“Δ9-THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are two main cannabinoid constituents of marijuana and hashish. The pharmacology of Δ9-THC has been extensively studied, while our understanding of the pharmacology of CBD has remained limited, despite excitement in CBD’s potential role in treating certain pediatric epilepsies and its reputation for attenuating some Δ9-THC-induced effects.
It was established early on that CBD binds poorly to the orthosteric site of CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors and its actions were commonly attributed to other non-cannabinoid receptor mechanisms. However, recent evidence suggests that CBD does indeed act at cannabinoid CB1 receptors as a negative allosteric modulator (NAM) of CB1 signaling. By altering the orthosteric signaling of a GPCR, allosteric modulators greatly increase the richness of GPCR pharmacology.
We have recently surveyed candidate CB1 NAMs in autaptic hippocampal neurons, a well-characterized neuronal model of endogenous cannabinoid signaling, and have now tested CBD in this model. We find that while CBD has no direct effect on excitatory transmission it does inhibit two forms of endogenous cannabinoid-mediated retrograde synaptic plasticity: depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and metabotropic suppression of excitation (MSE), while not affecting signaling via GABA-B receptors.
These results are consistent with the recently described NAM activity of CBD and suggest interesting possible mechanisms for CBD’s therapeutic actions.”
“In the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted a great interest in medicine and cancer disease is probably one of its most promising therapeutic areas.
On the one hand, endocannabinoid system expression has been found altered in numerous types of tumours compared to healthy tissue, and this aberrant expression has been related to cancer prognosis and disease outcome, suggesting a role of this system in tumour growth and progression that depends on cancer type.
On the other hand, it has been reported that cannabinoids exert an anticancer activity by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells; and also tumour angiogenesis.
The endocannabinoid system may be considered as a new therapeutic target, although further studies to fully establish the effect of cannabinoids on tumour progression remain necessary.”
“Cannabis is a plant that has been used for centuries to relieve a wide range of symptoms. Since the 1960s, interest in medical research into this plant has grown steadily. Already very popular for recreational use, a growing number of consumers not accustomed to using cannabis for psychoactive purposes, have begun to use it as an alternative or complement to mainstream pharmaceutical medicines. The principal unsubstantiated or “social” uses of cannabis are based mainly on data that is at best controversial, but usually not scientifically proven. The aim of this review is to identify the scientific basis and reasons that lead patients with cancer to consume cannabis, and also to identify whether there is a risk of interaction between cannabis and anti-cancer medicines through drug transporters (P-glycoprotein and other ABC-superfamily members) Cytochromes P450 (3A, 1A, 2B, 2C 2D families…) and glucuronyl-transferases.”
“The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays a key role in many physiological and pathological conditions and its dysregulation has been described in several rheumatological and autoimmune diseases. Yet, its possible alteration in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has never been investigated.
Here, we aimed filling this gap in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with SLE and age- and sex- matched healthy subjects (HS).
In conclusion, our results demonstrate, for the first time, an alteration of eCB system in SLE patients. They represents the first step toward the understanding of the role of eCB system in SLE that likely suggest DAGL and 2-AG as potential biomarkers of SLE in easily accessible blood samples.
Our data provides proof-of-concept to the development of cannabis-based medicine as immune-modulating agents.”
“Activating brown adipose tissue (BAT) could provide a potential approach for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease in humans.
Obesity is associated with up-regulation of the endocannabinoid system, and blocking the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) has been shown to cause weight loss and decrease cardiometabolic risk factors. These effects may partly be mediated via increased BAT metabolism, since there is evidence that CB1R antagonism activates BAT in rodents.
To investigate the significance of CB1R in BAT function, we quantified the density of CB1R in human and rodent BAT using the positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand [18F]FMPEP-d2 , and in parallel measured BAT activation with the glucose analogue [18F]FDG. Activation by cold exposure markedly increased CB1R density and glucose uptake in BAT of lean men. Similarly, β3-receptor agonism increased CB1R density in BAT of rats.
