Cannabis Extracts Affected Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Mice Fed High-Fat/Cholesterol Diet

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with metabolic syndrome, which often includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Several studies in mice and humans have implicated the involvement of the gut microbiome in NAFLD.

While cannabis may potentially be beneficial for treating metabolic disorders such as NAFLD, the effects of cannabis on liver diseases and gut microbiota profile are yet to be addressed. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of cannabis strains with different cannabinoid profiles on NAFLD progression.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the administration of cannabis containing elevated levels of THC may help ameliorate symptoms of NAFLD, whereas administration of CBD-rich cannabis extracts may cause a proinflammatory effect in the liver, linked with an unfavorable change in the microbiota profile. Our preliminary data suggest that these effects are mediated by mechanisms other than increased expression of the endocannabinoid receptors cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and CB2.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32923658/

“The results of this study provide an indication that administration of certain strains of cannabis, preferably with a higher THC level, may be helpful in treating certain symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which include preventing the development and/or ameliorating the symptoms of NAFLD.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2020.0013

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Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol promotes oligodendrocyte development and CNS myelination in vivo

“Δ9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main bioactive compound found in the plant Cannabis sativa, exerts its effects by activating cannabinoid receptors present in many neural cells.

Cannabinoid receptors are also physiologically engaged by endogenous cannabinoid compounds, the so-called endocannabinoids. Specifically, the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol has been highlighted as an important modulator of oligodendrocyte (OL) development at embryonic stages and in animal models of demyelination. However, the potential impact of THC exposure on OL lineage progression during the critical periods of postnatal myelination has never been explored.

Here, we show that acute THC administration at early postnatal ages in mice enhanced OL development and CNS myelination in the subcortical white matter by promoting oligodendrocyte precursor cell cycle exit and differentiation. Mechanistically, THC-induced-myelination was mediated by CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, as demonstrated by the blockade of THC actions by selective receptor antagonists. Moreover, the THC-mediated modulation of oligodendroglial differentiation relied on the activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway, as mTORC1 pharmacological inhibition prevented the THC effects.

Our study identifies THC as an effective pharmacological strategy to enhance oligodendrogenesis and CNS myelination in vivo.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32956517/

“In summary, our findings identify THC as a novel pharmacological candidate to enhance OL development and CNS myelination in vivo.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/glia.23911

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It Is Our Turn to Get Cannabis High: Put Cannabinoids in Food and Health Baskets

molecules-logo“Cannabis is an annual plant with a long history of use as food, feed, fiber, oil, medicine, and narcotics. Despite realizing its true value, it has not yet found its true place. Cannabis has had a long history with many ups and downs, and now it is our turn to promote it.

Cannabis contains approximately 600 identified and many yet unidentified potentially useful compounds. Cannabinoids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and alkaloids are some of the secondary metabolites present in cannabis. However, among a plethora of unique chemical compounds found in this plant, the most important ones are phytocannabinoids (PCs).

Over hundreds of 21-22-carbon compounds exclusively produce in cannabis glandular hairs through either polyketide and or deoxyxylulose phosphate/methylerythritol phosphate (DOXP/MEP) pathways. Trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are those that first come to mind while talking about cannabis. Nevertheless, despite the low concentration, cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinodiol (CBND), and cannabinidiol (CBDL) may have potentially some medical effects.

PCs and endocannabinoids (ECs) mediate their effects mainly through CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite all concerns regarding cannabis, nobody can ignore the use of cannabinoids as promising tonic, analgesic, antipyretic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anticancer agents, which are effective for pain relief, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, and appetite stimulation.

The scientific community and public society have now increasingly accepted cannabis specifically hemp as much more than a recreational drug. There are growing demands for cannabinoids, mainly CBD, with many diverse therapeutic and nutritional properties in veterinary or human medicine. The main objective of this review article is to historically summarize findings concerning cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, towards putting these valuable compounds into food, feed and health baskets and current and future trends in the consumption of products derived from cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32899626/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/18/4036

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A molecular basis for the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrosis properties of cannabidiol

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is considered a non-psychoactive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant.

There are various reports on the versatile function of CBD, including ameliorating chronic inflammation and fibrosis formation in several tissue types.

This review focused on the anti-inflammation and anti-fibrotic effects of CBD based on modulating the associated chemokines/cytokines and receptor-mediated pathways.

This review thus recommends the continued study of CBD’s molecular mechanism in treating established and emerging inflammatory and fibrosis-related diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32885502/

“In all, CBD shows immense promise as a possible treatment for chronic inflammation and the progression or development of fibrosis.”

https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1096/fj.202000975R

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Receptors and Channels Possibly Mediating the Effects of Phytocannabinoids on Seizures and Epilepsy

pharmaceuticals-logo“Epilepsy contributes to approximately 1% of the global disease burden. By affecting especially young children as well as older persons of all social and racial variety, epilepsy is a present disorder worldwide. Currently, only 65% of epileptic patients can be successfully treated with antiepileptic drugs. For this reason, alternative medicine receives more attention.

Cannabis has been cultivated for over 6000 years to treat pain and insomnia and used since the 19th century to suppress epileptic seizures.

The two best described phytocannabinoids, (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are claimed to have positive effects on different neurological as well as neurodegenerative diseases, including epilepsy.

There are different cannabinoids which act through different types of receptors and channels, including the cannabinoid receptor 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2), G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) and 18 (GPR18), opioid receptor µ and δ, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2), type A γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAAR) and voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC).

The mechanisms and importance of the interaction between phytocannabinoids and their different sites of action regarding epileptic seizures and their clinical value are described in this review.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32751761/

https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/13/8/174

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Spinal cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors activation attenuates mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

 Behavioural Pharmacology“Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with a high number of complications such as peripheral neuropathy, which causes sensorial disturbances and may lead to the development of diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). The current treatment for DNP is just palliative and the drugs may cause severe adverse effects, leading to discontinuation of treatment. Thus, new therapeutic targets need to be urgently investigated.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids have promising effects in the treatment of several pathological conditions, including chronic pain.

Thus, we aimed to investigate the acute effect of the intrathecal injection of CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonists N-(2-chloroethyl)-5Z, 8Z, 11Z, 14Z-eicosatetraenamide (ACEA) or JWH 133, respectively (10, 30 or 100 μg/rat) on the mechanical allodynia associated with experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; intraperitoneal) in rats.

Cannabinoid receptor antagonists CB1 AM251 or CB2 AM630 (1 mg/kg) were given before treatment with respective agonists to confirm the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 or CB2 receptors. Rats with diabetes exhibited a significant reduction on the paw mechanical threshold 2 weeks after diabetes induction, having the maximum effect observed 4 weeks after the streptozotocin injection. This mechanical allodynia was significantly improved by intrathecal treatment with ACEA or JWH 133 (only at the higher dose of 100 μg). Pre-treatment with AM251 or AM630 significantly reverted the anti-allodynic effect of the ACEA or JWH 133, respectively.

Considering the clinical challenge that the treatment of DPN represents, this study showed for the first time, that the intrathecal cannabinoid receptors agonists may represent an alternative for the treatment of DNP.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32804775/

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Structural and Functional Insights into Cannabinoid Receptors

 Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (@TrendsinPharma) | Twitter“Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) are widely expressed in the human body, and are attractive drug targets in the prevention and management of central nervous system (CNS) and immune system dysfunction, respectively. Recent breakthroughs in the structural elucidation of cannabinoid receptors and their signaling complexes with G proteins, provide the important molecular basis of ligand-receptor interactions, activation and signaling mechanism, which will facilitate the next-generation drug design and the precise modulation of the endocannabinoid system. Here, we provide an overview on the structural features of cannabinoid receptors in different functional states and the diverse ligand binding modes. The major challenges and new strategies for future therapeutic applications targeting the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are also discussed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32739033/

“Cannabinoid receptors as key components of the endocannabinoid system are involved in regulating a variety of physiological and pathological activities, and their ligands are regarded as potential drug candidates for the treatment of many diseases.”

https://www.cell.com/trends/pharmacological-sciences/fulltext/S0165-6147(20)30146-2?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0165614720301462%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Targeting Cannabinoid Receptors: Current Status and Prospects of Natural Products

ijms-logo “Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), as part of the endocannabinoid system, play a critical role in numerous human physiological and pathological conditions. Thus, considerable efforts have been made to develop ligands for CB1 and CB2, resulting in hundreds of phyto- and synthetic cannabinoids which have shown varying affinities relevant for the treatment of various diseases. However, only a few of these ligands are clinically used.

