Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids.

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“Numerous physical, psychological, and emotional benefits have been attributed to marijuana since its first reported use in 2,600 BC in a Chinese pharmacopoeia. The phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are the most studied extracts from cannabis sativa subspecies hemp and marijuana. CBD and Δ9-THC interact uniquely with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through direct and indirect actions, intrinsic endocannabinoids and plant-based phytocannabinoids modulate and influence a variety of physiological systems influenced by the ECS.

METHODS:

In 1980, Cunha et al. reported anticonvulsant benefits in 7/8 subjects with medically uncontrolled epilepsy using marijuana extracts in a phase I clinical trial. Since then neurological applications have been the major focus of renewed research using medical marijuana and phytocannabinoid extracts.

RESULTS:

Recent neurological uses include adjunctive treatment for malignant brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and the childhood seizure disorders Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. In addition, psychiatric and mood disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction, postconcussion syndrome, and posttraumatic stress disorders are being studied using phytocannabinoids.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this review we will provide animal and human research data on the current clinical neurological uses for CBD individually and in combination with Δ9-THC. We will emphasize the neuroprotective, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits of phytocannabinoids and their applications in various clinical syndromes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770251

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/

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β-Caryophyllene (BCP) ameliorates MPP+ induced cytotoxicity.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy

“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases resulting from the continuous death of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) has been reported to be a major neurotoxin causing neurotoxic insults on dopaminergic neurons in humans.

β-Caryophyllene (BCP), an important cannabinoid derived from the essential oils of different species, has displayed pharmacological properties in different kinds of tissues and cells. However, neuroprotective effects of BCP in PD haven’t been reported before.

Our results indicate that treatment with MPP+ in SH-SY5Y cells led to a significant decrease in cell viability, which was restored by BCP. Additionally, BCP suppressed MPP+-induced release of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In contrast, BCP treatment restored the reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) induced by MPP+. BCP treatment increased intracellular GSH and GPx activity.

Also, we found that the antioxidant effects of BCP against MPP+- induced neurotoxicity are dependent on cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R). Moreover, our results indicated that BCP prevented MPP+-induced apoptosis of SH-SY5Y through inhibiting the up-regulation of cleaved Caspase-3, Bax, and restoring the expression of Bcl-2. Besides, BCP markedly suppressed HO-1 activation and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) phosphorylation.

We conclude that BCP might act as a promising therapeutic agent against MPP+ toxicity in neuronal cells.”

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934
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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

 

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Endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids in neurogenesis – new opportunities for neurological treatment? Reports from experimental studies.

“Neurogenesis is one of the most important phenomenona affecting human life. This process consists of proliferation, migration and differentiation of neuroblasts and synaptic integrations of newborn neurons.
Proliferation of new cells continues into old age, also in humans, although the most extensive process of cell formation occurs during the prenatal period. It is possible to distinguish two regions in the brain responsible for neurogenesis: the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and the sub-ventricular zone (SVZ). Hippocampal neurogenesis is very sensitive to various physiological and pathological stimuli.
The functional integration of the newly-born dentate granule cells into hippocampal circuitry, and their ability to mediate long-term potentiation in DG, has led to the hypothesis that neurogenesis in the adult brain may play a key role in learning and memory function, as well as cognitive dysfunction in some diseases.
Brain disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases or traumatic brain injuries, significantly affect migration, proliferation and differentiation of neural cells. In searching for the best neurological drugs protecting neuronal cells, stimulating neurogenesis, while also developing no side-effects, endocannabinoids proved to be a strong group of substances having many beneficial properties.
Therefore, the latest data is reviewed of the various experimental studies concerning the analysis of the most commonly studied cannabinoids and their impact on neurogenesis.”
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Novel insights into mitochondrial molecular targets of iron-induced neurodegeneration: reversal by cannabidiol.

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“Evidence has demonstrated iron accumulation in specific brain regions of patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders, and this metal has been recognized as a contributing factor for neurodegeneration.

Using an experimental model of brain iron accumulation, we have shown that iron induces severe memory deficits that are accompanied by oxidative stress, increased apoptotic markers, and decreased synaptophysin in the hippocampus of rats.

The present study aims to characterize iron loading effects as well as to determine the molecular targets of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychomimetic compound of Cannabis sativa, on mitochondria.

Rats received iron in the neonatal period and CBD for 14 days in adulthood. Iron induced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions, decreased epigenetic modulation of mtDNA, mitochondrial ferritin levels, and succinate dehydrogenase activity.

CBD rescued mitochondrial ferritin and epigenetic modulation of mtDNA, and restored succinate dehydrogenase activity in iron-treated rats.

These findings provide new insights into molecular targets of iron neurotoxicity and give support for the use of CBD as a disease modifying agent in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29374603

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Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 Receptors, and Monoacylglycerol Lipase Gene Expression Alterations in the Basal Ganglia of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

Neurotherapeutics

“Previous studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the neuropathological basis of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

This study was designed to detect potential alterations in the cannabinoid receptors CB1 (CB1r) and CB2 (A isoform, CB2Ar), and in monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) gene expression in the substantia nigra (SN) and putamen (PUT) of patients with PD.