In contrast, overweight men with reduced BAT activity exhibited decreased CB1R in BAT, reflecting impaired endocannabinoid regulation. Image-guided biopsies confirmed CB1R mRNA expression in human BAT. Furthermore, CB1R blockade increased glucose uptake and lipolysis of brown adipocytes.
Our results highlight that CB1Rs are significant for human BAT activity, and the CB1R provide a novel therapeutic target for BAT activation in humans.”
“While most human research has concluded that the active ingredient of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, tends to dampen rather than provoke aggression in acute doses, recent evidence supports a relationship between the ingestion of synthetic cannabinoids and emergence of violent or aggressive behavior.
To summarize, this paper will draw upon basic and clinical research to explain how the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the genesis of aggressive behavior.”
“Cannabis has been used for millennia to treat a multitude of medical conditions including chronic pain.
Osteoarthritis (OA) pain is one of the most common types of pain and patients often turn to medical cannabis to manage their symptoms.
While the majority of these reports are anecdotal, there is a growing body of scientific evidence which supports the analgesic potential of cannabinoids to treat OA pain.
OA pain manifests as a combination of inflammatory, nociceptive, and neuropathic pain, each requiring modality-specific analgesics. The body’s innate endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been shown to ameliorate all of these pain subtypes.
This review summarizes the components of the ECS and details the latest research pertaining to plant-based and man-made cannabinoids for the treatment of OA pain. Recent pre-clinical evidence supporting a role for the ECS to control OA pain is described as well as current clinical evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treating OA pain in mixed patient populations.
“Cannabinoids are compounds with pleiotropic properties that act on the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and are divided into endocannabinoids, the endogenous ligands of these receptors, synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.
The latter are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of this plant have been observed and used for centuries.
Of the over 60 compounds that are unique to Cannabis sativa, the substances that have been attributed the greatest therapeutic potential are Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both of which, used alone or combined with each other, have become approved drugs.”
“The trigeminovascular system (TS) activation and the vasoactive release from trigeminal endings, in proximity of the meningeal vessels, are considered two of the main effector mechanisms of migraine attacks. Several other structures and mediators are involved, however, both upstream and alongside the TS.
Among these, the endocannabinoid system (ES) has recently attracted considerable attention. Experimental and clinical data suggest indeed a link between dysregulation of this signaling complex and migraine headache.
Clinical observations, in particular, show that the levels of anandamide (AEA)-one of the two primary endocannabinoid lipids-are reduced in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of patients with chronic migraine (CM), and that this reduction is associated with pain facilitation in the spinal cord.
AEA is produced on demand during inflammatory conditions and exerts most of its effects by acting on cannabinoid (CB) receptors. AEA is rapidly degraded by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme and its levels can be modulated in the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) by FAAH inhibitors.
Inhibition of AEA degradation via FAAH is a promising therapeutic target for migraine pain, since it is presumably associated to an increased availability of the endocannabinoid, specifically at the site where its formation is stimulated (e.g., trigeminal ganglion and/or meninges), thus prolonging its action.”
“The use of different natural and/or synthetic preparations of Cannabis sativa is associated with therapeutic strategies for many diseases. Indeed, thanks to the widespread diffusion of the cannabinoidergic system in the brain and in the peripheral districts, its stimulation, or inhibition, regulates many pathophysiological phenomena.
In particular, central activation of the cannabinoidergic system modulates the limbic and mesolimbic response which leads to food craving.
Moreover, cannabinoid agonists are able to reduce inflammatory response.
In this review a brief history of cannabinoids and the protagonists of the endocannabinoidergic system, i.e. synthesis and degradation enzymes and main receptors, will be described. Furthermore, the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids will be outlined. An overview of the involvement of the endocannabinoidergic system in neuroinflammatory and metabolic pathologies will be made.
Finally, particular attention will also be given to the new pharmacological entities acting on the two main receptors, cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), with particular focus on the neuroinflammatory and metabolic mechanisms involved.”