Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids Present in Cannabis

cancers-logo“In recent years, and even more since its legalization in several jurisdictions, cannabis and the endocannabinoid system have received an increasing amount of interest related to their potential exploitation in clinical settings. Cannabinoids have been suggested and shown to be effective in the treatment of various conditions. In cancer, the endocannabinoid system is altered in numerous types of tumours and can relate to cancer prognosis and disease outcome. Additionally, cannabinoids display anticancer effects in several models by suppressing the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells, as well as tumour angiogenesis. However, the therapeutic use of cannabinoids is currently limited to the treatment of symptoms and pain associated with chemotherapy, while their potential use as cytotoxic drugs in chemotherapy still requires validation in patients. Along with cannabinoids, cannabis contains several other compounds that have also been shown to exert anti-tumorigenic actions. The potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, present in cannabis, are explored in this literature review.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32708138/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/12/7/1985

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Cannabis Phytomolecule ‘Entourage’: From Domestication to Medical Use.

 

Trends in Plant Science: Special issue: Specifi...“Cannabis has been used as a medicine for millennia.

Crude extracts of cannabis inflorescence contain numerous phytomolecules, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Combinations of phytomolecules have been recently established as superior to the use of single molecules in medical treatment owing to the ‘entourage effect’.

Two types of entourage effects are defined: ‘intra-entourage’, resulting from interactions among phytocannabinoids or terpenes, and ‘inter-entourage’, attributed to interactions between phytocannabinoids and terpenes. It is suggested that the phytomolecule assemblages found in cannabis chemovars today derive from selective breeding during ancient cultivation.

We propose that the current cannabis chemotaxonomy should be redefined according to chemical content and medicinal activity. In parallel, combinations of phytomolecules that exhibit entourage activity should be explored further for future drug development.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32417167

“Cannabis has been used for millennia by humanity for social, ritual, and medical purposes. Humans bred and selected for cannabis strains based on their needs.”

https://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/pdf/S1360-1385(20)30122-9.pdf?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1360138520301229%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Characterization of bioactive compounds in defatted hempseed (Cannabis sativa L.) by UHPLC-HRMS/MS and anti-inflammatory activity in primary human monocytes.

 “Hempseed (Cannabis sativa L.) has beneficial impact on human health mainly because of its wide variability of bioactive compounds. However, many of them are not fully characterized yet. In this work, hempseed was defatted and through a bio-guided studied, two fractions (F03 and F05) with the highest content of phenols, flavonoids and antioxidant capacity were selected. Fractions were chemically analyzed by UHPLC HRMS/MS. The anti-inflammatory capacities of these compounds were evaluated on human monocytes using flow cytometry, RT-qPCR and Elisa procedures. A high amount of phenolic compounds were identified, with the major compound being: N-trans-caffeoyltyramine (6.36 mg g-1 in F05 and 1.28 mg g-1 in F03). Both, F03 and F05 significantly reduced the inflammatory competence of LPS-treated human primary monocytes, decreasing TNF-α and IL-6 gene expression and secretion. These findings indicate that in the defatted fraction of the hempseed there are a wide number of compounds with beneficial potential to prevent and treat inflammatory disorders, as well as other processes caused by oxidative stress.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32329481

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/FO/D0FO00066C#!divAbstract

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The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

 SpringerLink“Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in many cultures for the treatment of several ailments including pain.

The benefits of cannabis are mediated largely by cannabinoids, the most prominent of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As such, THC and/or CBD have been investigated in clinical studies for the treatment of many conditions including neuropathic pain and acute or chronic inflammation.

While a plethora of studies have examined the biochemical effects of purified THC and/or CBD, only a few have focused on the effects of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract. Accordingly, studies using purified THC or CBD may not accurately reflect the potential health benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.

Indeed, the cannabis plant produces a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive molecules which are likely to contribute to the different biological effects. The presence of all these bioactive molecules in cannabis extracts has garnered much attention of late especially with regard to their potential role in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.:

Herein, the current knowledge about the potential beneficial effects of existing products of full-spectrum cannabis extract in clinical studies involving patients with multiple sclerosis is extensively reviewed. In addition, the possible adverse effects associated with cannabis use is discussed along with how the method of extraction and the delivery mechanisms of different cannabis extracts contribute to the pharmacokinetic and biological effects of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32239248

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00011-020-01341-1

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Secondary Metabolites Profiled in Cannabis Inflorescences, Leaves, Stem Barks, and Roots for Medicinal Purposes.

Scientific Reports “Cannabis research has historically focused on the most prevalent cannabinoids. However, extracts with a broad spectrum of secondary metabolites may have increased efficacy and decreased adverse effects compared to cannabinoids in isolation.

