Therapeutic cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis: immunomodulation revisited.

Publication cover image

Cannabinoids are compounds with pleiotropic properties that act on the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and are divided into endocannabinoids, the endogenous ligands of these receptors, synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.

The latter are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of this plant have been observed and used for centuries.

Of the over 60 compounds that are unique to Cannabis sativa, the substances that have been attributed the greatest therapeutic potential are Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both of which, used alone or combined with each other, have become approved drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29633480

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ene.13658

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids: An update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report

European Journal of Internal Medicine

“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine conducted a rapid turn-around comprehensive review of recent medical literature on The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.

In the Therapeutics chapter reviewed here, the report concluded that there was conclusive or substantial evidence that Cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of pain in adults; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Moderate evidence was found for secondary sleep disturbances. The evidence supporting improvement in appetite, Tourette syndrome, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy and a variety of neurodegenerative disorders was described as limited, insufficient or absent. A chapter of the NASEM report enumerated multiple barriers to conducting research on Cannabis in the US that may explain the paucity of positive therapeutic benefits in the published literature to date.

The 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, like the 1999 Institute of Medicine publication before it, did conclude that there is evidence to support the therapeutic effect of Cannabis and cannabinoids in a number of conditions. Although it is well appreciated that the plural of anecdote is not evidence, it must also be remembered that in the case of evaluating the therapeutic effects of Cannabis as published in the medical literature, the absence of evidence is not necessarily indicative of evidence of the absence of effectiveness. ”

http://www.ejinme.com/article/S0953-6205(18)30003-7/fulltext

“Researchers claim that medicinal cannabis is safe and effective for pain relief, and are calling for the treatment to be properly established in our modern medical arsenal” https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/30737/medicinal-cannabis-safe-effective/
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Image result for frontiers in neurology

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. The symptoms of MS are highly varied but frequently include pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation, and depression. These symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity, negatively impact functional mobility, and have a detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life.

Although recent years have seen significant advances in disease modifying therapy, none of the current treatments halts or cures MS related symptoms. As a consequence, many people with MS (PwMS) look for alternative and complementary therapies such as cannabis.

The cannabis plant contains many biologically active chemicals, including ~60 cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are typically the most concentrated chemical components of cannabis and believed to primarily drive therapeutic benefit.

There is evidence that CBD has a number of beneficial pharmacological effects. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective. The review of 132 original studies by Bergamaschi et al. describes the safety profile of CBD by highlighting that catalepsy is not induced and physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature) are not altered. Moreover, psychomotor and psychological functions are not negatively affected. High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.

Additionally, there is also evidence that CBD may reduce the negative psychotropic effects, memory impairment, and appetite stimulation, anxiety and psychotic-like states of THC while enhancing its positive therapeutic actions.

 Anecdotal reports indicate that an increasing number of PwMS use cannabis (medical marijuana) as a supplement to improve their mobility.

Based on the following considerations, it is our opinion that CBD supplementation maybe advisable for PwMS to reduce fatigue, pain, spasticity, and ultimately improve mobility. “

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00183/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Clinical response to Nabiximols correlates with the down-regulation of immune pathways in Multiple Sclerosis.

European Journal of Neurology

“Nabiximols (Sativex® ) is a cannabinoid-based compound used for the treatment of moderate to severe spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS).

The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of the administration of Nabiximols on blood transcriptome profile of MS patients and to interpret it in the context of pathways and networks.

Our findings support the immunomodulatory activity of cannabinoids in MS patients. Further studies in more specific cell types are needed to refine these results.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29528549

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ene.13623/abstract

Cannabinoid compounds suppress immune function, and while this could compromise one’s ability to fight infections, immune suppression is the desired effect for therapies for autoimmune diseases.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29512125
Cannabinoids have emerged as powerful drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases due to their immunosuppressive properties.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2923447/
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Evaluation of Marijuana Compounds on Neuroimmune Endpoints in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

Current Protocols in Toxicology

“Cannabinoid compounds refer to a group of more than 60 plant-derived compounds in Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana. Exposure to marijuana and cannabinoid compounds has been increasing due to increased societal acceptance for both recreational and possible medical use. Cannabinoid compounds suppress immune function, and while this could compromise one’s ability to fight infections, immune suppression is the desired effect for therapies for autoimmune diseases. It is critical, therefore, to understand the effects and mechanisms by which cannabinoid compounds alter immune function, especially immune responses induced in autoimmune disease. Therefore, this unit will describe induction and assessment of the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis (MS), and its potential alteration by cannabinoid compounds. The unit includes three approaches to induce EAE, two of which provide correlations to two forms of MS, and the third specifically addresses the role of autoreactive T cells in EAE.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29512125

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cptx.43/abstract

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The inhibition of CB1 receptor accelerates the onset and development of EAE possibly by regulating microglia/macrophages polarization.

Journal of Neuroimmunology

“Cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) regulates the neuro-inflammatory and neurodegenerative damages of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and of multiple sclerosis (MS). The mechanism by which CB1R inhibition exerts inflammatory effects is still unclear. Here, we explored the cellular and molecular mechanisms of CB1R in the treatment of EAE by using a specific and selective CB1R antagonist SR141716A. Our study demonstrated that SR141716A accelerated the clinical onset and development of EAE, accompanied by body weight loss. SR141716A significantly up-regulated the expression of toll like receptor-4 (TLR-4) and nuclear factor-kappaB/p65 (NF-κB/p65) on microglia/macrophages of EAE mice as well as levels of inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1, CX3CL1), accompanied by the shifts of cytokines from Th2 (IL-4, IL-10) to Th1 (IFN-γ)/Th17 (IL-17) in the spinal cords of EAE mice. Similar changes happened on splenic mononuclear cells (MNCs) except chemokine CX3CL1. Consistently, SR141716A promoted BV-2 microglia to release inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) while inhibited the production of IL-10 and chemokines (MCP-1, CX3CL1). Furthermore, when splenic CD4+ T cells co-cultured with SR141716A-administered BV-2 microglia, the levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were decreased while production of IL-17 and IFN-γ increased significantly. Our research indicated that inhibition of CB1R induced M1 phenotype-Th17 axis changed of microglia/macrophages through TLR-4 and NF-κB/p65 which accelerated the onset and development of EAE. Therefore, CB1R may be a promising target for the treatment of MS/EAE, but its complexity remains to be carefully considered and studied in further clinical application.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29501084

http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(17)30467-8/fulltext

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

β-Amyrin, the cannabinoid receptors agonist, abrogates mice brain microglial cells inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide/interferon-γ and regulates Mφ1/Mφ2 balances.

Image result for Biomed Pharmacother.

“Inflammation is a primary response to infection that can pathologically lead to various diseases including neurodegenerative diseases.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of β-Amyrin, a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid compound, on inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferone-γ (IFN-γ) in rat microglial cells.

CONCLUSION:

β-Amyrin reduces inflammation in microglial cells and can be used as a potential anti-inflammatory agent in central nervous system neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer and multiple sclerosis, by affecting the inflammatory cytokine and differentiation of microglia as resident CNS macrophages.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29501766

“Amyrin and the endocannabinoid system. The canonical triterpene amyrin was recently suggested to bind to CB1 receptors and to significantly mediate cannabimimetic effects in animal models of pain.”   http://gertschgroup.com/blog/entry/3188293/amyrin-and-the-endocannabinoid-system

“The antinociceptive triterpene β-amyrin inhibits 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) hydrolysis without directly targeting CB receptors”   https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225079976_The_antinociceptive_triterpene_b-amyrin_inhibits_2-arachidonoylglycerol_2-AG_hydrolysis_without_directly_targeting_CB_receptors

“Finally, pentacyclic triterpenes such as β-amyrin and cycloartenol have been shown to possess numerous biological activities including anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cannabis-has-terpenes-say-what-pure-hempnotics

Image result for β-Amyrin

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Hypoxia mimetic activity of VCE-004.8, a cannabidiol quinone derivative: implications for multiple sclerosis therapy.

Image result for journal of neuroinflammation

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by a combination of inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes variously dominant in different stages of the disease. Thus, immunosuppression is the goal standard for the inflammatory stage, and novel remyelination therapies are pursued to restore lost function.

