Potential of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.

Image result for pharmacological research journal

“Viral hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) pose a major health problem globally and if untreated, both viruses lead to severe liver damage resulting in liver cirrhosis and cancer. While HBV has a vaccine, HCV has none at the moment. The risk of drug resistance, combined with the high cost of current therapies, makes it a necessity for cost-effective therapeutics to be discovered and developed.

The recent surge in interest in Medical Cannabis has led to interest in evaluating and validating the therapeutic potentials of Cannabis and its metabolites against various diseases including viruses. Preliminary screening of cannabidiol (CBD) revealed that CBD is active against HCV but not against HBV in vitro. CBD inhibited HCV replication by 86.4% at a single concentration of 10 μM with EC50 of 3.163 μM in a dose-response assay.

These findings suggest that CBD could be further developed and used therapeutically against HCV. Cannabidiol exhibited in vitro activity against viral hepatitis C.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28250664

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis plants and is credited for several pharmacological properties. It is also known to have beneficial effects against inflammation/pain, neurological conditions, cancer, and other ailments. In general, with regard to antiviral activity, medical Cannabis was reported to be used as an accompanying remedy by HIV/AIDS patients to alleviate neuropathic pain, wasting, nausea, and vomiting. Given the increasing use and application of medical Cannabis along with its nonpsychoactive metabolite (CBD), and in line with our continuous effort to evaluate and validate the potential therapeutic properties of CBD, the major aim of this study was as such to evaluate the anti-HBV and anti-HCV activities of CBD in vitro. We report here for the first time in vitro studies to demonstrate the antiviral activity of CBD against HCV. CBD was shown to have activity against HCV in vitro but not against HBV. A review of the literature seems to suggest that CBD may also have activity in vivo based on its interaction with the CB2 receptor and as such using a host mechanism to indirectly slow the pathogenic process of the HBV virus. Based on these findings, CBD as such has potential to be further developed as a treatment for viral hepatitis, especially as a combination therapy with the currently existing therapies.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330095/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol: a potential treatment for post Ebola Syndrome?

Image result for international journal of infectious diseases

“Patients recovered from Ebola virus infection may experience short- and long-term physical, neuropsychological and social sequelae, including arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, ophthalmic inflammation, auditory problems, fatigue, confusion, insomnia, short-term memory impairment, anxiety, depression and anorexia, all lasting from 2 weeks to more than 2 years.

Currently there are no treatments for post Ebola sequelae.

We hypothesize that cannabidiol (CBD) may attenuate some of these post Ebola sequelae, several of which have been postulated to result from inflammation and/or an autoimmune response.

CBD has anti-inflammatory actions in various animal models.

Clinical studies have shown that oral administration of CBD, compared to placebo, significantly reduces anxiety, has antinociceptive and anticonvulsant actions, and may be therapeutic for insomnia.

Overall, CBD has a number of pharmacological effects that may significantly improve the mental and somatic health of patients suffering from post Ebola sequelae.

In humans, CBD, at therapeutic doses, does not: 1) elicit dependence or tolerance; 2) significantly alter heart rate or blood pressure; 3) affect gastrointestinal transit; 4) produce significant cognitive or psychomotor impairments. Mild sedation and nausea are the most commonly reported adverse effects associated with CBD.

CBD, based on its pharmacological effects and favorable safety profile, should be considered as a treatment for individuals with post Ebola sequelae.”


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Modulation of Gut-Specific Mechanisms by Chronic Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Administration in Male Rhesus Macaques Infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systems Biology Analysis


“The major psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), exerts unique effects on the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection.

Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that chronic THC administration ameliorates SIV disease progression and significantly reduces the morbidity and mortality of male SIV-infected macaques.

Our studies have demonstrated that chronic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) administration results in a generalized attenuation of viral load and tissue inflammation in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected male rhesus macaques.

Gut-associated lymphoid tissue is an important site for HIV replication and inflammation that can impact disease progression.

Our results indicate that chronic THC administration modulated duodenal T cell populations, favored a pro-Th2 cytokine balance, and decreased intestinal apoptosis. These findings reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to cannabinoid-mediated disease modulation.

In summary, using a systems biology approach to understanding the impact of chronic cannabinoid treatment on gut-associated immunopathology, we identified relevant mechanisms that can potentially modulate disease progression.

