Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound of Cannabis sativa with relevant therapeutic potential in several neuropsychiatric disorders including depression. CBD treatment has shown significant antidepressant-like effects in different rodent preclinical models.

However, the mechanisms involved in CBD-induced antidepressant effects are still poorly understood. Therefore, this work aimed at investigating the participation of serotonin (5-HT) and/or noradrenaline (NA) in CBD-induced antidepressant-like effects in the forced swimming test (FST) by: 1) testing if CBD co-administration with serotonergic (fluoxetine, FLX) or noradrenergic (desipramine, DES) antidepressants would have synergistic effects; and 2) investigating if 5-HT or NA depletion would impair CBD-induced behavioral effects.

Results showed that CBD (10 mg/kg), FLX (10 mg/kg) and DES (5 mg/kg) induced antidepressant-like effects in mice submitted to FST. Ineffective doses of CBD (7 mg/kg), when co-administered with ineffective doses of FLX (5 mg/kg) or DES (2.5 mg/kg) resulted in significant antidepressant-like effects, thus implicating synergistic and/or additive mechanisms.

Pretreatment with PCPA (an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis: 150 mg/kg, i.p., once per day for 4 days), but not DSP-4 (a noradrenergic neurotoxin: 1 μg/μl, i.c.v., 24 h before the test), reduced monoamine levels in the brain. However, only PCPA treatment abolished CBD-induced behavioral effects in FST, indicating the participation of serotonergic mechanisms. None of the treatments induced locomotor effects.

Our results suggest that the antidepressant-like effect induced by CBD in the FST is dependent on serotonin levels in the central nervous system (CNS).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29885468

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618301167

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Sub-chronic treatment with cannabidiol but not with URB597 induced a mild antidepressant-like effect in diabetic rats.

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“Depression associated with diabetes has been described as a highly debilitating comorbidity. Due to its complex and multifactorial mechanisms, the treatment of depression associated with diabetes represents a clinical challenge.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychotomimetic compound derived from Cannabis sativa, has been pointed out as a promising compound for the treatment of several psychiatric disorders.

Here, we evaluated the potential antidepressant-like effect of acute or sub-chronic treatment with CBD in diabetic rats using the modified forced swimming test (mFST).

Also, to better understand the functionality of the endocannabinoid system in diabetic animals we also evaluated the effect of URB597, a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor.

Acute treatment with either CBD or URB induced an antidepressant-like effect in NGL rats, but not in DBT rats. However, sub-chronic treatment with CBD (only at a dose of 30 mg/kg), but not with URB597, induced a mild antidepressant-like effect in DBT animals. Neither body weight nor blood glucose levels were altered by treatments.

Considering the importance of the endocannabinoid system to the mechanism of action of many antidepressant drugs, the mild antidepressant-like effect of the sub-chronic treatment with CBD, but not with URB597 does not invalidate the importance of deepening the studies involving the endocannabinoid system particularly in DBT animals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29885450

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Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex.

Molecular Neurobiology

“Currently available antidepressants have a substantial time lag to induce therapeutic response and a relatively low efficacy. The development of drugs that addresses these limitations is critical to improving public health.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic component of Cannabis sativa, is a promising compound since it shows large-spectrum therapeutic potential in preclinical models and humans.

However, its antidepressant properties have not been completely investigated. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate in male rodents (i) whether CBD could induce rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects after a single administration and (ii) whether such effects could be related to changes in synaptic proteins/function.

These results indicate that CBD induces fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect in distinct animal models relevant for depression. These effects may be related to rapid changes in synaptic plasticity in the mPFC through activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway.

The data support a promising therapeutic profile for CBD as a new fast-acting antidepressant drug.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29869197

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12035-018-1143-4

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No Acute Effects of Cannabidiol on the Sleep-Wake Cycle of Healthy Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component of Cannabis sativa that has a broad spectrum of potential therapeutic effects in neuropsychiatric and other disorders. However, few studies have investigated the possible interference of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a clinically anxiolytic dose of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of healthy subjects in a crossover, double-blind design.

The drug did not induce any significant effect.

Different from anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD does not seem to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers. The present findings support the proposal that CBD do not alter normal sleep architecture.

Cannabidiol may play a therapeutic role in sleep regulation.

We found no differences between CBD and placebo in respect to polysomnographic findings or cognitive and subjective measures in a sample of healthy subjects. Unlike widely used anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs, the acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD does not appear to interfere with the sleep cycle of healthy volunteers. Future studies should address the effects of CBD on the sleep-wake cycle of patient populations as well as evaluate the chronic effects of CBD in larger samples of patients with sleep and neuropsychiatric disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29674967

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00315/full

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Regulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems by cannabinoids: relevance to cannabinoid-induced effects.

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“The cannabinoid system is composed of Gi/o protein-coupled cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor and endogenous compounds. The CB1 receptor is widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) and it is involved in the regulation of common physiological functions. At the neuronal level, the CB1 receptor is mainly placed at GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals, where it modulates excitatory and inhibitory synapses. To date, the involvement of CB2 receptor in the regulation of neurotransmission in the CNS has not been clearly shown. The majority of noradrenergic (NA) cells in mammalian tissues are located in the locus coeruleus (LC) while serotonergic (5-HT) cells are mainly distributed in the raphe nuclei including the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In the CNS, NA and 5-HT systems play a crucial role in the control of pain, mood, arousal, sleep-wake cycle, learning/memory, anxiety, and rewarding behaviour. This review summarizes the electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural evidences for modulation of the NA/5-HT systems by cannabinoids and the CB1 receptor. Cannabinoids regulate the neuronal activity of NA and 5-HT cells and the release of NA and 5-HT by direct and indirect mechanisms. The interaction between cannabinoid and NA/5-HT systems may underlie several behavioural changes induced by cannabis such as anxiolytic and antidepressant effects or side effects (e.g. disruption of attention). Further research is needed to better understand different aspects of NA and 5-HT systems regulation by cannabinoids, which would be relevant for their use in therapeutics.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29169951

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320517306069

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Pharmacological Foundations of Cannabis Chemovars.

“An advanced Mendelian Cannabis breeding program has been developed utilizing chemical markers to maximize the yield of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids with the aim to improve therapeutic efficacy and safety.

Cannabis is often divided into several categories based on cannabinoid content. Type I, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-predominant, is the prevalent offering in both medical and recreational marketplaces. In recent years, the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol have been better recognized, leading to the promotion of additional chemovars: Type II, Cannabis that contains both Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and cannabidiol-predominant Type III Cannabis.

While high-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and high-myrcene chemovars dominate markets, these may not be optimal for patients who require distinct chemical profiles to achieve symptomatic relief. Type II Cannabis chemovars that display cannabidiol- and terpenoid-rich profiles have the potential to improve both efficacy and minimize adverse events associated with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol exposure. Cannabis samples were analyzed for cannabinoid and terpenoid content, and analytical results are presented via PhytoFacts, a patent-pending method of graphically displaying phytocannabinoid and terpenoid content, as well as scent, taste, and subjective therapeutic effect data.

Examples from the breeding program are highlighted and include Type I, II, and III Cannabis chemovars, those highly potent in terpenoids in general, or single components, for example, limonene, pinene, terpinolene, and linalool. Additionally, it is demonstrated how Type I - III chemovars have been developed with conserved terpenoid proportions. Specific chemovars may produce enhanced analgesia, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety effects, while simultaneously reducing sequelae of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol such as panic, toxic psychosis, and short-term memory impairment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29161743

https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0043-122240

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Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics of Oral Cannabidiol Following Administration of PTL101: A New Formulation Based on Gelatin Matrix Pellets Technology.

Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main nonpsychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It has been associated with antiseizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects.

PTL101 is an oral gelatin matrix pellets technology-based formulation containing highly purified CBD embedded in seamless gelatin matrix beadlets. Study objectives were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of PTL101 containing 10 and 100 mg CBD, following single administrations to healthy volunteers and to compare the pharmacokinetic profiles and relative bioavailability of CBD with Sativex oromucosal spray (the reference product) in a randomized, crossover study design.

