“Cannabinoid-based interventions are being explored for central nervous system (CNS) pathologies such as neurodegeneration, demyelination, epilepsy, stroke, and trauma. As these disease states involve dysregulation of myelin integrity and/or remyelination, it is important to consider effects of the endocannabinoid system on oligodendrocytes and their precursors. In this review, we examine research reports on the effects of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) components on oligodendrocytes and their precursors, with a focus on therapeutic implications. Cannabinoid ligands and modulators of the endocannabinoid system promote cell signaling in oligodendrocyte precursor survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation, and mature oligodendrocyte survival and myelination. Agonist stimulation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) at both CB1 and CB2 receptors counter apoptotic processes via Akt/PI3K, and promote proliferation via Akt/mTOR and ERK pathways. CB1 receptors in radial glia promote proliferation and conversion to progenitors fated to become oligodendroglia, whereas CB2 receptors promote OPC migration in neonatal development. OPCs produce 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), stimulating cannabinoid receptor-mediated ERK pathways responsible for differentiation to arborized, myelin basic protein (MBP)-producing oligodendrocytes. In cell culture models of excitotoxicity, increased reactive oxygen species, and depolarization-dependent calcium influx, CB1 agonists improved viability of oligodendrocytes. In transient and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion models of anoxic stroke, WIN55212-2 increased OPC proliferation and maturation to oligodendroglia, thereby reducing cerebral tissue damage. In several models of rodent encephalomyelitis, chronic treatment with cannabinoid agonists ameliorated the damage by promoting OPC survival and oligodendrocyte function. Pharmacotherapeutic strategies based upon ECS and oligodendrocyte production and survival should be considered.”
“Are medicinal cannabinoids effective and well tolerated in the treatment of multiple sclerosis?
Findings In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 17 randomized clinical trials including 3161 patients, cannabinoids were significantly associated with efficacy for subjective spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction compared with placebo. Cannabinoids had a higher risk of adverse events and withdrawals due to adverse events, with no statistically significant differences found for serious adverse events.
Meaning Cannabinoids appear to be safe regarding serious adverse events, but their clinical benefit may be limited.
Cannabinoids have antispastic and analgesic effects.
The results suggest a limited efficacy of cannabinoids for the treatment of spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction in patients with MS. Therapy using these drugs can be considered as safe.”
“MEDICAL MARIJUANA USES: CANNABIS MAY EASE SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS” https://www.newsweek.com/medical-marijuana-may-ease-symptoms-multiple-sclerosis-1170416
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease leading to the destruction of myelin with consequent axonal degeneration and severe physical debilitation. The disease can be treated with immunosuppressive drugs that alleviate the symptoms and retard disease aggravation. One such drug in clinical use is glatiramer acetate (Copaxone).
The non-psychotropic immunosuppressive cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been shown to have beneficial effects on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The aim of our study was to compare the efficacy of CBD and standardized extracts from a CBD-rich, ∆9-THClow Cannabis indica subspecies (Avidekel) with that of Copaxone.
Our data show that CBD and purified Avidekel extracts are as efficient as Copaxone to alleviate the symptoms of proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced EAE in SJL/J mice. No synergistic effect was observed by combining CBD or Avidekel extracts with Copaxone.
Our data support the use of Avidekel extracts in the treatment of MS symptoms.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease with a heterogeneous and unpredictable clinical course. Mobility impairment after progressive paralyses and muscle tone spasticity is common.
Areas covered: The prevalence, assessment, and pharmacological management of gait impairment and spasticity in MS and their effects on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are discussed.
The roles of oral and intrathecal baclofen and of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray in treating MS spasticity-related gait impairment are reviewed.
Expert commentary: Mobility impairment and spasticity are experienced by approximately 90% and 80% of MS patients, respectively, during the disease course. Prevalence and severity of gait impairment and spasticity increase as disease progresses. The symptoms are related and both impact negatively on HRQoL.
Oral baclofen and tizanidine are generally used for first-line treatment of MS spasticity but are ineffective in approximately 40% of cases.
Second-line therapy includes add-on THC:CBD spray for patients with resistant MS spasticity. Results of studies evaluating baclofen for treating MS spasticity gait impairment are equivocal.
In studies of patients with resistant MS spasticity, THC:CBD spray consistently improved the timed 10-meter walk test and significantly improved multiple spatial-temporal and kinematic gait parameters.
THC:CBD oromucosal spray warrants further investigation as a treatment for MS spasticity-related gait impairment.”
“The gut microbiota plays a fundamental role on the education and function of the host immune system.
Immunological dysregulation is the cause of numerous human disorders such as autoimmune diseases and metabolic disorders frequently associated with inflammatory processes therefore is critical to explore novel mechanisms involved in maintaining the immune system homeostasis.
The cannabinoid system and related bioactive lipids participate in multiple central and peripheral physiological processes that affect metabolic, gastrointestinal and neuroimmune regulatory mechanisms displaying a modulatory role and contributing to the maintenance of the organism’s homeostasis.
