A Phase I Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study on Efficacy and Safety Profile of a Sublingually Administered Cannabidiol /Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (10: 1) Regimen in Diabetes Type 2 Patients

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“The current study aimed to evaluate the safety profile and efficacy of a cannabis-based sublingual spray, CBDEX10® (containing 100 µg cannabidiol and 10 µg Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol per puff; CBD/Δ9-THC 10:1), in improving lipid profile and glycemic state of the diabetic patients.

Fifty diabetic patients were randomly allocated to the treatment (n = 25; receiving two puffs of CBDEX10® twice daily) or the control groups (n = 25; receiving two puffs of placebo). The primary endpoint of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the CBDEX10® adjunctive therapy in improving the lipid profile and glycemic state of diabetic patients; the secondary endpoint was to assess the safety profile and tolerability of the spray.

A statistically significant decline in total cholesterol [estimated treatment difference (ETD) = −19.73 mg/dL; P < 0.05], triglyceride (ETD = −27.84 mg/dL; P < 0.01), LDL-C (ETD = −5.37 mg/dL; P < 0.01), FBS (ETD = −12 mg/dL; P < 0.01), Hb A1C (ETD = −0.21 mg/dL; P < 0.01) and insulin secretion (ETD = -5.21 mIU/L; P < 0.01) was observable in the patients treated with CBDEX10® at the end of the 8-week treatment period. Regarding safety, the mentioned adjunctive regimen was well, and there were no serious or severe adverse effects.

Overall, CBDEX1® sublingual spray could be a new therapeutic agent for lipid and glycemic control in diabetic patients.”

“Based on these observations, the combination of CBD/Δ9-THC regimen could be a new therapeutic regimen for controlling the lipid profile and glycemic state of DM patients.”


Blockade of CB1 or Activation of CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors Is Differentially Efficacious in the Treatment of the Early Pathological Events in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats


“Oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, and vascular leakage are believed to play a key role in the early stage of diabetic retinopathy (ESDR). The aim of this study was to investigate the blockade of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) and activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) as putative therapeutics for the treatment of the early toxic events in DR. Diabetic rats [streptozotocin (STZ)-induced] were treated topically (20 μL, 10 mg/mL), once daily for fourteen days (early stage DR model), with SR141716 (CB1R antagonist), AM1710 (CB2R agonist), and the dual treatment SR141716/AM1710. Immunohistochemical-histological, ELISA, and Evans-Blue analyses were performed to assess the neuroprotective and vasculoprotective properties of the pharmacological treatments on diabetes-induced retinal toxicity. Activation of CB2R or blockade of CB1R, as well as the dual treatment, attenuated the nitrative stress induced by diabetes. Both single treatments protected neural elements (e.g., RGC axons) and reduced vascular leakage. AM1710 alone reversed all toxic insults. These findings provide new knowledge regarding the differential efficacies of the cannabinoids, when administered topically, in the treatment of ESDR. Cannabinoid neuroprotection of the diabetic retina in ESDR may prove therapeutic in delaying the development of the advanced stage of the disease.”


“In closing, our findings suggest that topical administration of the three cannabinoid treatments, such as eye drops, provides protection to the diabetic retina in a differential manner against the four pathologies of ESDR. The actions of both CB2R activation and CB1R blockade in restoring ganglion cell axons (NFL-IR) in ESDR suggest that both agents may be effective in retarding RGC death. AM1710 is efficacious as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and vasculoprotective agent and, thus, a promising new therapeutic for ESDR. Further advancement of retinal imaging to screen and identify the early events in DR, such as neurodegeneration in diabetic patients, is crucial for selecting neuroprotective drugs and implementing personalized treatments. As our findings clearly implicate the endocannabinoid system, the therapeutic benefits of this class of compounds should also extend to patients with diabetic nephropathy and cardiopathy/stroke since DR has been associated with the development of these diseases.”


