Modulation of the Endocannabinoid and Oxytocinergic Systems as a Potential Treatment Approach for Social Anxiety Disorder.

 “Social anxiety disorder (SAD), or social phobia, is one of the most common types of anxiety disorder, with a lifetime prevalence that can reach 15%.

Pharmacological treatments for SAD have moderate efficacy and are associated with significant adverse reactions. Therefore, recent studies have focused on searching for new treatments for this disorder.

Preclinical studies and preliminary evidence in humans suggest that the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol and the neuropeptide oxytocin have anxiolytic effects. In the present text, we review this evidence and its implications for pharmacological treatment.

We conclude that although current available studies show promising results regarding both the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol and oxytocin for the treatment of SAD, most studies were performed using single or few doses of these compounds, with small sample sizes.

Therefore, future studies should explore the anxiolytic potential of these compounds using long-term, placebo-controlled designs with larger samples to elucidate the possible use of these compounds in the treatment of SAD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31617149

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-019-00669-5

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Antitumor Activity of Abnormal Cannabidiol and Its Analog O-1602 in Taxol-Resistant Preclinical Models of Breast Cancer.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Cannabinoids exhibit anti-inflammatory and antitumorigenic properties.

Contrary to most cannabinoids present in the Cannabis plant, some, such as O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol, have no or only little affinity to the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors and instead exert their effects through other receptors.

Here, we investigated whether the synthetic regioisomers of cannabidiol, abnormal cannabidiol, and a closely related compound, O-1602, display antitumorigenic effects in cellular models of breast cancer and whether it could reduce tumorigenesis in vivo.

Several studies have shown the effects of cannabinoids on chemotherapy-sensitive breast cancer cell lines, but less is known about the antitumorigenic effects of cannabinoids in chemotherapy-resistant cell lines.

Paclitaxel-resistant MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines were used to study the effect of O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol on viability, apoptosis, and migration. The effects of O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol on cell viability were completely blocked by the combination of GPR55 and GPR18-specific siRNAs. Both O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol decreased viability in paclitaxel-resistant breast cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner through induction of apoptosis. The effect of these cannabinoids on tumor growth in vivo was studied in a zebrafish xenograft model. In this model, treatment with O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol (2 µM) significantly reduced tumor growth.

Our results suggest that atypical cannabinoids, like O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol, exert antitumorigenic effects on paclitaxel-resistant breast cancer cells. Due to their lack of central sedation and psychoactive effects, these atypical cannabinoids could represent new leads for the development of additional anticancer treatments when resistance to conventional chemotherapy occurs during the treatment of breast and possibly other cancers.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31611800

“Our results suggest that some cannabinoids acting through the GPR55 and/or GPR18 receptors can be helpful in inducing apoptosis in breast cancer cell lines that are unresponsive to paclitaxel. The effects of O-1602 and Abn-CBD on cell viability were observed both in vitro and in a zebrafish xenograft model. These drugs were also reducing cell migration. Taken together, even if no synergistic antitumor effect is always observed when cannabinoids and chemotherapeutic agents are combined as an anticancer treatment, cannabinoids can still provide anticancer benefits on top of their palliative effects. This is particularly important in the context of cancers that have developed resistance to current chemotherapies.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01124/full

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Cannabidiol directly targets mitochondria and disturbs calcium homeostasis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

 Image result for cell death & disease“Anticancer properties of non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) have been demonstrated on tumors of different histogenesis. Different molecular targets for CBD were proposed, including cannabinoid receptors and some plasma membrane ion channels. Here we have shown that cell lines derived from acute lymphoblastic leukemia of T lineage (T-ALL), but not resting healthy T cells, are highly sensitive to CBD treatment. CBD effect does not depend on cannabinoid receptors or plasma membrane Ca2+-permeable channels. Instead, CBD directly targets mitochondria and alters their capacity to handle Ca2+. At lethal concentrations, CBD causes mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, stable mitochondrial transition pore formation and cell death. Our results suggest that CBD is an attractive candidate to be included into chemotherapeutic protocols for T-ALL treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31611561

“Considering the pivotal role of mitochondria in oncogenic re-programming, CBD may be plausible candidate to be included into chemotherapeutic protocols.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41419-019-2024-0

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Cannabidiol Administration Prevents Hypoxia-Ischemia-Induced Hypomyelination in Newborn Rats.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) is a risk factor for myelination disturbances, a key factor for cerebral palsy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) protects neurons and glial cells after HI insult in newborn animals.

