Challenges towards Revitalizing Hemp: A Multifaceted Crop.

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“Hemp has been an important crop throughout human history for food, fiber, and medicine. Despite significant progress made by the international research community, the basic biology of hemp plants remains insufficiently understood. Clear objectives are needed to guide future research. As a semi-domesticated plant, hemp has many desirable traits that require improvement, including eliminating seed shattering, enhancing the quantity and quality of stem fiber, and increasing the accumulation of phytocannabinoids. Methods to manipulate the sex of hemp plants will also be important for optimizing yields of seed, fiber, and cannabinoids. Currently, research into trait improvement is hindered by the lack of molecular techniques adapted to hemp. Here we review how addressing these limitations will help advance our knowledge of plant biology and enable us to fully domesticate and maximize the agronomic potential of this promising crop.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28886910

http://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/fulltext/S1360-1385(17)30177-2?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1360138517301772%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain

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“The cannabis plant is known for its multiple uses: the leaves, flowers, seeds, stalks, and resin glands have all been exploited for food, fuel, fiber, medicine, and other uses.

The roots of the cannabis plant have a long history of medical use stretching back millennia. However, the therapeutic potential of cannabis roots has been largely ignored in modern times.

In the first century, Pliny the Elder described in Natural Histories that a decoction of the root in water could be used to relieve stiffness in the joints, gout, and related conditions. By the 17th century, various herbalists were recommending cannabis root to treat inflammation, joint pain, gout, and other conditions.

Active compounds identified and measured in cannabis roots include triterpenoids, friedelin (12.8 mg/kg) and epifriedelanol (21.3 mg/kg); alkaloids, cannabisativine (2.5 mg/kg) and anhydrocannabisativine (0.3 mg/kg); carvone and dihydrocarvone; N-( p-hydroxy-b-phenylethyl)-p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamamide (1.6 mg/kg); various sterols such as sitosterol (1.5%), campesterol (0.78%), and stigmasterol (0.56%); and other minor compounds, including choline. Of note, cannabis roots are not a significant source of D9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, or other known phytocannabinoids.

Conclusion: The current available data on the pharmacology of cannabis root components provide significant support to the historical and ethnobotanical claims of clinical efficacy. Certainly, this suggests the need for reexamination of whole root preparations on inflammatory and malignant conditions employing modern scientific techniques.”

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2017.0028

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Neuroprotective Effects of β-Caryophyllene against Dopaminergic Neuron Injury in a Murine Model of Parkinson’s Disease Induced by MPTP.

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“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Although the causes of PD are not understood, evidence suggests that its pathogenesis is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent studies have suggested a protective role of the cannabinoid signalling system in PD. β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is an agonist of the cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R). Previous studies have suggested that BCP exerts prophylactic and/or curative effects against inflammatory bowel disease through its antioxidative and/or anti-inflammatory action. The present study describes the neuroprotective effects of BCP in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced murine model of PD, and we report the results of our investigation of its neuroprotective mechanism in neurons and glial cells. In the murine model, BCP pretreatment ameliorated motor dysfunction, protected against dopaminergic neuronal losses in the SN and striatum, and alleviated MPTP-induced glia activation. Additionally, BCP inhibited the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the nigrostriatal system. The observed neuroprotection and inhibited glia activation were reversed upon treatment with the CB2R selective antagonist AM630, confirming the involvement of the CB2R. These results indicate that BCP acts via multiple neuroprotective mechanisms in our murine model and suggest that BCP may be viewed as a potential treatment and/or preventative agent for PD.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28684694

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934
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(-)-β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 Receptor-Selective Phytocannabinoid, Suppresses Motor Paralysis and Neuroinflammation in a Murine Model of Multiple Sclerosis.

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“(-)-β-caryophyllene (BCP), a cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2)-selective phytocannabinoid, has already been shown in precedent literature to exhibit both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

Herein, we endeavored to investigate the therapeutic potential of BCP on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Furthermore, we sought to demonstrate some of the mechanisms that underlie the modulation BCP exerts on autoimmune activated T cells, the pro-inflammatory scenery of the central nervous system (CNS), and demyelination.

Our findings demonstrate that BCP significantly ameliorates both the clinical and pathological parameters of EAE. In addition, data hereby presented indicates that mechanisms underlying BCP immunomodulatory effect seems to be linked to its ability to inhibit microglial cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, as well as protein expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, it diminished axonal demyelination and modulated Th1/Treg immune balance through the activation of CB2 receptor.

Altogether, our study represents significant implications for clinical research and strongly supports the effectiveness of BCP as a novel molecule to target in the development of effective therapeutic agents for MS.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28368293

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

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Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids?

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“Cannabis sativa L. has been cultivated in China for millennia for use as a fiber, food, and medicine. Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) has a long history of utilization as a fiber and seed crop in China, and its achenes (“seeds”) as well as other plant parts have been recorded in Chinese medical texts for nearly 2000 years.

While the primary applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine center around the use of the achenes, ancient indications for the female inflorescence, and other plant parts include conditions such as pain and mental illness that are the subject of current research into cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

In this article, prominent historical applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine are chronologically reviewed, and indications found in ancient Chinese literature that may relate to cannabinoids such as CBD and Δ9-THC are investigated.

In recent years, cannabinoids such as CBD and Δ9-THC have attracted increased attention in the context of modern pharmacology and popular Western culture, yet little research has been done to explore the historical applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine. Given China’s long history of hemp cultivation and its rich body of un-translated medical literature, it is surprising that little academic attention has focused on exploring the ways in which cannabis was used in Chinese medicine. The importance of cannabis as a fiber and food crop in ancient China, combined with the extensive use of the achenes in medicine, makes the Chinese historical record particularly valuable.

