“Objectives: Billions of individuals worldwide suffer from periodontal disease, an inflammatory disease that results in hard-tissue and soft-tissue destruction. A viable therapeutic option to treat periodontal disease may be via cannabinoids that exert immunomodulatory effects, and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is readily present in periodontal tissues that exhibit cannabinoid type 1 and 2 receptors (CB1R and CB2R). Phytocannabinoids (pCBs), which are a part of a heterogeneous group of molecules acting on cannabinoid receptors (CBR) derived from the cannabis plants, have been attributed to a wide variety of effects including anti-inflammatory activity and some pro-inflammatory effects depending on the cell type. Thus, this study aims to examine the effects of pCBs on primary human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) in IL-1β stimulated (simulated periodontal disease) HGFs.
Results: Cannabidivarin (CBVN or CBDV) (EC50 = 12 nM) and cannabigerol (CBG) (EC50 = 30 nM) exhibited agonist activity on CB2R with intermediate efficacy. Cannabidiol (CBD) did not exhibit activation of the CB2R, and the CB1R activation was not observed with any of the pCBs. Cytotoxicity results showed that concentrations of 2.50 μg/ml or greater for the pCBs were toxic except for CBVN. Lower concentrations of CBD and CBG (0.1-0.75 μg/ml), and CBVN at 2.50 μg/ml exhibited significant effects on HGF proliferation. In IL-1β-stimulated HGFs, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was significantly suppressed only by CBG and CBVN. CBD and CBG treatment alone did, however, elevate PGE2 production significantly compared to control. IL-1β stimulation resulted in a robust increase in the production of all cytokines tested. Treatment of IL-β-stimulated HGF with the three pCBs (1 μg/ml) significantly reduced INF-ɣ, TNF-α, and IL-2. The significant suppression of IL-4 was seen with CBD and CBVN, while only CBVN exerted suppression of IL-13. The three pCBs significantly increased IL-6, IL-10, and IL-12 levels, while none of the pCBs reduced the expression of IL-8 in IL-1β-stimulated HGF.
Conclusion: The effective inhibition of IL-1β-stimulated production of PGE2 and cytokines by the pCB in HGFs suggests that targeting the endocannabinoid system may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for periodontal therapy. However, each pCB has its unique anti-inflammatory profile, in which certain pro-inflammatory activities are also exhibited. The pCBs alone or in combination may benefit and aid in improving public oral health.”
“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.”
“Long-term exposure to bioincompatible peritoneal dialysis solutions is frequently complicated with peritoneal fibrosis and ultrafiltration failure.
As cannabinoid receptor (CBR) ligands have been reported to be beneficial to ameliorate the process of liver fibrosis, we strove to investigate their therapeutic potential to prevent peritoneal fibrosis…
Intraperitoneal administration of CBR ligands (CB(1)R antagonist and CB(2)R agonist) offers a potential therapeutic strategy to reduce dialysis-induced peritoneal fibrosis and to prolong the peritoneal survival in peritoneal dialysis patients.”
“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.”
“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387
“Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest herbal remedies known to man. Over the past four thousand years, it has been used for the treatment of numerous diseases but due to its psychoactive properties, its current medicinal usage is highly restricted. In this review, we seek to highlight advances made over the last forty years in the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the effects of cannabis on the human body and how these can potentially be utilized in clinical practice. During this time, the primary active ingredients in cannabis have been isolated, specific cannabinoid receptors have been discovered and at least five endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) have been identified. Together, these form the framework of a complex endocannabinoid signalling system that has widespread distribution in the body and plays a role in regulating numerous physiological processes within the body. Cannabinoid ligands are therefore thought to display considerable therapeutic potential and the drive to develop compounds that can be targeted to specific neuronal systems at low enough doses so as to eliminate cognitive side effects remains the ‘holy grail’ of endocannabinoid research.”
“Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23108552
“Cannabinoids produce a plethora of biological effects, including the modulation of neuronal activity through the activation of CB(1) receptors and of immune responses through the activation of CB(2) receptors. The selective targeting of either of these two receptor subtypes has clear therapeutic value. Recent evidence indicates that some of the cannabinomimetic effects previously thought to be produced through CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors, be they on neuronal activity, on the vasculature tone or immune responses, still persist despite the pharmacological blockade or genetic ablation of CB(1) and/or CB(2) receptors. This suggests that additional cannabinoid and cannabinoid-like receptors exist. Here we will review this evidence in the context of their therapeutic value and discuss their true belonging to the endocannabinoid signaling system.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19248809