Cannabis, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system – is there therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease?

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“Cannabis sativa and its extracts have been used for centuries both medicinally and recreationally. There is accumulating evidence that exogenous cannabis and related cannabinoids improve symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease such as pain, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea. In vivo, exocannabinoids have been demonstrated to improve colitis, mainly in chemical models. Exocannabinoids signal through the endocannabinoid system, an increasingly understood network of endogenous lipid ligands and their receptors, together with a number of synthetic and degradative enzymes and the resulting products. Modulating the endocannabinoid system using pharmacological receptor agonists, genetic knockout models, or inhibition of degradative enzymes have largely shown improvements in colitis in vivo. Despite these promising experimental results, this has not translated into meaningful benefits for human IBD in the few clinical trials which have been conducted to date. The largest study to date being limited by poor medication tolerance due to the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol component. This review article synthesises the current literature surrounding the modulation of the endocannabinoid system and administration of exocannabinoids in experimental and human IBD. Findings of clinical surveys and studies of cannabis use in IBD are summarised. Discrepancies in the literature are highlighted together with identifying novel areas of interest.”

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Medical Cannabis: A plurimillennial history of an evergreen.

 Journal of Cellular Physiology banner“The history of Cannabis goes along that of humankind, as speculated based on geographical and evolutionary models together with historic data collected to date. Its medical use is several thousand years old, as attested both by archeobotanical evidence of Cannabis remains and written records found in ancient texts from the sacred Vedic foundational texts of Ayurvedic medicine (about 800 before current era [BCE]) to the first known Pharmacopoea, the Chinese “Shen Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching” (1 century BCE). In this paper, we retrace the history of Cannabis traveling through the key stages of its diffusion among the most important ancient cultures up to our days, when we are facing a renaissance of its medical employment. We report through the centuries evidence of its use in numerous pathologic conditions especially for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anticonvulsing properties that support the requirement to direct our present research efforts into the definitive understanding of its efficacy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30417354

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcp.27725

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Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

“Phytocannabinoids modulate inflammatory responses by regulating the production of cytokines in several experimental models of inflammation.

Cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor activation was shown to reduce the production of the monocyte chemotactic protein-2 (MCP-2) chemokine in polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly-(I:C)]-stimulated human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, an in vitro model of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

We investigated if nonpsychotropic cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), produced similar effects in this experimental model of ACD.

We show that in poly-(I:C)-stimulated HaCaT cells, CBD elevates the levels of AEA and dose-dependently inhibits poly-(I:C)-induced release of MCP-2, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α in a manner reversed by CB2 and TRPV1 antagonists 6-iodopravadoline (AM630) and 5′-iodio-resiniferatoxin (I-RTX), respectively, with no cytotoxic effect.

This is the first demonstration of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in an experimental model of ACD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29632236

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/365/3/652.long

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Anti-inflammatory agents for smoking cessation? Focus on cognitive deficits associated with nicotine withdrawal in male mice.

 Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

“Nicotine withdrawal is associated with cognitive deficits including attention, working memory, and episodic memory impairments.

Treatment with the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol abolished memory impairment of nicotine withdrawal and microglia reactivity, reduced the expression of IL1β and IFNγ in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, respectively, and normalized Ki67 levels. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin also prevented cognitive deficits and microglial reactivity during withdrawal.

These data underline the usefulness of anti-inflammatory agents to improve cognitive performance during early nicotine abstinence.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30391635

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159118302599?via%3Dihub

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New insights on atherosclerosis: A cross-talk between endocannabinoid systems with gut microbiota.

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“The incidence of atherosclerosis is increasing rapidly all over the world. Inflammatory processes have outstanding role in coronary artery disease (CAD) etiology and other atherosclerosis manifestations. Recently attentions have been increased about gut microbiota in many fields of medicine especially in inflammatory diseases like atherosclerosis. Ineffectiveness in gut barrier functions and subsequent metabolic endotoxemia (caused by rise in plasma lipopolysaccharide levels) is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation i.e. a recognized feature of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the role of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a gut bacterial metabolite has been suggested in atherosclerosis development. On the other hand, the effectiveness of gut microbiota modulation that results in TMAO reduction has been investigated. Moreover, considerable evidence supports a role for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in atherosclerosis pathology which affects gut microbiota, but their effects on atherosclerosis are controversial. Therefore, we presented some evidence about the relationship between gut microbiota and ECS in atherosclerosis. We also presented evidences that gut microbiota modulation by pre/probiotics can have significant influence on the ECS.

