Preclinical safety and efficacy of cannabidivarin for early life seizures.

Neuropharmacology

“A significant proportion of neonatal and childhood seizures are poorly controlled by existing anti-seizure drugs (ASDs), likely due to prominent differences in ionic homeostasis and network connectivity between the immature and mature brain. In addition to the poor efficacy of current ASDs, many induce apoptosis, impair synaptic development, and produce behavioral deficits when given during early postnatal development.

There is growing interest in new targets, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and its propyl analog cannabidivarin (CBDV) for early life indications. While CBD was recently approved for treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies, little is known about the efficacy or safety of CBDV.

Here, we addressed this gap through a systematic evaluation of CBDV against multiple seizure models in postnatal day (P) 10 and 20 animals. We also evaluated the impact of CBDV on acute neurotoxicity in immature rats.

CBDV (50-200 mg/kg) displayed an age and model-specific profile of anticonvulsant action.

Finally, CBDV treatment generally avoided induction of neuronal degeneration in immature rats.

Together, the efficacy and safety profile of CBDV suggest it may have therapeutic value for early life seizures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30633929

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390818306786?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer.

 Related image“In the last decades, a lot of attention has been paid to the compounds present in medicinal Cannabis sativa L., such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and their effects on inflammation and cancer-related pain.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) currently recognizes medicinal C. sativa as an effective treatment for providing relief in a number of symptoms associated with cancer, including pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and anxiety.

Several studies have described CBD as a multitarget molecule, acting as an adaptogen, and as a modulator, in different ways, depending on the type and location of disequilibrium both in the brain and in the body, mainly interacting with specific receptor proteins CB1 and CB2.

CBD is present in both medicinal and fibre-type C. sativa plants, but, unlike Δ9-THC, it is completely nonpsychoactive. Fibre-type C. sativa (hemp) differs from medicinal C. sativa, since it contains only few levels of Δ9-THC and high levels of CBD and related nonpsychoactive compounds.

In recent years, a number of preclinical researches have been focused on the role of CBD as an anticancer molecule, suggesting CBD (and CBD-like molecules present in the hemp extract) as a possible candidate for future clinical trials.

CBD has been found to possess antioxidant activity in many studies, thus suggesting a possible role in the prevention of both neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. In animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of several cancer types. Moreover, it has been found that coadministration of CBD and Δ9-THC, followed by radiation therapy, causes an increase of autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells. In addition, CBD is able to inhibit cell proliferation and to increase apoptosis in different types of cancer models.

These activities seem to involve also alternative pathways, such as the interactions with TRPV and GRP55 receptor complexes. Moreover, the finding that the acidic precursor of CBD (cannabidiolic acid, CBDA) is able to inhibit the migration of breast cancer cells and to downregulate the proto-oncogene c-fos and the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) highlights the possibility that CBDA might act on a common pathway of inflammation and cancer mechanisms, which might be responsible for its anticancer activity.

In the light of all these findings, in this review we explore the effects and the molecular mechanisms of CBD on inflammation and cancer processes, highlighting also the role of minor cannabinoids and noncannabinoids constituents of Δ9-THC deprived hemp.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30627539

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/1691428/

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Special Considerations and Assessment in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America

“Multiple sclerosis is a progressive autoimmune neurologic disorder that may affect any region of the central nervous system. Spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis can be debilitating and detrimental to the function and quality of life of patients. Treatment options include oral medications, chemodenervation, physical therapy, and modalities.

Cannabinoids in the form of a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol oro-mucosal spray has been shown to be effective in addressing spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

Successful treatment of spasticity will be integrated, multimodal, and individualized.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30626509

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047965118307617?via%3Dihub

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Expression and Preparation of a G-Protein-Coupled Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 for NMR Structural Studies.

Current Protocols in Protein Science banner

“Cannabinoid receptor type II, or CB2 , is an integral membrane protein that belongs to a large class of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR)s. CB2 is a part of the endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in the regulation of immune response, inflammation, and pain.

Information about the structure and function of CB2 is essential for the development of specific ligands targeting this receptor.

We present here a methodology for recombinant expression of CB2 and its stable isotope labeling, purification, and reconstitution into liposomes, in preparation for its characterization by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

Correctly folded, functional CB2 labeled with [13 C,15 N]tryptophan or uniformly labeled with 13 C and 15 N is expressed in a medium of defined composition, under controlled aeration, pH, and temperature conditions.

The receptor is purified by affinity chromatography and reconstituted into lipid bilayers in the form of proteoliposomes suitable for analysis by NMR spectroscopy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30624864

https://currentprotocols.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cpps.83

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Epidiolex (Cannabidiol): A New Hope for Patients With Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes.

 SAGE Journals

“OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy, safety, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex) in the treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).

DATA SYNTHESIS: Pure, plant-based CBD is a pharmaceutical grade extract that exhibits clinically significant antiseizure properties, with a hypothesized multimodal mechanism of action. In the GWPCARE trial series, CBD displayed superior efficacy in reducing key seizure frequencies (convulsive seizures in DS; drop seizures in LGS) by 17% to 23% compared with placebo as adjunctive therapy to standard antiepileptic drugs in patients 2 years of age and older. Common adverse effects were somnolence, diarrhea, and elevated hepatic transaminases. Noteworthy drug-drug interactions included clobazam, valproates, and significant inducers/inhibitors of CYP2C19 and 3A4 enzymes.

Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: A discussion regarding CBD dosing, administration, adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and interactions is provided to guide clinicians. CBD offers patients with DS and LGS a new treatment option for refractory seizures.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first cannabis-derived medication with approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. This CBD formulation significantly reduces seizures as an adjunct to standard antiepileptic therapies in patients ≥2 years old with DS and LGS and is well tolerated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616356

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1060028018822124?journalCode=aopd

“Why marijuana is headed for the mainstream. The credibility of cannabis as a source of a legitimate pharmaceutical ingredient in prescription medications took a major step forward in 2018 when the FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for two types of severe seizures. Epidiolex was a stellar candidate for approval. It reduced convulsive seizures by about 40% and has a good safety profile.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620324

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Changes in Monoaminergic Neurotransmission in an Animal Model of Osteoarthritis: The Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

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“Chronic pain is a main symptom of osteoarthritis (OA). Moreover, a high percentage of OA patients suffer from mental health problems.

The endocannabinoid (EC) system has attracted attention as an emerging drug target for pain treatment together with its activity on the mesolimbic reward system.

Understanding the circuits that govern the reward of pain relief is crucial for the search for effective analgesics. Therefore, we investigated the role of the EC system on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) in an animal model of OA-related chronic pain.

Our results demonstrated that chronic pain in OA rats was reflected by the inhibition of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic transmission, and may indicate the pro-pain role of NA in the FCx.

The data provide understanding about changes in neurotransmission in chronic pain states and may explain the clinical improvement in perceived life quality following cannabinoid treatment.

Additional mechanistic studies in preclinical models examining the intersection between chronic pain and reward circuits may offer new approaches for improving pain therapy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30618615

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00466/full

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The effects of cannabinoids on the endocrine system.

“Cannabinoids are the derivatives of the cannabis plant, the most potent bioactive component of which is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The most commonly used drugs containing cannabinoids are marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil.

These compounds exert their effects via interaction with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Type 1 receptors (CB1) are localised mostly in the central nervous system and in the adipose tissue and many visceral organs, including most endocrine organs. Type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2) are positioned in the peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerve endings) and on the surface of the immune system cells.

Recently, more and more attention has been paid to the role that endogenous ligands play for these receptors, as well as to the role of the receptors themselves. So far, endogenous cannabinoids have been confirmed to participate in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis of the body, and have a significant impact on the endocrine system, including the activity of the pituitary gland, adrenal cortex, thyroid gland, pancreas, and gonads.

Interrelations between the endocannabinoid system and the activity of the endocrine system may be a therapeutic target for a number of drugs that have been proved effective in the treatment of infertility, obesity, diabetes, and even prevention of diseases associated with the cardiovascular system.”

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Blood-brain barrier disturbances in diabetes-associated dementia: Therapeutic potential for cannabinoids.

Pharmacological Research

“Type-2 diabetes (T2D) increases the risk of dementia by ˜5-fold, however the mechanisms by which T2D increases dementia risk remain unclear. Evidence suggests that the heightened inflammation and oxidative stress in T2D may lead to disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which precedes premature cognitive decline. Studies show that vascular-targeted anti-inflammatory treatments protect the BBB by attenuating neuroinflammation, and in some studies attenuate cognitive decline. Yet, this potential pathway is understudied in T2D-associated cognitive impairment.

In recent years, therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has gained much interest. The two major cannabinoids, cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, exert anti-inflammatory and vascular protective effects, however few studies report their potential for reversing BBB dysfunction, particularly in T2D. Therefore, in this review, we summarize the current findings on the role of BBB dysfunction in T2D-associated dementia and consider the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoids as a protectant of cerebrovascular BBB protection.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616019

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661818314634?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoids-induced peripheral analgesia depends on activation of BK channels.

 Brain Research“The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the physiological inhibitory control of pain and is of particular interest for the development of therapeutic approaches for pain management.

Selective activation of the peripheral CB1 cannabinoid receptor has been shown to suppress the heightened firing of primary afferents, which is the peripheral mechanism underlying neuropathic pain after nerve injury. However, the mechanism underlying this effect of CB1 receptor remains unclear.

The large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels have been reported to participate in anticonvulsant and vasorelaxant effects of cannabinoids. We asked whether BK channels participate in cannabinoids-induced analgesia and firing-suppressing effects in primary afferents after nerve injury.

Here, using mice with chronic constriction injury(CCI)-induced neuropathic pain, antinociception action and firing-suppressing effect of HU210 were measured before and after BK channel blocker application. We found that local peripheral application of HU210 alleviated CCI-induced pain behavior and suppressed the heightened firing of injured fibers. Co-administration of IBTX with HU210 significantly reversed the analgesia and the firing-suppressing effect of HU210.

This result indicated that the peripheral analgesic effects of cannabinoids depends on activation of BK channels.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30615887

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899319300071?via%3Dihub

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Acute Pharmacokinetic Profile of Smoked and Vaporized Cannabis in Human Blood and Oral Fluid.

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“Currently, an unprecedented number of individuals can legally access cannabis.

Vaporization is increasingly popular as a method to self-administer cannabis, partly due to perception of reduced harm compared with smoking. Few controlled laboratory studies of cannabis have used vaporization as a delivery method or evaluated the acute effects of cannabis among infrequent cannabis users.

This study compared the concentrations of cannabinoids in whole blood and oral fluid after administration of smoked and vaporized cannabis in healthy adults who were infrequent users of cannabis.

Vaporization appears to be a more efficient method of delivery compared with smoking.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30615181

https://academic.oup.com/jat/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jat/bky104/5274655?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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