Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2: A Possible Target in SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-19) Infection?

ijms-logo“In late December 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or CoV-19) appeared in Wuhan, China, causing a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 causes mild to severe respiratory tract inflammation, often developing into lung fibrosis with thrombosis in pulmonary small vessels and causing even death. COronaVIrus Disease (COVID-19) patients manifest exacerbated inflammatory and immune responses, cytokine storm, prevalence of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages and increased levels of resident and circulating immune cells. Men show higher susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection than women, likely due to estrogens production. The protective role of estrogens, as well as an immune-suppressive activity that limits the excessive inflammation, can be mediated by cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). The role of this receptor in modulating inflammation and immune response is well documented in fact in several settings. The stimulation of CB2 receptors is known to limit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, shift the macrophage phenotype towards the anti-inflammatory M2 type and enhance the immune-modulating properties of mesenchymal stromal cells. For these reasons, we hypothesize that CB2 receptor can be a therapeutic target in COVID-19 pandemic emergency.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32471272/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/11/3809

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinomics: Application of Metabolomics in Cannabis ( Cannabis sativa L.) Research and Development

frontiers in plant science – Retraction Watch “Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) is a complex, polymorphic plant species, which produces a vast array of bioactive metabolites, the two major chemical groups being cannabinoids and terpenoids. Nonetheless, the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9 -THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD), are the two major cannabinoids that have monopolized the research interest.

Currently, more than 600 Cannabis varieties are commercially available, providing access to a multitude of potent extracts with complex compositions, whose genetics are largely inconclusive. Recently introduced legislation on Cannabis cultivation in many countries represents a great opportunity, but at the same time, a great challenge for Cannabis research and development (R&D) toward applications in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics, and agrochemical industries.

Based on its versatility and unique capabilities in the deconvolution of the metabolite composition of complex matrices, metabolomics represents an ideal bioanalytical tool that could greatly assist and accelerate Cannabis R&D. Among others, Cannabis metabolomics or cannabinomics can be applied in the taxonomy of Cannabis varieties in chemovars, the research on the discovery and assessment of new Cannabis-based sources of bioactivity in medicine, the development of new food products, and the optimization of its cultivation, aiming for improvements in yield and potency.

Although Cannabis research is still in its infancy, it is highly foreseen that the employment of advanced metabolomics will provide insights that could assist the sector to face the aforementioned challenges. Within this context, here, the current state-of-the-art and conceptual aspects of cannabinomics are presented.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32457786/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2020.00554/full

www.frontiersin.org

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Nabiximols Plus Robotic Assisted Gait Training in Improving Motor Performances in People With Multiple Sclerosis

szklerózis multiplex Archives | Magyar Orvosi Kannabisz Egyesület“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, affecting ambulation even in people with only mild neurological signs. Patients with MS frequently experience spasticity, which contributes significantly to impair their motor functions, including ambulation, owing to muscle stiffness, spasms, and pain.

Objectives: To clarify the role of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol(THC):cannabidiol(CBD) oromucosal spray, coupled to robot-aided gait training (RAGT) using the Lokomat©Pro to improve functional ambulation in patients with MS.

Methods: We compared 20 patients with MS, who were treated with THC:CBD oromucosal spray in add-on to the ongoing oral antispastic therapy (OAT) (group A), with 20 individuals with MS (matched for clinical-demographic characteristics) who were treated only with OAT (group B). Both the groups underwent RAGT using the Lokomat-Pro (three 45-minute sessions per week). Our primary outcome measures were the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and the 10 meters walking test (10MWT). As secondary outcome measures we evaluated the brain cortical excitability by using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Both parameters were taken before and after the end of the RAGT.

Results: FIM improved in group A more than in group B (p<0.001). Moreover, 10MWT decreased in group A more than in group B (p<0.001). These clinical findings were paralleled by a more evident reshape of intracortical excitability in both upper and lower limbs, as suggested by motor evoked potential amplitude increase (p<0.001), intracortical inhibition strengthening (p<0.001), and intracortical facilitation decrease (p=0.01) in group A as compared to group B.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the combined THC:CBD-RAGT approach could be useful in improving gait performance in patients with MS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32447249/

“The coupled therapy is preliminarily demonstrated as safe and efficacious.”

https://www.msard-journal.com/article/S2211-0348(20)30253-4/pdf

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

[CHARACTERISTICS OF MEDICAL CANNABIS USAGE AMONG PATIENTS WITH FIBROMYALGIA]

Harefuah” - IMA - Israel Medicine Association“Medical cannabis (MC) is becoming more and more popular among patients with chronic pain syndromes.

In this study we evaluated the characteristics of MC use among patients with fibromyalgia.

MC is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia, with nearly zero % withdrawal from this treatment.

MC treatment enabled nearly half of the patients to discontinue any treatment for fibromyalgia and all participants recommended MC treatment for their loved ones in case they develop severe fibromyalgia.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32431124/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The Cannabis Spread Throughout the Continents and Its Therapeutic Use in History

“Historical relevance: Cannabis sativa L. (C. sativa) is a plant whose use as a therapeutic agent shares its origins with the first Far East’s human societies. Cannabis has been used not only for recreational purposes, but as a food to obtain textile fibers, to produce hemp paper, to treat many physical and mental disorders.

This review aims to provide a complete assessment of the deep knowledge of the cannabis psychoactive effects and medicinal properties in the course of history covering i.) the empirical use of the seeds and the inflorescences to treat many physical ailments by the ancient Oriental physicians ii.) the current use of cannabis as a therapeutic agent after the discovery of its key psychoactive constituent and the human endogenous endocannabinoid system.

Results and conclusion: Through a detailed analysis of the available resources about the origins of C. sativa we found that its use by ancient civilizations as a source of food and textile fibers dates back over 10,000 years, while its therapeutic applications have been improved over the centuries, from the ancient East medicine of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. to the more recent introduction in the Western world after the 1st century A.D. In the 20th and 21th centuries, Cannabis and its derivatives have been considered as a menace and banned throughout the world, but nowadays they are still the most widely consumed illicit drugs all over the world. Its legalization in some jurisdictions has been accompanied by new lines of research to investigate its possible applications for medical and therapeutic purposes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32433013/?from_term=cannabinoid&from_sort=date&from_size=200&from_pos=6

http://www.eurekaselect.com/182145/article

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Investigation of cannabidiol gastro retentive tablets based on regional absorption of cannabinoids in rats.

European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics“The cannabis plant has been widely researched for many therapeutic indications and found to be effective in many chronic conditions such as epilepsy, neuropathic or chronic pain and more. However, biased opinion against compounds of the plant, regulatory as well as compounding challenges have led to very few approved medicinal products. Those formulations which are approved are dosed several times a day, creating an unmet need for controlled release (CR) formulations of cannabinoids. Conventional CR formulations rely on prolonged absorption including the colon. The purpose of this work is to investigate regional absorption of major cannabinoids THC and CBD from the colon and develop a suitable CR formulation. As hypothesized by researchers, THC and CBD have poor absorption from the colon compared to small intestine, suggesting that these compounds have a narrow absorption window. The suggested formulation examined in-vitro was a floating gastro retentive tablet based on egg albumin matrix, gas generating agents and surfactants. In-vivo investigation of CBD containing formulation in the freely moving rat model proved a prolonged absorption phase with a substantial increase in bioavailability compared to CBD solution. The findings of this paper answer a crucial question regarding potential application of CR dosage forms for cannabinoids and shed light on the regional intestinal absorption of these compounds. Ultimately, these results cement the way for future development of cannabinoid gastro retentive dosage forms.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32422168

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939641120301375?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis Phytomolecule ‘Entourage’: From Domestication to Medical Use.

 

Trends in Plant Science: Special issue: Specifi...“Cannabis has been used as a medicine for millennia.

Crude extracts of cannabis inflorescence contain numerous phytomolecules, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Combinations of phytomolecules have been recently established as superior to the use of single molecules in medical treatment owing to the ‘entourage effect’.

Two types of entourage effects are defined: ‘intra-entourage’, resulting from interactions among phytocannabinoids or terpenes, and ‘inter-entourage’, attributed to interactions between phytocannabinoids and terpenes. It is suggested that the phytomolecule assemblages found in cannabis chemovars today derive from selective breeding during ancient cultivation.

We propose that the current cannabis chemotaxonomy should be redefined according to chemical content and medicinal activity. In parallel, combinations of phytomolecules that exhibit entourage activity should be explored further for future drug development.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32417167

“Cannabis has been used for millennia by humanity for social, ritual, and medical purposes. Humans bred and selected for cannabis strains based on their needs.”

https://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/pdf/S1360-1385(20)30122-9.pdf?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1360138520301229%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Biological potential of varinic-, minor-, and acidic phytocannabinoids.

Pharmacological Research“While natural Δ9-tetrahidrocannabinol (Δ9THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and their therapeutic potential have been extensively researched, some cannabinoids have not been widely investigated.

The present article compiles data from the literature that highlights research on and the therapeutic possibilities of lesser known phytocannabinoids, which we have divided into varinic, acidic, and “minor” (i.e., cannabinoids that are not present in high quantities in common varieties of Cannabis sativa L).

A growing interest in these compounds, which are enriched in some cannabis varieties, has already resulted in enough preclinical information to show that they are promising therapeutic agents for a variety of diseases.

Each phytocannabinoid has a “preferential” mechanism of action, and often target the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and/or CB2. The recent resolution of the structure of cannabinoid receptors demonstrates the atypical nature of cannabinoid binding, and that different binding modes depend on the agonist or partial agonist/inverse agonist, which allows for differential signaling, even acting on the same cannabinoid receptor. In addition, other players and multiple signaling pathways may be targeted/engaged by phytocannabinoids, thereby expanding the mechanistic possibilities for therapeutic use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32416215

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661820311099?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Targeting Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Peripheral Leukocytes to Attenuate Inflammatory Mechanisms Implicated in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder.

 SpringerLink“HIV infection affects an estimated 38 million people. Approximately 50% of HIV patients exhibit neurocognitive dysfunction termed HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND). HAND is a consequence of chronic low-level neuroinflammation due to HIV entry into the brain. Initially, monocytes become activated in circulation and traffic to the brain. Monocytes, when activated, become susceptible to infection by HIV and can then carry the virus across the blood brain barrier. Once in the brain, activated monocytes secrete chemokines, which recruit virus-specific CD8+ T cells into the brain to further promote neuroinflammation. HAND is closely linked to systemic inflammation driven, in part, by HIV but is also due to persistent translocation of microorganisms across the GI tract. Persistent anti-viral responses in the GI tract compromise microbial barrier integrity. Indeed, HIV patients can exhibit remarkably high levels of activated (CD16+) monocytes in circulation.

Recent studies, including our own, show that HIV patients using medical marijuana exhibit lower levels of circulating CD16+ monocytes than non-cannabis using HIV patients. Cannabis is a known immune modulator, including anti-inflammatory properties, mediated, in part, by ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as less characterized minor cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes and presumably other cannabis constituents. The immune modulating activity of THC is largely mediated through cannabinoid receptors (CB) 1 and 2, with CB1 also responsible for the psychotropic properties of cannabis.

Here we discuss the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids in the context of HIV and propose CB2 as a putative therapeutic target for the treatment of neuroinflammation. Graphical Abstract HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder is a systemic inflammatory disease leading to activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, monocytes and T cells. Monocyte and CD8 T cell migration across the BBB and interaction with astrocytes promotes neurotoxic inflammatory mediators release. CB2 ligands are proposed as therapeutics capable of suppressing systemic and localized inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32409991

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11481-020-09918-7

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Totality of the Evidence Suggests Prenatal Cannabis Exposure Does Not Lead to Cognitive Impairments: A Systematic and Critical Review

Special issue Frontiers in Psychology“Despite limited data demonstrating pronounced negative effects of prenatal cannabis exposure, popular opinion and public policies still reflect the belief that cannabis is fetotoxic.

This article provides a critical review of results from longitudinal studies examining the impact of prenatal cannabis exposure on multiple domains of cognitive functioning in individuals aged 0 to 22 years.

The current evidence does not suggest that prenatal cannabis exposure alone is associated with clinically significant cognitive functioning impairments.

The current review of the literature found that there are relatively few cognitive alterations noted in offspring exposed to cannabis prenatally.

In general, prenatal cannabis exposure was associated with few effects, negative or positive.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00816/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous