Cannabinoids as anticancer therapeutic agents.

Cell Cycle Journal are Co-Sponsoring #ACCM15 – The Cell Division Lab “The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativaCannabinoids are active chemical compounds produced by cannabis, and their numerous effects on the human body are primarily exerted through interactions with cannabinoid receptor types 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2). Cannabinoids are broadly classified as endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids. In this review, we will describe the activity of cannabinoids on the cellular level, comprehensively summarize the activity of all groups of cannabinoids on various cancers and propose several potential mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on cancer cells.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32249682

“Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can be used for cancer therapy. Cannabis extracts have stronger anti-tumor capacity than single cannabinoids. Combination of several cannabinoids may have more potent effect on cancer.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15384101.2020.1742952?journalCode=kccy20

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Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant.

molecules-logo “Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)-as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa.

However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself.

In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32235333

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/7/1567

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Molecular Mechanism and Cannabinoid Pharmacology.

 “Since antiquity, Cannabis has provoked enormous intrigue for its potential medicinal properties as well as for its unique pharmacological effects.

The elucidation of its major cannabinoid constituents, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), led to the synthesis of new cannabinoids (termed synthetic cannabinoids) to understand the mechanisms underlying the pharmacology of Cannabis.

These pharmacological tools were instrumental in the ultimate discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system, which consists of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and endogenously produced ligands (endocannabinoids), which bind and activate both cannabinoid receptors.

CB1 receptors mediate the cannabimimetic effects of THC and are highly expressed on presynaptic neurons in the nervous system, where they modulate neurotransmitter release. In contrast, CB2 receptors are primarily expressed on immune cells.

The endocannabinoids are tightly regulated by biosynthetic and hydrolytic enzymes. Accordingly, the endocannabinoid system plays a modulatory role in many physiological processes, thereby generating many promising therapeutic targets.

An unintended consequence of this research was the emergence of synthetic cannabinoids sold for human consumption to circumvent federal laws banning Cannabis use. Here, we describe research that led to the discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system and show how knowledge of this system benefitted as well as unintentionally harmed human health.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32236882

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F164_2019_298

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Editorial: The Canonical and Non-Canonical Endocannabinoid System as a Target in Cancer and Acute and Chronic Pain

frontiers in pharmacology – Retraction Watch“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises the canonical receptor subtypes CB1R and CB2R and endocannabinoids (anandamide, AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, 2-AG), and a “non-canonical” extended signaling network consisting of: (i) other fatty acid derivatives; (ii) the defined “ionotropic cannabinoid receptors” (TRP channels); other GPCRs (GPR55, PPARα); (iii) enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids (FAAH and MAGL); and (iv) protein transporters (FABP family).The ECS is currently a hot topic due to its involvement in cancer and pain.

The current Research Topic highlights various ways the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can impact cancer and pain. Ramer et al. review the anticancer potential of the canonical and noncanonical endocannabinoid system. Morales and Jagerovic provide a much needed summary of cannabinoid ligands as promising antitumor agents in a wide variety of tumors, in contrast to their palliative applications. In their article, the authors classify cannabinoids with anticancer potential in endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids. Moreno et al. in their review explored the value of cannabinoid receptor heteromers as potential new targets for anti-cancer therapies and as prognostic biomarkers, showing the potential of the endocannabinoid network in the anti-cancer setting as well as the clinical and ethical pitfalls behind it.

As an ensemble, these studies provide further fuel to the discussion and underline the potential for targeting the ECS at multiple levels to treat certain cancers and for pain relief. Importantly, they also help to move the focal point of the discussion beyond THC, CBD, and the cannonical receptors. Several of these reports either review or provide data to support the use of/targeting of other members of the ECS system as well as alternative natural products beyond THC and CBD.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00312/full

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist promotes parameters implicated in mucosal healing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Issues“Cannabis benefits patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in gut immune cells and in epithelial cells of inflamed guts.

Mucosal healing (MH) requires epithelial layer restoration.

CONCLUSION:

Using ex vivo and in vitro human models, we demonstrated that manipulating the cannabinoid system affects colon cells and secretome characteristics that facilitate MH in IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32213014

“Experimental studies and recent clinical trials suggest that treatment with cannabis benefits patients with IBD.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050640619889773

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CSF levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide are reduced in patients with untreated narcolepsy type 1: a pilot study.

“The endocannabinoid system (ECs) is involved in excitatory/inhibitory balance mechanisms within the CNS.

Growing evidence shows that endocannabinoids may influence both hypothalamic orexinergic and histaminergic neurons involved in narcolepsy physiopathology, thus indicating that endocannabinoids may play an intrinsic role modulating sleep and wake.

We hypothesize that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in narcolepsy type 1 (NT1).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32148204

http://www.eurekaselect.com/180033/article

“Taking together, these findings suggest that CBD might prevent sleepiness in narcolepsy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31642794

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Endocannabinoid system and cardiometabolic risk factors: A comprehensive systematic review insight into the mechanistic effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

Life Sciences“Increased levels of endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) have a pathophysiological role in the setting of cardiometabolic diseases. This systematic review was carried out to appraise the effect of omega-3 on cardiometabolic risk factors by highlighting the mediating effect of endocannabinoids.