Cannabis’s complexity contributes to the length and breadth of its historical usage, including the individual application of the leaves, stem barks, and roots, for which modern research has not fully developed its therapeutic potential. This study is the first attempt to profile secondary metabolites groups in individual plant parts comprehensively.

We profiled 14 cannabinoids, 47 terpenoids (29 monoterpenoids, 15 sesquiterpenoids, and 3 triterpenoids), 3 sterols, and 7 flavonoids in cannabis flowers, leaves, stem barks, and roots in three chemovars available. Cannabis inflorescence was characterized by cannabinoids (15.77-20.37%), terpenoids (1.28-2.14%), and flavonoids (0.07-0.14%); the leaf by cannabinoids (1.10-2.10%), terpenoids (0.13-0.28%), and flavonoids (0.34-0.44%); stem barks by sterols (0.07-0.08%) and triterpenoids (0.05-0.15%); roots by sterols (0.06-0.09%) and triterpenoids (0.13-0.24%).

This comprehensive profile of bioactive compounds can form a baseline of reference values useful for research and clinical studies to understand the “entourage effect” of cannabis as a whole, and also to rediscover therapeutic potential for each part of cannabis from their traditional use by applying modern scientific methodologies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32094454

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-60172-6

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Nose-to-brain Delivery of Natural Compounds for the Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders.

“Several natural compounds have demonstrated potential for the treatment of central nervous system disorders such as ischemic cerebrovascular disease, glioblastoma, neuropathic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis and migraine.

This is due to their well-known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-tumor, anti-ischemic and analgesic properties. Nevertheless, many of these molecules have poor aqueous solubility, low bioavailability and extensive gastrointestinal and/or hepatic first-pass metabolism, leading to a quick elimination as well as low serum and tissue concentrations.

Thus, the intranasal route emerged as a viable alternative to oral or parenteral administration, by enabling a direct transport into the brain through the olfactory and trigeminal nerves. With this approach, the blood-brain barrier is circumvented and peripheral exposure is reduced, thereby minimizing possible adverse effects.

OBJECTIVE:

Herein, brain-targeting strategies for the nose-to-brain delivery of natural compounds, including flavonoids, cannabinoids, essential oils and terpenes, will be reviewed and discussed. Brain and plasma pharmacokinetics of these molecules will be analyzed and related to their physicochemical characteristics and formulation properties.

CONCLUSION:

Natural compounds constitute relevant alternatives for the treatment of brain diseases but often require loading into nanocarrier systems to reach the central nervous system in sufficient concentrations. Future challenges lie in a deeper characterization of their therapeutic mechanisms and in the development of effective, safe and brain-targeted delivery systems for their intranasal administration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31939728

http://www.eurekaselect.com/178321/article

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Untargeted characterization of extracts from Cannabis sativa L. cultivars by gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in high resolution mode.

Talanta“Elucidation of Cannabis composition is required to evaluate the potential of this plant for pharmacological uses, but also for implementation in breeding programs with agronomical purposes. The aim of the present study was to develop a method for untargeted analysis of polar and non-polar Cannabis extracts.

For this purpose, extracts from 17 cultivars of Cannabis sativa L. were analyzed by gas chromatography-time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS) and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF MS/MS) in high resolution mode.

One hundred sixty-nine compounds were identified in the extracts by searching MS and MS/MS information. Among identified families, there were mainly cannabinoids, terpenoids, lipids and flavonoids, but also some interesting compounds such as amino and organic acids, among others.

Relative contents of terpenoids and cannabinoids in the same cultivars grown in greenhouse and field were compared. Compositional differences in the profile of terpenoids and cannabinoids between both types of grown conditions were found.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31816756

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0039914019310173?via%3Dihub

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Antidepressant active ingredients from herbs and nutraceuticals used in TCM: pharmacological mechanisms and prospects for drug discovery.

Pharmacological Research“Depression is a widespread psychological disorder that affects up to 20% of the world’s population. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), with its unique curative effect in depression treatment, is gaining increasing attention as the discovery of novel antidepressant drug has become the pursuit of pharmaceutical. This article summarizes the work done on the natural products from TCM that have been reported to conceive antidepressant effects in the past two decades, which can be classified according to various mechanisms including increasing synaptic concentrations of monoamines, alleviating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunctions, lightening the impairment of neuroplasticity, fighting towards immune and inflammatory dysregulation. The antidepressant active ingredients identified can be generally divided into saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides and others. Albiflorin, Baicalein, Berberine chloride, beta-Asarone, cannabidiol, Curcumin, Daidzein, Echinocystic acid (EA), Emodin, Ferulic acid, Gastrodin, Genistein, Ginsenoside Rb1, Ginsenoside Rg1, Ginsenoside Rg3, Hederagenin, Hesperidin, Honokiol, Hyperoside, Icariin, Isoliquiritin, Kaempferol, Liquiritin, L-theanine, Magnolol, Paeoniflorin, Piperine, Proanthocyanidin, Puerarin, Quercetin, Resveratrol (trans), Rosmarinic acid, Saikosaponin A, Senegenin, Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside and Vanillic acid are Specified in this review. Simultaneously, chemical structures of the active ingredients with antidepressant activities are listed and their sources, models, efficacy and mechanisms are described. Chinese compound prescription and extracts that exert antidepressant effects are also introduced, which may serve as a source of inspiration for further development. In the view of present study, the antidepressant effect of certain TCMs are affirmative and encouraging. However, there are a lot of work needs to be done to evaluate the exact therapeutic effects and mechanisms of those active ingredients, specifically, to establish a unified standard for diagnosis and evaluation of curative effect.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31706012