Recently, more detailed structural information for cannabinoid receptors was revealed thanks to the powerfulness of cryo-electron microscopy, which now can accelerate structure-based drug discovery. At the same time, novel peptide-type cannabinoids from animal sources have arrived at the scene, with their potential in vivo therapeutic effects in relation to cannabinoid receptors.

From a natural products perspective, it is expected that more novel cannabinoids will be discovered and forecasted as promising drug leads from diverse natural sources and species, such as animal venoms which constitute a true pharmacopeia of toxins modulating diverse targets, including voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors such as CB1 and CB2, with astonishing affinity and selectivity. Therefore, it is believed that discovering novel cannabinoids starting from studying the biodiversity of the species living on planet earth is an uncharted territory.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32709050/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/14/5064

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Cannabis and the Gastrointestinal Tract

“Cannabis has been used for its medicinal purposes since ancient times. Its consumption leads to the activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 that, through specific mechanisms can lead to modulation and progression of inflammation or repair. The novel findings are linked to the medical use of Cannabis in gastrointestinal (GI) system.

Purpose: The objective of the present paper is to elucidate the role of Cannabis consumption in GI system. An additional aim is to review the information on the function of Cannabis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Methods and results: This review summarizes the recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands, as well as their metabolizing enzymes in normal GI function and its disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and possible adverse events. The synergism or antagonism between Cannabis’ active ingredients and the “entourage” plays a role in the efficacy of various strains. Some elements of Cannabis may alter disease severity as over-activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 can lead to changes of the commensal gut flora. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) contributes to gut homeostasis. The ability of ECS to modulate inflammatory responses demonstrates the capacity of ECS to preserve gastrointestinal (GI) function. Alterations of the ECS may predispose patients to pathologic disorders, including IBD. Clinical studies in IBD demonstrate that subjects benefit from Cannabis consumption as seen through a reduction of the IBD-inflammation, as well as through a decreased need for other medication. NAFLD is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver. The occurrence of inflammation in NAFLD leads to non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis (NASH). The use of Cannabis might reduce liver inflammation.

Conclusions: With limited evidence of efficacy and safety of Cannabis in IBD, IBS, and NAFLD, randomized controlled studies are required to examine its therapeutic efficacy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32762830/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/31242

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Pharmacological activation of CB2 receptor protects against ethanol-induced myocardial injury related to RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis

 Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry | Home“Chronic ethanol abuse can lead to harmful consequences for the heart, resulting in systolic dysfunction, variability in the heart rate, arrhythmia, and cardiac remodelling. However, the precise molecular mechanism responsible for ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy is poorly understood. In this regard, the present study aimed to describe the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptotic cell death that may be involved in ethanol-induced cardiomyopathy and characterize CBR-mediated effects on the signalling pathway and myocardial injury.

We performed an ethanol vapour administration experiment to analyse the effects of ethanol on cardiac structure and function in male C57BL/6J mice. Ethanol induced a significant decline in the cardiac structure and function, as evidenced by a decline in ejection fraction and fractional shortening, and an increase in serum Creatine Kinase levels, myocardial collagen content, and inflammatory reaction. Furthermore, ethanol also upregulated the expression levels of necroptosis-related markers such as p-RIP1, p-RIP3, and p-MLKL in the myocardium. Nec-1 treatment exerted significant cardioprotective effects by salvaging the heart tissue, improving the cardiac function, and mitigating inflammation and necroptosis.

In addition, ethanol abuse caused an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system and regulated two cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R) in the myocardium. Treatment with selective CB2R agonists, JWH-133 or AM1241, markedly improved the cardiac dysfunction and reduced the ethanol-induced necroptosis in the myocardium.

Altogether, our data provide evidence that ethanol abuse-induced cardiotoxicity can possibly be attributed to the RIP1/RIP3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis. Moreover, pharmacological activation of CB2R may represent a new cardioprotective strategy against ethanol-induced cardiotoxicity.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32681290/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11010-020-03828-1

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