Pharmacological Analysis of Cannabis Sativa: A Potent Herbal Plant

“Genus Cannabis belong to family Cannabaceae and is traditionally used as medicinal plant against many diseases notably asthma, malaria, treatment of skin diseases, diabetes and headache. The plant Cannabis sativa L. is flowering and an annual herbaceous plant located to eastern Asia but now of cosmopolitan distribution due to extensive cultivation.

Aim of the study: The aim of review is to provide a complete evaluation of the botanical, ethnological and chemical aspects of Cannabis sativa L., and its importance in pharmacological studies.

Results and discussions: This article briefly reviews the botany, traditional knowledge, pharmacological and therapeutic application of the plant C. sativa. This is an attempt to compile and document information about the chemical constituent, pharmacological and therapeutic effects of C. sativa as important herbal drug due to its safety and effectiveness. Studies have revealed its use as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and improving testicular function in rats. Consumption of C. sativa is greater in all over the world among all other drugs of abuse in its various forms such as marijuana, hashish and cannabis oil. The study of herbal medicine spans the knowledge of biology, history, source, physical and chemical nature, and mechanism of action, traditional, medicinal and therapeutic use of drug. This article also provide knowledge about macroscopically and microscopically characters of Cannabis sativa with geographical sources. The wellknown cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabichromene (CBC) and their pharmacological properties and importance have been extensively studied. Hence, efforts are required to establish and validate evidence regarding safety and practices of Ayurveda medicines.

Conclusion: Thes studies will help in expanding the current therapeutic potential of C. sativa and it also provide a strong support to its future clinical use as herbal medicines having safe in use with no side effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32600228/

https://www.eurekaselect.com/183226/article

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Molecular docking analysis of phyto-constituents from Cannabis sativa with pfDHFR.

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“Available antimalarial drugs have been associated with numerous side effects, which include skin rashes and myelo-suppression. Therefore, it is of interest to explore compounds from natural source having drug-like properties without side effect.

This study focuses on the screening of compounds from Cannabis sativa against malaria Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase for antimalarial properties using Glide (Schrodinger maestro 2018-1).

The result showed that phytochemicals from Cannabis sativa binds with a higher affinity and lower free energy than the standard ligand with isovitexin and vitexin having a glide score of -11.485 and -10.601 respectively, sophoroside has a glide score of -9.711 which is lower than the cycloguanil (co-crystallized ligand) having a glide score of -6.908.

This result gives new perception to the use of Cannabis sativa as antimicrobial agent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31223216

http://www.bioinformation.net/014/97320630014574.htm

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Oral Ingestion of Cannabis sativa: Risks, Benefits, and Effects on Malaria-Infected Hosts.

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“The emergence of a multidrug-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf Pailin) raises concern about malaria control strategies. Unfortunately, the role(s) of natural plants/remedies in curtailing malaria catastrophe remains uncertain. The claims of potential antimalarial activity of Cannabis sativa in vivo have not been well established nor the consequences defined. This study was, therefore, designed to evaluate the effects of whole cannabis consumption on malaria-infected host.

Methods: Thirty mice were inoculated with dose of 1×107 chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium berghei ANKA-infected erythrocyte and divided into six treatment groups. Cannabis diet formulations were prepared based on weighted percentages of dried cannabis and standard mice diet and the study animals were fed ad libitum. Chemosuppression of parasitemia, survival rates, parasite clearance, and recrudescence time were evaluated. Histopathological studies were performed on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus of the animals after 14 days’ consumption of cannabis diet formulation by naive mice.

Results: There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the day-4 chemosuppression of parasitemia between the animals that were fed C. sativa and chloroquine relative to the untreated controls. There was also a significant difference in the survival rate (p<0.05) of animals fed C. sativa diet (40%, 20%, 10%, and 1%) in contrast to control animals on standard mice diet. A parasite clearance time of 2.18±0.4 was recorded in the chloroquine treatment group, whereas recrudescence in chloroquine group occurred on day 7. There were slight histomorphological changes in the PFC and cell densities of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of animals that were fed C. sativa.

Conclusions: C. sativa displayed mild antimalarial activity in vivo. There was evident reduction in symptomatic manifestation of malaria disease, though unrelated to levels of parasitemia. This disease tolerance status may be beneficial, but may also constitute a transmission burden through asymptomatic carriage of parasites by habitual cannabis users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30498786

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0043

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[The impact of cannabinoids on the endocrine system].

 

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“Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds, derivatives of Indian hemp, in which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most important. Marijuana, hashish and hash oil are among those most commonly used in the group.

Cannabinoids (marjhuana and hashish) have been used throughout recorded history as effective drugs in treating various diseases and conditions such as: malaria, hypertension, constipation, bronchial asthma, rheumatic pains, and as natural pain relief in labour and joint pains.

Marijuana acts through cannabinoid receptors CB 1 and CB2. Both receptors inhibit cAMP accummulation (through Gi/o proteins) and stimulate mitrogen- activated protein kinase. CB1 rceptors are located in CNS and in adipose tissue, digestive tract, muscles, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, gonads, prostate gland and other peripheral tissues. CB2 cannabinoid receptors are located in the peripheral nervous system (at the ends of peripheral nerves), and on the surfaces of the cells of the immunological system.