We hereby aimed to study CBD’s effects on long-lasting HI-induced myelination deficits in newborn rats.

In conclusion, HI injury in newborn rats resulted in long-lasting myelination disturbance, associated with functional impairment. CBD treatment preserved function and myelination, likely as a part of a general neuroprotective effect.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31611802

“In conclusion, our study confirms that a HI insult in rats at a brain developmental stage equivalent to term infants leads to long-lasting myelination disturbance which is directly related to long-term functional disturbances. The administration of CBD single dose after the neonatal HI insult protects the maturational process of OL cells, as well as the mOL function and relationship with axons, thus, preserving normal myelination and restoring neurobehavioral function. Those results open exciting perspectives regarding a possible role for CBD in NHIE and other demyelinating pediatric conditions.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01131/full

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‘Standard THC Units’: a proposal to standardise dose across all cannabis products and methods of administration.

Publication cover image“Cannabis products are becoming increasingly diverse, and they vary considerably in concentrations of ∆9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Higher doses of THC can increase the risk of harm from cannabis, while CBD may partially offset some of these effects. Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines currently lack recommendations based on quantity of use, and could be improved by implementing standard units. However, there is currently no consensus on how units should be measured or standardised across different cannabis products or methods of administration.

ARGUMENT:

Existing proposals for standard cannabis units have been based on specific methods of administration (e.g. joints) and these may not capture other methods including pipes, bongs, blunts, dabbing, vaporizers, vape pens, edibles and liquids. Other proposals (e.g. grams of cannabis) cannot account for heterogeneity in THC concentrations across different cannabis products. Similar to alcohol units, we argue that standard cannabis units should reflect the quantity of active pharmacological constituents (dose of THC). On the basis of experimental and ecological data, public health considerations, and existing policy we propose that a ‘Standard THC Unit’ should be fixed at 5 milligrams of THC for all cannabis products and methods of administration. If supported by sufficient evidence in future, consumption of Standard CBD Units might offer an additional strategy for harm reduction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Standard THC Units can potentially be applied across all cannabis products and methods of administration to guide consumers and promote safer patterns of use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31606008

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.14842

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Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in neuropsychiatric disorders: A review of pre-clinical and clinical findings.

Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science“Cannabis sativa (cannabis) is one of the oldest plants cultivated by men. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychomimetic compound derived from cannabis. It has been proposed to have a therapeutic potential over a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders.

In this narrative review, we have summarized a selected number of pre-clinical and clinical studies, examining the effects of CBD in neuropsychiatric disorders. In some pre-clinical studies, CBD was demonstrated to potentially exhibit anti-epileptic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory anti-psychotic, anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce addictive effects of some drugs of abuse.

In clinical studies, CBD was shown to be safe, well-tolerated and efficacious in mitigating the symptoms associated with several types of seizure disorders and childhood epilepsies.

Given that treatment with CBD alone was insufficient at managing choreic movements in patients with Huntington’s disease, other cannabis-derived treatments are currently being investigated. Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have reported improvements in sleep and better quality of life with CBD; however, to fully elucidate the therapeutic potential of CBD on the symptoms of PD-associated movement disorders, larger scale, randomized, placebo-controlled studies still need to be conducted in the future.

Currently, there are no human studies that investigated the effects of CBD in either Alzheimer’s disease or unipolar depression, warranting further investigation in this area, considering that CBD was shown to have effects in pre-clinical studies.

Although, anxiolytic properties of CBD were reported in the Social Anxiety Disorder, antipsychotic effects in schizophrenia and anti-addictive qualities in alcohol and drug addictions, here too, larger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are needed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of CBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31601406

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S187711731930095X?via%3Dihub

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The Effects of Dosage-Controlled Cannabis Capsules on Cancer-Related Cachexia and Anorexia Syndrome in Advanced Cancer Patients: Pilot Study.

Image result for integrative cancer therapies“Cancer-related cachexia and anorexia syndrome (CACS) is a common phenomenon in cancer patients. Cannabis has been suggested to stimulate appetite but research on this issue has yielded mixed results. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of dosage-controlled cannabis capsules on CACS in advanced cancer patients.

