Computational systems pharmacology analysis of cannabidiol: a combination of chemogenomics-knowledgebase network analysis and integrated in silico modeling and simulation.

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“With treatment benefits in both the central nervous system and the peripheral system, the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) has gained increasing popularity.

Given that the therapeutic mechanisms of CBD are still vague, the systematic identification of its potential targets, signaling pathways, and their associations with corresponding diseases is of great interest for researchers.

In the present work, chemogenomics-knowledgebase systems pharmacology analysis was applied for systematic network studies to generate CBD-target, target-pathway, and target-disease networks by combining both the results from the in silico analysis and the reported experimental validations.

Based on the network analysis, three human neuro-related rhodopsin-like GPCRs, i.e., 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1 A (5HT1A), delta-type opioid receptor (OPRD) and G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), were selected for close evaluation. Integrated computational methodologies, including homology modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation, were used to evaluate the protein-CBD binding modes. A CBD-preferred pocket consisting of a hydrophobic cavity and backbone hinges was proposed and tested for CBD-class A GPCR binding.

Finally, the neurophysiological effects of CBD were illustrated at the molecular level, and dopamine receptor 3 (DRD3) was further predicted to be an active target for CBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30202014

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41401-018-0071-1

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Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation.

Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences

“The plant Cannabis sativa L. has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries and is the most important source of phytocannabinoids.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of receptors, endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) and metabolizing enzymes, and plays an important role in different physiological and pathological processes.

Phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can interact with the components of ECS or other cellular pathways and thus affect the development/progression of diseases, including cancer.

In cancer patients, cannabinoids have primarily been used as a part of palliative care to alleviate pain, relieve nausea and stimulate appetite.

In addition, numerous cell culture and animal studies showed antitumor effects of cannabinoids in various cancer types.

Here we reviewed the literature on anticancer effects of plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids, to better understand their mechanisms of action and role in cancer treatment. We also reviewed the current legislative updates on the use of cannabinoids for medical and therapeutic purposes, primarily in the EU countries.

In vitro and in vivo cancer models show that cannabinoids can effectively modulate tumor growth, however, the antitumor effects appear to be largely dependent on cancer type and drug dose/concentration.

Understanding how cannabinoids are able to regulate essential cellular processes involved in tumorigenesis, such as progression through the cell cycle, cell proliferation and cell death, as well as the interactions between cannabinoids and the immune system, are crucial for improving existing and developing new therapeutic approaches for cancer patients.

The national legislation of the EU Member States defines the legal boundaries of permissible use of cannabinoids for medical and therapeutic purposes, however, these legislative guidelines may not be aligned with the current scientific knowledge.”

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Cannabidiol as a suggested candidate for treatment of autism spectrum disorder.

 Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities and often intellectual disabilities.

No effective treatment for the core symptoms of ASD is currently available.

There is increasing interest in cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD), as monotherapy or add-on treatment for the core symptoms and co-morbidities of ASD.

In this review we summarize the available pre-clinical and clinical data regarding the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis, including CBD, in young ASD patients.

Cannabidiol seems to be a candidate for the treatment of ASD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30171992

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584618304445?via%3Dihub

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Cannabis and the Health and Performance of the Elite Athlete.

 

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“Cannabis (marijuana) is undergoing extensive regulatory review in many global jurisdictions for medical and nonmedical access. Cannabis has potential impact on the health of athletes as well as on performance in both training and in competition. The aim of this general review is to identify and highlight the challenges in interpreting information with respect to elite athletic performance, and to point to important research areas that need to be addressed.

MAIN RESULTS:

Cannabis may be primarily inhaled or ingested orally for a range of medical and nonmedical reasons; evidence for efficacy is limited but promising for chronic pain management. Although evidence for serious harms from cannabis use on health of athletes is limited, one should be cognizant of the potential for abuse and mental health issues. Although the prevalence of cannabis use among elite athletes is not well-known, use is associated with certain high-risk sports. There is no evidence for cannabis use as a performance-enhancing drug.

CONCLUSIONS:

Medical and nonmedical cannabis use among athletes reflects changing societal and cultural norms and experiences. Although cannabis use is more prevalent in some athletes engaged in high-risk sports, there is no direct evidence of performance-enhancing effects in athletes. The potential beneficial effects of cannabis as part of a pain management protocol, including reducing concussion-related symptoms, deserve further attention.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30153174

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00042752-201809000-00009

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Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption

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“The Releaf AppTM mobile software application (app) data was used to measure self-reported effectiveness and side effects of medical cannabis used under naturalistic conditions.

