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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FAAH inhibition produces antidepressant-like efforts of mice to acute stress via synaptic long-term depression.

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“Recent studies have shown that inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the major degradative enzyme of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), produced antidepressant behavioral responses, but its underlying mechanism is not clear. Here we find that a systemic administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF3845 or an intra-CA1 application of AEA elicits an in vivo long-term depression (LTD) at excitatory glutamatergic CA3-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus. The PF3845- and/or AEA-elicited LTD are abolished by the LTD-blocking peptide Tat-GluR2. PF3845 significantly decreases passive behavioral coping of naïve mice to acute inescapable stress, which is also abolished by Tat-GluR2 peptide. However, PF3845 does not significantly affect sucrose assumption ratio of mice receiving chronic administration of corticosterone. These results suggest that FAAH inhibitors are able to produce antidepressant effects in naïve animals in response to acute stress through LTD at hippocampal glutamatergic CA3-CA1 synapses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28193523

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Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons

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“Deficient bioenergetics and diminished redox conservation have been implicated in the development of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.

In this study, the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic compound derived from Cannabis sativa with FDA-approved antiepilepsy properties, were studied in vitro using an oxygen–glucose-deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) model in a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line.

This study is the first to document the neuroprotective effects of CBD against OGD/R insult, which depend in part on attenuating oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and modulating glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus preserving both energy and the redox balance.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa and a weak CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor antagonist, with very low toxicity for humans. It has recently been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro that CBD has a variety of therapeutic properties, exerting antidepressant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective effects.  Our results provide novel insight into the neuroprotective properties of CBD, which involves the regulation of the mitochondrial bioenergetics and the glucose metabolism of hippocampal neurons during OGD/R injury.

In summary, our results suggest that CBD exerts a potent neuroprotective effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury by attenuating intracellular oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and optimizing glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus strengthening the antioxidant defenses and preserving the energy homeostasis of neurons. More in-depth studies are required to investigate the precise mechanism underlying the success of CBD treatment and to determine the actual role of CBD in cerebral ischemia.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5247568/

“Cannabidiol may soon be used in the emergency room to fight effects of stroke and cardiac emergencies” http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-21-cannabidiol-may-soon-be-used-in-the-emergency-room-to-fight-effects-of-stroke-cardiac-emergencies.html

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Activation of cannabinoid receptors elicits antidepressant-like effects in a mouse model of social isolation stress.

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“Social isolation stress (SIS) paradigm is a chronic stress procedure able to induce profound behavioral and neurochemical changes in rodents and evokes depressive and anxiety-like behaviors.

Recent studies demonstrated that the cannabinoid system plays a key role in behavioral abnormalities such as depression through different pathways; however, there is no evidence showing a relation between SIS and the cannabinoid system.

This study investigated the role of the cannabinoid system in depressive-like behavior and anxiety-like behavior of IC animals.

Our findings suggest that the cannabinoid system is involved in depressive-like behaviors induced by SIS.

We showed that activation of cannabinoid receptors (type 1 and 2) could mitigate depression-like behavior induced by SIS in a mouse model.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28161196

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Endocannabinoid system: Role in depression, reward and pain control (Review).

 

“Depression and pain co-exist in almost 80% of patients and are associated with impaired health-related quality of life, often contributing to high mortality. However, the majority of patients who suffer from the comorbid depression and pain are not responsive to pharmacological treatments that address either pain or depression, making this comorbidity disorder a heavy burden on patients and society.

In ancient times, this depression-pain comorbidity was treated using extracts of the Cannabis sativa plant, known now as marijuana and the mode of action of Δ9‑tetrahydrocannabinol, the active cannabinoid ingredient of marijuana, has only recently become known, with the identification of cannabinoidreceptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2.

Subsequent investigations led to the identification of endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which exert cannabinomimetic effects through the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located on presynaptic membranes in the central nervous system and in peripheral tissues, respectively.

These endocannabinoids are produced from membrane lipids and are lipohilic molecules that are synthesized on demand and are eliminated rapidly after their usage by hydrolyzing enzymes.

Clinical studies revealed altered endocannabinoid signaling in patients with chronic pain.

Considerable evidence suggested the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in eliciting potent effects on neurotransmission, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory processes, which are known to be deranged in depression and chronic pain.

Several synthetic cannabinomimetic drugs are being developed to treat pain and depression. However, the precise mode of action of endocannabinoids on different targets in the body and whether their effects on pain and depression follow the same or different pathways, remains to be determined.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27484193

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Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential.

“Bipolar affective disorder is often poorly controlled by prescribed drugs.

Cannabis use is common in patients with this disorder and anecdotal reports suggest that some patients take it to alleviate symptoms of both mania and depression.

We undertook a literature review of cannabis use by patients with bipolar disorder and of the neuropharmacological properties of cannabinoids suggesting possible therapeutic effects in this condition.

No systematic studies of cannabinoids in bipolar disorder were found to exist, although some patients claim that cannabis relieves symptoms of mania and/or depression.

The cannabinoids Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may exert sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant effects.

Pure synthetic cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone and specific plant extracts containing THC, CBD, or a mixture of the two in known concentrations, are available and can be delivered sublingually.

Controlled trials of these cannabinoids as adjunctive medication in bipolar disorder are now indicated.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15888515

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