The results of the present study suggest that CB1r, CB2r, and MAGL are closely related to the neuropathological processes of PD.

Therefore, the pharmacological modulation of these targets could represent a new potential therapeutic tool for the management of PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29352424

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13311-018-0603-x

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Benefits of VCE-003.2, a cannabigerol quinone derivative, against inflammation-driven neuronal deterioration in experimental Parkinson’s disease: possible involvement of different binding sites at the PPARγ receptor.

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“Neuroprotection with cannabinoids in Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been afforded predominantly with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory cannabinoids. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of VCE-003.2, a quinone derivative of the non-psychotrophic phytocannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG), which may derive its activity at the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ). The compound is also an antioxidant.

We have demonstrated that VCE-003.2 is neuroprotective against inflammation-driven neuronal damage in an in vivo model of PD and in in vitro cellular models of neuroinflammation. Such effects might involve PPARγ receptors, although in silico and in vitro experiments strongly suggest that VCE-003.2 targets PPARγ by acting through two binding sites at the LBP, one that is sensitive to T0070907 (canonical binding site) and other that is not affected by this PPARγ antagonist (alternative binding site).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29338785

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-018-1060-5

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A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric, Movement and Neurodegenerative Disorders.

“The discovery of endocannabinoid’s role within the central nervous system and its potential therapeutic benefits have brought forth rising interest in the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The present review aimed to synthesize and evaluate the available evidences on the efficacy of cannabis and its derivatives for psychiatric, neurodegenerative and movement disorders. A systematic search of randomized controlled trials of cannabis and its derivatives were conducted via databases (PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials). A total of 24 reports that evaluated the use of medical cannabis for Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa, anxiety, dementia, dystonia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis and Tourette syndrome were included in this review. Trial quality was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool. There is a lack of evidence on the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dystonia. Although trials with positive findings were identified for anorexia nervosa, anxiety, PTSD, psychotic symptoms, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease, definitive conclusion on its efficacy could not be drawn. Evaluation of these low-quality trials, as rated on the Cochrane risk of bias tools, was challenged by methodological issues such as inadequate description of allocation concealment, blinding and underpowered sample size. More adequately powered controlled trials that examine the long and short term efficacy, safety and tolerability of cannabis for medical use, and the mechanisms underpinning the therapeutic potential are warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29073741

http://www.cpn.or.kr/journal/view.html?doi=10.9758/cpn.2017.15.4.301

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Medical Cannabis in Parkinson Disease: Real-Life Patients’ Experience.

“The use of medical cannabis (MC) is controversial. Support for its benefits is based on small clinical series.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to report the results of a standardized interview study that retrospectively assessed the effects of MC on symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD) and its adverse effects in patients treated for at least 3 months.

METHODS:

The survey used telephone interviews using a structured questionnaire based on subjective global impressions of change for various parkinsonian symptoms and yes/no questions on adverse effects.

RESULTS:

Forty-seven nondemented patients with PD (40 men) participated. Their mean age was 64.2 ± 10.8 years, mean disease duration was 10.8 ± 8.3 years, median Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) was stage III. The duration of MC use was 19.1 ± 17.0 months, and the mean daily dose was 0.9 ± 0.5 g. The delivery of MC was mainly by smoking cigarettes (38 cases, 80.9%). Effect size (r) improvement for falls was 0.89, 0.73 for pain relief, 0.64 for depression, 0.64 for tremor, 0.62 for muscle stiffness, and 0.60 for sleep. The most frequently reported adverse effects from MC were cough (34.9%) in those who used MC by smoking and confusion and hallucinations (reported by 17% each) causing 5 patients (10.6%) to stop treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Medical cannabis was found to improve symptoms of PD in the initial stages of treatment and did not cause major adverse effects in this pilot, 2-center, retrospective survey. The extent of use and the reported effects lend support to further development of safer and more effective drugs derived from Cannabis sativa.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29059132

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00002826-900000000-99616

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AM1241 alleviates MPTP-induced Parkinson’s disease and promotes the regeneration of DA neurons in PD mice.

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“The main pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. In this study, we investigated the role of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) agonist AM1241 on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity in a mouse model of PD.

Upon treatment with AM1241, the decreased CB2R level in the PD mouse brain was reversed and the behavior score markedly elevated, accompanied with a dose-dependent increase of dopamine and serotonin. In addition, western blot assay and immunostaining results suggested that AM1241 significantly activated PI3K/Akt/MEK phosphorylation and increased the expression of Parkin and PINK1, both in the substantia nigra and hippocampus. The mRNA expression analysis further demonstrated that AM1241 increased expression of the CB2R and activated Parkin/PINK1 signaling pathways. Furthermore, the increased number of TH-positive cells in the substantia nigra indicated that AM1241 regenerated DA neurons in PD mice, and could therefore be a potential candidate for PD treatment. The clear co-localization of CB2R and DA neurons suggested that AM1241 targeted CB2R, thus also identifying a novel target for PD treatment.

In conclusion, the selective CB2 agonist AM1241 has a significant therapeutic effect on PD mice and resulted in regeneration of DA neurons following MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. The possible mechanisms underlying the neurogenesis effect of AM1241 might be the induction of CB2R expression and an increase in phosphorylation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.”

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