Cannabis sativa-based oils against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity

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“The use of terpenoid compounds in different neural-related conditions is becoming useful for several illnesses. Another possible activity of these compounds is the reduction of nervous impairment. Cannabis sativa plants are known for their concentration of two important terpenoids, the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD and THC have central peripheral activities already described and their usage in different brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Aluminum (Al) is known as an important neurotoxic compound, the physiological action of Al is not known already, and in high concentrations can lead to intoxication and cause neurotoxicity. Here we evaluated the potential effect of two different doses of CBD- and THC-rich based oils against Al-induced toxicity, in the zebrafish model. We evaluated behavioral biomarkers of the novel tank test (NTT) and social preference test (SPT), and biochemical markers: the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the antioxidant enzymes-catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione-S-transferase. CBD- and THC-based oils were able to increase the AChE activity helping the cholinergic nervous system actuate against Al toxicity which was reflected by the behavioral biomarkers changes. We concluded that the oils have a protective effect and might be used with proposals for neurological and antioxidant impairment avoidance caused by Al intoxications.”

“In our study, we observed that Al is responsible for neurotoxicity, especially causing AChE decrease. The main effect of Al is related to reduced social ability and anxiety-like patterns. The testes oil THC- and CBD-rich have an important role in AChE reestablishment and social ability reacquisition. In addition, both oils exert an outstanding effect on antioxidant enzyme modulations with the re-establishment of the SOD and CTL after Al exposition. The activity of GST was also well modulated indicating that the oils played a crucial role in cellular damage avoidance. However, the oils do not change the impaired anxiety-like behavior that looks to be linked to other central signaling pathways and needs to be well investigated in the next studies. Finally, the oils have a protective effect and might be used with proposals for neurological and antioxidant impairment avoidance.”

Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Multiple Sclerosis: From Experimental Models to Clinical Practice-A Review

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“Background: As far as 80% of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience disabling symptoms in the course of the disease, such as spasticity and neuropathic pain. As first-line symptomatic therapy is associated with important adverse reactions, cannabinoids have become increasingly popular among patients with MS. This review intends to provide an overview of the evidence of the role of cannabinoids in treating symptoms related to MS and to encourage further research on this matter.

Areas of uncertainty: To date, the evidence supporting the role of cannabis and its derivatives in alleviating the MS-related symptoms comes only from studies on experimental models of demyelination. To the best of our knowledge, relatively few clinical trials inquired about the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids on patients with MS, with variable results.

Data sources: We conducted a literature search through PubMed and Google Scholar from the beginning until 2022. We included articles in English describing the latest findings regarding the endocannabinoid system, the pharmacology of cannabinoids, and their therapeutic purpose in MS.

Results: Evidence from preclinical studies showed that cannabinoids can limit the demyelination process, promote remyelination, and have anti-inflammatory properties by reducing immune cell infiltration of the central nervous system in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Moreover, it has been established that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice treated with cannabinoids experienced a significant reduction of symptoms and slowing of the disease progression. Given the complexity of human immune and nervous systems, cannabinoids did not have the anticipated effects on human subjects. However, data obtained from clinical trials showed some beneficial results of cannabinoids as a single or as add-on therapy in reducing the spasticity and pain related to MS.

Conclusion: Considering their various mechanisms of action and good tolerability, cannabinoids remain an interesting therapy for spasticity and chronic pain related to MS.”

Multiple Sclerosis and Use of Medical Cannabis: A Retrospective Review of a Neurology Outpatient Population

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“Background: Patients diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis (MS) experience a wide range of symptoms requiring pharmacologic management, and many do not achieve adequate symptom control. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of medical cannabis (MC) as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for patients with MS.

Methods: A retrospective medical record review of 141 patients with MS receiving MC for symptom management was conducted. Data were collected for up to 4 follow-up appointments after initiation of MC. Outcomes included changes in MS symptoms, medication changes, adverse events, and changes in cognition and mobility.

Results: Patients experienced extensive MS symptom improvement after initiation of MC, with alleviation of pain (72% of patients) and spasticity (48% of patients) and improvement in sleep (40% of patients) the most common. There was a significant reduction in concomitant opioid use after initiating MC as evidenced by a significant decrease in daily morphine milligram equivalents among patients prescribed opioid analgesics (P = .01). Decreases in muscle relaxant use and benzodiazepine use did not reach significance (P > .05). The most common adverse reaction to MC was fatigue (11% of patients).

Conclusions: In many patients with MS, MC was well tolerated, eased pain and spasticity, improved sleep and other symptoms, and reduced use of concomitant opioid analgesics. Prospective studies are needed to further investigate the role of MC in the treatment of patients with MS.”

Effectiveness and Safety of Cannabinoids as an Add-On Therapy in the Treatment of Resistant Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review

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“Background: Spasticity continues to be a very prevalent, highly invalidating, and difficult-to-manage symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of cannabis and cannabinoids in these patients, evaluating its use as an additional therapy. 

Methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature searching in the major scientific databases (PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, WOS, and Cochrane Library) for articles from January 2017 to May 2022 containing information about the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in patients with insufficient response to first-line oral antispastic treatment. 

Results: A total of five medium high-quality articles were selected to be part of the study and all evaluated the effectiveness of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) spray. The effectiveness of this drug and the significant improvements are produced on the patient-related spasticity assessment scales, obtaining improvement up to 45%; and on quality of life, producing a decrease in the appearance of symptoms related to spasticity, as well as an increase in the development of basic activities of daily living. The average dose is 5-7 sprays/day. The discontinuation rate for these treatments is around 40% due to lack of effectiveness and adverse events. All reported adverse effects are mild to moderate in severity and their incidence is ∼17%, although this figure tends to decrease with drug use. 

Conclusions: Adding the THC:CBD sprays have been shown to be more effective in treating MS spasticity than optimizing the dose of first-line antispastic drugs in selected responders patients. The safety and tolerability profiles remain in line with those obtained in other trials. More patients would benefit from treatment if the initial response search period was extended.”

A Retrospective Medical Record Review of Adults with Non-Cancer Diagnoses Prescribed Medicinal Cannabis

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“Research describing patients using medicinal cannabis and its effectiveness is lacking. We aimed to describe adults with non-cancer diagnoses who are prescribed medicinal cannabis via a retrospective medical record review and assess its effectiveness and safety. From 157 Australian records, most were female (63.7%; mean age 63.0 years). Most patients had neurological (58.0%) or musculoskeletal (24.8%) conditions. Medicinal cannabis was perceived beneficial by 53.5% of patients.

Mixed-effects modelling and post hoc multiple comparisons analysis showed significant changes overtime for pain, bowel problems, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood, quality of life (all p < 0.0001), breathing problems (p = 0.0035), and appetite (p = 0.0465) Symptom Assessment Scale scores. For the conditions, neuropathic pain/peripheral neuropathy had the highest rate of perceived benefit (66.6%), followed by Parkinson’s disease (60.9%), multiple sclerosis (60.0%), migraine (43.8%), chronic pain syndrome (42.1%), and spondylosis (40.0%). For the indications, medicinal cannabis had the greatest perceived effect on sleep (80.0%), followed by pain (51.5%), and muscle spasm (50%). Oral oil preparations of balanced delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (average post-titration dose of 16.9 mg and 34.8 mg per day, respectively) were mainly prescribed. Somnolence was the most frequently reported side effect (21%).

This study supports medicinal cannabis’ potential to safely treat non-cancer chronic conditions and indications.”

“Cannabis (Cannabaceae) has been used medicinally since 400 AD for its analgesic, appetite enhancement, and myorelaxant properties. Emerging evidence suggests that people with chronic conditions may benefit from using medicinal cannabis for treating chronic pain, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, and anxiety.”

Cannabinoids in neuroinflammatory disorders: Focusing on multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers diseases

“The medicinal properties of cannabis and cannabinoid-derivative are entirely investigated and known. In addition, the identification of psychotropic plant cannabinoids has led to more studies regarding the cannabinoid system and its therapeutic features in the treatment and management of clinical symptoms of neuroinflammatory disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinsons disease (PD), and Alzheimers disease (AD). In fact, cannabinoid agonists are able to control and regulate inflammatory responses. In contrast to the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and its unwanted adverse effects, the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) and its ligands hold promise for new and effective therapeutic approaches. So far, some successes have been achieved in this field. This review will discuss an outline of the endocannabinoid system’s involvement in neuroinflammatory disorders. Moreover, the pharmacological efficacy of different natural and synthetic preparations of phytocannabinoids acting on cannabinoid receptors, particularly in MS, PD, and AD, will be updated. Also, the reasons for targeting CB2 for neurodegeneration will be explained.”

The Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System in Age-Related Diseases


“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) dynamically regulates many aspects of mammalian physiology. ECS has gained substantial interest since growing evidence suggests that it also plays a major role in several pathophysiological conditions due to its ability to modulate various underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, cannabinoids, as components of the cannabinoid system (CS), have proven beneficial effects such as anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, neuromodulatory, antioxidative, and cardioprotective effects. In this comprehensive review, we aimed to describe the complex interaction between CS and most common age-related diseases such as neuro-degenerative, oncological, skeletal, and cardiovascular disorders, together with the potential of various cannabinoids to ameliorate the progression of these disorders. Since chronic inflammation is postulated as the pillar of all the above-mentioned medical conditions, we also discuss in this paper the potential of CS to ameliorate aging-associated immune system dysregulation.”

“The cannabinoid system has the potential to ameliorate different underlying mechanism involved in the progression of aging-related diseases. Additionally, ECS may represent a promising approach not only for the treatment, but also for the alleviation of age-related disorder-associated symptoms and/or for increasing the efficacy of existing drugs. Moreover, our findings show that cannabinoids may be able to modulate various mechanisms rather than targeting a single dysregulated pathway in age-related diseases. Natural as well as synthetic cannabinoids ameliorate the balance between neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, they may play an important role in modulating the complex physio-pathology of MS and may be used as immune modulators, neuroprotectors, or remyelination promoters. The modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines through the endogenous cannabinoid system may have beneficial effects on MS, AD, PD, aging-related musculoskeletal changes, and CVDs. On the other hand, it is clearly now that targeting the ECS with various natural or synthetic compounds may have the theoretical potential of an improved control of cancer progression.”