The function of the endocannabinoid system in the pancreatic islet and its implications on metabolic syndrome and diabetes

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“The following review focuses on the scientific studies related to the role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) in pancreatic islet physiology and dysfunction. Different natural or synthetic agonists and antagonists have been suggested as an alternative treatment for diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Therapeutic use of Cannabis led to the discovery and characterization of the ECS, a signaling complex involved in regulation of various physiological processes, including food intake and metabolism. After the development of different agonists and antagonists, evidence have demonstrated the presence and activity of cannabinoid receptors in several organs and tissues, including pancreatic islets. Insulin and glucagon expression, stimulated secretion, and the development of diabetes and other metabolic disorders have been associated with the activity and modulation of ECS in pancreatic islets. However, according to the animal model and experimental design, either endogenous or pharmacological ligands of cannabinoid receptors have guided to contradictory and paradoxical results that suggest a complex physiological interaction. In consensus, ECS activity modulates insulin and glucagon secretions according to glucose in media; over-stimulation of cannabinoid receptors affects islets negatively, leading to glucose intolerance, meanwhile the treatment with antagonists in diabetic models and humans suggests an improvement in islets function.”



The effect of a long-term treatment with cannabidiol-rich hemp extract oil on the adenosinergic system of the zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat atrium

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“Cannabidiol (CBD), the most extensively studied non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid, has been attracting a lot of interest worldwide owing to its numerous beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to explore the effect that CBD exerts on the adenosinergic system of paced left atria isolated from obese type Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats, maintained on diabetogenic rat chow, received 60 mg/kg/day CBD or vehicle via gavage for 4 weeks.

We found that N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA), a relatively stable and poorly transported A1 adenosine receptor agonist, elicited a significantly weaker response in the CBD-treated group than in the vehicle-treated one. In contrast, adenosine, a quickly metabolized and transported adenosine receptor agonist, evoked a significantly stronger response in the CBD-treated group than in the vehicle-treated counterpart (excepting its highest concentrations). These results can be explained only with the adenosine transport inhibitory property of CBD (and not with its adenosine receptor agonist activity).

If all the effects of CBD are attributed to the interstitial adenosine accumulation caused by CBD in the myocardium, then a significantly increased adenosinergic activation can be assumed during the long-term oral CBD treatment, suggesting a considerably enhanced adenosinergic protection in the heart.

Considering that our results may have been influenced by A1 adenosine receptor downregulation due to the chronic interstitial adenosine accumulation, an adenosinergic activation smaller than it seemed cannot be excluded, but it was above the CBD-naïve level in every case. Additionally, this is the first study offering functional evidence about the adenosine transport inhibitory action of CBD in the myocardium.”



Antidiabetic actions of GPR55 agonist Abn-CBD and sitagliptin in obese-diabetic high fat fed mice

Biochemical Pharmacology

“GPR55 has been recognized as a novel anti-diabetic target exerting positive effects on beta cell function and mass. This study evaluated the metabolic actions and therapeutic efficacy of GPR55 agonist abnormal cannabidiol (Abn-CBD) administered alone and in combination with sitagliptin in diet-induced obese-diabetic mice. Chronic effects of 21-day oral administration of Abn-CBD (0.1µmol/kg BW) monotherapy and in combination with sitagliptin (50mg/kg BW) were assessed in obese-diabetic HFF mice (n=8). Assessments of plasma glucose, circulating insulin, DPP-IV activity, CRP, amylase, lipids, body weight and food intake were undertaken. Glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, DEXA scanning and islet morphology analysis were performed at 21-days. Sitagliptin, Abn-CBD alone and in combination with sitagliptin attenuated plasma glucose by 37-53% (p<0.01 – p<0.001) and enhanced circulating insulin concentrations by 23-31% (p<0.001). Abn-CBD alone and with sitagliptin reduced bodyweight by 9-10% (p<0.05). After 21-days, Abn-CBD in combination with sitagliptin (44%; p<0.01) improved glucose tolerance, whilst enhancing insulin sensitivity by 79% (p<0.01). Abn-CBD increased islet area (86%; p<0.05), beta cell mass (p<0.05) and beta cell proliferation (164%; p<0.001), whilst in combination with sitagliptin islet area was decreased (50%; p<0.01). Abn-CBD alone, in combination with sitagliptin or sitagliptin alone decreased triglycerides by 34-65% (p<0.001) and total cholesterol concentrations by 15-25% (p<0.001). In addition, Abn-CBD in combination with sitagliptin reduced fat mass by 19% (p<0.05) and reduced CRP concentrations (39%; p<0.05). These findings advocate Abn-CBD monotherapy and in combination with sitagliptin as a novel and effective approach for bodyweight control and the treatment of glucose intolerance and dyslipidaemia in type-2-diabetes.”



