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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The Epigenetics of the Endocannabinoid System.

ijms-logo “The endocannabinoid system (ES) is a cell-signalling system widely distributed in biological tissues that includes endogenous ligands, receptors, and biosynthetic and hydrolysing machineries.

The impairment of the ES has been associated to several pathological conditions like behavioural, neurological, or metabolic disorders and infertility, suggesting that the modulation of this system may be critical for the maintenance of health status and disease treatment.

Lifestyle and environmental factors can exert long-term effects on gene expression without any change in the nucleotide sequence of DNA, affecting health maintenance and influencing both disease load and resistance. This potentially reversible “epigenetic” modulation of gene expression occurs through the chemical modification of DNA and histone protein tails or the specific production of regulatory non-coding RNA (ncRNA).

Recent findings demonstrate the epigenetic modulation of the ES in biological tissues; in the same way, endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists induce widespread or gene-specific epigenetic changes with the possibility of trans-generational epigenetic inheritance in the offspring explained by the transmission of deregulated epigenetic marks in the gametes.

Therefore, this review provides an update on the epigenetics of the ES, with particular attention on the emerging role in reproduction and fertility.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32046164

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/3/1113

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Organophosphate agent induces ADHD-like behaviors via inhibition of brain endocannabinoid-hydrolyzing enzyme(s) in adolescent male rats.

 Go to Volume 0, Issue ja“Anticholinergic organophosphate (OP) agents act on the diverse serine hydrolases, thereby revealing unexpected biological effects. Epidemiological studies indicate a relationship between OP exposure and development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms, whereas no plausible mechanism for the OP-induced ADHD has been established.

The present investigation employs ethyl octylphosphonofluoridate (EOPF) as an OP-probe which is an extremely potent inhibitor of endocannabinoid (EC, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol)-hydrolyzing enzymes: i.e., fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

Ex vivo experiment shows that EOPF treatment decreases FAAH and MAGL activities and conversely increases EC levels in rat brain. Subsequently, EOPF (treated intraperitoneally once at 0, 1, 2, or 3 mg/kg) clearly induces ADHD-like behaviors (in elevated plus-maze test) in both Wistar and spontaneously hypertensive rats. The EOPF-induced behaviors are reduced by a concomitant administration of cannabinoid receptor inverse agonist SLV-319.

Accordingly, EC system is a feasible target for OP-caused ADHD-like behaviors in adolescent rats.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31995978

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b08195

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Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders.

 Related image“Anecdotal evidence that cannabis preparations have medical benefits together with the discovery of the psychotropic plant cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) initiated efforts to develop cannabinoid-based therapeutics.

These efforts have been marked by disappointment, especially in relation to the unwanted central effects that result from activation of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), which have limited the therapeutic use of drugs that activate or inactivate this receptor.

The discovery of CB2 and of endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligands (endocannabinoids) raised new possibilities for safe targeting of this endocannabinoid system. However, clinical success has been limited, complicated by the discovery of an expanded endocannabinoid system – known as the endocannabinoidome – that includes several mediators that are biochemically related to the endocannabinoids, and their receptors and metabolic enzymes.

The approvals of nabiximols, a mixture of THC and the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol, for the treatment of spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and of purified botanical cannabidiol for the treatment of otherwise untreatable forms of paediatric epilepsy, have brought the therapeutic use of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in neurological diseases into the limelight.

In this Review, we provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoidome before discussing their involvement in and clinical relevance to a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy and glioblastoma.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31831863

“The existence of the endocannabinoidome explains in part why some non-euphoric cannabinoids, which affect several endocannabinoidome proteins, are useful for the treatment of neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41582-019-0284-z

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Gastrointestinal Adverse Events of Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Inverse Agonists suggest their Potential Use in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

 Image result for J Gastrointestin Liver Dis“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders characterized by pain and impaired bowel movements. Currently available drugs show limited efficacy.

Cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists (CB1-RAN) cause diarrhea and may be candidates for the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C). We evaluated the effects of CB1-RAN in clinical trials for their potential use in IBS-C.

METHODS:

Database search identified all clinical trials published up to May 2018 that reported rimonabant and taranabant treatment for at least one month and detailed the GI adverse events (AEs). Categorical outcomes (subgroups of AEs) were analyzed using the odds ratio (OR).

RESULTS:

Eighteen trials met the inclusion criteria. Rimonabant 20 mg produced significantly more overall AEs (OR=1.35, CI: 1.19-1.52, p<0.0001), psychiatric events (OR=1.79, CI: 1.46-2.21, p<0.001) and GI AEs (OR=2.05, CI: 1.65-2.55, p<0.001) compared to placebo. Taranabant at doses ranging from 0.5 to 8 mg produced significantly more overall AEs (OR=1.36, CI: 1.13-1.64, p<0.002), psychiatric AEs (1.82, CI: 1.54-2.16, p<0.001) and GI AEs (OR=1.75, CI: 1.29-2.37, p<0.001) compared to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

The approach to target CB1 in the gut for the treatment of IBS-C or chronic constipation seems a promising therapeutic option. Prospective clinical trials on the possible targeting of CB1 and the endocannabinoid system are warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31826058

https://www.jgld.ro/jgld/index.php/jgld/article/view/265

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Ligands of the CB2 cannabinoid receptors augment activity of the conventional antidepressant drugs in the behavioural tests in mice.

Behavioural Brain Research“Although a lot of information can be found on the specific dual role of the endocannabinoid system in the emotional-related responses, little is known whether stimulation or inhibition of the CB receptors may affect the activity of the frequently prescribed antidepressant drugs.

Our interests have been particularly focused on the potential influence of the CB2 receptors, as the ones whose central effects are relatively poorly documented when compared to the central effects of the CB1 receptors. Therefore, we evaluated the potential interaction between the CB2 receptor ligands (i.e., JWH133 – CB2 receptor agonist and AM630 – CB2 receptor inverse agonist) and several common antidepressant drugs that influence the monoaminergic system (i.e., imipramine, escitalopram, reboxetine).

Summarizing, the results of the present study revealed that both activation and inhibition of the CB2 receptor function have a potential to strengthen the antidepressant activity of drugs targeting the monoaminergic system. Most probably, the described interaction has a pharmacodynamic background.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31626848

“Interplay between CB2 receptor ligands and antidepressants is pharmacodynamic in nature.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432819311891?via%3Dihub

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Potential of Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands as Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.

 “Substance use disorder (SUD) is a major public health crisis worldwide, and effective treatment options are limited.

During the past 2 decades, researchers have investigated the impact of a variety of pharmacological approaches to treat SUD, one of which is the use of medical cannabis or cannabinoids.

Significant progress was made with the discovery of rimonabant, a selective CB1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist (also an inverse agonist), as a promising therapeutic for SUDs and obesity. However, serious adverse effects such as depression and suicidality led to the withdrawal of rimonabant (and almost all other CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists) from clinical trials worldwide in 2008.

Since then, much research interest has shifted to other cannabinoid-based strategies, such as peripheral CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists, neutral CB1R antagonists, allosteric CB1R modulators, CB2R agonists, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitors, fatty acid binding protein (FABP) inhibitors, or nonaddictive phytocannabinoids with CB1R or CB2R-binding profiles, as new therapeutics for SUDs.

In this article, we first review recent progress in research regarding the endocannabinoid systems, cannabis reward versus aversion, and the underlying receptor mechanisms. We then review recent progress in cannabinoid-based medication development for the treatment of SUDs.

As evidence continues to accumulate, neutral CB1R antagonists (such as AM4113), CB2R agonists (JWH133, Xie2-64), and nonselective phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol, β-caryophyllene, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabivarin) have shown great therapeutic potential for SUDs, as shown in experimental animals.

Several cannabinoid-based medications (e.g., dronabinol, nabilone, PF-04457845) that entered clinical trials have shown promising results in reducing withdrawal symptoms in cannabis and opioid users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31549358

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-019-00664-w

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Cannabinoids in Gynecological Diseases

Related image“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a multifunctional homeostatic system involved in many physiological and pathological conditions. The ligands of the ECS are the endo­cannabinoids, whose actions are mimicked by exogenous cannabinoids, such as phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. Responses to the ligands of the ECS are mediated by numerous receptors like the classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) as well as ECS-related receptors, e.g., G protein-coupled receptors 18 and 55 (GPR18 and GPR55), transient receptor potential ion channels, and nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The ECS regulates almost all levels of female reproduction, starting with oocyte production through to parturition. Dysregulation of the ECS is associated with the development of gynecological disorders from fertility disorders to cancer. Cannabinoids that act at the ECS as specific agonists or antagonists may potentially influence dysregulation and, therefore, represent new therapeutic options for the therapy of gynecological disorders.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/499164

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