Use of Cannabis for Agitation in Patients With Dementia

 logo“Studies have reported changes in the endocannabinoid system in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), playing a role in the pathophysiology of AD. Cannabinoids have been shown to have neuroprotective properties, reduce neuroinflammation, and enhance neurogenesis. Evidence suggests that the utilization of marijuana products containing both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) or CBD alone have been effective and safe for use in older people with agitation associated with dementia.

A review in 2017 summarized positive findings for therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in agitation of AD and dementia, but there was no definitive conclusion because of varying cannabinoid products. Cannabinoids were shown to be well tolerated, with few short-term side effects. This differs from first-line medications utilized for dementia behaviors, which can have unwanted side effects. Further research regarding the safety, efficacy, and variability of these products in older people is needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32600509/

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ascp/tscp/2020/00000035/00000007/art00006;jsessionid=1ivcuvrvy4g1s.x-ic-live-03

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Cannabis, the Endocannabinoid System and Immunity-the Journey From the Bedside to the Bench and Back

ijms-logo“The Cannabis plant contains numerous components, including cannabinoids and other active molecules. The phyto-cannabinoid activity is mediated by the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids affect the nervous system and play significant roles in the regulation of the immune system.

While Cannabis is not yet registered as a drug, the potential of cannabinoid-based medicines for the treatment of various conditions has led many countries to authorize their clinical use. However, the data from basic and medical research dedicated to medical Cannabis is currently limited.

A variety of pathological conditions involve dysregulation of the immune system. For example, in cancer, immune surveillance and cancer immuno-editing result in immune tolerance. On the other hand, in autoimmune diseases increased immune activity causes tissue damage.

Immuno-modulating therapies can regulate the immune system and therefore the immune-regulatory properties of cannabinoids, suggest their use in the therapy of immune related disorders.

In this contemporary review, we discuss the roles of the endocannabinoid system in immunity and explore the emerging data about the effects of cannabinoids on the immune response in different pathologies. In addition, we discuss the complexities of using cannabinoid-based treatments in each of these conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32585801/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/12/4448

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Non-opioid Analgesics and the Endocannabinoid System

 Balkan Medical Journal“Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to produce antinociceptive effects mainly through peripheral COX-inhibition. Paracetamol and dipyrone are different from classical NSAIDs, because they exert weak anti-inflammatory activity; mechanisms other than peripheral COX inhibition appear to play role in their antinociceptive actions. In this review, we specified classical NSAIDs, paracetamol and dipyrone as “non-opioid analgesics” and discussed the mechanisms mediating participation of the endocannabinoid system in the antinociceptive effects of these analgesics. Non-opioid analgesics and their metabolites may activate cannabinoid receptors. In addition, several mechanisms are implicated in the elevation of endocannabinoid levels following administration of non-opioid analgesics. Of these, reduction of endocannabinoid degradation via FAAH and/or COX-2 inhibition, accumulation of arachidonic acid to endocannabinoid biosynthesis following COX inhibition, inhibition of cellular uptake of endocannabinoids directly or following inhibition of nitric oxide synthase production, and induction of endocannabinoid release are among the proposed mechanisms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32551466/

http://balkanmedicaljournal.org/uploads/pdf/pdf_BMJ_2226.pdf

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Targeting the Endocannabinoid System: A Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized Medicine-Directed Approach to the Management of Brain Pathologies

 SpringerLink“Cannabis-inspired medical products are garnering increasing attention from the scientific community, general public, and health policy makers. A plethora of scientific literature demonstrates intricate engagement of the endocannabinoid system with human immunology, psychology, developmental processes, neuronal plasticity, signal transduction, and metabolic regulation. Despite the therapeutic potential, the adverse psychoactive effects and historical stigma, cannabinoids have limited widespread clinical application. Therefore, it is plausible to weigh carefully the beneficial effects of cannabinoids against the potential adverse impacts for every individual. This is where the concept of “personalized medicine” as a promising approach for disease prediction and prevention may take into the account. The goal of this review is to provide an outline of the endocannabinoid system, including endocannabinoid metabolizing pathways, and will progress to a more in-depth discussion of the therapeutic interventions by endocannabinoids in various neurological disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32549916/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13167-020-00203-4

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Cannabidiol Anticonvulsant Effect Is Mediated by the PI3Kγ Pathway

Neuropharmacology“The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/Akt)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been associated with several pathologies in the central nervous system (CNS), including epilepsy. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that the PI3Kγ signaling pathway may mediate the powerful anticonvulsant properties associated with the cannabinoidergic system.

This work aims to investigate if the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are mediated by PI3Kγ.

CDB increased latency and reduced the severity of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures, as well as prevented postictal changes, such as neurodegeneration, microgliosis and astrocytosis, in WT animals, but not in PI3Kγ-/-. CBD in vivo effects were abolished by pharmacological inhibition of cannabinoid receptor or mTOR. In vitro, PI3Kγ inhibition or deficiency also changed CBD protection observed in glutamate-induced cell death assay. Thus, we suggest that the modulation of PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway is involved in the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of CBD.

These findings are important not only for the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of CBD, which are currently poorly understood, but also to allow the prediction of therapeutic and side effects, ensuring efficacy and safety in the treatment of patients with epilepsy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32574650/

“CBD is anticonvulsant in a model of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures. CB1 receptor mediates the effects of CBD. PI3Kγ pathway mediates the anticonvulsant neuroprotective effects of CBD.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390820302240?via%3Dihub

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Can Physical Activity Support the Endocannabinoid System in the Preventive and Therapeutic Approach to Neurological Disorders?

ijms-logo“The worldwide prevalence of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease, has spread extensively throughout the last decades, becoming an enormous health issue.

Numerous data indicate a distinct correlation between the altered endocannabinoid signaling and different aspects of brain physiology, such as memory or neurogenesis. Moreover, the endocannabinoid system is widely regarded as a crucial factor in the development of neuropathologies. Thus, targeting those disorders via synthetic cannabinoids, as well as phytocannabinoids, becomes a widespread research issue.

Over the last decade, the endocannabinoid system has been extensively studied for its correlation with physical activity. Recent data showed that physical activity correlates with elevated endocannabinoid serum concentrations and increased cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) expression in the brain, which results in positive neurological effects including antidepressant effect, ameliorated memory, neuroplasticity development, and reduced neuroinflammation. However, none of the prior reviews presented a comprehensive correlation between physical activity, the endocannabinoid system, and neuropathologies.

Thus, our review provides a current state of knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, its action in physical activity, as well as neuropathologies and a possible correlation between all those fields. We believe that this might contribute to finding a new preventive and therapeutic approach to both neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32545780/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/12/4221

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The Role of Cannabinoids in Allergic Diseases

 International Archives of Allergy and Immunology - Home - Karger ...“The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex signalling network involved in many key physiological processes. The ECS includes the cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid ligands, and the enzymes related to their synthesis and degradation.

Other cannabinoids encompass the phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativaL.(marijuana) and the synthetic cannabinoids. Alterations in the ECS are associated with different diseases, including inflammatory and immune-mediated disorders such as allergy.

Allergy is a global health problem of increasing prevalence with high socio-economic impact. Different studies have convincingly demonstrated that cannabinoids play a role in allergy, but their actual contribution is still controversial. It has been shown that cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory properties in the airways and the skin of allergic patients.

A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the mode of action of specific cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors on relevant immune cells under different biological contexts might well contribute to the design of novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. Future research in this promising emerging field in the context of allergy is warranted for the upcoming years.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32526734/

“Different studies have convincingly demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties exerted by cannabinoids in the airways and the skin in the context of allergic diseases both in mice and humans.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/508989

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Targeting the Endocannabinoid CB1 Receptor to Treat Body Weight Disorders: A Preclinical and Clinical Review of the Therapeutic Potential of Past and Present CB1 Drugs

biomolecules-logo“Obesity rates are increasing worldwide and there is a need for novel therapeutic treatment options.

The endocannabinoid system has been linked to homeostatic processes, including metabolism, food intake, and the regulation of body weight.

Rimonabant, an inverse agonist for the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, was effective at producing weight loss in obese subjects. However, due to adverse psychiatric side effects, rimonabant was removed from the market.

More recently, we reported an inverse relationship between cannabis use and BMI, which has now been duplicated by several groups.

As those results may appear contradictory, we review here preclinical and clinical studies that have studied the impact on body weight of various cannabinoid CB1 drugs. Notably, we will review the impact of CB1 inverse agonists, agonists, partial agonists, and neutral antagonists.

Those findings clearly point out the cannabinoid CB1 as a potential effective target for the treatment of obesity. Recent preclinical studies suggest that ligands targeting the CB1 may retain the therapeutic potential of rimonabant without the negative side effect profile. Such approaches should be tested in clinical trials for validation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32512776/

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/10/6/855

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Δ9‐TETRAHYDROCANNABINOLIC ACID ALLEVIATES COLLAGEN‐INDUCED ARTHRITIS: ROLE OF PPARγ AND CB1 RECEPTORS

British Journal of Pharmacology “Δ9‐THCA‐A, the precursor of Δ9‐THC, is a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid that shows PPARγ agonistic activity. Herein, we investigated Δ9‐THCA ability to modulate classic cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and evaluated its anti‐arthritis activity.

Experimental Approach

Cannabinoid receptors binding and intrinsic activity, as well as their downstream signaling were analyzed in vitro and in silico . The anti‐arthritis properties of Δ9‐THCA‐A were studied in human chondrocytes and in the murine model of collagen‐induced arthritis (CIA). Plasmatic disease biomarkers were identified by liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry (LC‐MS/MS) based on proteomic and ELISA assays.

Key Results

Functional and docking analyses showed that Δ9‐THCA‐A can act as an orthosteric CB1 agonist and also as a positive allosteric modulator in the presence of CP‐55,940. In addition, Δ9‐THCA‐A seemed to be an inverse agonist for CB2. In vivo experiments showed that Δ9‐THCA‐A reduced arthritis in CIA mice. Δ9‐THCA‐A prevented the infiltration of inflammatory cells; synovium hyperplasia and cartilage damage. Furthermore, Δ9‐THCA‐A inhibited the expression of inflammatory and catabolic genes on knee joints. The anti‐arthritic effect of Δ9‐THCA‐A was ablated by either SR141716 or T0070907. Analysis of plasmatic biomarkers as well as determination of cytokines and anti‐collagen antibodies confirmed that Δ9‐THCA‐A mediates its activity mainly through PPARγ and CB1 pathways.

Conclusion and Implications

Δ9‐THCA‐A modulates CB1 receptor through the orthosteric and allosteric binding sites. In addition, our studies document that Δ9‐THCA‐A exerts anti‐arthritis activity through CB1/PPARγ pathways, highlighting its potential for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32510591/

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.15155

 British Pharmacological Society | Journals
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High Expression of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells and Multiple Myeloma Cells

ijms-logo“Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by aberrant bone marrow plasma cell (PC) proliferation and is one of the most common hematological malignancies. The potential effect of cannabinoids on the immune system and hematological malignancies has been poorly characterized.

Cannabidiol (CBD) may be used to treat various diseases. CBD is known to exert immunomodulatory effects through the activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which is expressed in high levels in the hematopoietic system.

Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of polyclonal T lymphocytes obtained via ex vivo sequential incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with interferon-γ (IFN-γ), anti CD3 monoclonal antibody, and IL-2. They are characterized by the expression of CD3+ and CD56+, which are surface markers common to T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells. CIK cells are mainly used in hematological patients who suffer relapse after allogeneic transplantation.

Here, we investigated their antitumor effect in combination with pure cannabidiol in KMS-12 MM cells by lactate dehydrogenase LDH cytotoxicity assay, CCK-8 assay, and flow cytometry analysis. The surface and intracellular CB2 expressions on CIK cells and on KMS-12 and U-266 MM cell lines were also detected by flow cytometry.

Our findings confirm that the CB2 receptor is highly expressed on CIK cells as well as on MM cells. CBD was able to decrease the viability of tumor cells and can have a protective role for CIK cells. It also inhibits the cytotoxic activity of CIKs against MM at high concentrations, so in view of a clinical perspective, it has to be considered that the lower concentration of 1 µM can be used in combination with CIK cells. Further studies will be required to address the mechanism of CBD modulation of CIK cells in more detail.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32471216/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/11/3800

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