Cannabis and its Constituents for Cancer: History, Biogenesis, Chemistry and Pharmacological Activities

Pharmacological Research “Cannabis has long been used for healing and recreation in several regions of the world. Over 400 bioactive constituents, including more than 100 phytocannabinoids, have been isolated from this plant. The non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and the psychoactive Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are the major and widely studied constituents from this plant.

Cannabinoids exert their effects through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that comprises cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2), endogenous ligands, and metabolizing enzymes. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated the potential of cannabinoids against leukemia, lymphoma, glioblastoma, and cancers of the breast, colorectum, pancreas, cervix and prostate.

Cannabis and its constituents can modulate multiple cancer related pathways such as PKB, AMPK, CAMKK-β, mTOR, PDHK, HIF-1α, and PPAR-γ. Cannabinoids can block cell growth, progression of cell cycle and induce apoptosis selectively in tumour cells. Cannabinoids can also enhance the efficacy of cancer therapeutics. These compounds have been used for the management of anorexia, queasiness, and pain in cancer patients.

Cannabinoid based products such as dronabinol, nabilone, nabiximols, and epidyolex are now approved for medical use in cancer patients. Cannabinoids are reported to produce a favourable safety profile. However, psychoactive properties and poor bioavailability limit the use of some cannabinoids. The Academic Institutions across the globe are offering training courses on cannabis. How cannabis and its constituents exert anticancer activities is discussed in this article. We also discuss areas that require attention and more extensive research.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33246167/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661820316108?via%3Dihub

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The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids for Integumentary Wound Management

“The increasing legalization of Cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes in the United States has spurred renewed interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids (CBs) for human disease.

The skin has its own endocannabinoid system (eCS) which is a key regulator of various homeostatic processes, including those necessary for normal physiologic wound healing.

Data on the use of CBs for wound healing is scarce. Compelling pre-clinical evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of CBs to improve wound healing by modulating key molecular pathways is herein reviewed.

These findings merit further exploration in basic science, translational and clinical studies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33205468/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/exd.14241

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Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: A Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research

Sports Medicine - Open Cover Image “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa. CBD initially drew scientific interest due to its anticonvulsant properties but increasing evidence of other therapeutic effects has attracted the attention of additional clinical and non-clinical populations, including athletes.

Unlike the intoxicating cannabinoid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), CBD is no longer prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and appears to be safe and well-tolerated in humans. It has also become readily available in many countries with the introduction of over-the-counter “nutraceutical” products.

The aim of this narrative review was to explore various physiological and psychological effects of CBD that may be relevant to the sport and/or exercise context and to identify key areas for future research. As direct studies of CBD and sports performance are is currently lacking, evidence for this narrative review was sourced from preclinical studies and a limited number of clinical trials in non-athlete populations.

Preclinical studies have observed robust anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and analgesic effects of CBD in animal models. Preliminary preclinical evidence also suggests that CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage associated with inflammation and promote healing of traumatic skeletal injuries. However, further research is required to confirm these observations.

Early stage clinical studies suggest that CBD may be anxiolytic in “stress-inducing” situations and in individuals with anxiety disorders. While some case reports indicate that CBD improves sleep, robust evidence is currently lacking. Cognitive function and thermoregulation appear to be unaffected by CBD while effects on food intake, metabolic function, cardiovascular function, and infection require further study.

CBD may exert a number of physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects with the potential to benefit athletes. However, well controlled, studies in athlete populations are required before definitive conclusions can be reached regarding the utility of CBD in supporting athletic performance.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32632671/

“CBD has been reported to exert a number of physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects that have the potential to benefit athletes. For instance, there is preliminary supportive evidence for anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, analgesic, and anxiolytic actions of CBD and the possibility it may protect against GI damage associated with inflammation and promote the healing of traumatic skeletal injuries.”

https://sportsmedicine-open.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40798-020-00251-0

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist promotes parameters implicated in mucosal healing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Issues“Cannabis benefits patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in gut immune cells and in epithelial cells of inflamed guts.

Mucosal healing (MH) requires epithelial layer restoration.

CONCLUSION:

Using ex vivo and in vitro human models, we demonstrated that manipulating the cannabinoid system affects colon cells and secretome characteristics that facilitate MH in IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32213014

“Experimental studies and recent clinical trials suggest that treatment with cannabis benefits patients with IBD.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050640619889773

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Beta-caryophyllene enhances wound healing through multiple routes.

 Image result for plos one“Beta-caryophyllene is an odoriferous bicyclic sesquiterpene found in various herbs and spices.

Recently, it was found that beta-caryophyllene is a ligand of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Activation of CB2 will decrease pain, a major signal for inflammatory responses.

We hypothesized that beta-caryophyllene can affect wound healing by decreasing inflammation. Here we show that cutaneous wounds of mice treated with beta-caryophyllene had enhanced re-epithelialization.

The treated tissue showed increased cell proliferation and cells treated with beta-caryophyllene showed enhanced cell migration, suggesting that the higher re-epithelialization is due to enhanced cell proliferation and cell migration. The treated tissues also had up-regulated gene expression for hair follicle bulge stem cells. Olfactory receptors were not involved in the enhanced wound healing. Transient Receptor Potential channel genes were up-regulated in the injured skin exposed to beta-caryophyllene. Interestingly, there were sex differences in the impact of beta- caryophyllene as only the injured skin of female mice had enhanced re-epithelialization after exposure to beta-caryophyllene.

Our study suggests that chemical compounds included in essential oils have the capability to improve wound healing, an effect generated by synergetic impacts of multiple pathways.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31841509

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216104

“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

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial.

jcm-logo “The healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) have been known for centuries.

In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the myorelaxant effect of CBD after the transdermal application in patients with myofascial pain.

Results: in Group1, the sEMG masseter activity significantly decreased (11% in the right and 12.6% in the left masseter muscles). In Group2, the sEMG masseter activity was recorded as 0.23% in the right and 3.3% in the left masseter muscles. Pain intensity in VAS scale was significantly decreased in Group1: 70.2% compared to Group2: 9.81% reduction. Patients were asked to apply formulation twice a day for a period of 14 days.

Conclusion: The application of CBD formulation over masseter muscle reduced the activity of masseter muscles and improved the condition of masticatory muscles in patients with myofascial pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31698733

https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/8/11/1886

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Promote Periodontal Cell Adhesion and Migration.

Journal of Clinical Periodontology banner“Medical and recreational cannabis use is increasing significantly, but its impacts on oral health remains unclear.

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active component in cannabis, on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration to explore its role in periodontal regeneration and wound healing.

RESULTS:

Both CB1 and CB2 were expressed in periodontal tissues but with different expression patterns. THC promoted periodontal cell wound healing by inducing HPLF cell adhesion and migration. This was mediated by focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation and its modulation of MAPK activities. The effect of cannabinoids on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration were mainly dependent on the CB2.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggested that cannabinoids may contribute to developing new therapeutics for periodontal regeneration and wound healing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31461164

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jcpe.13190

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Cannabinoid CB2R receptors are upregulated with corneal injury and regulate the course of corneal wound healing.

Experimental Eye Research

“CB2R receptors have demonstrated beneficial effects in wound healing in several models. We therefore investigated a potential role of CB2R receptors in corneal wound healing. We examined the functional contribution of CB2R receptors to the course of wound closure in an in vivo murine model. We additionally examined corneal expression of CB2R receptors in mouse and the consequences of their activation on cellular signaling, migration and proliferation in cultured bovine corneal epithelial cells (CECs). Using a novel mouse model, we provide evidence that corneal injury increases CB2R receptor expression in cornea. The CB2R agonist JWH133 induces chemorepulsion in cultured bovine CECs but does not alter CEC proliferation. The signaling profile of CB2R activation is activating MAPK and increasing cAMP accumulation, the latter perhaps due to Gs-coupling. Lipidomic analysis in bovine cornea shows a rise in acylethanolamines including the endocannabinoid anandamide 1 h after injury. In vivo, CB2R deletion and pharmacological block result in a delayed course of wound closure. In summary, we find evidence that CB2R receptor promoter activity is increased by corneal injury and that these receptors are required for the normal course of wound closure, possibly via chemorepulsion.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30905716

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014483518307206?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis sativa: A comprehensive ethnopharmacological review of a medicinal plant with a long history.

Journal of Ethnopharmacology

“Cannabis sativa L. (C. sativa) is an annual dioecious plant, which shares its origins with the inception of the first agricultural human societies in Asia. Over the course of time different parts of the plant have been utilized for therapeutic and recreational purposes, for instance, extraction of healing oils from seed, or the use of inflorescences for their psychoactive effects. The key psychoactive constituent in C. sativa is called Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (D9-THC). The endocannabinoid system seems to be phylogenetically ancient, as it was present in the most primitive vertebrates with a neuronal network. N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are the main endocannabinoids ligands present in the animal kingdom, and the main endocannabinoid receptors are cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor and cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

The review aims to provide a critical and comprehensive evaluation, from the ancient times to our days, of the ethnological, botanical, chemical and pharmacological aspects of C. sativa, with a vision for promoting further pharmaceutical research to explore its complete potential as a therapeutic agent.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

A detailed comparative analysis of the available resources for C. sativa confirmed its origin and traditional spiritual, household and therapeutic uses and most importantly its popularity as a recreational drug. The result of several studies suggested a deeper involvement of phytocannabinoids (the key compounds in C. sativa) in several others central and peripheral pathophysiological mechanisms such as food intake, inflammation, pain, colitis, sleep disorders, neurological and psychiatric illness. However, despite their numerous medicinal benefits, they are still considered as a menace to the society and banned throughout the world, except for few countries. We believe that this review will help lay the foundation for promoting exhaustive pharmacological and pharmaceutical studies in order to better understand the clinical relevance and applications of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the prevention and treatment of life-threatening diseases and help to improve the legal status of C. sativa.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205181

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874118316611?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol restores differentiation capacity of LPS exposed adipose tissue mesenchymal stromal cells.

Experimental Cell Research

“Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) support wound healing processes. These cells express toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs perform important key functions when the immune system is confronted with danger signals. TLR ligation by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) activates MSCs and induces intracellular signaling cascades, which affect their differentiation profile, increase the release of inflammatory cytokines and the production of reactive oxygen species. Continuing exposure to LPS triggers prolonged inflammatory reactions, which may lead to deleterious conditions, e.g. non-healing wounds.

Cannabidiol (CBD) exerts anti-inflammatory processes through cannabinoid receptor dependent and independent mechanisms. In the present study, we examined whether CBD could influence the inflammatory MSC phenotype.

Exposure to LPS increased the release of IL-6, as well as other soluble factors, and elevated levels of oxidized macromolecules found in cell homogenisates. While the amount of IL-6 was unaffected, co-treatment with CBD reduced the oxidative stress acting on the cells. LPS inhibited adipogenic as well as chondrogenic differentiation, which was attenuated by CBD treatment. In the case of adipogenesis, the disinhibitory effect probably depended on CBD interaction with the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ.

CBD could exert mild immunosuppressive properties on MSCs, while it most effectively acted anti-oxidatively and by restoring the differentiation capacity upon LPS treatment.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30036540

“Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces oxidative stress and restores adipogenesis and chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) upon lipopolysaccharides (LPS)  exposure.” https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0014482718304312

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