Even though there are many questions which have been unanswered, studies demonstrated that mucosal barrier function disruption and subsequent gut microbiota-derived endotoxemia could contribute to cardiometabolic diseases pathogenesis. As well, number of studies revealed that TMAO in systemic circulation can activate macrophages which lead to cholesterol accumulation and subsequent foam cells formation in atherosclerotic lesions. On the other hand, accumulating evidence proposes that ECS involved in many physiological processes that are related to maintenance of gut-barrier function and inflammation regulation. Hence, although present literature review provides beneficial evidence in support of crosstalk between ECS and gut microbiota, additional studies are needed to clarify whether gut microbiota modulation can alter ECS tone and inflammation levels or not.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6203867/

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The Role of Cannabis in the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review of Clinical, Scientific, and Regulatory Information: Commissioned by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Oxford University Press

“There is significant interest among patients and providers in using cannabis (marijuana) and its derivatives to treat a number of chronic illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease. Despite the Schedule I classification of cannabis by the federal government, state governments have sought ways to make cannabis available for specific medical conditions, and some states have legalized cannabis outright. This white paper summarizes the preclinical data, clinical data, safety data, and the regulatory landscape as they apply to medical cannabis use in inflammatory bowel disease. Animal models of cannabinoid chemistry and physiology give evidence of anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, and nociceptive-limiting properties. Human studies have found benefit in controlling symptoms and improving quality of life, but no studies have established true disease modification given the absent improvement in biomarker profiles or endoscopic healing. Finally, this review describes the legal, regulatory, and practical hurdles to studying the risks and benefits of medical cannabis in the United States.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30358848

https://academic.oup.com/ibdjournal/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ibd/izy319/5144402?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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Acute administration of beta-caryophyllene prevents endocannabinoid system activation during transient common carotid artery occlusion and reperfusion.

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“The transient global cerebral hypoperfusion/reperfusion achieved by induction of Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion followed by Reperfusion (BCCAO/R) has been shown to stimulate early molecular changes that can be easily traced in brain tissue and plasma, and that are indicative of the tissue physiological response to the reperfusion-induced oxidative stress and inflammation.

The aim of the present study is to probe the possibility to prevent the molecular changes induced by the BCCAO/R with dietary natural compounds known to possess anti-inflammatory activity, such as the phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene (BCP).

CONCLUSIONS:

Collectively, the pre-treatment with BCP, likely acting as agonist for CB2 and PPAR-alpha receptors, modulates in a beneficial way the ECS activation and the lipoperoxidation, taken as indicative of oxidative stress. Furthermore, our results support the evidence that BCP may be used as a dietary supplement to control the physiological response to the hypoperfusion/reperfusion-induced oxidative stress.”

“beta-caryophyllene (BCP), a sesquiterpene found as a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous food plants and primary component in Cannabis sativa L., is a dietary phytocannabinoid acting as selective agonist for CB2 receptor and peroxisome-proliferator activating receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha)”
“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934
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Beta-caryophyllene protects diet-induced dyslipidemia and vascular inflammation in rats: Involvement of CB2 and PPAR-γ receptors.

Chemico-Biological Interactions

“Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a phytocannabinoid possessing selective agonistic activity to cannabinoid type-2 receptors (CB2R) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors-α (PPAR-α). However, few studies reported the contribution of PPAR-γ receptors in BCP effects.

The aim of this study was to investigate the BCP effects on diet-induced dyslipidemia and vascular inflammation as well as the involvement of CB2R and PPAR-γ receptors.

BCP treatment was superior to pioglitazone in anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic measures. BCP may represent a more potent alternate to pioglitazone avoiding its side effects in the treatment of insulin resistance and vascular inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30343038

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009279718309347?via%3Dihub

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

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Molecular Imaging of the Cannabinoid System in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease.

International Review of Neurobiology

“The endocannabinoid system is a modulator of neurotransmitter release and is involved in several physiological functions. Hence, it has been increasingly studied as a potential pharmacologic target of Parkinson’s disease.

Several preclinical and clinical studies evidenced a substantial rearrangement of the endocannabinoid system in the basal ganglia circuit following dopamine depletion. The endocannabinoid system has been additionally implicated in the regulation of neuroinflammation and neuroprotection through the activation of CB2 receptors, suggesting a potential target for disease modifying therapies in Parkinson’s disease.

In this chapter, current pharmacological and physiological knowledge on the role of the endocannabinoid system will be reviewed, focusing on preclinical studies animal models and clinical studies in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. The main strategies for imaging the brain cannabinoid system will be summarized to finally focus on in vivo imaging of patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30314601

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0074774218300692?via%3Dihub

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A systematic review on the neuroprotective perspectives of beta-caryophyllene.

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“Beta (β)-caryophyllene (BCAR) is a major sesquiterpene of various plant essential oils reported for several important pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, nephroprotective, antimicrobial, and immune-modulatory activity. Recent studies suggest that it also possesses neuroprotective effect.

This study reviews published reports pertaining to the neuropharmacological activities of BCAR. Databases such as PubMed, Scopus, MedLine Plus, and Google Scholar with keywords “beta (β)-caryophyllene” and other neurological keywords were searched. Data were extracted by referring to articles with information about the dose or concentration/route of administration, test system, results and discussion, and proposed mechanism of action.

A total of 545 research articles were recorded, and 41 experimental studies were included in this review, after application of exclusion criterion. Search results suggest that BCAR exhibits a protective role in a number of nervous system-related disorders including pain, anxiety, spasm, convulsion, depression, alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, BCAR has local anesthetic-like activity, which could protect the nervous system from oxidative stress and inflammation and can act as an immunomodulatory agent. Most neurological activities of this natural product have been linked with the cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), especially the CB2R. This review suggests a possible application of BCAR as a neuroprotective agent.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30281175

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

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