Cannabidiol-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Ameliorate the Inhibition of Proinflammatory Cytokines and Free Radicals in an In Vitro Inflammation-Induced Cell Model

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound derived from Cannabis sativa. It has demonstrated promising effects in combating inflammation and holds potential as a treatment for the progression of chronic inflammation. However, the clinical application of CBD is limited due to its poor solubility and bioavailability.

This study introduces an effective method for preparing CBD-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (CBD-SLNs) using a combination of low-energy hot homogenization and ultrasonication. We enhanced this process by employing statistical optimization with response surface methodology (RSM). The optimized CBD-SLN formulation utilizes glyceryl monostearate as the primary lipid component of the nanocarrier. The CBD-SLN formulation is screened as a potential tool for managing chronic inflammation. Stable, uniformly dispersed spherical nanoparticles with a size of 123 nm, a surface charge of -32.1 mV, an encapsulation efficiency of 95.16%, and a drug loading of 2.36% were obtained.

The CBD-SLNs exhibited sustained release properties, ensuring prolonged and controlled CBD delivery, which could potentially amplify its therapeutic effects. Additionally, we observed that CBD-SLNs significantly reduced both reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and proinflammatory cytokines in chondrocyte and macrophage cell lines, with these inhibitory effects being more pronounced than those of free CBD.

In conclusion, CBD-SLNs demonstrated superiority over free CBD, highlighting its potential as an effective delivery system for CBD.”

[Phytotherapeutic recommendations in medical guidelines for the treatment of gastroenterological diseases – a systematic review]

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“Phytotherapeutics are gaining influence in the treatment of gastroenterological diseases. Their popularity and growing evidence of efficacy contribute to their integration into medical guidelines. A systematic screening identified recommended phytotherapeutic approaches. Based on current scientific data, some recommendations for the use of phytotherapeutic agents are given. For irritable bowel syndrome the use of peppermint oil is “strongly recommended”, especially for pain and flatulence. Other phytotherapeutics such as STW-5, Tibetan Padma Lax or warm caraway oil pads have proven effective in alleviating symptoms. It is “recommended” to integrate them into the treatment concept. For chronic constipation, 30g of fiber per day is recommended. Best data exists for plantago psyllium with moderate evidence and chicory inulin. In case of ulcerative colitis, plantago psyllium as well as the combination of myrrhchamomile flower extract, and coffee charcoal can be used as a complementary treatment in maintaining remission. There is also an “open recommendation” for curcumin for both, remission induction and maintenance. Some phytotherapeutic treatments (e.g., Artemisia absintiumBoswellia serata) show evidence of effectiveness for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, but data are not yet sufficient for recommendations. Cannabis-based medicines can be considered for abdominal pain and clinically relevant appetite loss if standard therapy is ineffective or contraindicated, but they should not be used for acute inflammation in active Crohn’s disease. Further recommendations for other gastroenterological diseases are discussed. The safety and tolerability of the phytotherapeutics were rated as predominantly “very good” to “acceptable”. Some clear recommendations for the use of phytotherapeutics to treat gastroenterological diseases show their great potential. Due to their wide range of effects, phytotherapeutics can be used very well as a complement to conventional medicines in case of complex regulatory disorders. However, further methodologically well-conducted impact studies would be helpful in order to be able to make further recommendations.”

Multi-targeting inulin-based nanoparticles with cannabidiol for effective prevention of ulcerative colitis

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“The pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) is closely related to severe inflammation, damaged colonic mucosal barrier, increased oxidative stress and intestinal ecological imbalance. However, due to the nonspecific distribution and poor bioavailability of drugs, UC treatment is still a serious challenge. Here, a mitochondria/colon dual targeted nanoparticles based on redox response was developed to effectively alleviate UC.

Cannabidiol nanoparticles (CBD NPs) with a particle size of 143.2 ± 3.11 nm were prepared by self-assembly using polymers (TPP-IN-LA) obtained by modifying inulin with (5-carboxypentyl) triphenyl phosphonium bromide (TPP) and α-lipoic acid (α-LA). Excitingly, the constructed CBD NPs showed excellent mitochondrial targeting, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.76 at 12 h.

The results of animal imaging in vivo showed that CBD NPs could be effectively accumulated in colon tissue. Not only that, CBD showed significant glutathione stimulated release in the presence of 10 mM glutathione at pH 7.4.

The results of in vivo animal experiments showed that CBD NPs significantly ameliorated DSS-induced colonic inflammation by modulating the TLR4-NF-κB signaling pathway. Moreover, CBD NPs significantly improved the histological damage of colon in UC mice, increased the expression level of tight junction protein ZO-1, and effectively restored the intestinal mucosal barrier function and intestinal mucosal permeability.

More importantly, CBD NPs significantly improved the species composition, abundance and amount of short chain fatty acids of intestinal flora in UC mice, thus effectively maintaining the balance of intestinal flora. The dual-targeted and glutathione-responsive nanoparticles prepared in this study provide a promising idea for achieving targeted delivery of CBD for effective treatment of UC.”