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819322601?via%3Dihub

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Novel cannabis flavonoid, cannflavin A displays both a hormetic and neuroprotective profile against amyloid β-mediated neurotoxicity in PC12 cells: comparison with geranylated flavonoids, mimulone and diplacone.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“Flavonoids form a diverse class of naturally occurring polyphenols ascribed various biological activities, including inhibition of amyloid β (Aβ) fibrillisation and neurotoxicity of relevance to Alzheimer’s disease.

Cannabis contains a unique subset of prenylated flavonoids, the cannflavins.

While selected conventional flavonoids have demonstrated anti-amyloid and neuroprotective potential, any neuroprotective bioactivity of prenylated flavonoids has not been determined.

We evaluated the in vitro neuroprotective and anti-aggregative properties of the novel geranylated cannabis-derived flavonoid, cannflavin A against Aβ1-42 and compared it to two similarly geranylated flavonoids, mimulone and diplacone, to compare the bioactive properties of these unique flavonoids more broadly.

RESULTS:

Cannflavin A demonstrated intrinsic hormetic effects on cell viability, increasing viability by 40% from 1-10µM but displaying neurotoxicity at higher (>10-100µM) concentrations. Neither mimulone nor diplacone exhibited such a biphasic effect, instead showing only concentration-dependent neurotoxicity, with diplacone the more potent (from >1 µM). However at the lower concentrations (<10µM), cannflavin A increased cell viability by up to 40%, while 10µM cannflavin A inhibited the neurotoxicity elicited by Aβ1-42 (0-2µM), reducing Aβ aggregate adherence to PC-12 cells and associated neurite loss. The neuroprotective effects of cannflavin A were associated with a direct inhibition of Aβ1-42 fibril and aggregate density, evidenced by attenuated ThT fluorescence kinetics and microscopic evidence of both altered and diminished density of Aβ aggregate and fibril morphology via electron microscopy.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings highlight a concentration-dependent hormetic and neuroprotective role of cannflavin A against Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity, associated with an inhibition of Aβ fibrillisation. The efficacy of the cannabis flavone may itself direct further lead development targeting neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. However, the geranylated flavonoids generally displayed a comparatively potent neurotoxicity not observed with many conventional flavonoids in vitro.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31437460

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295219302990?via%3Dihub

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Flavonoid Derivative of Cannabis Demonstrates Therapeutic Potential in Preclinical Models of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer.

Image result for frontiers oncology“Pancreatic cancer is particularly refractory to modern therapies, with a 5-year survival rate for patients at a dismal 8%.

One of the significant barriers to effective treatment is the immunosuppressive pancreatic tumor microenvironment and development of resistance to treatment. New treatment options to increase both the survival and quality of life of patients are urgently needed.

This study reports on a new non-cannabinoid, non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, termed FBL-03G, with the potential to treat pancreatic cancer.

In vitro results show major increase in apoptosis and consequential decrease in survival for two pancreatic cancer models- Panc-02 and KPC pancreatic cancer cells treated with varying concentrations of FBL-03G and radiotherapy.

Meanwhile, in vivo results demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in delaying both local and metastatic tumor progression in animal models with pancreatic cancer when using FBL-03G sustainably delivered from smart radiotherapy biomaterials.

Repeated experiments also showed significant (P < 0.0001) increase in survival for animals with pancreatic cancer compared to control cohorts.

The findings demonstrate the potential for this new cannabis derivative in the treatment of both localized and advanced pancreatic cancer, providing impetus for further studies toward clinical translation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31396485

“In this study, a flavonoid derivative of cannabis demonstrates significant therapy potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, including radio-sensitizing and cancer metastasis treatment potential. The results justify further studies to optimize therapy outcomes toward clinical translation.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fonc.2019.00660/full

“Flavonoids as anticancer agents: structure-activity relationship study.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12678721

“The antitumor activities of flavonoids.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16097445

“Anticancer properties of flavonoids: roles in various stages of carcinogenesis.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21644918

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