Cannabinoids such as 9Δ-THC and CBD are multi-target compounds already introduced in the clinical practice for multiple sclerosis (MS). Semisynthetic cannabinoids are designed to improve bioactivities and druggability of their natural precursors. VCE-004.8, an aminoquinone derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), is a dual PPARγ and CB2agonist with potent anti-inflammatory activity.

Activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) can have a beneficial role in MS by modulating the immune response and favoring neuroprotection and axonal regeneration.

We investigated the effects of VCE-004.8 on the HIF pathway in different cell types.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides new significant insights about the potential role of VCE-004.8 for MS treatment by ameliorating neuroinflammation and demyelination.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29495967

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-018-1103-y

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol inhibits pathogenic T cells, decreases spinal microglial activation and ameliorates multiple sclerosis-like disease in C57BL/6 mice.

British Journal of Pharmacology

“Cannabis extracts and several cannabinoids have been shown to exert broad anti-inflammatory activities in experimental models of inflammatory CNS degenerative diseases.

Clinical use of many cannabinoids is limited by their psychotropic effects. However, phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), devoid of psychoactive activity, are, potentially, safe and effective alternatives for alleviating neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Treatment with CBD during disease onset ameliorated the severity of the clinical signs of EAE.

CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, ameliorates clinical signs of EAE in mice, immunized against MOG. Suppression of microglial activity and T-cell proliferation by CBD appeared to contribute to these beneficial effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21449980

“In summary, we have shown that CBD administered to MOG-immunized C57BL/6 mice, at the onset of EAE disease, reduced the severity of the clinical signs of EAE. CBD treatment was accompanied by diminished axonal loss and inflammation (infiltration of T cells and microglial activation). Moreover, CBD prevented proliferation of myelin-specific T cells in vitro. These observations suggest that CBD may have potential for alleviating MS-like pathology.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01379.x/full

“Study Shows Cannabidiol (CBD) Improves MS-Like Symptoms”  http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=31211

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Effect of marijuana on Essential Tremor: A case report

MDS Abstracts

“Objective: Examine the effectiveness of THC marijuana versus non-THC marijuana on handwriting in Essential Tremor.

Background: Essential tremor (ET) is a chronic movement disorder which can be quite debilitating. ET is often progressive, beginning as a mild visible tremor with little or no impact on activities of daily living (ADLs) but tends to increase in severity over the course of years, often to the extent that people with ET may have extreme difficulty with task such as writing, drinking, eating, shaving, or putting on make-up. Unfortunately, a certain portion of people with ET are either intolerant or unresponsive to the currently recommended treatments. Patients occasionally report improvement in ET after marijuana use. While reports exist of THC effect on tremor in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), the same is not true for ET.

Methods: Case Report.

Results: Patient JB, a retired psychologist, had long-standing severe familial tremor significantly interfering with ADLs. Standard treatments were tried. Primidone was partially effective, but resulted in erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia. Propranolol was mildly effective, but was switched to metoprolol by his cardiologist. Gabapentin was ineffective and caused GI distress. Topiramate was ineffective. Diazepam and alcohol were effective but used only occasionally due to sedating effects. While on a family vacation in a state with legalized marijuana, JB recorded his handwriting at baseline, after using an oral non-THC marijuana derivative, after using standard marijuana (oral), and after using alcohol. Handwriting was moderately improved after taking the THC preparation, as well as after taking alcohol; the improvement was roughly equivalent with these two treatments. It did not improve with the non-THC preparation.

Conclusions: This case report suggests 1) handwriting in ET may be improved with the use of THC, 2) handwriting in ET may not be improved with non-THC derivatives of marijuana, and 3) the effect of THC in this case was similar to that of alcohol. While there have been several small studies and case reports addressing the efficacy of marijuana in controlling tremor in PD and MS, no such studies have been conducted regarding ET and the use of marijuana and its derivatives for control of ET is currently considered category U due to insufficient evidence. Further investigation of the potential efficacy of marijuana for ET is clearly warranted.” http://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/effect-of-marijuana-on-essential-tremor-a-case-report/

Effect of marijuana on Essential Tremor: A case report

Marijuana May Improve Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s”  http://parkinsonsclinic.com/1/post/2016/05/marijuana-may-improve-essential-tremor-and-parkinsons.html

 

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous