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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabis Constituents Reduce Seizure Behavior in Chemically-Induced and scn1a-mutant Zebrafish

Epilepsy and Behavior Journal | Epilepsy Foundation“Current antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are undesirable for many reasons including the inability to reduce seizures in certain types of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome (DS) where in one-third of patients does not respond to current AEDs, and severe adverse effects that are frequently experienced by patients.

Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug, was recently approved for treatment of DS. While Epidiolex shows great promise in reducing seizures in patients with DS, it is used in conjunction with other AEDs and can cause liver toxicity. To investigate whether other cannabis-derived compounds could also reduce seizures, the antiepileptic effects of CBD, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinol (CBN), and linalool (LN) were compared in both a chemically-induced (pentylenetetrazole, PTZ) and a DS (scn1Lab-/-) seizure models.

Cannabidiol (0.6 and 1 μM) and THC (1 and 4 μM) significantly reduced PTZ-induced total distance moved. At the highest THC concentration, the significant reduction in PTZ-induced behavior was likely the result of sedation as opposed to antiseizure activity.

In the DS model, CBD (0.6 μM), THC (1 μM), CBN (0.6 and 1 μM), and LN (4 μM) significantly reduced total distance traveled. Cannabinol was the most effective at reducing total distance relative to controls. In addition to CBD, other cannabis-derived compounds showed promise in reducing seizure-like activity in zebrafish.

Specifically, four of the five compounds were effective in the DS model, whereas in the PTZ model, only CBD and THC were, suggesting a divergence in the mode of action among the cannabis constituents.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32585475/

“In the DS model, CBD, THC, CBN, and LN caused significant reduction in seizure behavior, while THC and CBD were effective in both models.”

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1525505020303310

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Structure-Effect Relationships of Novel Semi-Synthetic Cannabinoid Derivatives.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“As a library of cannabinoid (CB) derivatives with (-)-transcannabidiol (CBD) or (-)-trans-cannabidivarin (CBDV) scaffold, we synthesized nine novel cannabinoids: 2-hydroxyethyl cannabidiolate (2-HEC), 2-hydroxypentyl cannabidiolate (2-HPC), 2,3-dihydroxypropyl cannabidiolate (GCBD), cyclohexyl cannabidiolate (CHC), n-hexyl-cannabidiolate (HC), 2-(methylsulfonamido)ethyl cannabidiolate (NMSC), 2-hydroxyethyl cannabidivarinolate (2-HECBDV), cyclohexyl cannabidivarinolate (CHCBDV), and n-hexyl cannabidivarinolate (HCBDV). Their binding and intrinsic effects at the CB1- and CB2-receptors and the effects on inflammatory signaling cascades were investigated in in vitro and ex vivo cell models.

Materials and Methods: Binding affinity was studied in membranes isolated from CB-receptor-transfected HEK293EBNA cells, intrinsic functional activity in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, and activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)/ionomycin (IO)-treated Jurkat T-cells. Inhibition of interleukin (IL)-17-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines [IL-6, IL-1β, CC-chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α] was studied in RAW264.7 macrophages at the RNA level. Pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) expression were investigated at the protein level in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated primary human monocytes.

Results: Derivatives with long aliphatic side chains at the ester position at R1 [HC (5)] as well as the ones with polar side chains [2-HECBDV (7), NMSC (6), and 2-HEC (1)] can be selective for CB2-receptors. The CBDV-derivatives HCBDV and CHCBDV demonstrated specific binding at CB1- and CB2-receptors at nanomolar concentrations. 2-HEC, 2-HPC, GCBD, and NMSC were agonists at CB2-receptor and antagonists at CB1-receptor. CHC bound both receptors at submicromolar ranges and was an agonist for these receptors. 2-HECBDV was an agonist at CB2-receptor and an antagonist at the CB1-receptor despite its modest affinity at this receptor (micromolar range). NMSC inhibited NF-κB and NFAT activity, and 2-HEC, 2-HPC, and GCBD dose-dependently inhibited PMA/IO-stimulated NFAT activation. CHC and HC dose-dependently reduced IL-1β and CCL2 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. NMSC inhibited IL-1β, CCL2, and TNF-α at lower doses. At higher doses, it induced a pronounced increase in IL-6 mRNA. 2-HEC, 2-HPC, and GCBD dose-dependently inhibited LPS-induced IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 synthesis. NMSC further increased LPS-stimulated IL-1β release but inhibited IL-8, TNF-α, and PGE2.

Conclusion: The CBD- and CBDV-derivatives studied are suitable for targeting CB-receptors. Some may be used as selective CB2 agonists. The length of the aliphatic rest at R2 of CBD (pentyl) and CBDV (propyl) did not correlate with the binding affinity. Higher polarity at R1 appeared to favor the agonistic activity at CB2-receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31824305

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.01284/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Effects of cannabidivarin (CBDV) on brain excitation and inhibition systems in adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): a single dose trial during magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Image result for translational psychiatry“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a high cost neurodevelopmental condition; and there are currently no effective pharmacological treatments for its core symptoms. This has led some families and researchers to trial alternative remedies – including the non-intoxicating Cannabis sativa-derived compound cannabidivarin (CBDV). However, how CBDV affects the human brain is unknown.

Previous (pre)clinical evidence suggests that CBDV may modulate brain excitatory-inhibitory systems, which are implicated in ASD. Hence, our main aim was to test, for the first time, if CBDV shifts glutamate and/or GABA metabolites – markers of the brain’s primary excitatory and inhibitory system – in both the ‘typical’ and autistic brain.

Our subsidiary aim was to determine whether, within ASD, brain responsivity to CBDV challenge is related to baseline biological phenotype. We tested this using a repeated-measures, double-blind, randomized-order, cross-over design.

We used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to compare glutamate (Glx = glutamate + glutamine) and GABA + (GABA + macromolecules) levels following placebo (baseline) and 600 mg CBDV in 34 healthy men with (n = 17) and without (n = 17) ASD. Data acquisition from regions previously reliably linked to ASD (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, DMPFC; left basal ganglia, BG) commenced 2 h (peak plasma levels) after placebo/CBDV administration. Where CBDV significantly shifted metabolite levels, we examined the relationship of this change with baseline metabolite levels. Test sessions were at least 13 days apart to ensure CBDV wash-out. CBDV significantly increased Glx in the BG of both groups. However, this impact was not uniform across individuals. In the ASD group, and not in the typically developing controls, the ‘shift’ in Glx correlated negatively with baseline Glx concentration. In contrast, CBDV had no significant impact on Glx in the DMPFC, or on GABA+ in either voxel in either group.

Our findings suggest that, as measured by MRS, CBDV modulates the glutamate-GABA system in the BG but not in frontal regions. Moreover, there is individual variation in response depending on baseline biochemistry. Future studies should examine the effect of CBDV on behaviour and if the response to an acute dose of CBDV could predict a potential clinical treatment response in ASD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31748505

“Here we report that CBDV can ‘shift’ subcortical levels of the brain’s primary excitatory metabolite glutamate (measured as Glx) both in the neurotypical and autistic brain; but that there may be significant response variability in ASD. These findings add to our understanding of the effects of CBDV in the adult human brain. Nonetheless, future studies will need to explore (i) the mechanisms of action of CBDV; (ii) the impact of CBDV on (ASD-related) cognition and behaviour; (iii) if single-dose responsivity could facilitate the identification of pharmacologically homogeneous sub-groups; and (iv) if acute CBDV effects are indicative of the impact of long-term treatment in ASD.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0654-8

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The non-euphoric phytocannabinoid cannabidivarin counteracts intestinal inflammation in mice and cytokine expression in biopsies from UC pediatric patients.

Pharmacological Research“Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) using marijuana have been reported to experience symptomatic benefit.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is a safe non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid able to activate TRPA1, a member of TRP channels superfamily, which plays a pivotal role in intestinal inflammation.

Here, we have investigated the potential intestinal anti-inflammatory effect of CBDV in mice and in biopsies from pediatric patients with active UC.

Our preclinical study shows that CBDV exerts intestinal anti-inflammatory effects in mice via TRPA1, and in children with active UC.

Since CBDV has a favorable safety profile in humans, it may be considered for possible clinical trials in patients with UC.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31553934

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1043661819311077

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidivarin Treatment Ameliorates Autism-Like Behaviors and Restores Hippocampal Endocannabinoid System and Glia Alterations Induced by Prenatal Valproic Acid Exposure in Rats.

 Image result for frontiers in cellular neuroscience“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition whose primary features include social communication and interaction impairments with restricted or repetitive motor movements. No approved treatment for the core symptoms is available and considerable research efforts aim at identifying effective therapeutic strategies.

Emerging evidence suggests that altered endocannabinoid signaling and immune dysfunction might contribute to ASD pathogenesis. In this scenario, phytocannabinoids could hold great pharmacological potential due to their combined capacities to act either directly or indirectly on components of the endocannabinoid system and to modulate immune functions.

Among all plant-cannabinoids, the phytocannabinoid cannabidivarin (CBDV) was recently shown to reduce motor impairments and cognitive deficits in animal models of Rett syndrome, a condition showing some degree of overlap with autism, raising the possibility that CBDV might have therapeutic potential in ASD.