Neuroprotection of Cannabidiol, Its Synthetic Derivatives and Combination Preparations against Microglia-Mediated Neuroinflammation in Neurological Disorders


“The lack of effective treatment for neurological disorders has encouraged the search for novel therapeutic strategies. Remarkably, neuroinflammation provoked by the activated microglia is emerging as an important therapeutic target for neurological dysfunction in the central nervous system. In the pathological context, the hyperactivation of microglia leads to neuroinflammation through the release of neurotoxic molecules, such as reactive oxygen species, proteinases, proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major pharmacologically active phytocannabinoids derived from Cannabis sativa L. CBD has promising therapeutic effects based on mounting clinical and preclinical studies of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ischemic brain injuries, neuropathic pain, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

A number of preclinical studies suggested that CBD exhibited potent inhibitory effects of neurotoxic molecules and inflammatory modulators, highlighting its remarkable therapeutic potential for the treatment of numerous neurological disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms of action underpinning CBD’s effects on neuroinflammation appear to be complex and are poorly understood.

This review summarises the anti-neuroinflammatory activities of CBD against various neurological disorders with a particular focus on their main molecular mechanisms of action, which were related to the downregulation of NADPH oxidase-mediated ROS, TLR4-NFκB and IFN-β-JAK-STAT pathways. We also illustrate the pharmacological action of CBD’s derivatives focusing on their anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects for neurological disorders. We included the studies that demonstrated synergistic enhanced anti-neuroinflammatory activity using CBD and other biomolecules.

The studies that are summarised in the review shed light on the development of CBD, including its derivatives and combination preparations as novel therapeutic options for the prevention and/or treatment of neurological disorders where neuroinflammation plays an important role in the pathological components.”

“Cannabinoids are a group of terpenophenolic compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. The preclinical studies summarised in this review supported the therapeutic use of CBD in treating neurological disorders from its action in addressing microglia-mediated neuroinflammation. The findings of this review shed light on the development of CBD and relevant compounds as novel and more advantageous therapeutics to prevent or treat neurological disorders by targeting microglia-mediated neuroinflammation.”

Endocannabinoid Modulation in Neurodegenerative Diseases: In Pursuit of Certainty


“Neurodegenerative diseases are an increasing cause of global morbidity and mortality. They occur in the central nervous system (CNS) and lead to functional and mental impairment due to loss of neurons. Recent evidence highlights the link between neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases of the CNS. These are typically associated with several neurological disorders. These diseases have fundamental differences regarding their underlying physiology and clinical manifestations, although there are aspects that overlap.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is comprised of receptors (type-1 (CB1R) and type-2 (CB2R) cannabinoid-receptors, as well as transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)), endogenous ligands and enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids (ECBs). Recent studies revealed the involvement of the ECS in different pathological aspects of these neurodegenerative disorders.

The present review will explore the roles of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) and pharmacological agents that modulate CBRs or ECS activity with reference to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Huntington’s Disease (HD) and multiple sclerosis (MS).”

“Neurodegenerative diseases represent an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Existing therapeutic options are limited and focus mostly on improving symptoms and reducing exacerbations. The endocannabinoid system is involved in the pathophysiology of such disorders, an idea which has been highlighted by recent scientific work. The current work focusses its attention on the importance and implications of this system and its synthetic and natural ligands in disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and multiple sclerosis.”

Phytocannabinoids and Cannabis-Based Products as Alternative Pharmacotherapy in Neurodegenerative Diseases: From Hypothesis to Clinical Practice

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“Historically, Cannabis is one of the first plants to be domesticated and used in medicine, though only in the last years the amount of Cannabis-based products or medicines has increased worldwide.

Previous preclinical studies and few published clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of Cannabis-based medicines in humans. Indeed, Cannabis-related medicines are used to treat multiple pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders.

In clinical practice, Cannabis products have already been introduced to treatment regimens of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis’s patients, and the mechanisms of action behind the reported improvement in the clinical outcome and disease progression are associated with their anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties, due to the modulation of the endocannabinoid system.

In this review, we describe the role played by the endocannabinoid system in the physiopathology of Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Multiple Sclerosis, mainly at the neuroimmunological level. We also discuss the evidence for the correlation between phytocannabinoids and their therapeutic effects in these disorders, thus describing the main clinical studies carried out so far on the therapeutic performance of Cannabis-based medicines.”

“Based on scientific evidence, the use of Cannabis-based products or Cannabis-based medicine (CBM) has been growing among patients diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases. Most reports of clinical trials also describe significant improvement in disease-related primary and/or secondary symptoms, besides general improvement in life quality.”