In this review, we gather the knowledge on the gut microbiota-endocannabinoids interactions and their impact on autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and particularly, multiple sclerosis (MS) as the best example of a CNS autoimmune disorder.
Furthermore, we contribute to this field with new data on changes in many elements of the cannabinoid system in a viral model of MS after gut microbiota manipulation by both antibiotics and probiotics.
Finally, we highlight new therapeutic opportunities, under an integrative view, targeting the eCBS and the commensal microbiota in the context of neuroinflammation and MS.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Patients exhibit heterogeneous patterns of disabling symptoms, including spasticity. In the majority of patients with MS spasticity, it and its associated symptoms contribute to disability, interfere with performance of everyday activities, and impair quality of life. Even under treatment with oral antispasticity drugs, about a third of patients continue to experience spasticity of moderate to severe intensity, underscoring the need for additional treatment options.
The efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol: cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray as add-on therapy in patients with refractory MS spasticity has been demonstrated in clinical trials and observational studies.
To gain insight into patients’ response to treatment at the individual level, in-depth changes from baseline in various clinical scales and video-assessed parameters were evaluated in patients with resistant MS spasticity before and after 1 month of treatment with THC:CBD oromucosal spray. All 6 patients showed ≥20% improvement in the spasticity Numerical Rating Scale (i.e., were initial responders to treatment), but displayed individual variability in other spasticity-related parameters.
Improved Modified Ashworth Scale scores were observed in 5 cases, with a reduction of -2/-3 points in lower limb scores for 1 patient who also showed benefit in terms of a more stable gait but modest improvement in the timed 10-meter walk test (10MWT). Improvement in the 10MWT (or 25-foot walk test) was noted in 4 of the 6 cases. THC:CBD oromucosal spray also improved upper limb function as indicated by faster 9-Hole Peg Test results.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic debilitating autoimmune disease without a cure. While the use of marijuana cannabinoids for MS has recently been approved in some countries, the precise mechanism of action leading to attenuate neuroinflammation is not clear. We used experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of MS, to explore the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Treatment with CBD caused attenuation of EAE disease paradigms as indicated by a significant reduction in clinical scores of paralysis, decreased T cell infiltration in the central nervous system, and reduced levels of IL-17 and IFNγ. Interestingly, CBD treatment led to a profound increase in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in EAE mice when compared to the vehicle-treated EAE controls. These MDSCs caused robust inhibition of MOG-induced proliferation of T cells in vitro. Moreover, adoptive transfer of CBD-induced MDSCs ameliorated EAE while MDSC depletion reversed the beneficial effects of CBD treatment, thereby conclusively demonstrating that MDSCs played a crucial role in CBD-mediated attenuation of EAE. Together, these studies demonstrate for the first time that CBD treatment may ameliorate EAE through induction of immunosuppressive MDSCs.”
“In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the mitigation of EAE with CBD comes from its ability to target a range of anti-inflammatory pathways, including (i) induction of anti-inflammatory MDSCs and (ii) decrease in pro-inflammatory and induction of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Because CBD is non-psychoactive, our studies suggest that CBD may constitute an excellent candidate for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases. Our studies provide further evidence of the importance of MDSCs and that manipulation of such cells may constitute novel therapeutic modality to treat MS and other autoimmune diseases.”
“Recent findings highlight the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of symptoms and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic, immune-mediated, demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system with no cure so far. It is widely reported in the literature that cannabinoids might be used to control MS symptoms and that they also might exert neuroprotective effects and slow down disease progression. This review aims to give an overview of the principal cannabinoids(synthetic and endogenous) used for the symptomatic amelioration of MS and their beneficial outcomes, providing new potentially possible perspectives for the treatment of this disease.”
“During these last years, the CB2 cannabinoid receptor has emerged as a potential anti-inflammatory target in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, ischemic stroke, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, and cancer. However, the development of clinically useful CB2 agonists reveals to be very challenging. Allosterism and biased-signaling mechanisms at CB2 receptor may offer new avenues for the development of improved CB2 receptor-targeted therapies. Although there has been some exploration of CB1 receptor activation by new CB1 allosteric or biased-signaling ligands, the CB2 receptor is still at initial stages in this domain. In an effort to understand the molecular basis behind these pharmacological approaches, we have analyzed and summarized the structural data reported so far at CB2 receptor.”
“The psychoactive properties of cannabinoids are well known and there has been a continuous controversy regarding the usage of these compounds for therapeutic purposes all over the world. Their use for medical and research purposes are restricted in various countries. However, their utility as medications should not be overshadowed by their negative physiological activities.
This review article is focused on the therapeutic potential and applications of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. It highlights their mode of action, overall effects on physiology, various in vitro and in vivo studies that have been done so far and the extent to which these compounds can be useful in different disease conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, pain, inflammation, glaucoma and many others.
Thus, this work is an attempt to make the readers understand the positive implications of these compounds and indicates the significant developments that can occur upon utilizing cannabinoids as therapeutic agents.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30040916