Cannabinoid Modulation of the Stressed Hippocampus.

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“Exposure to stressful situations is one of the risk factors for the precipitation of several psychiatric disorders, including Major Depressive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Schizophrenia.

The hippocampal formation is a forebrain structure highly associated with emotional, learning and memory processes; being particularly vulnerable to stress. Exposure to stressful stimuli leads to neuroplastic changes and imbalance between inhibitory/excitatory networks. These changes have been associated with an impaired hippocampal function.

Endocannabinoids (eCB) are one of the main systems controlling both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, as well as neuroplasticity within the hippocampus.

Cannabinoids receptors are highly expressed in the hippocampus, and several lines of evidence suggest that facilitation of cannabinoid signaling within this brain region prevents stress-induced behavioral changes.

Also, chronic stress modulates hippocampal CB1 receptors expression and endocannabinoid levels.

Moreover, cannabinoids participate in mechanisms related to synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis. Here, we discussed the main findings supporting the involvement of hippocampal cannabinoid neurotransmission in stress-induced behavioral and neuroplastic changes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29311804

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2017.00411/full

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Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial

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“Research in both animals and humans indicates that cannabidiol (CBD) has antipsychotic properties.

The authors assessed the safety and effectiveness of CBD in patients with schizophrenia.

After 6 weeks of treatment, compared with the placebo group, the CBD group had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms and were more likely to have been rated as improved and as not severely unwell by the treating clinician.

These findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia. As CBD’s effects do not appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, this agent may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder.”

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Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics of Oral Cannabidiol Following Administration of PTL101: A New Formulation Based on Gelatin Matrix Pellets Technology.

Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main nonpsychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It has been associated with antiseizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects.

PTL101 is an oral gelatin matrix pellets technology-based formulation containing highly purified CBD embedded in seamless gelatin matrix beadlets. Study objectives were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of PTL101 containing 10 and 100 mg CBD, following single administrations to healthy volunteers and to compare the pharmacokinetic profiles and relative bioavailability of CBD with Sativex oromucosal spray (the reference product) in a randomized, crossover study design.

Administration of PTL101 containing 10 CBD, led to a 1.7-fold higher Cmax and 1.3-fold higher AUC compared with the oromucosal spray. Tmax following both modes of delivery was 3-3.5 hours postdosing. CBD exhibited about a 1-hour lag in absorption when delivered via PTL101. A 10-fold increase in the dose resulted in an ∼15-fold increase in Cmax and AUC. Bioavailability of CBD in the 10-mg PTL101 dose was 134% relative to the reference spray.

PTL101 is a pharmaceutical-grade, user-friendly oral formulation that demonstrated safe and efficient delivery of CBD and therefore could be an attractive candidate for therapeutic indications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29125702

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpdd.408/abstract

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The positive link between executive function and lifetime cannabis use in schizophrenia is not explained by current levels of superior social cognition.

Psychiatry Research Home

“There has been a growing link between a history of cannabis use and neurocognitive performance in patients with schizophrenia. Fewer neurocognitive deficits may be a marker of the superior social cognition needed to obtain illicit substances, or cannabis use may indicate a distinct path to schizophrenia with less neurocognitive vulnerability. This study sought to determine whether the relationship of cannabis use and executive function exists independently of social cognition.

Eighty-seven patients with schizophrenia were administered measures of social cognition and executive function. Social cognition was assessed using the Bell-Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test to measure affect recognition, and the Eyes and Hinting Tests to measure theory of mind. Executive function was assessed by the Mental Flexibility component of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning Scale. The relations between the variables were examined with structural equation modeling.

Cannabis use positively related to executive function, negatively related to affect recognition, and had no relationship with theory of mind. There were no indirect effects of other illicit substances on amount of regular cannabis use. Alcohol use was related to worse affect recognition. The relationship between cannabis use and better executive function was supported and was not explained by superior social cognition.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28152399

http://www.psy-journal.com/article/S0165-1781(16)31861-3/fulltext

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Chronic Adolescent Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Treatment of Male Mice Leads to Long-Term Cognitive and Behavioral Dysfunction, Which Are Prevented by Concurrent Cannabidiol Treatment.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“The current study examined the immediate and long-term behavioral consequences of THC, CBD, and their combination in a mouse model of adolescent cannabis use.

All THC-induced behavioral abnormalities were prevented by the coadministration of CBD+THC,

These data suggest that chronic exposure to THC during adolescence leads to some of the behavioral abnormalities common in schizophrenia. Interestingly, CBD appeared to antagonize all THC-induced behavioral abnormalities.

These findings support the hypothesis that adolescent THC use can impart long-term behavioral deficits; however, cotreatment with CBD prevents these deficits.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29098186

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2017.0034

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The Potential of Cannabidiol Treatment for Cannabis Users With Recent-Onset Psychosis.

Schizophrenia Bulletin

“A major factor associated with poor prognostic outcome after a first psychotic break is cannabis misuse, which is prevalent in schizophrenia and particularly common in individuals with recent-onset psychosis. Behavioral interventions aimed at reducing cannabis use have been unsuccessful in this population.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, although at low concentrations in modern-day strains. CBD has a broad pharmacological profile, but contrary to ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not activate CB1 or CB2 receptors and has at most subtle subjective effects.

Growing evidence indicates that CBD acts as an antipsychotic and anxiolytic, and several reports suggest neuroprotective effects. Moreover, CBD attenuates THC’s detrimental effects, both acutely and chronically, including psychotogenic, anxiogenic, and deleterious cognitive effects. This suggests that CBD may improve the disease trajectory of individuals with early psychosis and comorbid cannabis misuse in particular-a population with currently poor prognostic outcome and no specialized effective intervention.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29083450

https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/doi/10.1093/schbul/sbx105/4080751/The-Potential-of-Cannabidiol-Treatment-for

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Phytocannabinoids modulate emotional memory processing through interactions with the ventral hippocampus and mesolimbic dopamine system: implications for neuropsychiatric pathology.

Psychopharmacology

“Growing clinical and preclinical evidence suggests a potential role for the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) as a pharmacotherapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, is associated with acute and neurodevelopmental propsychotic side effects through its interaction with central cannabinoidtype 1 receptors (CB1Rs). CB1R stimulation in the ventral hippocampus (VHipp) potentiates affective memory formation through inputs to the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, thereby altering emotional salience attribution. These changes in DA activity and salience attribution, evoked by dysfunctional VHipp regulatory actions and THC exposure, could predispose susceptible individuals to psychotic symptoms. Although THC can accelerate the onset of schizophrenia, CBD displays antipsychotic properties, can prevent the acquisition of emotionally irrelevant memories, and reverses amphetamine-induced neuronal sensitization through selective phosphorylation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) molecular signaling pathway. This review summarizes clinical and preclinical evidence demonstrating that distinct phytocannabinoids act within the VHipp and associated corticolimbic structures to modulate emotional memory processing through changes in mesolimbic DA activity states, salience attribution, and signal transduction pathways associated with schizophrenia-related pathology.”

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An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“This literature survey aims to extend the comprehensive survey performed by Bergamaschi et al. in 2011 on cannabidiol (CBD) safety and side effects. Apart from updating the literature, this article focuses on clinical studies and CBD potential interactions with other drugs.

Results: In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research. The majority of studies were performed for treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders. Here, the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile. This could improve patients’ compliance and adherence to treatment. CBD is often used as adjunct therapy. Therefore, more clinical research is warranted on CBD action on hepatic enzymes, drug transporters, and interactions with other drugs and to see if this mainly leads to positive or negative effects, for example, reducing the needed clobazam doses in epilepsy and therefore clobazam’s side effects.

Conclusion: This review also illustrates that some important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied, for example, if CBD has an effect on hormones. Additionally, more clinical trials with a greater number of participants and longer chronic CBD administration are still lacking.”

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Even High Doses of Oral Cannabidol Do Not Cause THC-Like Effects in Humans

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant devoid of intoxicating effects. It may be of therapeutic value in a large number of diseases, including epilepsy, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenic psychosis, inflammatory diseases, dystonia, nausea, and vomiting without causing relevant or severe side effects.

No biosynthetic enzyme or pathway exists in the human body to convert CBD to THC.

This short communication examines the question whether the experimental data presented in a study by Merrick et al. are of clinical relevance. These authors found that cannabidiol (CBD), a major cannabinoid of the cannabis plant devoid of psychotropic effects and of great interest for therapeutic use in several medical conditions, may be converted in gastric fluid into the psychoactive cannabinoids delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC to a relevant degree. They concluded that “the acidic environment during normal gastrointestinal transit can expose orally CBD-treated patients to levels of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids that may exceed the threshold for a positive physiological response.” They issued a warning concerning oral use of CBD and recommend the development of other delivery methods.

However, the available clinical data do not support this conclusion and recommendation, since even high doses of oral CBD do not cause psychological, psychomotor, cognitive, or physical effects that are characteristic for THC or cannabis rich in THC. On the contrary, in the past decades and by several groups, high doses of oral CBD were consistently shown to cause opposite effects to those of THC in clinical studies. In addition, administration of CBD did not result in detectable THC blood concentrations.

Thus, there is no reason to avoid oral use of CBD, which has been demonstrated to be a safe means of administration of CBD, even at very high doses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861499

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2016.0036

“A Conversion of Oral Cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Seems Not to Occur in Humans.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28861507

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Modulation of Astrocyte Activity by Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoid.

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“The astrocytes have gained in recent decades an enormous interest as a potential target for neurotherapies, due to their essential and pleiotropic roles in brain physiology and pathology. Their precise regulation is still far from understood, although several candidate molecules/systems arise as promising targets for astrocyte-mediated neuroregulation and/or neuroprotection.

The cannabinoid system and its ligands have been shown to interact and affect activities of astrocytes. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main non-psychotomimetic cannabinoid derived from Cannabis. CBD is devoid of direct CB1 and CB2 receptor activity, but exerts a number of important effects in the brain. Here, we attempt to sum up the current findings on the effects of CBD on astrocyte activity, and in this way on central nervous system (CNS) functions, across various tested models and neuropathologies.

The collected data shows that increased astrocyte activity is suppressed in the presence of CBD in models of ischemia, Alzheimer-like and Multiple-Sclerosis-like neurodegenerations, sciatic nerve injury, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Moreover, CBD has been shown to decrease proinflammatory functions and signaling in astrocytes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28788104

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/8/1669

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