Medical Cannabis Increases Appetite but Not Body Weight in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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“We aimed to elucidate the effect of Medical Cannabis (MC) on appetite and nutritional status among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A case series of patients with IBD were initiating treatment with MC for disease-related symptoms, at the IBD clinic of a tertiary referral medical center. Patients’ demographics, anthropometrics, medical history and treatment and MC use were systematically recorded. An appetite and food frequency questionnaire (SNAQ and FFQ) were filled before, and at 3 and 6 months of treatment. Patients with IBD initiating MC were enrolled (n = 149, age 39.0 ± 14.1 years, 42.3% female), and 33.6% (n = 50) were treated for improvement of nutritional status. A modest increase in appetite after 3 months was detected among all patients enrolled (Pv = 0.08), but there were no significant differences in energy or macronutrient intake, and in patients’ body mass index (BMI). A significant appetite improvement after 3 months was detected among 34.0% (n = 17) of patients, but this was not associated with increased caloric intake or BMI at 3 or 6 months. Among patients without increased appetite after 3 months of MC therapy, BMI decreased at 6 months (24.1 ± 3.7 vs. 23.4 ± 3.6, Pv = 0.010). MC may be a potential strategy to improve appetite among some patients with IBD, but not caloric intake or BMI.”

“MC may be a potential strategy to increase appetite among some patients with IBD, which may prevent further weight loss, but is not associated with a significant increase in caloric intake or in BMI.”

Dietary Cannabidiol Activates PKA/AMPK Signaling and Attenuates Chronic Inflammation and Leaky Gut in DSS-Induced Colitis Mice

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“Scope: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation in the gut, accompanied by impaired epithelial integrity, increased macrophage infiltration, and enhanced colon cancer risk.

Methods and results: Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid isolated from cannabis plants, is supplemented into mice diet, and its beneficial effects against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced experimental colitis is evaluated. Eight-week-old mice were fed a standard diet supplemented with or without CBD (200 mg kg-1 ) for 5 weeks. In the 4th week of dietary treatment, mice were subjected to 2.5% DSS induction for 7 days, followed by 7 days of recovery, to induce colitis. CBD supplementation reduced body weight loss, gross bleeding, fecal consistency, and disease activity index. In addition, CBD supplementation protected the colonic structure, promoted tissue recovery, and ameliorated macrophage infiltration in the colonic tissue, which was associated with the activation of cyclic AMP-protein kinase A, extracellular signal-regulated kinase ½, and AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. CBD supplementation also suppressed NLRP3 inflammasome activation and related pro-inflammatory marker secretion. Consistently, CBD feeding reduced tight junction protein claudin2 and myosin light chain kinase in DSS-treated mice.

Conclusion: Dietary CBD protects against inflammation and colitis symptoms induced by DSS, providing an alternative approach to IBD management.”

Phytocannabinoids Reduce Inflammation of Primed Macrophages and Enteric Glial Cells: An In Vitro Study

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“Intestinal inflammation is mediated by a subset of cells populating the intestine, such as enteric glial cells (EGC) and macrophages. Different studies indicate that phytocannabinoids could play a possible role in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by relieving the symptoms involved in the disease.

Phytocannabinoids act through the endocannabinoid system, which is distributed throughout the mammalian body in the cells of the immune system and in the intestinal cells. Our in vitro study analyzed the putative anti-inflammatory effect of nine selected pure cannabinoids in J774A1 macrophage cells and EGCs triggered to undergo inflammation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The anti-inflammatory effect of several phytocannabinoids was measured by their ability to reduce TNFα transcription and translation in J774A1 macrophages and to diminish S100B and GFAP secretion and transcription in EGCs.

Our results demonstrate that THC at the lower concentrations tested exerted the most effective anti-inflammatory effect in both J774A1 macrophages and EGCs compared to the other phytocannabinoids tested herein.

We then performed RNA-seq analysis of EGCs exposed to LPS in the presence or absence of THC or THC-COOH. Transcriptomic analysis of these EGCs revealed 23 differentially expressed genes (DEG) compared to the treatment with only LPS. Pretreatment with THC resulted in 26 DEG, and pretreatment with THC-COOH resulted in 25 DEG. To evaluate which biological pathways were affected by the different phytocannabinoid treatments, we used the Ingenuity platform. We show that THC treatment affects the mTOR and RAR signaling pathway, while THC-COOH mainly affects the IL6 signaling pathway.”

