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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Cannabidiol – A phytocannabinoid that widely affects sphingolipid metabolism under conditions of brain insulin resistance

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“Obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and attenuated brain insulin signaling are significant risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders, e.g., Alzheimer’s disease. IR and type 2 diabetes correlate with an increased concentration of sphingolipids, a class of lipids that play an essential structural role in cellular membranes and cell signaling pathways.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa plant that interacts with the endocannabinoidome. Despite known positive effects of CBD on improvement in diabetes and its aftermath, e.g., anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, there are no studies evaluating the effect of phytocannabinoids on the brain insulin resistance and sphingolipid metabolism. Our experiment was carried out on Wistar rats that received a high-fat diet and/or intraperitoneal CBD injections.

In our study, we indicated inhibition of de novo synthesis and salvage pathways, which resulted in significant changes in the concentration of sphingolipids, e.g., ceramide and sphingomyelin. Furthermore, we observed reduced brain IR and decreased tau protein phosphorylation what might be protective against neuropathologies development.

We believe that our research will concern a new possible therapeutic approach with Cannabis -plant derived compounds and within a few years, cannabinoids would be considered as prominent substances for targeting both metabolic and neurodegenerative pathologies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34435590/

“CBD might be an essential factor that leads to the reduction of brain IR. Thus, we believe that our research will concern a new possible therapeutic approach with a Cannabis-plant derived compounds and within a few years, those substances would be considered as prominent compounds for targeting both metabolic and neurodegenerative pathologies.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221008404?via%3Dihub

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Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): a commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes

figure1“Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a cannabis-derived compound with unique properties that set it apart from the more common cannabinoids, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The main advantage of THCV over THC is the lack of psychoactive effects. In rodent studies, THCV decreases appetite, increases satiety, and up-regulates energy metabolism, making it a clinically useful remedy for weight loss and management of obesity and type 2 diabetic patients. The distinctions between THCV and THC in terms of glycemic control, glucose metabolism, and energy regulation have been demonstrated in previous studies. Also, the effect of THCV on dyslipidemia and glycemic control in type 2 diabetics showed reduced fasting plasma glucose concentration when compared to a placebo group. In contrast, THC is indicated in individuals with cachexia. However, the uniquely diverse properties of THCV provide neuroprotection, appetite suppression, glycemic control, and reduced side effects, etc.; therefore, making it a potential priority candidate for the development of clinically useful therapies in the future. Hopefully, THCV could provide an optional platform for the treatment of life-threatening diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33526143/

“The psychoactive effects of THC in marijuana are the main reasons for its classification as a Schedule I substance, even though it is the THC that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for appetite stimulation and weight gain. In contrast to THC, clinical and therapeutic advantages of THCV regarding its lack of psychoactive effects in human studies are of great value in pharmacotherapy. It is envisioned that the unique and diverse characteristics of THCV could be explored for further development into clinically useful medicines for the treatment of life-threatening diseases.”

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-0016-7

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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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Protective Effects of ( E)-β-Caryophyllene (BCP) in Chronic Inflammation

nutrients-logo“(E)-β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a bicyclic sesquiterpene widely distributed in the plant kingdom, where it contributes a unique aroma to essential oils and has a pivotal role in the survival and evolution of higher plants.

Recent studies provided evidence for protective roles of BCP in animal cells, highlighting its possible use as a novel therapeutic tool.

Experimental results show the ability of BCP to reduce pro-inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), thus ameliorating chronic pathologies characterized by inflammation and oxidative stress, in particular metabolic and neurological diseases.

Through the binding to CB2 cannabinoid receptors and the interaction with members of the family of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), BCP shows beneficial effects on obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) liver diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pain and other nervous system disorders.

This review describes the current knowledge on the biosynthesis and natural sources of BCP, and reviews its role and mechanisms of action in different inflammation-related metabolic and neurologic disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33114564/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/11/3273

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Plant-derived natural therapeutics targeting cannabinoid receptors in metabolic syndrome and its complications: A review

 Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is natural physiological system in the humans. The presence of the ECS system involves different roles in body. The endocannabinoid system involves regulation of most of the centers, which regulates the hunger and leads to changes in the weight.

In the present article, we reviewed the role of natural cannabinoid compounds in metabolic disorders and related complications. We studied variety of a plant-derived cannabinoids in treating the metabolic syndrome including stoutness, fatty acid liver diseases, insulin obstruction, dementia, hypertension, lipid abnormalities, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, endothelial damage, and polycystic ovarian syndrome and so on.

The activation of cannabinoid receptors demonstrates a significant number of beneficial approaches concerning metabolic syndrome and reduces the pro-inflammatory cytokines on account of aggravation, decreased oxidative stress and uneasiness, diminishes liver fibrosis, with reduces adiponectin.

Pre-clinical investigations of plant-derived cannabinoids resulted in promising outcomes.

The different distinctive plant-derived cannabinoids were discovered like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabidiol (CBG). It has been observed that endogenous cannabinoids and plant-derived cannabinoids have an advantageous impact on limiting the metabolic disorder arising due to lifestyle changes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113429/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332220310817?via%3Dihub

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Therapeutic Potential of β-Caryophyllene: A Dietary Cannabinoid in Diabetes and Associated Complications

nutrients-logo“Diabetes mellitus (DM), a metabolic disorder is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide across developed as well as developing nations. Hyperglycemia is the core feature of the type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), following insulin deficiency and impaired insulin secretion or sensitivity leads insulin resistance (IR), respectively. Genetic and environmental factors attributed to the pathogenesis of DM and various therapeutic strategies are available for the prevention and treatment of T2DM.