Eleven animal studies and two human studies showed a marked reduction in 2-AG and AEA levels following intake of omega-3 which correlated with decreased adiposity, weight gain and improved glucose homeostasis. Moreover, endocannabinoids were elevated in three studies that replaced omega-3 with omega-6.

Omega-3 showed anti-inflammatory properties due to reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines, regulation of T-cells function and increased levels of eicosapentaenoyl ethanolamide, docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide and oxylipins; however, a limited number of studies examined a correlation between inflammatory cytokines and endocannabinoids following omega-3 administration.

In conclusion, omega-3 modulates endocannabinoid tone, which subsequently attenuates inflammation and cardiometabolic risk factors. However, further randomized clinical trials are needed before any recommendations are made to target the ECS using omega-3 as an alternative therapy to drugs for cardiometabolic disease improvement.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32184122

“Endocannabinoid system (ECS) may mediate favorable effects of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiometabolic disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids showed anti-inflammatory effects due to increased levels of ethanolamide and oxylipins. Plant-derived omega-3 may be as effective as animal-derived omega-3 in ECS modulation. Omega-3 may have a potential to be an alternative to drugs for cardiometabolic disease improvement.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320520303040?via%3Dihub

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The endocannabinoid system modulates the ovarian physiology and its activation can improve in vitro oocyte maturation.

Publication cover image“The present study investigated the effect of the lack of CB1 and CB2 receptors in mice ovarian morphology, folliculogenesis, oocyte retrieval, and oocyte maturation and evaluated the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) by comparing classical IVM and two-step IVM by analyzing the meiotic competence of the oocytes and their evolution toward embryos.

Thus, when CB1 and CB2 receptors were missed, the ovary area and volume was significantly less and the action of the equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) hormone was diminished.

In addition, the mutant genotypes had fewer ovarian follicles and they were less competent after eCG administration compared with wild-type mice, and this lack of CB receptors showed a mismatch of oocyte maturation.

However, the in vitro use of THC showed improvements in oocytes IVM after a Pre-IVM step for 48 hr, as those oocytes reached a significantly higher polar body rate, a larger diameter and the best result on blastocysts rate was achieved when THC was used during the IVM step.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32198753

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcp.29663

“Tetrahydrocannabinol Modulates in Vitro Maturation of Oocytes and Improves the Blastocyst Rates after in Vitro Fertilization. Our data suggest that THC may be useful IVM supplements in clinic as is more feasible and reliable than any synthetic cannabinoid.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31436397

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2-Arachidonoylglycerol Modulation of Anxiety and Stress Adaptation: From Grass Roots to Novel Therapeutics.

Biological Psychiatry Home“Over the past decade there has been a surge of interest in the development of endocannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches for the treatment of diverse neuropsychiatric conditions. Although initial preclinical and clinical development efforts focused on pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase to elevate levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, more recent efforts have focused on inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) to enhance signaling of the most abundant and efficacious endocannabinoid ligand, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). We review the biochemistry and physiology of 2-AG signaling and preclinical evidence supporting a role for this system in the regulation of anxiety-related outcomes and stress adaptation. We review preclinical evidence supporting MAGL inhibition for the treatment of affective, trauma-related, and stress-related disorders; describe the current state of MAGL inhibitor drug development; and discuss biological factors that could affect MAGL inhibitor efficacy. Issues related to the clinical advancement of MAGL inhibitors are also discussed. We are cautiously optimistic, as the field of MAGL inhibitor development transitions from preclinical to clinical and theoretical to practical, that pharmacological 2-AG augmentation could represent a mechanistically novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of affective and stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32197779

https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(20)30049-4/fulltext

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Phytocannabinoids: Useful Drugs for the Treatment of Obesity? Special Focus on Cannabidiol.

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“Currently, an increasing number of diseases related to insulin resistance and obesity is an alarming problem worldwide. It is well-known that the above states can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. An excessive amount of triacylglycerols (TAGs) in a diet also evokes adipocyte hyperplasia and subsequent accumulation of lipids in peripheral organs (liver, cardiac muscle). Therefore, new therapeutic methods are constantly sought for the prevention, treatment and alleviation of symptoms of the above mentioned diseases.

Currently, much attention is paid to Cannabis derivatives-phytocannabinoids, which interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) constituents. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most abundant compounds of Cannabis plants and their therapeutic application has been suggested. CBD is considered as a potential therapeutic agent due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, neuroprotective, and potential anti-obesity properties. Therefore, in this review, we especially highlight pharmacological properties of CBD as well as its impact on obesity in different tissues.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32194509

“A well-known ancient plant Cannabis sativa has been a subject of scientific interest for over 50 years. Moreover, it has been used for recreational and medical purposes for thousands of years. The plant comprises about 100 phytocannabinoids, which are C21 terpenophenolic constituents. Nowadays, the most-studied phytocannabinoids are: Δ9– tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC). So far, many studies have shown therapeutic properties of the above mentioned Cannabis compounds. Therefore, the aim of the current review is to focus on the emerging potential of CBD and other phytocannabinoids, which act as novel therapeutic agents in obesity treatment. From the existing data, we can conclude that CBD has the promising potential as a therapeutic agent and might be effective in alleviating the symptoms of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2020.00114/full

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