Treatment with Cannabidiol Results in an Antioxidant and Cardioprotective Effect in Several Pathophysiologies

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“Cannabis sativa has chemically active compounds called cannabinoids, where Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the major ones responsible for the various pharmacological effects.

The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous system considered a unique and widespread homeostatic physiological regulator. It is made up of type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors. CBD, in turn, has a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, and regulates the effects arising from THC as a CB1 partial agonist, which are tachycardia, anxiety, and sedation. It also acts as a CB2 inverse agonist, resulting in anti-inflammatory effects.

Furthermore, its anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, antipsychotic, antiemetic, anxiolytic, anticancer, and antioxidant effects seem to be linked to other discovered receptors such as GRP55, 5TH1a, TRPV I, TRPV II and the regulation of the intracellular concentration of Ca2+. Regarding oxidative stress, O2- can act as an oxidizing agent, being reduced to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), or as a reducing agent, donating its extra electron to NO to form peroxynitrite (ONOO-). The ONOO- formed is capable of oxidizing proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, causing several cell damages.

In this sense, CBD can prevent cardiac oxidative damage in many conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, or even through the cardiotoxic effects induced by chemotherapy, which makes it a potential target for future clinical use to minimize the deleterious effects of many pathophysiologies.”



Cannabinoids and terpenes for diabetes mellitus and its complications: from mechanisms to new therapies

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“The number of people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and its complications is markedly increasing worldwide, leading to a worldwide epidemic across all age groups, from children to older adults. Diabetes is associated with premature aging. In recent years, it has been found that peripheral overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and in particular cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) signaling, plays a crucial role in the progression of insulin resistance, diabetes (especially type 2), and its aging-related comorbidities such as atherosclerosis, nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Therefore, it is suggested that peripheral blockade of CB1R may ameliorate diabetes and diabetes-related comorbidities. The use of synthetic CB1R antagonists such as rimonabant has been prohibited because of their psychiatric side effects. In contrast, phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), produced by cannabis, exhibit antagonistic activity on CB1R signaling and do not show any adverse side effects such as psychoactive effects, depression, or anxiety, thereby serving as potential candidates for the treatment of diabetes and its complications. In addition to these phytocannabinoids, cannabis also produces a substantial number of other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids with therapeutic potential against insulin resistance, diabetes, and its complications. In this review, the pathogenesis of diabetes, its complications, and the potential to use cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for its treatment are discussed.”


“Cannabis components (phytocannabinoids and terpenes) may exert antagonistic activity on CB1R signaling without causing deleterious side effects. Hence, phytocannabinoids and terpenes may be excellent potential candidates for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.”


Cannabis Use Is Inversely Associated with Metabolic Disorders in Hepatitis C-Infected Patients (ANRS CO22 Hepather Cohort)


“Background and aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with the onset of metabolic disorders which constitute risk factors for liver disease progression. Their impact may persist after the HCV infection has been cured. Cannabis use is associated with a lower risk of obesity and diabetes in both general and HCV populations. The associations between cannabis use and both dyslipidemia and hypertension have not yet been studied in persons with chronic HCV infection.

Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the French ANRS CO22 Hepather cohort, we used regression models to test for an inverse relationship between cannabis use and (i) dyslipidemia, (ii) hypertension, and (iii) the total number of metabolic disorders.

