Phytocannabinoids: a unified critical inventory.

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“Cannabis sativa L. is a prolific, but not exclusive, producer of a diverse group of isoprenylated resorcinyl polyketides collectively known as phytocannabinoids.

The modular nature of the pathways that merge into the phytocannabinoid chemotype translates in differences in the nature of the resorcinyl side-chain and the degree of oligomerization of the isoprenyl residue, making the definition of phytocannabinoid elusive from a structural standpoint.

A biogenetic definition is therefore proposed, splitting the phytocannabinoid chemotype into an alkyl- and a β-aralklyl version, and discussing the relationships between phytocannabinoids from different sources (higher plants, liverworts, fungi).

The startling diversity of cannabis phytocannabinoids might be, at least in part, the result of non-enzymatic transformations induced by heat, light, and atmospheric oxygen on a limited set of major constituents (CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC and CBC and their corresponding acidic versions), whose degradation is detailed to emphasize this possibility.

The diversity of metabotropic (cannabinoid receptors), ionotropic (thermos-TRPs), and transcription factors (PPARs) targeted by phytocannabinoids is discussed. The integrated inventory of these compounds and their biological macromolecular end-points highlights the opportunities that phytocannabinoids offer to access desirable drug-like space beyond the one associated to the narcotic target CB1.”

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Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke.

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“Cannabis contains the psychoactive component delta⁸-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta⁸-THC), and the non-psychoactive components cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol, and cannabigerol.

It is well-known that delta⁸-THC and other cannabinoid CB₁ receptor agonists are neuroprotective during global and focal ischemic injury.

Additionally, delta⁸-THC also mediates psychological effects through the activation of the CB₁ receptor in the central nervous system.

In addition to the CB₁ receptor agonists, cannabis also contains therapeutically active components which are CB₁ receptor independent.

Of the CB₁ receptor-independent cannabis, the most important is CBD.

In the past five years, an increasing number of publications have focused on the discovery of the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotective effects of CBD.

In particular, CBD exerts positive pharmacological effects in ischemic stroke and other chronic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The cerebroprotective action of CBD is CB₁ receptor-independent, long-lasting, and has potent anti-oxidant activity. Importantly, CBD use does not lead to tolerance.

In this review, we will discuss the therapeutic possibility of CBD as a cerebroprotective agent, highlighting recent pharmacological advances, novel mechanisms, and therapeutic time window of CBD in ischemic stroke.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27713349

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The Potential Role of Cannabinoids in Modulating Serotonergic Signaling by Their Influence on Tryptophan Metabolism.

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“Phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis plants are well known to exert potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.

Previously, we have demonstrated that the psychoactive D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD) modulate mitogen-induced Th1-type immune responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

The suppressive effect of both cannabinoids on mitogen-induced tryptophan degradation mediated by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), suggests an additional mechanism by which antidepressive effects of cannabinoids might be linked to the serotonergic system.

Here, we will review the role of tryptophan metabolism in the course of cell mediated immune responses and the relevance of cannabinoids in serotonergic signaling.

We conclude that in particular the non-psychotropic CBD might be useful for the treatment of mood disorders in patients with inflammatory diseases, since this cannabinoid seems to be safe and its effects on activation-induced tryptophan degradation by CBD were more potent as compared to THC.”

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Gingival Stromal Cells as an In Vitro Model: Cannabidiol Modulates Genes Linked with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

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“Research in recent years has extensively investigated the therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stromal cells in regenerative medicine for many neurodegenerative diseases at preclinical and clinical stages.

However, the success rate of stem cell therapy remains less at translational phase. Lack of relevant animal models that potentially simulate the molecular etiology of human pathological symptoms might be a reason behind such poor clinical outcomes associated with stem cell therapy.

Apparently, self-renewal and differentiation ability of mesenchymal stem cells may help to study the early developmental signaling pathways connected with the diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), etc., at in vitro level.

Cannabidiol, a non-psychotrophic cannabinoid, has been demonstrated as a potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective agent in neurological preclinical models.

In the present study, we investigated the modulatory role of cannabidiol on genes associated with ALS using human gingiva-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hGMSCs) as an in vitro model system.

Next generation transcriptomic sequencing analysis demonstrated considerable modifications in the expression of genes connected with ALS pathology, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and excitotoxicity in hGMSCs treated with cannabidiol.

Our results suggest the efficacy of cannabidiol to delineate the unknown molecular pathways, which may underlie ALS pathology at early stage using hGMSCs as a compelling in vitro system.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27714895

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Cannabidiol as a new treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis complex.

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“Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal-dominant genetic disorder with highly variable expression.

The most common neurologic manifestation of TSC is epilepsy, which affects approximately 85% of patients, 63% of whom develop treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Herein, we evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive compound derived from the marijuana plant, as an adjunct to current antiepileptic drugs in patients with refractory seizures in the setting of TSC.

Although double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are still necessary, these findings suggest that cannabidiol may be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with refractory seizures in TSC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27696387

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Acute and chronic effects of cannabidiol on Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ⁹-THC)-induced disruption in stop signal task performance.

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“Recent clinical and preclinical research has suggested that cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) have interactive effects on measures of cognition; however, the nature of these interactions is not yet fully characterized.

To address this, we investigated the effects of Δ9-THC and CBD independently and in combination with proposed therapeutic dose ratios of 1:1 and 1:3 Δ9-THC:CBD in adult rhesus monkeys performing a stop signal task (SST).

These results indicate that CBD, when combined with Δ9-THC in clinically available dose ratios, does not exacerbate and, under restricted conditions may even attenuate, Δ9-THC’s behavioral effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27690502

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Cannabidiol: a potential treatment for post Ebola Syndrome?

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“Patients recovered from Ebola virus infection may experience short- and long-term physical, neuropsychological and social sequelae, including arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, ophthalmic inflammation, auditory problems, fatigue, confusion, insomnia, short-term memory impairment, anxiety, depression and anorexia, all lasting from 2 weeks to more than 2 years.

Currently there are no treatments for post Ebola sequelae.

We hypothesize that cannabidiol (CBD) may attenuate some of these post Ebola sequelae, several of which have been postulated to result from inflammation and/or an autoimmune response.

CBD has anti-inflammatory actions in various animal models.

Clinical studies have shown that oral administration of CBD, compared to placebo, significantly reduces anxiety, has antinociceptive and anticonvulsant actions, and may be therapeutic for insomnia.

Overall, CBD has a number of pharmacological effects that may significantly improve the mental and somatic health of patients suffering from post Ebola sequelae.

In humans, CBD, at therapeutic doses, does not: 1) elicit dependence or tolerance; 2) significantly alter heart rate or blood pressure; 3) affect gastrointestinal transit; 4) produce significant cognitive or psychomotor impairments. Mild sedation and nausea are the most commonly reported adverse effects associated with CBD.

CBD, based on its pharmacological effects and favorable safety profile, should be considered as a treatment for individuals with post Ebola sequelae.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27686726

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Neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol in hypoxic-ischemic newborn piglets.

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“To test the neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), piglets received i.v. CBD or vehicle after hypoxia-ischemia (HI: temporary occlusion of both carotid arteries plus hypoxia).

CBD administration was free from side effects; moreover, CBD administration was associated with cardiac, hemodynamic, and ventilatory beneficial effects.

In conclusion, administration of CBD after HI reduced short-term brain damage and was associated with extracerebral benefits.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18679164

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Cannabidiol reduces brain damage and improves functional recovery after acute hypoxia-ischemia in newborn pigs.

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“Newborn piglets exposed to acute hypoxia-ischemia (HI) received i.v. cannabidiol (HI + CBD) or vehicle (HI + VEH). In HI + VEH, 72 h post-HI brain activity as assessed by amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) had only recovered to 42 ± 9% of baseline, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) parameters remained lower than normal, and neurobehavioral performance was abnormal (27.8 ± 2.3 points, normal 36). In the brain, there were fewer normal and more pyknotic neurons, while astrocytes were less numerous and swollen. Cerebrospinal fluid concentration of neuronal-specific enolase (NSE) and S100β protein and brain tissue percentage of TNFα(+) cells were all higher. In contrast, in HI + CBD, aEEG had recovered to 86 ± 5%, NIRS parameters increased, and the neurobehavioral score normalized (34.3 ± 1.4 points). HI induced histological changes, and NSE and S100β concentration and TNFα(+) cell increases were suppressed by CBD. In conclusion, post-HI administration of CBD protects neurons and astrocytes, leading to histological, functional, biochemical, and neurobehavioral improvements.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21654550

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Cannabidiol administration after hypoxia-ischemia to newborn rats reduces long-term brain injury and restores neurobehavioral function.

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“Cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrated short-term neuroprotective effects in the immature brain following hypoxia-ischemia (HI).

We examined whether CBD neuroprotection is sustained over a prolonged period.

In conclusion, CBD administration after HI injury to newborn rats led to long-lasting neuroprotection, with the overall effect of promoting greater functional rather than histological recovery.

These effects of CBD were not associated with any side effects.

These results emphasize the interest in CBD as a neuroprotective agent for neonatal HI.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22659086

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