Among the numerous therapeutic approaches, the health effects of dietary/nutraceutical approach due to the presence of bioactive constituents, popularly termed phytochemicals are receiving special interest for pharmacological effects and therapeutic benefits. The phytochemicals classes, in particular sesquiterpenes received attention because of potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperglycemic effects and health benefits mediating modulation of enzymes, receptors, and signaling pathways deranged in DM and its complications.

One of the terpene compounds, β-caryophyllene (BCP), received enormous attention because of its abundant occurrence, non-psychoactive nature, and dietary availability through consumption of edible plants including spices. BCP exhibit selective full agonism on cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R), an important component of endocannabinoid system, and plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism and represents the newest drug target for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Many studies demonstrated its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, organoprotective, and antihyperglycemic properties. In the present review, the plausible therapeutic potential of BCP in diabetes and associated complications has been comprehensively elaborated based on experimental and a few clinical studies available. Further, the pharmacological and molecular mechanisms of BCP in diabetes and its complications have been represented using synoptic tables and schemes.

Given the safe status, abundant natural occurrence, oral bioavailability, dietary use and pleiotropic properties modulating receptors and enzymes, BCP appears as a promising molecule for diabetes and its complications.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32998300/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/10/2963

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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A Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) Receptor Agonist Augments NOS-Dependent Responses of Cerebral Arterioles during Type 1 Diabetes

Microvascular Research “While activation of cannabinoid (CB2) receptors has been shown to be neuroprotective, no studies have examined whether this neuroprotection is directed at cerebral arterioles and no studies have examined whether activation of CB2 receptors can rescue cerebrovascular dysfunction during a chronic disease state such as type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Our goal was to test the hypothesis that administration of a CB2 agonist (JWH-133) would improve impaired endothelial (eNOS)- and neuronal (nNOS)- dependent dilation of cerebral arterioles during T1D.

In vivo diameter of cerebral arterioles in nondiabetic and T1D rats was measured in response to an eNOS-dependent agonist (adenosine 5′-diphosphate; ADP), an nNOS-dependent agonist (N-methyl-D-aspartate; NMDA), and an NOS-independent agonist (nitroglycerin) before and 1 hour following JWH-133 (1 mg/kg IP). Dilation of cerebral arterioles to ADP and NMDA was greater in nondiabetic than in T1D rats.

Treatment with JWH-133 increased responses of cerebral arterioles to ADP and NMDA in both nondiabetic and T1D rats. Responses of cerebral arterioles to nitroglycerin were similar between nondiabetic and T1D rats, and JWH-133 did not influence responses to nitroglycerin in either group. The restoration in responses to the agonists by JWH-133 could be inhibited by treatment with a specific inhibitor of CB2 receptors (AM-630; 3 mg/kg IP).

Thus, activation of CB2 receptors can potentiate reactivity of cerebral arterioles during physiologic and pathophysiologic states. We speculate that treatment with CB2 receptor agonists may have potential therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cerebral vascular diseases via a mechanism that can increase cerebral blood flow.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32979391/

“Activation of CB2 receptors improves cerebral vascular function. Activation of CB2 receptors improves responses in type 1 diabetes. We speculate that treatment with CB2 receptor agonists may have potential therapeutic benefits for the treatment of cerebral vascular disease that can contribute to the pathogenesis of stroke.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026286220301370?via%3Dihub

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Spinal cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors activation attenuates mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

 Behavioural Pharmacology“Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with a high number of complications such as peripheral neuropathy, which causes sensorial disturbances and may lead to the development of diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). The current treatment for DNP is just palliative and the drugs may cause severe adverse effects, leading to discontinuation of treatment. Thus, new therapeutic targets need to be urgently investigated.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids have promising effects in the treatment of several pathological conditions, including chronic pain.

Thus, we aimed to investigate the acute effect of the intrathecal injection of CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonists N-(2-chloroethyl)-5Z, 8Z, 11Z, 14Z-eicosatetraenamide (ACEA) or JWH 133, respectively (10, 30 or 100 μg/rat) on the mechanical allodynia associated with experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal) in rats.

Cannabinoid receptor antagonists CB1 AM251 or CB2 AM630 (1 mg/kg) were given before treatment with respective agonists to confirm the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors. Rats with diabetes exhibited a significant reduction on the paw mechanical threshold 2 weeks after diabetes induction, having the maximum effect observed 4 weeks after the streptozotocin injection. This mechanical allodynia was significantly improved by intrathecal treatment with ACEA or JWH 133 (only at the higher dose of 100 μg). Pre-treatment with AM251 or AM630 significantly reverted the anti-allodynic effect of the ACEA or JWH 133, respectively.

Considering the clinical challenge that the treatment of DPN represents, this study showed for the first time, that the intrathecal cannabinoid receptors agonists may represent an alternative for the treatment of DNP.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32804775/

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Cannabis use is associated with a lower risk of diabetes in chronic hepatitis C-infected patients (ANRS CO22 Hepather cohort)

 Medscape | J Viral Hepat - Content Listing“Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a risk factor of insulin resistance, and HCV-infected patients are at a high risk of developing diabetes.

In the general population, research has shown the potential benefit of cannabis use for the prevention of diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

We aimed to test whether cannabis use is associated with a lower risk of diabetes in chronic HCV-infected patients.

After multivariable adjustment, current (AOR [95%CI]: 0.49 [0.38-0.63]) and former (0.81 [0.67-0.98], p<.001) cannabis use were both associated with a reduced odds of diabetes. Conversely, male gender, tobacco use, elevated BMI, poverty, being a migrant and advanced fibrosis were associated with increased odds of diabetes. The association between cannabis use and diabetes was maintained in the stratified analysis.

In this large cross-sectional study of chronic HCV-infected patients, cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of diabetes independently of clinical and socio-behavioral factors. Further studies are needed to elucidate a potential causal link and shed light on cannabis compounds and mechanisms involved in this relationship.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32810343/

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