Results: Among the 6364 participants in the study population, both former and current cannabis use were associated with a lower risk of hypertension and fewer metabolic disorders. These results were independent of central obesity. Cannabis use was not associated with dyslipidemia.

Conclusions: In people chronically infected with HCV, cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of hypertension and a lower number of metabolic disorders. Post-HCV cure studies are needed to confirm these findings using longitudinal data and to test whether they translate into reduced mortality in this population.”


“In a large cohort of people with chronic HCV infection living in France, current or former cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of hypertension and a lower number of metabolic disorders.”


Anti-inflammatory potential of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in hyperinsulinemia: an experimental study


“Background: Hyperinsulinemia (HI) means that the amount of insulin in the blood is higher than normal and is often associated with type 2 diabetes. It is known that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) obtained from a medicinal plant, Cannabis sativa, has therapeutic effects on many diseases.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of THC on inflammatory and oxidant status in rat pancreas with HI.

Methods: Rats were divided into groups; Control, HI, THC and HI + THC. Each group consists of 8 animals. HI and HI + THC groups were given 10% fructose in the drinking water for 12 weeks. In the last four weeks of the experiment, 1.5 mg kg-1 THC was injected intraperitoneally daily into THC and HI + THC groups. The expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) were detected. JNK/SAPK and Grap2/p38 levels, total antioxidant and oxidant capacities (TAC and TOC) were analyzed in the pancreas.

Results: Levels of IL-6, NF-κβ, and TNF-α mRNA expression were higher in the pancreas with HI than in the control (p < 0.001 for all). THC treatment reduced the expression of IL-6, NF-κβ, and TNF-α mRNAs in the HI + THC group compared to the HI group (p < 0.001 for all). TOC increased in the HI group compared to the control group (p < 0.001). However, THC treatment reduced TOC levels in the HI + THC group compared to the HI group (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: According to the results, the THC treatment may regulate inflammation and TOC in rats with hyperinsulinemia. Thus, we can say that THC may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential in metabolic disorders.”



Plasma endocannabinoids and cannabimimetic fatty acid derivatives are altered in gastroparesis: A sex- and subtype-dependent observation

“Background: Gastroparesis (GP) is a motility disorder of the stomach presenting with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in the setting of delayed gastric emptying. Endocannabinoids are involved in the regulation of GI function including motility. However, their role in the pathophysiology of GP has not been sufficiently investigated. Our goal was to compare the circulating levels of endocannabinoids and cannabimimetic fatty acid derivatives in GP versus control subjects.

Methods: The study compared plasma concentrations of endocannabinoids and their lipoamine and 2-acyl glycerol congeners, measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS-MS), in adult patients with diabetic gastroparesis (DM-GP; n = 24; n = 16 female), idiopathic gastroparesis (ID-GP; n = 19; n = 11 female), diabetic patients without GP (DM; n = 19; n = 10 female), and healthy controls (HC; n = 18; n = 10 female). Data, presented as mean ± SEM, were analyzed with ANOVA (Sidak post hoc).

Key results: Endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA: 0.5 ± 0.1 nMol/L) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG: 2.6 ± 0.7 nMol/L) were significantly lower in female DM-GP patients vs. DM females (AEA: 2.5 ± 0.7 nMol/L and 2-AG: 9.4 ± 3.3 nMol/L). Other monoacylglycerols including 2-palmitoyl glycerol and 2-oleoyl glycerol were also lower in female DM-GP patients compared to DM females. No changes were observed in men.

Conclusions & inferences: Endocannabinoids and other fatty acid derivatives with cannabimimetic properties are reduced in female DM-GP patients. Since GP, particularly with diabetic etiology, is more prevalent among women and since cannabinoids are antiemetic, this decrease in levels may contribute to symptom development in these subjects. Targeting the endocannabinoid system may be a future therapeutic option in DM-GP patients.”


“Targeting the endocannabinoid system may be a future therapeutic option in DM-GP patients.”