Members of the endocannabinoid system are distinctly regulated in inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

Scientific Reports

“Preclinical studies have demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the protection against intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer (CRC); however, human data are scarce. We determined members of the ECS and related components of the ‘endocannabinoidome’ in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and CRC, and compared them to control subjects. Anandamide (AEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) were increased in plasma of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) patients while 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was elevated in patients with CD, but not UC. 2-AG, but not AEA, PEA and OEA, was elevated in CRC patients. Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) 18:0 showed higher levels in patients with IBD than in control subjects whereas LPI 20:4 was elevated in both CRC and IBD. Gene expression in intestinal mucosal biopsies revealed different profiles in CD and UC. CD, but not UC patients, showed increased gene expression for the 2-AG synthesizing enzyme diacylglycerol lipase alpha. Transcripts of CNR1 and GPR119 were predominantly decreased in CD. Our data show altered plasma levels of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like lipids in IBD and CRC and distinct transcript profiles in UC and CD. We also report alterations for less known components in intestinal inflammation, such as GPR119, OEA and LPI.”

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Association Between Cannabis Use and Complications Related to Crohn’s Disease: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

“Crohn’s disease is an idiopathic inflammatory process that is occasionally associated with complications, which cause significant morbidity and mortality. The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis in intestinal inflammation has been shown in several experimental models; it is unknown whether this correlates with fewer complications in Crohn’s disease patients.

AIMS:

To compare the prevalence of Crohn’s disease-related complications among cannabis users and non-users in patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or a primary diagnosis of Crohn’s related complication and a secondary diagnosis of Crohn’s disease between 2012 and 2014.

METHODS:

We used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample. Cannabis users (615) were compared directly after propensity score match to non-users, in aspects of various complications and clinical end-points.

RESULTS:

Among matched cohorts, Cannabis users were less likely to have the following: active fistulizing disease and intra-abdominal abscess (11.5% vs. 15.9%; aOR 0.68 [0.49 to 0.94], p = 0.025), blood product transfusion (5.0% vs. 8.0%; aOR 0.48 [0.30 to 0.79], p = 0.037), colectomy (3.7% vs. 7.5%; aOR 0.48 [0.29-0.80], p = 0.004), and parenteral nutrition requirement (3.4% vs. 6.7%, aOR 0.39 [0.23 to 0.68], p = 0.009).

CONCLUSION:

Cannabis use may mitigate several of the well-described complications of Crohn’s disease among hospital inpatients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis in the endocannabinoid system.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30825109

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10620-019-05556-z

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Cannabis Oil Use by Adolescents and Young Adults With Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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“The aim of the study was to describe use of oral or sublingual cannabis oil (CO) by adolescent and young adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

METHODS:

A descriptive study of IBD patients 13 to 23 years of age seen between January 2015 through December 2017 at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Information obtained included chart abstraction, electronic and interview self-report, and serum cannabinoid levels. We compared CO users and cannabis non-users for clinical characteristics and perceptions of risk. Users of CO provided information on routes, patterns, motivations, and perceived benefits and problems with use.

RESULTS:

The 15 users and 67 non-users were similar for clinical characteristics and pain and appetite scores. 9 of 15 (60%) CO users had used in the past 30 days, an average of 22 ± 9 times; and 4 used daily. A variety of strengths and CBD:THC ratios were reported. Most common perceived effect of use was on sleep quality, nausea, and increase in appetite. Of the 15 users, 6 used only CO and no additional forms of cannabis. Of these 6 CO only users, 5 reported a medical reason for use, most commonly to relieve pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescent and young adults with IBD used oral CO and many used other cannabis products as well. Users perceived some medical benefit. Care teams should strive for open communication about use until further information on safety and efficacy becomes available.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30801394

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Palmitoylethanolamide and Cannabidiol Prevent Inflammation-induced Hyperpermeability of the Human Gut In Vitro and In Vivo—A Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Controlled Trial

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

“We aimed to examine, for the first time, the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) on the permeability of the human gastrointestinal tract in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo.

Results
In vitro, PEA, and CBD decreased the inflammation-induced flux of dextrans (P< 0.0001), sensitive to PPARα and CB1 antagonism, respectively. Both PEA and CBD were prevented by PKA, MEK/ERK, and adenylyl cyclase inhibition (P < 0.001). In human mucosa, inflammation decreased claudin-5 mRNA, which was prevented by CBD (P < 0.05). Palmitoylethanolamide and cannabidiol prevented an inflammation-induced fall in TRPV1 and increase in PPARα transcription (P< 0.0001). In vivo, aspirin caused an increase in the absorption of lactulose and mannitol, which were reduced by PEA or CBD (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

Cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide reduce permeability in the human colon. These findings have implications in disorders associated with increased gut permeability, such as inflammatory bowel disease.”

https://academic.oup.com/ibdjournal/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ibd/izz017/5341970?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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Activation of cannabinoid 2 receptor relieves colonic hypermotility in a rat model of irritable bowel syndrome.

Neurogastroenterology &amp; Motility banner

“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disease with intestinal dysmotility, whose mechanism remains elusive.

The endocannabinoid system is emerging as an important modulator of gastrointestinal (GI) motility in multiple diseases, but its involvement in IBS is unknown.

We aimed to determine whether cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor modulates intestinal motility associated with stress-induced IBS.

CONCLUSION:

CB2 receptor may exert an important inhibitory effect in stress-induced colonic hypermotility by modulating NO synthesis through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. AM1241 could be used as a potential drug to treat disorders with colonic hypermotility.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30793435

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nmo.13555

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Cannabis and Turmeric as Complementary Treatments for IBD and Other Digestive Diseases.

 “Complementary therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have earned growing interest from patients and investigators alike, with a dynamic landscape of research in this area. In this article, we review results of the most recent studies evaluating the role of cannabis and turmeric for the treatment of IBD and other intestinal illnesses.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Cannabinoids are well-established modulators of gut motility and visceral pain and have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials suggest that there may be a therapeutic role for cannabinoid therapy in the treatment of IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, and GI motility disorders. Recent reports of serious adverse effects from synthetic cannabinoids highlight the need for additional investigation of cannabinoids to establish their efficacy and safety. Turmeric trials have demonstrated some promise as adjuvant treatment for IBD, though not in other GI disease processes. Evidence suggests that the use of cannabis and turmeric is potentially beneficial in IBD and IBS; however, neither has been compared to standard therapy in IBD, and thus should not be recommended as alternative treatment for IBD. For cannabis in particular, additional investigation regarding appropriate dosing and timing, given known adverse effects of its chronic use, and careful monitoring of potential bleeding complications with synthetic cannabinoids are imperative.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30635796

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11894-019-0670-0

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Cannabis, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system – is there therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease?

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“Cannabis sativa and its extracts have been used for centuries both medicinally and recreationally. There is accumulating evidence that exogenous cannabis and related cannabinoids improve symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease such as pain, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea. In vivo, exocannabinoids have been demonstrated to improve colitis, mainly in chemical models. Exocannabinoids signal through the endocannabinoid system, an increasingly understood network of endogenous lipid ligands and their receptors, together with a number of synthetic and degradative enzymes and the resulting products. Modulating the endocannabinoid system using pharmacological receptor agonists, genetic knockout models, or inhibition of degradative enzymes have largely shown improvements in colitis in vivo. Despite these promising experimental results, this has not translated into meaningful benefits for human IBD in the few clinical trials which have been conducted to date. The largest study to date being limited by poor medication tolerance due to the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol component. This review article synthesises the current literature surrounding the modulation of the endocannabinoid system and administration of exocannabinoids in experimental and human IBD. Findings of clinical surveys and studies of cannabis use in IBD are summarised. Discrepancies in the literature are highlighted together with identifying novel areas of interest.”

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The Role of Cannabis in the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review of Clinical, Scientific, and Regulatory Information: Commissioned by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Oxford University Press

“There is significant interest among patients and providers in using cannabis (marijuana) and its derivatives to treat a number of chronic illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease. Despite the Schedule I classification of cannabis by the federal government, state governments have sought ways to make cannabis available for specific medical conditions, and some states have legalized cannabis outright. This white paper summarizes the preclinical data, clinical data, safety data, and the regulatory landscape as they apply to medical cannabis use in inflammatory bowel disease. Animal models of cannabinoid chemistry and physiology give evidence of anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, and nociceptive-limiting properties. Human studies have found benefit in controlling symptoms and improving quality of life, but no studies have established true disease modification given the absent improvement in biomarker profiles or endoscopic healing. Finally, this review describes the legal, regulatory, and practical hurdles to studying the risks and benefits of medical cannabis in the United States.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30358848

https://academic.oup.com/ibdjournal/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ibd/izy319/5144402?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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Endocannabinoids in the treatment of gasytrointestinal inflammation and symptoms.

 Current Opinion in Pharmacology

“The evolving policies regarding the use of therapeutic Cannabis have steadily increased the public interest in its use as a complementary and alternative medicine in several disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease.

Endocannabinoids represent both an appealing therapeutic strategy and a captivating scientific dilemma.

Results from clinical trials have to be carefully interpreted owing to possible reporting-biases related to cannabinoids psychotropic effects. Moreover, discriminating between symptomatic improvement and the real gain on the underlying inflammatory process is often challenging.

This review summarizes the advances and latest discovery in this ever-changing field of investigation, highlighting the main limitations in the current use of these drugs in clinical practice and the possible future perspectives to overcome these flaws.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30218940

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471489218300183?via%3Dihub

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Cellular localization and regulation of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid system in intestinal and systemic inflammation.

“Surveys suggest that Cannabis provides benefit for people with inflammatory bowel disease.

However, mechanisms underlying beneficial effects are not clear. We performed in situ hybridization RNAscope® combined with immunohistochemistry to show cell-specific distribution and regulation of cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2), G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) mRNA in immune cells using murine models of intestinal and systemic inflammation.

In summary, our study reveals changes in gene expression of members of the endocannabinoid system in situ attesting particularly GPR55 and MGL a distinct cellular role in the regulation of the immune response to intestinal and systemic inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30196316

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00418-018-1719-0

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