Administration of PTL101 containing 10 CBD, led to a 1.7-fold higher Cmax and 1.3-fold higher AUC compared with the oromucosal spray. Tmax following both modes of delivery was 3-3.5 hours postdosing. CBD exhibited about a 1-hour lag in absorption when delivered via PTL101. A 10-fold increase in the dose resulted in an ∼15-fold increase in Cmax and AUC. Bioavailability of CBD in the 10-mg PTL101 dose was 134% relative to the reference spray.

PTL101 is a pharmaceutical-grade, user-friendly oral formulation that demonstrated safe and efficient delivery of CBD and therefore could be an attractive candidate for therapeutic indications.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29125702

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpdd.408/abstract

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CHANGES IN THE CANNABINOIDS RECEPTORS IN RATS FOLLOWING TREATMENT WITH ANTIDEPRESSANTS.

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“The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of depression. The potential participation of this system in the mechanism of action of antidepressants has been highlighted in recent years.

The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of cannabinoid (CB) receptors using Western blot and CB1 receptor density using autoradiography after acute or chronic administration of antidepressant drugs [imipramine (IMI, 15mg/kg), escitalopram (ESC, 10mg/kg) and tianeptine (TIA, 10mg/kg)].

Antidepressants given chronically elevated CB1 receptor density in the cortical structures and hippocampal areas, while a decrease of CB1 receptor density was observed in the striatum after IMI and ESC treatment. The CB1 receptor expression decreases in the dorsal striatum after chronic administration of IMI and ESC or the receptor rise in the hippocampus after chronic ESC and TIA treatment were confirmed using Western blot analyses. An increase in the CB2 receptor expression was observed in the cortical structures and hippocampus after chronic administration of ESC and TIA, while a decrease in this expression was noted in the striatum and cerebellum after chronic IMI treatment.

Our results provide clear evidence that the antidepressant exposures provoke some modulations within the eCB system through CB receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28866072

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161813X17301717

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Is cannabis treatment for anxiety, mood, and related disorders ready for prime time?

Depression and Anxiety

“Anxiety and related disorders are the most common mental conditions affecting the North American population. Despite their established efficacy, first-line antidepressant treatments are associated with significant side effects, leading many afflicted individuals to seek alternative treatments. Cannabis is commonly viewed as a natural alternative for a variety of medical and mental health conditions. Currently, anxiety ranks among the top five medical symptoms for which North Americans report using medical marijuana. However, upon careful review of the extant treatment literature, the anxiolytic effects of cannabis in clinical populations are surprisingly not well-documented. The effects of cannabis on anxiety and mood symptoms have been examined in healthy populations and in several small studies of synthetic cannabinoid agents but there are currently no studies which have examined the effects of the cannabis plant on anxiety and related disorders. In light of the rapidly shifting landscape regarding the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, it is important to highlight the significant disconnect between the scientific literature, public opinion, and related policies. The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of the current cannabis treatment literature, and to identify the potential for cannabis to be used as a therapeutic intervention for anxiety, mood, and related disorders. Searches of five electronic databases were conducted (PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, PsychINFO, and Google Scholar), with the most recent in February 2017. The effects of cannabis on healthy populations and clinical psychiatric samples will be discussed, focusing primarily on anxiety and mood disorders.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28636769   http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/da.22664/abstract

“The endocannabinoid system and the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Collectively, both clinical and preclinical data argue that cannabinoid receptor signalling may be a realistic target in the development of a novel class of agent for the pharmacotherapy of mood and anxiety disorders.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19839936

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Plastic and Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved in the Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol in Psychiatric Disorders.

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“Beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have been described for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, psychosis, and depression. The mechanisms responsible for these effects, however, are still poorly understood. Similar to clinical antidepressant or atypical antipsychotic drugs, recent findings clearly indicate that CBD, either acutely or repeatedly administered, induces plastic changes. For example, CBD attenuates the decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendrite spines density induced by chronic stress and prevents microglia activation and the decrease in the number of parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons in a pharmacological model of schizophrenia. More recently, it was found that CBD modulates cell fate regulatory pathways such as autophagy and others critical pathways for neuronal survival in neurodegenerative experimental models, suggesting the potential benefit of CBD treatment for psychiatric/cognitive symptoms associated with neurodegeneration. These changes and their possible association with CBD beneficial effects in psychiatric disorders are reviewed here.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28588483

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphar.2017.00269/full

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