Cannabidiol attenuates inflammatory impairment of intestinal cells expanding biomaterial-based therapeutic approaches

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“Cannabis-based biomaterials have the potential to deliver anti-inflammatory therapeutics specifically to desired cells, tissues, and organs, enhancing drug delivery and the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory treatment while minimizing toxicity. As a major component of Cannabis, Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained major attention in recent years because of its potential therapeutic properties, e.g., for restoring a disturbed barrier resulting from inflammatory conditions. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that CBD has beneficial effects under normal and inflammatory conditions in the established non-transformed intestinal epithelial cell model IPEC-J2. CBD induced a significant increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) values and a decrease in the paracellular permeability of [³H]-D-Mannitol, indicating a strengthening effect on the barrier. Under inflammatory conditions induced by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), CBD stabilized the TER and mitigated the increase in paracellular permeability. Additionally, CBD prevented the barrier-disrupting effects of TNFα on the distribution and localization of sealing TJ proteins. CBD also affected the expression of TNF receptors. These findings demonstrate the potential of CBD as a component of Cannabis-based biomaterials used in the development of novel therapeutic approaches against inflammatory pathogenesis.”

“Overall, these findings suggest that CBD will be a promising component in biomaterial-based therapeutic approaches for the treatment of inflammatory pathomechanisms.”

Cannabinoids and the GI Tract

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“The synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids, location of cannabinoid (CB) receptors, and cannabinoid mechanisms of action on immune/inflammatory, neuromuscular, and sensory functions in digestive organs are well documented. CB2 mechanisms are particularly relevant in immune and sensory functions. Increasing use of cannabinoids in the USA is impacted by social determinants of health including racial discrimination which is associated with tobacco and cannabis co-use, and combined use disorders. Several conditions associated with emesis are related to cannabinoid use, including cannabinoid hyperemesis or withdrawal, cyclic vomiting syndrome, nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Cannabinoids generally inhibit gastrointestinal motor function; yet they relieve symptoms in patients with gastroparesis and diverse nausea syndromes. Cannabinoid effects on inflammatory mechanisms have shown promise in relatively small placebo-controlled studies in reducing disease activity and abdominal pain in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Cannabinoids have been studied in disorders of motility, pain, and disorders of gut brain interaction. The CB2 receptor agonist, cannabidiol, reduced total Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index and increased ability to tolerate a meal in patients with gastroparesis appraised over 4 weeks of treatment. In contrast, predominant-pain endpoints in functional dyspepsia with normal gastric emptying were not significantly improved with cannabidiol. The CB2 agonist, olorinab, reduced abdominal pain in IBD in an open-label trial and in constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome in a placebo-controlled trial. Cannabinoid mechanisms alter inflammation in pancreatic and liver diseases. In conclusion, cannabinoids, particularly agents affecting CB2 mechanisms, have potential for inflammatory, gastroparesis, and pain disorders; however, the trials require replication and further understanding of risk-benefit to enhance use of cannabinoids in gastrointestinal diseases.”

Cannabidiol acts as molecular switch in innate immune cells to promote the biosynthesis of inflammation-resolving lipid mediators

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“Cannabinoids are phytochemicals from cannabis with anti-inflammatory actions in immune cells. Lipid mediators (LM), produced from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), are potent regulators of the immune response and impact all stages of inflammation. How cannabinoids influence LM biosynthetic networks is unknown. Here, we reveal cannabidiol (CBD) as a potent LM class-switching agent that stimulates the production of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) but suppresses pro-inflammatory eicosanoid biosynthesis. Detailed metabololipidomics analysis in human monocyte-derived macrophages showed that CBD (i) upregulates exotoxin-stimulated generation of SPMs, (ii) suppresses 5-lipoxygenase (LOX)-mediated leukotriene production, and (iii) strongly induces SPM and 12/15-LOX product formation in resting cells by stimulation of phospholipase A2-dependent PUFA release and through Ca2+-independent, allosteric 15-LOX-1 activation. Finally, in zymosan-induced murine peritonitis, CBD increased SPM and 12/15-LOX products and suppressed pro-inflammatory eicosanoid levels in vivo. Switching eicosanoid to SPM production is a plausible mode of action of CBD and a promising inflammation-resolving strategy.”

Role of Gut Microbiota in Cannabinoid-Mediated Suppression of Inflammation

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“Cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system have been well established to play a crucial role in the regulation of the immune response. Also, emerging data from numerous investigations unravel the imperative role of gut microbiota and their metabolites in the maintenance of immune homeostasis and gut barrier integrity. In this review, we concisely report the immunosuppressive mechanisms triggered by cannabinoids, and how they are closely associated with the alterations in the gut microbiome and metabolome following exposure to endogenous or exogenous cannabinoids. We discuss how cannabinoid-mediated induction of microbial secondary bile acids, short chain fatty acids, and indole metabolites, produced in the gut, can suppress inflammation even in distal organs. While clearly, more clinical studies are necessary to establish the cross talk between exo- or endocannabinoid system with the gut microbiome and the immune system, the current evidence opens a new avenue of cannabinoid-gut-microbiota-based therapeutics to regulate immunological disorders.”

“The microbiome-eCB signaling modulation exploiting exo- or endogenous cannabinoids opens a new avenue of cannabinoid-gut microbiota-based therapeutics to curb metabolic and immune-oriented conditions.”