The discovery of endogenous cannabinoids has contributed to a better understanding of their role in the regulation of the intake of food, energetic homeostasis and their significant influence on the endocrine system.”

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Effect of anandamide in Plasmodium Berghei-infected mice.

“Eryptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes, is characterized by exposure of phosphatidylserine at the erythrocyte surface and cell shrinkage.

Triggers of eryptosis include anandamide.

Enhanced eryptosis of infected human erythrocytes is expected to delay the development of parasitaemia during infection with Plasmodium, the parasite causing malaria.

The present experiments aimed to test, whether anandamide influences eryptosis, parasite growth and/or host survival during in vitro or in vivo infection with Plasmodia.

In vivo administration of anandamide blunted the parasitaemia and significantly enhanced the survival of P. berghei-infected mice.

In conclusion, anandamide stimulated eryptosis of infected erythrocytes thus counteracting parasitaemia and a lethal course of the disease.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20798520

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 modulates susceptibility to experimental cerebral malaria through a CCL17-dependent mechanism.

“Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe and often fatal complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. It is characterized by parasite sequestration, a breakdown of the blood-brain-barrier and a strong inflammation in the brain.

We investigated the role of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), an important modulator of neuroinflammatory responses, in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM).

Strikingly, mice with a deletion of the CB2-encoding gene (Cnr2-/-) mice inoculated with Plasmodium berghei ANKA-erythrocytes exhibited enhanced survival and a diminished blood-brain-barrier disruption.

Therapeutic application of a specific CB2 antagonist also conferred increased ECM resistance in wild type mice.

Hematopoietic-derived immune cells were responsible for the enhanced protection in bone-marrow-chimeric (BM)-Cnr2-/- mice. Mixed BM-chimeras further revealed that CB2-expressing cells contributed to ECM development. A heterogeneous CD11b+ cell population, containing macrophages and neutrophils, expanded in the Cnr2-/- spleen after infection and expressed macrophage mannose receptors, arginase-1 activity and IL-10.

Also in the Cnr2-/-brain CD11b+ cells that expressed selected anti-inflammatory markers accumulated and expression of inflammatory mediators IFN-γ and TNF-α was reduced.

Finally, the M2-macrophage chemokine CCL17 was identified as essential factor for enhanced survival in the absence of CB2, since CCL17 x Cnr2 double-deficient mice were fully susceptible to ECM.

Thus, targeting CB2 may be promising for the development of alternative treatment regimes of ECM.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27474745

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ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

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“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

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Minor oxygenated cannabinoids from high potency Cannabis sativa L.

“Nine oxygenated cannabinoids were isolated from a high potency Cannabis sativa L. variety. Structure elucidation was achieved using spectroscopic techniques, including 1D and 2D NMR, HRMS and GC-MS.

These minor compounds include four hexahydrocannabinols, four tetrahydrocannabinols, and one hydroxylated cannabinol, namely 9α-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, 7-oxo-9α-hydroxyhexa-hydrocannabinol, 10α-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, 10aR-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, Δ9-THC aldehyde A, 8-oxo-Δ9-THC, 10aα-hydroxy-10-oxo-Δ8-THC, 9α-hydroxy-10-oxo-Δ6a,10a-THC, and 1’S-hydroxycannabinol, respectively.

The latter compound showed moderate anti-MRSa (IC50 10.0μg/mL), moderate antileishmanial (IC50 14.0μg/mL) and mild antimalarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum (D6 clone) and P. falciparum (W2 clone) with IC50values of 3.4 and 2.3μg/mL, respectively.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26093324

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Cannabidiol increases survival and promotes rescue of cognitive function in a murine model of Cerebral Malaria.

Neuroscience

“Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe complication resulting from Plasmodium falciparuminfection that might cause permanent neurological deficits.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychotomimetic compound of Cannabis sativa with neuroprotective properties.

In the present work, we evaluated the effects of CBD in a murine model of CM.

CBD treatment resulted in an increase in BDNF expression in the hippocampus and decreased levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the hippocampus (TNF-α) and prefrontal cortex (IL-6).

Our results indicate that CBD exhibits neuroprotective effects in CM model and might be useful as an adjunctive therapy to prevent neurological symptoms following this disease.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25595981

“Cannabidiol adjuvant treatment increases survival in the murine model of CM. Cannabidiol adjuvant treatment promotes rescue of behavioral and cognitive function.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452215000196

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/malaria/

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Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines.

Drug Testing and Analysis

“Cannabis was extensively used as a medicine throughout the developed world in the nineteenth century but went into decline early in the twentieth century ahead of its emergence as the most widely used illicit recreational drug later that century. Recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology alongside the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have re-ignited interest in cannabis-based medicines.

The ECS has emerged as an important physiological system and plausible target for new medicines. Its receptors and endogenous ligands play a vital modulatory role in diverse functions including immune response, food intake, cognition, emotion, perception, behavioural reinforcement, motor co-ordination, body temperature, wake/sleep cycle, bone formation and resorption, and various aspects of hormonal control. In disease it may act as part of the physiological response or as a component of the underlying pathology.

In the forefront of clinical research are the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and their contrasting pharmacology will be briefly outlined. The therapeutic potential and possible risks of drugs that inhibit the ECS will also be considered. This paper will then go on to review clinical research exploring the potential of cannabinoid medicines in the following indications: symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24006213

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1529/abstract

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