Methods: The cannabis capsules used in this study contained two fractions of oil-based compounds. The planned treatment was 2 × 10 mg per 24 hours for six months of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 9.5 mg and cannabidiol (CBD) 0.5 mg. If patients suffered from side effects, dosage was reduced to 5 mg × 2 per day (THC 4.75 mg, CBD 0.25 mg). Participants were weighed on every physician visit. The primary objective of the study was a weight gain of ≥10% from baseline.

Results: Of 24 patients who signed the consent form, 17 started the cannabis capsules treatment, but only 11 received the capsules for more than two weeks. Three of six patients who completed the study period met the primary end-point. The remaining three patients had stable weights. In quality of life quaternaries, patients reported less appetite loss after the cannabis treatment (p=0.05). Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels decreased after the cannabis treatment but without statistical significance. According to patients’ self-reports, improvement in appetite and mood as well as a reduction in pain and fatigue was demonstrated.

Conclusions: Despite various limitations, this preliminary study demonstrated a weight increase of ≥10% in 3/17 (17.6%) patients with doses of 5mgx1 or 5mgx2 capsules daily, without significant side effects. The results justify a larger study with dosage-controlled cannabis capsules in CACS.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31595793

“The primary objective of the study was a weight gain of ≥10% from baseline. Despite various limitations, the current preliminary study demonstrated a weight increase of ≥10% in 3/17 (17.6%) of the patients with doses of 5 mg × 1 or 5 mg × 2 capsules daily, without significant side effects.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1534735419881498

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The evaluation of Cannabidiol’s effect on the immunotherapy of Burkitt lymphoma.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

“AF1q has a precise oncogenic function.

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether CBD has an effect on the AF1q/ICAM-1 regulatory axis in Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), and thus has potential to enhance immunotherapy and reduce side effects.

 

RESULTS:

AF1q increased oncogenic growth and colony formation, and induced resistance against cell-mediated cytotoxic chemotherapy through attenuation of ICAM-1 expression in BL. CBD was able to reverse the acquired resistance mediated by AF1q/ICAM-1 regulatory axis.

CONCLUSION:

CBD holds potential to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy for BL with hyperactive AF1q/ICAM-1 regulatory axis, and warrants further study.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31587870

“Non-psychoactive CBD could potentially enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer treatment, especially against aggressive B.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X1931890X?via%3Dihub

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How does cannabidiol (CBD) influence the acute effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in humans? A systematic review.

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews“The recent liberalisation of cannabis regulation has increased public and scientific debate about its potential benefits and risks. A key focus has been the extent to which cannabidiol (CBD) might influence the acute effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but this has never been reviewed systematically. In this systematic review of how CBD influences the acute effects of THC we identified 16 studies involving 466 participants. Ten studies were judged at low risk of bias. The findings were mixed, although CBD was found to reduce the effects of THC in several studies. Some studies found that CBD reduced intense experiences of anxiety or psychosis-like effects of THC and blunted some of the impairments on emotion and reward processing. However, CBD did not consistently influence the effects of THC across all studies and outcomes. There was considerable heterogeneity in dose, route of administration and THC:CBD ratio across studies and no clear dose-response profile emerged. Although findings were mixed, this review suggests that CBD may interact with some acute effects of THC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31580839

“CBD influenced the effects of THC in some but not all studies. Several studies found that CBD reduced the acute effects of THC. CBD may reduce intense experiences of anxiety or psychosis-like effects of THC. CBD may blunt effects of THC on emotion and reward processing. CBD did not alter subjective intoxication or psychomotor effects of THC. CBD may influence the benefits and harms of cannabis”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763419305615?via%3Dihub

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Beyond THC and Endocannabinoids.

Image result for AR Annual Reviews“Research in the cannabinoid field, namely on phytocannabinoids, the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and their metabolizing and synthetic enzymes, the cannabinoid receptors, and anandamide-like cannabinoid compounds, has expanded tremendously over the last few years. Numerous endocannabinoid-like compounds have been discovered. The Cannabis plant constituent cannabidiol (CBD) was found to exert beneficial effects in many preclinical disease models ranging from epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and autoimmunity to neurodegenerative and kidney diseases and cancer. CBD was recently approved in the United States for the treatment of rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This has triggered the development of many CBD-based products for human use, often with overstated claims regarding their therapeutic effects. In this article, the recently published research on the chemistry and biological effects of plant cannabinoids (specifically CBD), endocannabinoids, certain long-chain fatty acid amides, and the variety of relevant receptors is critically reviewed. ”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31580774

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010818-021441

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