Our results suggest that gut immunomodulation through changes in gene expression, cytokine profiles, and immune cell populations could potentially contribute to chronic THC modulation of SIV disease progression. Moreover, they reveal novel mechanisms that may potentially contribute to decreased morbidity and mortality.”


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Marijuana use and viral suppression in persons receiving medical care for HIV-infection.

“Marijuana use is common among persons living with HIV (PLWH), but studies on its effect on HIV clinical outcomes are limited. We determined the association between marijuana use and HIV viral suppression among PLWH.

Of the 1,902 PLWH receiving antiretroviral therapy, completed an interview, and had a linked MRA, 20% reported marijuana use (13% less than daily and 7% daily use) and 73% achieved durable viral suppression. In multivariable analysis, marijuana use was not significantly associated with durable viral suppression in daily [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.58, 1.33] or in less than daily [AOR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.37] users as compared to non-users when adjusting for sociodemographic factors, time since HIV diagnosis, depressive symptoms, alcohol, cigarette and other substance use.


In this sample of PLWH receiving medical care in Florida, there was no statistically significant association between marijuana use and viral suppression. However, as the limits of the confidence intervals include effects that may be considered to be clinically important, there is a need for additional evidence from other samples and settings that include more marijuana users.”


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

CB2 receptor agonists protect human dopaminergic neurons against damage from HIV-1 gp120.

Logo of plosone

“The global pandemic of HIV infection currently afflicts 34 million individuals, has killed over 25 million people since 1981, and is the cause of death in an estimated 1.8 million people per year.

Despite the therapeutic impact of anti-retroviral therapy, HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains a serious threat to AIDS patients…

Synthetic cannabinoids inhibit HIV-1 expression in human microglia, suppress production of inflammatory mediators in human astrocytes, and there is substantial literature demonstrating the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids in other neuropathogenic processes.

Based on these data, experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that synthetic cannabinoids will protect dopaminergic neurons against the toxic effects of the HIV-1 protein gp120. Using a human mesencephalic neuronal/glial culture model…

These data suggest that synthetic cannabinoids are capable of protecting human dopaminergic neurons from gp120 in a variety of ways, acting principally through the CB2 receptors and microglia.

Overall, this study confirms that gp120 is capable of damaging human dopaminergic neurons, that this damage involves human microglia, and that synthetic cannabinoids can alleviate this damage through mechanisms involving human microglia.

Thus, the results of these experiments set the stage for further studies designed to tease out the role human microglia have in the mechanisms underlying the toxic effects of HIV-1 on human dopaminergic neurons and understanding the microglial-centered mechanisms underlying the protective effects of selected synthetic cannabinoids.”


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Chronic administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces intestinal anti-inflammatory microRNA expression during acute simian immunodeficiency virus infection of rhesus macaques.

“Recreational and medical use of cannabis among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals has increased in recent years. In simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques, chronic administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) inhibited viral replication and intestinal inflammation and slowed disease progression…

These results support a role for differential miRNA induction in THC-mediated suppression of intestinal inflammation. Whether similar miRNA modulation occurs in other tissues requires further investigation.


Gastrointestinal (GI) tract disease/inflammation is a hallmark of HIV/SIV infection.

Previously, we showed that chronic treatment of SIV-infected macaques with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) increased survival and decreased viral replication and infection-induced gastrointestinal inflammation.

Here, we show that chronic THC administration to SIV-infected macaques induced an anti-inflammatory microRNA expression profile in the intestine…

Overall, our results show that selective upregulation of anti-inflammatory miRNA expression contributes to THC-mediated suppression of gastrointestinal inflammation and maintenance of intestinal homeostasis.”



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

High-intensity cannabis use associated with lower plasma human immunodeficiency virus-1 RNA viral load among recently infected people who use injection drugs.

“Cannabis use is common among people who are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

While there is growing pre-clinical evidence of the immunomodulatory and anti-viral effects of cannabinoids, their possible effects on HIV disease parameters in humans are largely unknown. Thus, we sought to investigate the possible effects of cannabis use on plasma HIV-1 RNA viral loads (pVLs) among recently seroconverted illicit drug users…

Consistent with the findings from recent in vitro and in vivo studies, including one conducted among lentiviral-infected primates, we observed a strong association between cannabis use and lower pVL following seroconversion among illicit drug-using participants.

Our findings support the further investigation of the immunomodulatory or antiviral effects of cannabinoids among individuals living with HIV/AIDS.”



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous