It Is Our Turn to Get Cannabis High: Put Cannabinoids in Food and Health Baskets

molecules-logo“Cannabis is an annual plant with a long history of use as food, feed, fiber, oil, medicine, and narcotics. Despite realizing its true value, it has not yet found its true place. Cannabis has had a long history with many ups and downs, and now it is our turn to promote it.

Cannabis contains approximately 600 identified and many yet unidentified potentially useful compounds. Cannabinoids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and alkaloids are some of the secondary metabolites present in cannabis. However, among a plethora of unique chemical compounds found in this plant, the most important ones are phytocannabinoids (PCs).

Over hundreds of 21-22-carbon compounds exclusively produce in cannabis glandular hairs through either polyketide and or deoxyxylulose phosphate/methylerythritol phosphate (DOXP/MEP) pathways. Trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are those that first come to mind while talking about cannabis. Nevertheless, despite the low concentration, cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinodiol (CBND), and cannabinidiol (CBDL) may have potentially some medical effects.

PCs and endocannabinoids (ECs) mediate their effects mainly through CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite all concerns regarding cannabis, nobody can ignore the use of cannabinoids as promising tonic, analgesic, antipyretic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anticancer agents, which are effective for pain relief, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, and appetite stimulation.

The scientific community and public society have now increasingly accepted cannabis specifically hemp as much more than a recreational drug. There are growing demands for cannabinoids, mainly CBD, with many diverse therapeutic and nutritional properties in veterinary or human medicine. The main objective of this review article is to historically summarize findings concerning cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, towards putting these valuable compounds into food, feed and health baskets and current and future trends in the consumption of products derived from cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32899626/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/18/4036

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Cannabidiol as a Novel Therapeutic for Immune Modulation

 “The immune-suppressive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are attributed to the modulation of essential immunological signaling pathways and receptors. Mechanistic understanding of the pharmacological effects of CBD emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD as a novel immune modulator.

Studies have observed that the antagonists of CB1 and CB2 receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 reverse the immunomodulatory effects of CBD. CBD also inhibits critical activators of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway, as well as the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor signaling pathway, in turn decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Furthermore, CBD protects against cellular damage incurred during immune responses by modulating adenosine signaling.

Ultimately, the data overwhelmingly support the immunosuppressive effects of CBD and this timely review draws attention to the prospective development of CBD as an effective immune modulatory therapeutic.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32903924/

https://www.dovepress.com/cannabidiol-as-a-novel-therapeutic-for-immune-modulation-peer-reviewed-article-ITT

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Spinal cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors activation attenuates mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

 Behavioural Pharmacology“Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with a high number of complications such as peripheral neuropathy, which causes sensorial disturbances and may lead to the development of diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). The current treatment for DNP is just palliative and the drugs may cause severe adverse effects, leading to discontinuation of treatment. Thus, new therapeutic targets need to be urgently investigated.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids have promising effects in the treatment of several pathological conditions, including chronic pain.

Thus, we aimed to investigate the acute effect of the intrathecal injection of CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonists N-(2-chloroethyl)-5Z, 8Z, 11Z, 14Z-eicosatetraenamide (ACEA) or JWH 133, respectively (10, 30 or 100 μg/rat) on the mechanical allodynia associated with experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal) in rats.

Cannabinoid receptor antagonists CB1 AM251 or CB2 AM630 (1 mg/kg) were given before treatment with respective agonists to confirm the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors. Rats with diabetes exhibited a significant reduction on the paw mechanical threshold 2 weeks after diabetes induction, having the maximum effect observed 4 weeks after the streptozotocin injection. This mechanical allodynia was significantly improved by intrathecal treatment with ACEA or JWH 133 (only at the higher dose of 100 μg). Pre-treatment with AM251 or AM630 significantly reverted the anti-allodynic effect of the ACEA or JWH 133, respectively.

Considering the clinical challenge that the treatment of DPN represents, this study showed for the first time, that the intrathecal cannabinoid receptors agonists may represent an alternative for the treatment of DNP.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32804775/

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Naturally Occurring Cannabinoids and their Role in Modulation of Cardiovascular Health

 Publication Cover“In recent years, the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in various cardiovascular conditions has been a subject of great interest. The ECS is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, also known as endocannabinoids, and enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids.

Several lines of evidence suggest that the ECS plays a complex role in cardiac and vascular systems; however, under normal physiological conditions the functions of the ECS are limited. Overactivation of components of the ECS has been associated with various cardiovascular conditions.

Intriguingly, activation of the ECS may also reflect a cardioprotective compensatory mechanism. With this knowledge, a range of naturally occurring and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes have emerged as promising approaches for the treatment or management of cardiovascular health.

This review will first focus on the known role of the ECS in regulating the cardiovascular system. Secondly, we discuss emerging data highlighting the therapeutic potential of naturally occurring non-psychoactive ECS modulators within the cardiovascular system, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and the endocannabinoid-like molecule palmitoylethanolamide.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32677481/

“Several approaches discussed here, including administration of eCB-related molecules such as PEA, or supplementing with various phytocannabinoids can be promising candidates for the management of cardiovascular risk factors and CVD.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19390211.2020.1790708

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Cannabinoid 1 Receptor (CB1R) Antagonists Play a Neuroprotective Role in Chronic Alcoholic Hippocampal Injury Related to Pyroptosis Pathway

 Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research“Alcohol use disorders affect millions of people worldwide and there is growing evidence that excessive alcohol intake causes severe damage to the brain of both humans and animals.

Numerous studies on chronic alcohol exposure in animal models have identified that many functional impairments are associated with the hippocampus, which is a structure exhibiting substantial vulnerability to alcohol exposure. However, the precise mechanisms that lead to structural and functional impairments of the hippocampus are poorly understood.

Herein, we report a novel cell death type, namely pyroptosis, which accounts for alcohol neurotoxicity in mice.

Conclusions: Alcohol induces hippocampal pyroptosis, which leads to neurotoxicity thereby indicating that pyroptosis may be an essential pathway involved in chronic alcohol-induced hippocampal neurotoxicity. Further, cannabinoid receptors are regulated during this process, which suggests promising therapeutic strategies against alcohol-induced neurotoxicity through pharmacologic inhibition of CB1R.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32524615/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.14391

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Targeting the Endocannabinoid CB1 Receptor to Treat Body Weight Disorders: A Preclinical and Clinical Review of the Therapeutic Potential of Past and Present CB1 Drugs

biomolecules-logo“Obesity rates are increasing worldwide and there is a need for novel therapeutic treatment options.

The endocannabinoid system has been linked to homeostatic processes, including metabolism, food intake, and the regulation of body weight.

Rimonabant, an inverse agonist for the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, was effective at producing weight loss in obese subjects. However, due to adverse psychiatric side effects, rimonabant was removed from the market.

More recently, we reported an inverse relationship between cannabis use and BMI, which has now been duplicated by several groups.

As those results may appear contradictory, we review here preclinical and clinical studies that have studied the impact on body weight of various cannabinoid CB1 drugs. Notably, we will review the impact of CB1 inverse agonists, agonists, partial agonists, and neutral antagonists.

Those findings clearly point out the cannabinoid CB1 as a potential effective target for the treatment of obesity. Recent preclinical studies suggest that ligands targeting the CB1 may retain the therapeutic potential of rimonabant without the negative side effect profile. Such approaches should be tested in clinical trials for validation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32512776/

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/10/6/855

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Pharmacological Data of Cannabidiol- And Cannabigerol-Type Phytocannabinoids Acting on Cannabinoid CB 1, CB 2 and CB 1/CB 2 Heteromer Receptors

Pharmacological Research“Background: Recent approved medicines whose active principles are Δ9Tetrahidrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) open novel perspectives for other phytocannabinoids also present in Cannabis sativa L. varieties. Furthermore, solid data on the potential benefits of acidic and varinic phytocannabinoids in a variety of diseases are already available. Mode of action of cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabigerivarin (CBGV) is, to the very least, partial.

Hypothesis/purpose: Cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors, which belong to the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family, are important mediators of the action of those cannabinoids. Pure CBG, CBDA, CBGA, CBDV and CBGV from Cannabis sativa L. are differentially acting on CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

Study design: Determination of the affinity of phytocannabinoids for cannabinoid receptors and functional assessment of effects promoted by these compounds when interacting with cannabinoid receptors.

Methods: A heterologous system expressing the human versions of CB1 and/or CB2 receptors was used. Binding to membranes was measured using radioligands and binding to living cells using a homogenous time resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (HTRF) assay. Four different functional outputs were assayed: determination of cAMP levels and of extracellular-signal-related-kinase phosphorylation, label-free dynamic mass redistribution (DMR) and ß-arrestin recruitment.

Results: Affinity of cannabinoids depend on the ligand of reference and may be different in membranes and in living cells. All tested phytocannabinoids have agonist-like behavior but behaved as inverse-agonists in the presence of selective receptor agonists. CBGV displayed enhanced potency in many of the functional outputs. However the most interesting result was a biased signaling that correlated with differential affinity, i.e. the overall results suggest that the binding mode of each ligand leads to specific receptor conformations underlying biased signaling outputs.

Conclusion: Results here reported and the recent elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of CB1 and CB2 receptors help understanding the mechanism of action that might be protective and the molecular drug-receptor interactions underlying biased signaling.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32470563/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661820312482?via%3Dihub

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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

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Endocannabinoids and Stroke Prevention: Review of Clinical Studies.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“The societal burden of ischemic stroke suggests a need for additional therapeutic categories in stroke prevention.

Modulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a rational target for stroke prevention because of its effects on inflammation, vascular tone, and metabolic balance, all well-described stroke risk factors.

In this article, we summarize the existing ECS clinical studies in human subjects’ research as they relate to conventional vascular risk factors associated with ischemic stroke.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32322672

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0066

“The endocannabinoid system and stroke: A focused review. This review seeks to summarize the recent evidence for the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in stroke pathophysiology, as well as the evidence from preclinical studies regarding the efficacy of cannabinoids as neuroprotective therapies in the treatment of stroke.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6458776/

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Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant.

molecules-logo “Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)-as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa.

However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself.

In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32235333

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/7/1567

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