Here, we investigated the ability of CBDV treatment to reverse or prevent ASD-like behaviors in male rats prenatally exposed to valproic acid (VPA; 500 mg/kg i.p.; gestation day 12.5).

CBDV in symptomatic rats recovered social impairments, social novelty preference, short-term memory deficits, repetitive behaviors and hyperlocomotion whereas preventative treatment reduced sociability and social novelty deficits, short-term memory impairments and hyperlocomotion, without affecting stereotypies.

As dysregulations in the endocannabinoid system and neuroinflammatory markers contribute to the development of some ASD phenotypes in the VPA model, neurochemical studies were performed after symptomatic treatment to investigate possible CBDV’s effects on the endocannabinoid system, inflammatory markers and microglia activation in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

Prenatal VPA exposure increased CB1 receptor, FAAH and MAGL levels, enhanced GFAP, CD11b, and TNFα levels and triggered microglia activation restricted to the hippocampus. All these alterations were restored after CBDV treatment.

These data provide preclinical evidence in support of the ability of CBDV to ameliorate behavioral abnormalities resembling core and associated symptoms of ASD. At the neurochemical level, symptomatic CBDV restores hippocampal endocannabinoid signaling and neuroinflammation induced by prenatal VPA exposure.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31447649

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2019.00367/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

From Cannabinoids and Neurosteroids to Statins and the Ketogenic Diet: New Therapeutic Avenues in Rett Syndrome?

Image result for frontiers in neuroscience “Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused mainly by mutations in the MECP2 gene, being one of the leading causes of mental disability in females.

Epilepsy is one of the most common symptoms in RTT, occurring in 60 to 80% of RTT cases, being associated with worsening of other symptoms. At this point, no cure for RTT is available and there is a pressing need for the discovery of new drug candidates to treat its severe symptoms.

New and exciting evidence has been gathered and the etiopathogenesis of this complex, severe and untreatable disease is slowly being unfolded. Advances in gene editing techniques have prompted cure-oriented research in RTT. Nonetheless, at this point, finding a cure is a distant reality, highlighting the importance of further investigating the basic pathological mechanisms of this disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31333401

“Very recently, a new study using CBDV has confirmed the potential of this particular phytocannabinoid in RTT.  The promising antiseizure effects of CBD, even in cases of refractory-epilepsy, observed in both clinical trials with humans and in laboratory animals, the effects of combinations of CBD and Δ9-THC in controlling muscle spasticity and motor symptoms, and the positive results of CBDV administration in two different mouse models of RTT, place cannabinoids as a viable therapeutic strategy in RTT. Moreover, CBD positively modifies impairments in motor, cognitive and social processes in animal models, further highlighting the potential of cannabinoid molecules to tackle RTT-symptomology.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2019.00680/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidivarin completely rescues cognitive deficits and delays neurological and motor defects in male Mecp2 mutant mice.

SAGE Journals“Recent evidence suggests that 2-week treatment with the non-psychotomimetic cannabinoid cannabidivarin (CBDV) could be beneficial towards neurological and social deficits in early symptomatic Mecp2 mutant mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). The aim of this study was to provide further insights into the efficacy of CBDV in Mecp2-null mice using a lifelong treatment schedule to evaluate its effect on recognition memory and neurological defects in both early and advanced stages of the phenotype progression. CBDV rescues recognition memory deficits in Mecp2 mutant mice and delays the appearance of neurological defects. CBDV administration exerts an enduring rescue of memory deficits in Mecp2 mutant mice. CBDV delays neurological defects but this effect is only transient.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31084246

“Chronic treatment with the phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin (CBDV) rescues behavioural alterations and brain atrophy in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30056123

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Novel inverse agonists for the orphan G protein-coupled receptor 6.

Image result for Heliyon.

“The orphan G protein-coupled receptor 6 (GPR6) displays unique promise as a therapeutic target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders due to its high expression in the striatopallidal neurons of the basal ganglia.

GPR6, along with closely related orphan receptors GPR3 and GPR12, are phylogenetically related to CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

In the current study, we performed concentration-response studies on the effects of three different classes of cannabinoids: endogenous, phyto-, and synthetic, on both GPR6-mediated cAMP accumulation and β-arrestin2 recruitment. In addition, structure-activity relationship studies were conducted on cannabidiol (CBD), a recently discovered inverse agonist for GPR6.

We have identified four additional cannabinoids, cannabidavarin (CBDV), WIN55212-2, SR141716A and SR144528, that exert inverse agonism on GPR6. Furthermore, we have discovered that these cannabinoids exhibit functional selectivity toward the β-arrestin2 recruitment pathway.

These novel, functionally selective inverse agonists for GPR6 can be used as research tools and potentially developed into therapeutic agents.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30480157

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous