The Endocannabinoid System of Animals.

 animals-logo“The endocannabinoid system has been found to be pervasive in mammalian species. It has also been described in invertebrate species as primitive as the Hydra. Insects, apparently, are devoid of this, otherwise, ubiquitous system that provides homeostatic balance to the nervous and immune systems, as well as many other organ systems.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been defined to consist of three parts, which include (1) endogenous ligands, (2) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and (3) enzymes to degrade and recycle the ligands. Two endogenous molecules have been identified as ligands in the ECS to date.

The endocannabinoids are anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol). Two G-coupled protein receptors (GPCR) have been described as part of this system, with other putative GPC being considered.

Coincidentally, the phytochemicals produced in large quantities by the Cannabis sativa L plant, and in lesser amounts by other plants, can interact with this system as ligands. These plant-based cannabinoids are termed phytocannabinoids.

The precise determination of the distribution of cannabinoid receptors in animal species is an ongoing project, with the canine cannabinoid receptor distribution currently receiving the most interest in non-human animals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31527410

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/9/686

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoids in Gynecological Diseases

Related image“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a multifunctional homeostatic system involved in many physiological and pathological conditions. The ligands of the ECS are the endo­cannabinoids, whose actions are mimicked by exogenous cannabinoids, such as phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. Responses to the ligands of the ECS are mediated by numerous receptors like the classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) as well as ECS-related receptors, e.g., G protein-coupled receptors 18 and 55 (GPR18 and GPR55), transient receptor potential ion channels, and nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The ECS regulates almost all levels of female reproduction, starting with oocyte production through to parturition. Dysregulation of the ECS is associated with the development of gynecological disorders from fertility disorders to cancer. Cannabinoids that act at the ECS as specific agonists or antagonists may potentially influence dysregulation and, therefore, represent new therapeutic options for the therapy of gynecological disorders.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/499164

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Endocannabinoid modulation of inflammatory hyperalgesia in the IFN-α mouse model of depression.

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity“Depression is a well-recognised effect of long-term treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-α), a widely used treatment for chronic viral hepatitis and malignancy. In addition to the emotional disturbances, high incidences of painful symptoms such as headache and joint pain have also been reported following IFN-α treatment.

The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in emotional and nociceptive processing, however it is unknown whether repeated IFN-α administration induces alterations in this system.

The present study investigated nociceptive responding in the IFN-α-induced mouse model of depression and associated changes in the endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, the effects of modulating peripheral endocannabinoid tone on inflammatory pain-related behaviour in the IFN-α model was examined.

In summary, increasing peripheral endocannabinoid tone attenuates inflammatory hyperalgesia induced following repeated IFN-α administration. These data provide support for the endocannabinoid system in mediating and modulating heightened pain responding associated with IFNα-induced depression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31505257

“Inflammatory hyperalgesia is associated with altered endocannabinoid levels. Enhancing peripheral endocannabinoid tone attenuates IFN-α related hyperalgesia.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159119306063?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The “entourage effect”: Terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

“Mood disorders are the most prevalent mental conditions encountered in psychiatric practice. Numerous patients suffering from mood disorders present with treatment-resistant forms of depression, co-morbid anxiety, other psychiatric disorders and bipolar disorders.

Standardized essential oils (such as that of Lavender officinalis) have been shown to exert clinical efficacy in treating anxiety disorders. As endocannabinoids are suggested to play an important role in major depression, generalized anxiety and bipolar disorders, Cannabis sativa, was suggested for their treatment.

The endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the body including the brain, modulating many functions. It is involved in mood and related disorders, and its activity may be modified by exogenous cannabinoids.

CB1 and CB2 receptors primarily serve as the binding sites for endocannabinoids as well as for phytocannabinoids, produced by cannabis inflorescences. However, ‘cannabis’ is not a single compound product but is known for its complicated molecular profile, producing a plethora of phytocannabinoids alongside a vast array of terpenes.

Thus, the “entourage effect” is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids. Here we review the literature on the effects of cannabinoids and discuss the possibility of enhancing cannabinoid activity on psychiatric symptoms by the addition of terpenes and terpenoids.

Possible underlying mechanisms for the anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects are reviewed. These natural products may be an important potential source for new medications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31481004

http://www.eurekaselect.com/174648/article

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Impaired brain endocannabinoid tone in the activity-based model of anorexia nervosa.

International Journal of Eating Disorders banner“Despite the growing knowledge on the functional relationship between an altered endocannabinoid (eCB) system and development of anorexia nervosa (AN), to date no studies have investigated the central eCB tone in the activity-based anorexia (ABA) model that reproduces key aspects of human AN.

These data demonstrate an altered brain eCB tone in ABA rats, further supporting the involvement of an impaired eCB system in AN pathophysiology that may contribute to the maintenance of some symptomatic aspects of the disease.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31456239

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eat.23157

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Role of the endocannabinoidome in human and mouse atherosclerosis.

“The Endocannabinoid (eCB) system and its role in many physiological and pathological conditions is well described and accepted, and includes cardiovascular disorders. However, the eCB system has been expanded to an “-ome”; the endocannabinoidome (eCBome) that includes endocannabinoid-related mediators, their protein targets and metabolic enzymes, many of which significantly impact upon cardiometabolic health. These recent discoveries are here summarized with a special focus on their potential involvement in atherosclerosis. We described the role of classical components of the eCB system (eCBs, CB1 and CB2 receptors) and eCB-related lipids, their regulatory enzymes and molecular targets in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, since increasing evidence points to significant cross-talk between the eCBome and the gut microbiome and the gut microbiome and atherosclerosis, we explore the possibility that a gut microbiome – eCBome axis has potential implications in atherosclerosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31448709

http://www.eurekaselect.com/174465/article

“Oral cannabinoid therapy reduces progression of atherosclerosis”  https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/787468

“The active ingredient in marijuana that produces changes in brain messages appears to fight atherosclerosis — a hardening of the arteries.” https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20050406/marijuana-chemical-fights-hardened-arteries

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

The therapeutic role of cannabinoid receptors and its agonists or antagonists in Parkinson’s disease.

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease and its characteristic is the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra (SN) of the midbrain. There is hardly any clinically proven efficient therapeutics for its cure in several recent preclinical advances proposed to treat PD.

Recent studies have found that the endocannabinoid signaling system in particular the comprised two receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors, has a significant regulatory function in basal ganglia and is involved in the pathogenesis of PD. Therefore, adding new insights into the biochemical interactions between cannabinoids and other signaling pathways may help develop new pharmacological strategies.

Factors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are abundantly expressed in the neural circuits of basal ganglia, where they interact interactively with glutamatergic, γ-aminobutyric acid-ergic (GABAergic), and dopaminergic signaling systems. Although preclinical studies on PD are promising, the use of cannabinoids at the clinical level has not been thoroughly studied.

In this review, we evaluated the available evidence and reviewed the involvement of ECS in etiologies, symptoms and treatments related to PD. Since CB1 and CB2 receptors are the two main receptors of endocannabinoids, we primarily put the focus on the therapeutic role of CB1 and CB2 receptors in PD. We will try to determine future research clues that will help understand the potential therapeutic benefits of the ECS in the treatment of PD, aiming to open up new strategies and ideas for the treatment of PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31442553

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584619302210?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Emerging role of cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid receptor 1/cannabinoid receptor 2 receptor agonists in cancer treatment and chemotherapy-associated cancer management

Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics“Cannabis was extensively utilized for its medicinal properties till the 19th century. A steep decline in its medicinal usage was observed later due to its emergence as an illegal recreational drug.

Advances in technology and scientific findings led to the discovery of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis, that further led to the discovery of endogenous cannabinoids system consisting of G-protein-coupled receptors – cannabinoid receptor 1 and cannabinoid receptor 2 along with their ligands, mainly anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.  Endocannabinoid (EC) is shown to be a modulator not only for physiological functions but also for the immune system, endocrine network, and central nervous system.

Medicinal research and meta-data analysis over the last few decades have shown a significant potential for both THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to exert palliative effects. People suffering from many forms of advanced stages of cancers undergo chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting followed by severe and chronic neuropathic pain and weight loss.

THC and CBD exhibit effective analgesic, anxiolytic, and appetite-stimulating effect on patients suffering from cancer. Drugs currently available in the market to treat such chemotherapy-induced cancer-related ailments are Sativex (GW Pharmaceutical), Dronabinol (Unimed Pharmaceuticals), and Nabilone (Valeant Pharmaceuticals).

Apart from exerting palliative effects, THC also shows promising role in the treatment of cancer growth, neurodegenerative diseases (multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease), and alcohol addiction and hence should be exploited for potential benefits.

The current review discusses the nature and role of CB receptors, specific applications of cannabinoids, and major studies that have assessed the role of cannabinoids in cancer management.

Specific targeting of cannabinoid receptors can be used to manage severe side effects during chemotherapy, palliative care, and overall cancer management. Furthermore, research evidences on cannabinoids have suggested tumor inhibiting and suppressing properties which warrant reconsidering legality of the substance.

Studies on CB1 and CB2 receptors, in case of cancers, have demonstrated the psychoactive constituents of cannabinoids to be potent against tumor growth.

Interestingly, studies have also shown that activation of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors by their respective synthetic agonists tends to limit human cancer cell growth, suggesting the role of the endocannabinoid system as a novel target for treatment of cancers.

Further explorations are required to exploit cannabinoids for an effective cancer management.”

http://www.cancerjournal.net/preprintarticle.asp?id=263538

“Could Cannabis Kill Cancer Cells? A New Study Looks Promising”  https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/08/15/26977361/could-cannabis-kill-cancer-cells-a-new-study-looks-promising

“Study Reviews How Marijuana Compounds Inhibit Tumor Growth And Kill Cancer Cells” https://www.marijuanamoment.net/study-reviews-how-marijuana-compounds-inhibit-tumor-growth-and-kill-cancer-cells/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

New approaches to cancer therapy: combining Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition with Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) activation.

 Go to Volume 0, Issue ja“Over the course of the last decade, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) have been identified as part of the cannabinoid signaling system: both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids are capable of binding and activating these nuclear receptors. Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid Anandamide and other N-Acylethanolamines. These substances have been shown to have numerous anti-cancer effects, and indeed the inhibition of FAAH has multiple beneficial effects that are mediated by PPARα subtype and by PPARγ subtype, especially antiproliferation and activation of apoptosis. The substrates of FAAH are also PPAR agonists, which explains the PPAR-mediated effects of FAAH inhibitors. Much like cannabinoid ligands and FAAH inhibitors, PPARγ agonists show antiproliferative effects on cancer cells, suggesting that additive or synergistic effects may be achieved through the positive modulation of both signaling systems. In this perspective, we discuss the development of novel FAAH inhibitors able to directly act as PPAR agonists and their promising utilization as leads for the discovery of highly effective anti-cancer compounds.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31407888

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b00885

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous