Cannabis and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: An Updated Review.

 Image result for Acta Neurol Taiwan. journal“Cannabis plant has the scientific name called Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis plant has many species, but there are three main species including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Over 70 compounds isolated from cannabis species are called cannabinoids (CBN).

Cannabinoids produce over 100 naturally occurring chemicals. The most abundant chemicals are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychotropic chemical that makes people feel “high” while CBD is nonpsychotropic chemical. However, cannabinoid chemicals are not found only in the cannabis plant, they are also produced by the mammalian body, called endocannabinoids and in the laboratory, called synthesized cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system including brain and peripheral nervous system. There are at least two types of endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are G-protein coupled receptors.

CB1 receptors are particularly abundant in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, hypothalamus and cerebellum, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. They are present in inhibitory GABA-ergic neurons and excitatory glutamatergic neurons. CB2 receptor is most abundantly found on cells of the immune system, hematopoietic cells and glia cells. CB2 is mainly expressed in the periphery under normal healthy condition, but in conditions of disease or injury, this upregulation occurs within the brain, and CB2 is therefore expressed in the brain in unhealthy states.

Cannabis and cannabinoid are studied in different medical conditions. The therapeutic potentials of both cannabis and cannabinoid are related to the effects of THC, CBD and other cannabinoid compounds. However, the “high” effect of THC in cannabis and cannabinoid may limit the clinical use, particularly, the study on the therapeutic potential of THC alone is more limited.

This review emphasizes the therapeutic potential of CBD and CBD with THC. CBD has shown to have benefit in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, psychosis, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, HIV, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, hypoxic-ischemic injury and epilepsy. CBD is generally well tolerated. Most common adverse events are diarrhea and somnolence. CBD also shows significantly low abuse potential.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31867704

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Structure of an allosteric modulator bound to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

Image result for nature chemical biology“The CB1 receptor mediates the central nervous system response to cannabinoids, and is a drug target for pain, anxiety and seizures.

CB1 also responds to allosteric modulators, which influence cannabinoid binding and efficacy.

To understand the mechanism of these compounds, we solved the crystal structure of CB1 with the negative allosteric modulator (NAM) ORG27569 and the agonist CP55940.

The structure reveals that the NAM binds to an extrahelical site within the inner leaflet of the membrane, which overlaps with a conserved site of cholesterol interaction in many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

The ternary structure with ORG27569 and CP55940 captures an intermediate state of the receptor, in which aromatic residues at the base of the agonist-binding pocket adopt an inactive conformation despite the large contraction of the orthosteric pocket.

The structure illustrates a potential strategy for drug modulation of CB1 and other class A GPCRs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31659318

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-019-0387-2

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Systematic Affinity Purification Coupled to Mass Spectrometry Identified p62 as Part of the Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 Interactome.

Image result for frontiers in molecular neuroscience“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists particularly of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands, and enzymes that synthesize and degrade their ligands. It acts in a variety of organs and disease states ranging from cancer progression over neuropathic pain to neurodegeneration. Protein components engaged in the signaling, trafficking, and homeostasis machinery of the G-protein coupled CB2, are however largely unknown. It is therefore important to identify further interaction partners to better understand CB2 receptor functions in physiology and pathophysiology. For this purpose, we used an affinity purification and mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach of Strep-HA-CB2 receptor in HEK293 cells. After subtraction of background interactions and protein frequency library assessment we could identify 83 proteins that were classified by the identification of minimally 2 unique peptides as highly probable interactors. A functional protein association network analysis obtained an interaction network with a significant enrichment of proteins functionally involved in protein metabolic process, in endoplasmic reticulum, response to stress but also in lipid metabolism and membrane organization. The network especially contains proteins involved in biosynthesis and trafficking like calnexin, Sec61A, tubulin chains TUBA1C and TUBB2B, TMED2, and TMED10. Six proteins that were only expressed in stable CB2 expressing cells were DHC24, DHRS7, GGT7, HECD3, KIAA2013, and PLS1. To exemplify the validity of our approach, we chose a candidate having a relatively low number of edges in the network to increase the likelihood of a direct protein interaction with CB2 and focused on the scaffold/phagosomal protein p62/SQSTM1. Indeed, we independently confirmed the interaction by co-immunoprecipitation and immunocytochemical colocalization studies. 3D reconstruction of confocal images furthermore showed CB2 localization in close proximity to p62 positive vesicles at the cell membrane. In summary, we provide a comprehensive repository of the CB2 interactome in HEK293 cells identified by a systematic unbiased approach, which can be used in future experiments to decipher the signaling and trafficking complex of this cannabinoid receptor. Future studies will have to analyze the exact mechanism of the p62-CB2 interaction as well as its putative role in disease pathophysiology.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31616248

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2019.00224/full

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Cellular Distribution of Canonical and Putative Cannabinoid Receptors in Canine Cervical Dorsal Root Ganglia.

Image result for frontiers in veterinary science“Growing evidence indicates cannabinoid receptors as potential therapeutic targets for chronic pain.

Consequently, there is an increasing interest in developing cannabinoid receptor agonists for treating human and veterinary pain.

The present study may represent a morphological substrate to consider in order to develop therapeutic strategies against chronic pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31608295

“The anti-nociceptive potential of the endocannabinoid system has prompted the development of therapeutic cannabinoid receptors agonists or medical marjiuana to be used in pets in order to treat chronic pain.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2019.00313/full

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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

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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

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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/

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Bones and Joints: The Effects of Cannabinoids on the Skeleton.

Image result for j clin endocrinol metab“This paper reviews the endocannabinoid system and focuses on the role of endocannabinoids in bone metabolism and their potential use in the management of conditions associated with bone loss.

CONTEXT:

The endocannabinoid system uses tissue-specific lipid ligands and G protein-coupled transmembrane receptors to regulate neurological, metabolic, and immune responses. Recent studies demonstrate that the endocannabinoid system influences bone metabolism. With the increasing use of endocannabinoid mimetics, e.g. tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), endocannabinoids’ involvement in bone growth and remodeling has become clinically relevant.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

This literature review is based upon a search of Pubmed and Google Scholar databases, as of June 2019, for all English-language publications relating to cannabinoids and bone. We evaluated retrieved articles for relevance, experimental design, data acquisition, statistical analysis, and conclusions.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS:

Preclinical studies establish a role for endocannabinoids in bone metabolism. These studies yield complex and often contradictory results attributed to differences in the specific experimental model examined. Studies using human cells or subjects are limited.

CONCLUSIONS:

In vitro and animal models document that endocannabinoids participate in bone biology. The relevance of these observations to humans is not clear. The increasing chronic use of medical and recreational cannabis underscores the need to better understand the role of endocannabinoids in human bone metabolism. Moreover, it is important to evaluate the role of endocannabinoids as a therapeutic target to prevent and treat disorders associated with bone loss.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31393556

“[The endocannabinoid system and bone].”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27734700

“Joint problems arising from lack of repair mechanisms: can cannabinoids help?”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29574720

“Cannabinoids and bone regeneration.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30702341

“Cannabinoids and the skeleton: from marijuana to reversal of bone loss.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19634029

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Stable Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 Deficient Mice.

ijms-logo “The G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) has been implicated in the regulation of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The contribution of CB2 towards basal levels of proliferation and the number of neural progenitors in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus, however, remain unclear. We stained hippocampal brain sections of 16- to 17-week-old wildtype and CB2-deficient mice, for neural progenitor and immature neuron markers doublecortin (DCX) and calretinin (CR) and for the proliferation marker Ki67 and quantified the number of positive cells in the SGZ. The quantification revealed that CB2 deficiency neither altered overall cell proliferation nor the size of the DCX+ or DCX and CR double-positive populations in the SGZ compared to control animals. The results indicate that CB2 might not contribute to basal levels of adult neurogenesis in four-month-old healthy mice. CB2 signaling might be more relevant in conditions where adult neurogenesis is dynamically regulated, such as neuroinflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31374821

“Cannabinoids have been linked to the regulation of adult neurogenesis (AN), a process in the mammalian brain that takes place in stem cell niches in the adult brain and is responsible for the continued generation of new neurons.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/15/3759/htm

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Preparation of bivalent agonists for targeting the mu opioid and cannabinoid receptors.

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

“In order to obtain novel pharmacological tools and to investigate a multitargeting analgesic strategy, the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist JWH-018 was conjugated with the opiate analgesic oxycodone or with an enkephalin related tetrapeptide. The opioid and cannabinoid pharmacophores were coupled via spacers of different length and chemical structure. In vitro radioligand binding experiments confirmed that the resulting bivalent compounds bound both to the opioid and to the cannabinoid receptors with moderate to high affinity. The highest affinity bivalent derivatives 11 and 19 exhibited agonist properties in [35S]GTPγS binding assays. These compounds activated MOR and CB (11 mainly CB2, whereas 19 mainly CB1) receptor-mediated signaling, as it was revealed by experiments using receptor specific antagonists. In rats both 11 and 19 exhibited antiallodynic effect similar to the parent drugs in 20 μg dose at spinal level. These results support the strategy of multitargeting G-protein coupled receptors to develop lead compounds with antinociceptive properties.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31220675

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0223523419304477?via%3Dihub

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