Rimonabant is a selective type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonist. It may assist with smoking cessation by restoring the balance of the endocannabinoid system, which can be disrupted by prolonged use of nicotine. Rimonabant also seeks to address many smokers’ reluctance to persist with a quit attempt because of concerns about weight gain.”
To determine whether selective CB1 receptor antagonists increase the numbers of people stopping smoking. To assess their effects on weight change in successful quitters and in those who try to quit but fail.”
From the preliminary trial reports available, rimonabant 20 mg may increase the odds of quitting approximately 1(1/2)-fold. Adverse events include nausea and upper respiratory tract infections; the risk of serious adverse events is reported to be low. However, there is current concern (August 2007) over rates of depression and suicidal thoughts in people taking rimonabant for weight control. The evidence for rimonabant in maintaining abstinence is inconclusive. Rimonabant 20 mg may moderate weight gain in the long term.”
“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system and of its role in the regulation of energy balance has significantly advanced our understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. New knowledge on the role of this system in humans has been acquired by measuring blood endocannabinoids. Here we explored endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines in saliva and verified their changes in relation to body weight status and in response to a meal or to body weight loss.”
“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and of its impact on the regulation of energy homeostasis represents a significant advance in the study of obesity and type 2 diabetes –.”
“The saliva is the first digestive secretion produced in response to the ingestion of food . Therefore, it is reasonable to investigate whether signals and systems involved in the regulation of food intake, such as the ECS, might be present in saliva and exert a functional role. Besides, saliva offers distinctive advantages over serum or plasma as a diagnostic tool, thanks to the non-invasiveness of the collection procedure.”
“The ECS is present in human salivary glands.”
“Changes in salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines levels in response to body weight loss.”
“Here we demonstrate that endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines can be reliably detected and quantified in human saliva. Similarly to what already reported for circulating levels in the blood , , , the salivary concentration of AEA and OEA were significantly increased in obese, insulin-resistant subjects as compared to normal weight controls.”
“the present findings overall indicate that salivary AEA might be a useful biomarker in human obesity, in particular considering that salivary samples are easy to collect, require a non-invasive procedure advantageous when performing studies in obese subjects in whom venipuncture may be difficult, and can be repeatedly collected at home by the patient during a therapeutic intervention. This type of tool could therefore be used to better phenotype the obese population, assess responses to treatment, or to further study the physiology of the ECS in humans, by investigating salivary endocannabinoid responses under various conditions.”
“Energy balance is controlled by centres of the brain which receive important inputs from the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle, mediated by many different signalling molecules. Obesity occurs when control of energy intake is not matched by the degree of energy expenditure. Obesity is not only a state of disordered energy balance it is also characterized by systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation is triggered by the leakage of bacterial lipopolysaccharide through changes in intestinal permeability. The endocannabinoid system, consisting of the cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoid ligands and their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes, plays vital roles in the control of energy balance, the control of intestinal permeability and immunity. In this review we will discuss how the endocannabinoid system, intestinal microbiota and the brain-gut axis are involved in the regulation of energy balance and the development of obesity-associated systemic inflammation. Through direct and indirect actions throughout the body, the endocannabinoid system controls the development of obesity and its inflammatory complications.”
“Recent studies have provided evidence that the endocannabinoid (EC) system has very significant effects on energy balance and metabolism through the central control of appetite and by affecting peripheral metabolism. Endocannabinoids are endogenous phospholipid derivatives which bind and activate cannabinoid receptors type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2 receptors). The CB1 receptor, a G-protein coupled receptor, is believed to be responsible for the majority of the central effects of endocannaboids on appetite. Chronic positive energy balance and obesity have been associated with an overactivation of the endocannaboid system which has been suggested to contribute to the development of abdominal obesity and to associated metabolic abnormalities which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Animal studies had shown that stimulation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor with endocannaboids such as anandamide could induce first an increase in food intake leading to body weight gain. Furthermore, an exciting development in this field has been the discovery of CB1 receptors in many peripheral tissues, including key organs involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism such as the adipose tissue and liver. Thus, blocking CB1 receptors located in the liver and adipose tissue could have an additional impact on the metabolic risk profile beyond what could be explained by the reduction in food intake and the related body weight loss. Preclinical studies have shown that rimonabant, the first CB1-receptor blocker to be available in clinical practice, could not only induce a reduction in food intake, but could also produce body weight loss beyond what could be explained by its effect on food intake. Thus, the evidence from preclinical studies have suggested that CB1 blockade could represent a relevant approach to reduce food intake, to induce body weight loss, and, most importantly, to “fix” the dysmetabolic state of viscerally obese patients at increased cardiometabolic risk.”
“The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress. The important elements of this system are: endocannabinoid receptors (types CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands (N-arachidonoylethanolamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol), enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation, as well as cannabinoid antagonists. In humans this system also controls energy homeostasis and mainly influences the function of the food intake centers of the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract activity. The endocannabinoid system regulates not only the central and peripheral mechanisms of food intake, but also lipids synthesis and turnover in the liver and adipose tissue as well as glucose metabolism in muscle cells. Rimonabant, a new and selective central and peripheral cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) blocker, has been shown to reduce body weight and improve cardiovascular risk factor (metabolic syndrome) in obese patients by increasing HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin blood levels as well as decreasing LDL-cholesterol, leptin, and C-reactive protein (a proinflammatory marker) concentrations. It is therefore possible to speculate about a future clinical use of CB1 antagonists, as a means of improving gonadotrophin pulsatility and fertilization capacity as well as the prevention of cardiovasculary disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Drugs acting as agonists of CB1 receptors (Dronabinol, Dexanabinol) are currently proposed for evaluation as drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases), epilepsy, anxiety, and stroke.”
“The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake and energy balance has recently received great attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptor and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system has recently been shown to control several metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues, such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the skeletal muscles and the endocrine pancreas. The relevance of the system is further strengthened by the notion that visceral obesity seems to be a condition in which an overactivation of the endocannabinoid system occurs, therefore drugs interfering with this overactivation by blocking CB1 receptor are considered as valuable candidates for the treatment of obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.”
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of two receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)), several endogenous ligands (primarily anandamide and 2-AG), and over a dozen ligand-metabolizing enzymes. The ECS regulates many aspects of embryological development and homeostasis, including neuroprotection and neural plasticity, immunity and inflammation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis, pain and emotional memory, and the focus of this review: hunger, feeding, and metabolism. This mini-review summarizes the main findings that supported the clinical use of CB1 antagonists/inverse agonists, the clinical concerns that have emerged, and the possible future of cannabinoid-based therapy of obesity and related diseases. The ECS controls energy balance and lipid metabolism centrally (in the hypothalamus and mesolimbic pathways) and peripherally (in adipocytes, liver, skeletal muscle and pancreatic islet cells), acting through numerous anorexigenic and orexigenic pathways. Obese people seem to display an increased endocannabinoid tone, driving CB(1) receptor in a feed-forward dysfunction. Several CB(1) antagonists/inverse agonists have been developed for the treatment of obesity. Although these drugs were found to be efficacious at reducing food intake as well as abdominal adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors, they resulted in adverse psychiatric effects that limited their use and finally led to the end of the clinical use of systemic CB(1) ligands with significant inverse agonist activity for complicated obesity. However, the existence of alternatives such as CB(1) partial agonists, neutral antagonists, antagonists restricted to the periphery, allosteric modulators and other potential targets within the ECS indicate that a cannabinoid-based therapy for the management of obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae should remain open for consideration.”
“One of the most interesting pharmacological targets proposed in the past ten years for fighting obesity and related metabolic disorders is the endocannabinoid system. The role of the endocannabinoid system is crucial in regulating the rewarding properties of food, in controlling energy balance by acting at the hypothalamic circuitries involved in food intake, and in peripheral metabolism by influencing adipocytes, hepatocytes, myocytes and pancreatic endocrine cells. Obesity seems to be a condition associated with a pathological overactivation of the endocannabinoid system; therefore, restoring a normal endocannabinoid tone by antagonizing the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1)) could help arrest both the development and the maintenance of obesity.”
“During the last few years, the endocannabinoid system has emerged as a highly relevant topic in the scientific community. Many different regulatory actions have been attributed to endocannabinoids, and their involvement in several pathophysiological conditions is under intense scrutiny. Cannabinoid receptors, named CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor, first discovered as the molecular targets of the psychotropic component of the plant Cannabis sativa, participate in the physiological modulation of many central and peripheral functions. CB2 receptor is mainly expressed in immune cells, whereas CB1 receptor is the most abundant G protein-coupled receptor expressed in the brain. CB1 receptor is expressed in the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, and its activation is known to modulate all the endocrine hypothalamic-peripheral endocrine axes. An increasing amount of data highlights the role of the system in the stress response by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and in the control of reproduction by modifying gonadotropin release, fertility, and sexual behavior. The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake, and energy balance has recently received great attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptor and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system was recently shown to control metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues, such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the gastrointestinal tract, and, possibly, skeletal muscle. The relevance of the system is further strenghtened by the notion that drugs interfering with the activity of the endocannabinoid system are considered as promising candidates for the treatment of various diseases, including obesity.”
“THE FIRST STEPS in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system date back almost 4000 yr, when the therapeutic and psychotropic actions of the plant Cannabis sativa were first documented in India (1). Over the last 40 yr, after Gaoni and Mechoulam (2) purified the psychoactive component from hemp, a stunning amount of research has revealed the endocannabinoid system as a central modulatory system in animal physiology.
Elements of the endocannabinoid system comprise the cannabinoid receptors, the endogenous lipid ligands (endocannabinoids), and the machinery for their biosynthesis and metabolism (3, 4). Despite public concern related to the abuse of marijuana and its derivatives, the research on the endocannabinoid system has recently aroused enormous interest not only for the physiological functions, but also for the promising therapeutic potentials of drugs interfering with the activity of cannabinoid receptors. This review aims to provide an overview on the pivotal role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of the neuroendocrine and peripheral endocrine systems. Moreover, in the context of the recently proposed therapeutic applications of cannabinoid receptor antagonists in the treatment of obesity, the key role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of eating behavior, food intake, and energy metabolism will be discussed in the light of the recent data obtained from human and animal studies.”
“Stoners may spend a lot of time on the couch and craving White Castle, but they apparently don’t let their bodies go to pot.
People who smoke marijuana regularly are less likely to be obese than non-pot smokers, according to a new study by French researches.
“We found that cannabis users are less likely to be obese than non-users,” Dr. Yann Le Strat, French psychiatrist and co-author of a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology told MSNBC. “We were so surprised, we thought we had [made] a mistake.”
Using data from two epidemiologic studies of U.S. adults, researchers found that between 22% to 25% of participants who didn’t smoke pot were obese.
But only between 14% and 17% of those people who admitted to taking a toke at least three times a week were overweight.
Le Strat said other factors, such as the stoners’ level of physical activity or diets, could have contributed to the results, but his team tried to rule out those factors.
The researches were also quick to point out that sucking on a bong isn’t the key to a tight tummy.
“The take-home message is certainly not ‘smoke cannabis, it will help you lose weight,'” Le Strat said. “The possibility that cannabis is associated with a lower risk of obesity remains an interesting hypothesis, but certainly does not counterbalance its negative effects on health and mental health.””