Results: Releaf AppTM responders used cannabis to treat myriad health symptoms, the most frequent relating to pain, anxiety, and depressive conditions. Significant symptom severity reductions were reported for all the symptom categories, with mean reductions between 2.8 and 4.6 points (ds ranged from 1.29–2.39, ps < 0.001). On average, higher pre-dosing symptom levels were associated with greater reported symptom relief, and users treating anxiety or depression-related symptoms reported significantly more relief (ps < 0.001) than users with pain symptoms. Of the 42 possible side effects, users were more likely to indicate and showed a stronger correlation between symptom relief and experiences of positive (94% of sessions) or a context-specific side effects (76%), whereas negative side effects (60%) were associated with lessened, yet still significant symptom relief and were more common among patients treating a depressive symptom relative to patients treating anxiety and pain-related conditions.

Conclusion: Patient-managed cannabis use is associated with clinically significant improvements in self-reported symptom relief for treating a wide range of health conditions, along with frequent positive and negative side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30210337

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00916/full

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A Brief Background on Cannabis: From Plant to Medical Indications.

 Ingenta Connect

“Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years.

As a result of centuries of breeding and selection, there are now over 700 varieties of cannabis that contain hundreds of compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids are fatty compounds that are the main biological active constituents of cannabis. Terpenes are volatile compounds that occur in many plants and have distinct odors.

Cannabinoids exert their effect on the body by binding to receptors, specifically cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2. These receptors, together with endogenous cannabinoids and the systems for synthesis, transport, and degradation, are called the Endocannabinoid System.

The two most prevalent and commonly known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol.

The speed, strength, and type of effects of cannabis vary based on the route of administration. THC is rapidly distributed through the body to fatty tissues like the brain and is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is also psychoactive.

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been indicated for several medical conditions.

There is evidence of efficacy in the symptomatic treatment of nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, loss of appetite, Tourette’s syndrome, and epilepsy. Cannabis has also been associated with treatment for glaucoma, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and dystonia, but there is not good evidence to support its efficacy. Side effects of cannabis include psychosis and anxiety, which can be severe.

Here, we provided a summary of the history of cannabis, its pharmacology, and its medical uses.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30139415

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Personal experience and attitudes of pain medicine specialists in Israel regarding the medical use of cannabis for chronic pain.

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“The scientific study of the role of cannabis in pain medicine still lags far behind the growing use driven by public approval. Accumulated clinical experience is therefore an important source of knowledge. However, no study to date has targeted physicians who actually use cannabis in their daily practice.

RESULTS:

Sixty-four percent of all practicing pain specialists in Israel responded. Almost all prescribe cannabis. Among them, 63% find cannabis moderately to highly effective, 56% have encountered mild or no side effects, and only 5% perceive it as significantly harmful. Common indications are neuropathic pain (65%), oncological pain (50%), arthralgias (25%), and any intractable pain (29%). Leading contraindications are schizophrenia (76%), pregnancy/breastfeeding (65%), and age <18 years (59%). Only 12% rated cannabis as more hazardous than opiates. On a personal note, 45% prefer cannabis for themselves or a family member. Lastly, 54% would like to see cannabis legalized in Israel.

CONCLUSION:

In this survey, pain clinicians experienced in prescribing cannabis over prolonged periods view it as an effective and relatively safe treatment for chronic pain, based on their own experience. Their responses suggest a possible change of paradigm from using cannabis as the last resort.”

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Medical marijuana laws and workplace fatalities in the United States

International Journal of Drug Policy

“The aim of this research was to determine the association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities.

To date, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Although there is increasing concern that legalizing medical marijuana will make workplaces more dangerous, little is known about the relationship between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and workplace fatalities.

 

Findings

Legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.5% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44 (incident rate ratio [IRR], 0.805; 95% CI, .662–.979). The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 16–24, although negative, was not statistically significant at conventional levels. The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44 grew stronger over time. Five years after coming into effect, MMLs were associated with a 33.7% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities (IRR, 0.663; 95% CI, .482–.912). MMLs that listed pain as a qualifying condition or allowed collective cultivation were associated with larger reductions in fatalities among workers aged 25–44 than those that did not.

