Source of cannabinoids: what is available, what is used, and where does it come from?

John Libbey Eurotext“Cannabis sativa L. is an ancient medicinal plant wherefrom over 120 cannabinoids are extracted. In the past two decades, there has been increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis-based treatments for neurological disorders such as epilepsy, and there is now evidence for the medical use of cannabis and its effectiveness for a wide range of diseases. Cannabinoid treatments for pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (Nabiximols) have been approved in several countries. Cannabidiol (CBD), in contrast to tetra-hydro-cannabidiol (THC), is not a controlled substance in the European Union, and over the years there has been increasing use of CBD-enriched extracts and pure CBD for seizure disorders, particularly in children. No analytical controls are mandatory for CBD-based products and a pronounced variability in CBD concentrations in commercialized CBD oil preparations has been identified. Randomized controlled trials of plant-derived CBD for treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) have provided evidence of anti-seizure effects, and in June 2018, CBD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an add-on antiepileptic drug for patients two years of age and older with LGS or DS. Medical cannabis, with various ratios of CBD and THC and in different galenic preparations, is licensed in many European countries for several indications, and in July 2019, the European Medicines Agency also granted marketing authorisation for CBD in association with clobazam, for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or DS. The purpose of this article is to review the availability of cannabis-based products and cannabinoid-based medicines, together with current regulations regarding indications in Europe (as of July 2019). The lack of approval by the central agencies, as well as social and political influences, have led to significant variation in usage between countries.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31941643

https://www.jle.com/fr/revues/epd/e-docs/source_of_cannabinoids_what_is_available_what_is_used_and_where_does_it_come_from__316043/article.phtml

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Neuroprotective and Neuromodulatory Effects Induced by Cannabidiol and Cannabigerol in Rat Hypo-E22 cells and Isolated Hypothalamus.

antioxidants-logo “Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are non-psychotropic terpenophenols isolated from Cannabis sativa, which, besides their anti-inflammatory/antioxidant effects, are able to inhibit, the first, and to stimulate, the second, the appetite although there are no studies elucidating their role in the hypothalamic appetite-regulating network. Consequently, the aim of the present research is to investigate the role of CBD and CBG in regulating hypothalamic neuromodulators. Comparative evaluations between oxidative stress and food intake-modulating mediators were also performed.

RESULTS:

Both CBD and CBG inhibited NPY and POMC gene expression and decreased the 3-HK/KA ratio in the hypothalamus. The same compounds also reduced hypothalamic NE synthesis and DA release, whereas the sole CBD inhibited 5-HT synthesis.

CONCLUSION:

The CBD modulates hypothalamic neuromodulators consistently with its anorexigenic role, whereas the CBG effect on the same mediators suggests alternative mechanisms, possibly involving peripheral pathways.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31941059

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/1/71

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Cannabidiol (CBD) for Treatment of Neurofibromatosis-related Pain and Concomitant Mood Disorder: A Case Report.

Image result for cureus journal“Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disorder. Pain is a major symptom of this disease which can be secondary to the development of plexiform and subcutaneous neurofibromas, musculoskeletal symptoms (such as scoliosis and pseudoarthrosis), and headaches. Visible neurofibromas add significant psychosocial distress for NF1 patients. Along with the chronic pain, psychosocial distress contributes to associated mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Cannabis has been the focus of many studies for treating multiple conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism disease, and many chronic pain conditions. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychotropic component of cannabis. CBD has shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, as well as having mood stabilizer and anxiolytic effects.

In this report, we present the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the management of chronic pain and concomitant mood disorder in an NF1 patient.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31938604

https://www.cureus.com/articles/23602-cannabidiol-cbd-for-treatment-of-neurofibromatosis-related-pain-and-concomitant-mood-disorder-a-case-report

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Use of cannabinoids in cancer patients: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) clinical practice statement.

Gynecologic Oncology“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) affect the human endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoids reduce chemotherapy induced nausea or vomiting (CINV) and neuropathic pain.

Each state has its own regulations for medical and recreational cannabis use.

Effects of cannabinoids on chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and tumor growth remain under investigation.

Providers should focus indications, alternatives, risks and benefits of medical cannabis use to make appropriate referrals.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31932107

https://www.gynecologiconcology-online.net/article/S0090-8258(19)31805-0/fulltext

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Disease-modifying effects of natural Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in endometriosis-associated pain.

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“Endometriosis is a chronic painful disease highly prevalent in women that is defined by growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity and lacks adequate treatment.

Medical use of cannabis derivatives is a current hot topic and it is unknown whether phytocannabinoids may modify endometriosis symptoms and development.

Here we evaluate the effects of repeated exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a mouse model of surgically-induced endometriosis.

In this model, female mice develop mechanical hypersensitivity in the caudal abdomen, mild anxiety-like behavior and substantial memory deficits associated with the presence of extrauterine endometrial cysts.

Interestingly, daily treatments with THC (2 mg/kg) alleviate mechanical hypersensitivity and pain unpleasantness, modify uterine innervation and restore cognitive function without altering the anxiogenic phenotype. Strikingly, THC also inhibits the development of endometrial cysts.

These data highlight the interest of scheduled clinical trials designed to investigate possible benefits of THC for women with endometriosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31931958

https://elifesciences.org/articles/50356

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The role of cannabinoids in epilepsy treatment: a critical review of efficacy results from clinical trials.

Image result for Epileptic Disorders journal “CBD was shown to have anti-seizure activity based on in vitro and in vivo models.

However, several reports of small series or case reports of the use of cannabis extracts in epilepsy yielded contradictory results and the efficacy of cannabis use in patients with epilepsy have also been inconclusive.

In 2013, the first Phase 1 trial for a purified form of CBD (Epidiolex/Epidyolex; >99% CBD), developed by GW Pharma, showed some efficacy signals and subsequently, a comprehensive program on the efficacy and tolerability of this compound for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsies was initiated.

Results of these trials led to the FDA and EMA approval respectively in 2018 and 2019 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare epilepsies: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS) in patients two years of age and older.

Thus, CBD became the first FDA-approved purified drug substance derived from cannabis and also the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of seizures in DS.

We detail the clinical studies using purified CBD (Epidiolex/Epidyolex), including the first open interventional exploratory study and Randomized Control Ttrials for DS and LGS.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31916540

https://www.jle.com/fr/revues/epd/e-docs/the_role_of_cannabinoids_in_epilepsy_treatment_a_critical_review_of_efficacy_results_from_clinical_trials_316030/article.phtml

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The proposed mechanism of action of CBD in epilepsy.

Image result for Epileptic Disorders journal“Highly purified cannabidiol (CBD) (approved as Epidiolex® in the United States) has demonstrated efficacy with an acceptable safety profile in patients with Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome in four randomized controlled trials.

While the mechanism of action of CBD underlying the reduction of seizures in humans is unknown, CBD possesses affinity for multiple targets, across a range of target classes, resulting in functional modulation of neuronal excitability, relevant to the pathophysiology of many disease types, including epilepsy.

Here we present the pharmacological data supporting the role of three such targets, namely Transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1), the orphan G protein-coupled receptor-55 (GPR55) and the equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT-1).”

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Efficacy and Tolerance of Synthetic Cannabidiol for Treatment of Drug Resistant Epilepsy.

Image result for frontiers in neurology“Controlled and open label trials have demonstrated efficacy of cannabidiol for certain epileptic encephalopathies.

However, plant derived cannabidiol products have been used almost exclusively. Efficacy of synthetically derived cannabidiol has not been studied before.

The objective of this study was to evaluate tolerability and efficacy of synthetic cannabidiol in patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

Efficacy and tolerance in our study of synthetic CBD treatment in pharmacoresistant epilepsy is similar to open label studies using plant derived CBD.

Regarding economic and ecological aspects, synthetic cannabidiol might be a reasonable alternative to plant derived cannabidiol.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31920934

“Over the last decade, the therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD) in intractable epilepsies has increased considerably. Its anticonvulsant properties have been shown in several animal models for acute and chronic epilepsy.

Recent randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated that CBD is superior to placebo in seizure reduction in children with Dravet syndrome and patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In addition, open label studies indicate that cannabidiol has anticonvulsive properties in a broader range of epilepsy syndromes and etiologies.

In summary, the results of this study provide class III evidence of efficacy and safety of synthetic cannabidiol in children and adults with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Additional studies investigating efficacy and tolerance of synthetic CBD in larger cohorts are needed.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2019.01313/full

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Efficacy of cannabidiol in subjects with refractory epilepsy relative to concomitant use of clobazam.

Epilepsy Research“To evaluate the efficacy of open-label, highly purified cannabidiol (CBD, Epidiolex®) in treating refractory epilepsy relative to the concomitant use of clobazam (CLB) as well as the clinical implications of changes in CLB and norclobazam (nCLB) levels.”

“With or without concomitant CLB, CBD may be effective in reducing seizure frequency.”   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0920121119303778?via%3Dihub

“With or without concomitant CLB, CBD can be effective in reducing seizure frequency. “

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31923763

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Cannabidiol-induced panicolytic-like effects and fear-induced antinociception impairment: the role of the CB1 receptor in the ventromedial hypothalamus.

Image result for Springer Link“The behavioural effects elicited by chemical constituents of Cannabis sativa, such as cannabidiol (CBD), on the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) are not well understood. There is evidence that VMH neurons play a relevant role in the modulation of unconditioned fear-related defensive behavioural reactions displayed by laboratory animals.

OBJECTIVES:

This study was designed to explore the specific pattern of distribution of the CB1 receptors in the VMH and to investigate the role played by this cannabinoid receptor in the effect of CBD on the control of defensive behaviours and unconditioned fear-induced antinociception.

METHODS:

A panic attack-like state was triggered in Wistar rats by intra-VMH microinjections of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). One of three different doses of CBD was microinjected into the VMH prior to local administration of NMDA. In addition, the most effective dose of CBD was used after pre-treatment with the CB1 receptor selective antagonist AM251, followed by NMDA microinjections in the VMH.

RESULTS:

The morphological procedures demonstrated distribution of labelled CB1 receptors on neuronal perikarya situated in dorsomedial, central and ventrolateral divisions of the VMH. The neuropharmacological approaches showed that both panic attack-like behaviours and unconditioned fear-induced antinociception decreased after intra-hypothalamic microinjections of CBD at the highest dose (100 nmol). These effects, however, were blocked by the administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (100 pmol) in the VMH.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that CBD causes panicolytic-like effects and reduces unconditioned fear-induced antinociception when administered in the VMH, and these effects are mediated by the CB1 receptor-endocannabinoid signalling mechanism in VMH.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31919563

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-019-05435-5

“panicolytic: That reduces the flight reflex in animals when faced with danger. Any drug that has this effect.” https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/panicolytic

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