Bencao literature opens a window into the history and culture of ancient Chinese medicine. As all parts of the cannabis plant were recorded in bencao texts, the Chinese medical literature can help to clarify many details about the historical applications of cannabis in Chinese medicine, as well as providing clues into the historical prevalence of different biotypes as ancient Chinese farmers gradually selected superior varieties for fiber and seed crops.

The significant differences in how cannabis has been employed in Chinese vs. Western medicine likely relate to differences between drug and fiber biotypes as well as cultural factors, but thus far minimal research has focused on exploring this issue. Similarly, minimal attention has been given to the topic of CBD in Chinese medical history, as even fiber-rich biotypes of cannabis that were not associated with drug use may have had potential therapeutic applications related to CBD. While this modest review can only scratch the surface of the Chinese medical literature of cannabis and the questions it raises, it is hoped that further research will help to further elucidate these questions using a multidisciplinary approach.”

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphar.2017.00108/full

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β-Caryophyllene/Hydroxypropyl-β-Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complex Improves Cognitive Deficits in Rats with Vascular Dementia through the Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 -Mediated Pathway.

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“This work was conducted to prepare β-caryophyllene-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex (HPβCD/BCP) and investigate its effects and mechanisms on cognitive deficits in vascular dementia (VD) rats.

Overall, the findings demonstrated the protective effects of HPβCD/BCP against cognitive deficits induced by chronic cerebral ischemia and suggested the potential of HPβCD/BCP in the therapy of vascular dementia in the future.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28154534

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Cyclodextrin” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclodextrin

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Cannabimimetic phytochemicals in the diet – an evolutionary link to food selection and metabolic stress adaptation?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a major lipid signaling network that plays important pro-homeostatic (allostatic) roles not only in the nervous system but in peripheral organs.

Increasing evidence points towards a dietary component in the modulation of the ECS.

Cannabinoid receptors in hominids co-evolved with diet and the ECS constitutes a feedback loop for food selection and energy metabolism.

Here it is postulated that the mismatch of ancient lipid genes of hunter-gatheres and pastoralists with the high carbohydrate diet introduced by agriculture could be compensated via dietary modulation of the ECS.

In addition to the fatty acid precursors of endocannabinoids the potential role of dietary cannabimimetic phytochemicals in agriculturist nutrition is discussed.

Dietary secondary metabolites from vegetables and spices able to enhance the activity of cannabinoid-type 2 (CB2) receptors may provide adaptive metabolic advantages and counteract inflammation.

Food able to modulate the CB1/CB2 receptor activation ratio may thus play a role in the nutrition transition of Western high calorie diets. In this review the interplay between diet and the ECS is highlighted from an evolutionary perspective.

The emerging potential of cannabimimetic food as nutraceutical strategy is critically discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27891602

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β-Caryophyllene, a phytocannabinoid attenuates oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, glial activation, and salvages dopaminergic neurons in a rat model of Parkinson disease.

“Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) area.

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of β-caryophyllene (BCP) against rotenone-induced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a rat model of PD.

The findings demonstrate that BCP provides neuroprotection against rotenone-induced PD and the neuroprotective effects can be ascribed to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27316720

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/parkinsons-disease/

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Proteomic characterization of hempseed (Cannabis Sativa L.).

“Hempseed is an underexploited non-legume protein-rich seed. Although its protein is well-known for its digestibility, essential amino acid composition, and useful techno-functional properties, a comprehensive proteome characterization is still lacking. The objective of this work was to fill this knowledge gap and provide information useful for a better exploitation of this seed in different food products.”

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“This paper presents an investigation on hempseed proteome.

The experimental approach, based on combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLLs), SDS-PAGE separation, nLC-ESI-MS/MS identification, and database search, permitted identifying in total 181 expressed proteins. This very large number of identifications was achieved by searching in two databases: Cannabis sativa L. (56 gene products identified) and Arabidopsis thaliana(125 gene products identified). By performing a protein-protein association network analysis using the STRING software, it was possible to build the first interactomic map of all detected proteins, characterized by 137 nodes and 410 interactions. Finally, a Gene Ontology analysis of the identified species permitted to classify their molecular functions: the great majority is involved in the seed metabolic processes (41%), responses to stimulus (8%), and biological process (7%).”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1874391916302354

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In Vitro Propagation of Cannabis sativa L. and Evaluation of Regenerated Plants for Genetic Fidelity and Cannabinoids Content for Quality Assurance.

“Cannabis sativa L. (Marijuana; Cannabaceae), one of the oldest medicinal plants in the world, has been used throughout history for fiber, food, as well as for its psychoactive properties.

The dioecious and allogamous nature of C. sativa is the major constraint to maintain the consistency in chemical profile and overall efficacy if grown from seed. Therefore, the present optimized in vitro propagation protocol of the selected elite germplasm via direct organogenesis and quality assurance protocols using genetic and chemical profiling provide an ideal pathway for ensuring the efficacy of micropropagated Cannabis sativa germplasm.

A high frequency shoot organogenesis of C. sativa was obtained from nodal segments in 0.5 μM thidiazuron medium and 95 % in vitro rhizogenesis is obtained on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 500 mg/L activated charcoal and 2.5 μM indole-3-butyric acid. Inter Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR) and Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID) are successfully used to monitor the genetic stability in micropropagated plants up to 30 passages in culture and hardened in soil for 8 months.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27108324

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