Conclusions

The results provide evidence that legalizing medical marijuana improved workplace safety for workers aged 25–44. Further investigation is required to determine whether this result is attributable to reductions in the consumption of alcohol and other substances that impair cognitive function, memory, and motor skills.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395918301968

“Workplace Deaths Drop After States Legalize Medical Marijuana”  https://www.marijuanamoment.net/workplace-deaths-drop-after-states-legalize-medical-marijuana/

“Medical Marijuana States Have Lower Rates Of Workplace Death, According To New Study” https://www.civilized.life/articles/medical-marijuana-states-have-lower-rates-of-workplace-death-according-to-new-study/

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GPR55 signalling promotes proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells and tumour growth in mice, and its inhibition increases effects of gemcitabine

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“The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has seen no substantial changes in the last 40 years as very few and mostly just palliative treatments are available. As the five years survival rate remains around 5%, the identification of novel pharmacological targets and development of new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed.

Here we demonstrate that inhibition of the G protein-coupled receptor GPR55, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, reduces pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo and we propose that this may represent a novel strategy to inhibit pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) progression.

Specifically, we show that genetic ablation of Gpr55 in the KRASWT/G12D/TP53WT/R172H/Pdx1-Cre+/+ (KPC) mouse model of PDAC significantly prolonged survival.

Importantly, KPC mice treated with a combination of the GPR55 antagonist Cannabidiol (CBD) and gemcitabine (GEM, one of the most used drugs to treat PDAC), survived nearly three times longer compared to mice treated with vehicle or GEM alone.

Mechanistically, knockdown or pharmacologic inhibition of GPR55 reduced anchorage-dependent and independent growth, cell cycle progression, activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling and protein levels of ribonucleotide reductases in PDAC cells. Consistent with this, genetic ablation of Gpr55 reduced proliferation of tumour cells, MAPK signalling and ribonucleotide reductase M1 levels in KPC mice.

Combination of CBD and GEM inhibited tumour cell proliferation in KPC mice and it opposed mechanisms involved in development of resistance to GEM in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate that the tumour suppressor p53 regulates GPR55 protein expression through modulation of the microRNA miR34b-3p.

Our results demonstrate the important role played by GPR55 downstream of p53 in PDAC progression. Moreover our data indicate that combination of CBD and GEM, both currently approved for medical use, might be tested in clinical trials as a novel promising treatment to improve PDAC patients’ outcome.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41388-018-0390-1

“Cannabinoid improves survival rates of mice with pancreatic cancer”  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-cannabinoid-survival-mice-pancreatic-cancer.html

“Study: CBD From Marijuana Plus Chemotherapy Tripled Cancer Survival Rates In Mice” https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2018/07/31/study-cbd-from-marijuana-plus-chemotherapy-triples-cancer-survival-rates-in-mice/#491942d44630

“Cannabis drug may help pancreatic-cancer patients live almost THREE TIMES longer, study finds” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6007275/Cannabis-drug-help-pancreatic-cancer-patients-live-THREE-TIMES-longer-study-finds.html

“Substance in cannabis ‘could boost pancreatic cancer treatments’. Scientists say cannabidiol could extend patients’ lives by a matter of years”  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/30/substance-in-cannabis-could-boost-pancreatic-cancer-treatments

“Cannabinoid mice trial holds hope for pancreatic cancer patients”  https://www.smh.com.au/national/cannabinoid-mice-trial-holds-hope-for-pancreatic-cancer-patients-20180731-p4zuls.html

“Medical cannabis extract could help pancreatic cancer patients live longer, early study suggests” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/pancreatic-cancer-medical-cannabis-cbd-oil-cannabidiol-chemotherapy-a8470406.html

“Cancer ‘remarkable’ treatment – cannabis CBD could improve survival rate by THREE times. CANCER symptoms could be prevented with a “remarkable” new treatment, which includes cannabis CBD, scientists have revealed. Pancreatic cancer survival rates could be improved by three times, by adding CBD into chemotherapy treatments, they said.” https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/996657/cancer-treatment-pancreatic-symptoms-cannabis-cbd

“Compound in cannabis could help pancreatic cancer patients live significantly longer” https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/310718/compound-in-cannabis-could-help-pancreatic-cancer-patients-live-signif.html

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Elucidation of structure-function relationship of THCA and CBDA synthase from Cannabis sativa L.

Journal of Biotechnology

“Cannabinoids are secondary natural products from the plant Cannabis sativa L.

Therapeutic indications of cannabinoids currently comprise a significant area of medicinal research.

We have expressed the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase (THCAS) and cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDAS) recombinantly in Komagataella phaffii and could detect eight different products with a cannabinoid scaffold after conversion of the precursor cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).

Besides five products remaining to be identified, both enzymes were forming three major cannabinoids of C. sativa – Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

These studies lay the groundwork for further research as well as biotechnological cannabinoid production.”

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