cannabis is an ancient medicament, contemporary use is embroiled in legal, scientific, and social controversy, much of which relates to the potential hazards and benefits of Δ9-THC itself.

Robust contemporary debate surrounds the therapeutic value of Δ9-THC in different diseases, its capacity to produce psychosis and cognitive impairment, and the addictive and “gateway” potential of the drug.

This review will provide a profile of the chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and recreational and therapeutic uses of Δ9-THC, as well as the historical and societal importance of this unique, distinctive, and ubiquitous psychoactive substance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30689342

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00651

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Perspectives on cannabis as a substitute for opioid analgesics.

 Future Medicine Logo“With the opioid epidemic reaching new heights in the USA, it has become critical to find suitable alternatives to opioids.

Cannabis, an antinociceptive, is a strong contender to help patients reduce their opioid usage.

A growing literature has been examining the complex effects cannabis has on pain relief and on opioid usage; whether it is a substitute for opioids or increases their use. This review explores the studies that compare cannabis-opioid interactions and presents some challenges of cannabis research and usage.

The practical clinical pharmacology of cannabis as an analgesic, including the route of administration, safety and pharmacokinetics, are discussed to address the concerns, as well as possible solutions, of cannabis as a pain reliever.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30681029

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/pmt-2018-0051

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Some Prospective Alternatives for Treating Pain: The Endocannabinoid System and Its Putative Receptors GPR18 and GPR55.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Marijuana extracts (cannabinoids) have been used for several millennia for pain treatment.

Regarding the site of action, cannabinoids are highly promiscuous molecules, but only two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have been deeply studied and classified.

Thus, therapeutic actions, side effects and pharmacological targets for cannabinoids have been explained based on the pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptors. However, the accumulation of confusing and sometimes contradictory results suggests the existence of other cannabinoid receptors.

Different orphan proteins (e.g., GPR18, GPR55, GPR119, etc.) have been proposed as putative cannabinoid receptors.

According to their expression, GPR18 and GPR55 could be involved in sensory transmission and pain integration.

This work summarized novel data supporting that, besides cannabinoid CB1 and CB2receptors, GPR18 and GPR55 may be useful for pain treatment.

Conclusion: There is evidence to support an antinociceptive role for GPR18 and GPR55.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30670965

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01496/full

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Changes in Monoaminergic Neurotransmission in an Animal Model of Osteoarthritis: The Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

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“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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30618615

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00466/full

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