Study protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the Efficacy of cannabis-based Medicine Extract in slowing the disease pRogression of Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis or motor neurone Disease: the EMERALD trial.

Image result for bmj open“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder with no known cure and with an average life expectancy of 3-5 years post diagnosis.

The use of complementary medicine such as medicinal cannabis in search for a potential treatment or cure is common in ALS.

Preclinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabinoids in extending the survival and slowing of disease progression in animal models with ALS.

There are anecdotal reports of cannabis slowing disease progression in persons with ALS (pALS) and that cannabis alleviated the symptoms of spasticity and pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31719072

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/11/e029449

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

NICE recommends cannabis based drugs for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis

Image result for the bmj journal“In final appraisal documents the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended the use of cannabidiol with clobazam for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The decision comes after NICE initially rejected the use of cannabidiol in draft appraisal documents released in August because of concerns over a lack of data on the drug’s long term effectiveness.

However, in its latest documents NICE has recommended the drug for people aged 2 or over, reporting that clinical trials had shown that, in comparison with usual care, cannabidiol reduced the number of drop and non-drop seizures and the number of convulsive and non-convulsive seizures.

The final appraisal documents are out for consultation until 27 November, and final approval is expected on 18 December.

The documents were released alongside NICE’s final guideline on cannabis based medicinal products. In this, NICE also recommends the use of nabiximols for patients with multiple sclerosis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31712197

https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6453

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) reduces adiposity and prevents metabolic disease caused by diet-induced obesity.

Biochemical Pharmacology“Medicinal cannabis has remarkable therapeutic potential, but its clinical use is limited by the psychotropic activity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC). However, the biological profile of the carboxylated, non-narcotic native precursor of Δ9-THC, the Δ9-THC acid A (Δ9-THCA-A), remains largely unexplored.

Here we present evidence that Δ9-THCA-A is a partial and selective PPARγ modulator, endowed with lower adipogenic activity than the full PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (RGZ) and enhanced osteoblastogenic effects in hMSC. Docking and in vitro functional assays indicated that Δ9-THCA-A binds to and activates PPARγ by acting at both the canonical and the alternative sites of the ligand-binding domain. Transcriptomic signatures in iWAT from mice treated with Δ9-THCA-A confirmed its mode of action through PPARγ.

Administration of Δ9-THCA-A in a mouse model of HFD-induced obesity significantly reduced fat mass and body weight gain, markedly ameliorating glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and largely preventing liver steatosis, adipogenesis and macrophage infiltration in fat tissues. Additionally, immunohistochemistry, transcriptomic, and plasma biomarker analyses showed that treatment with Δ9-THCA-A caused browning of iWAT and displayed potent anti-inflammatory actions in HFD mice.

Our data validate the potential of Δ9-THCA-A as a low adipogenic PPARγ agonist, capable of substantially improving the symptoms of obesity-associated metabolic syndrome and inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31706843

“Δ9-THCA-A is a partial PPARγ ligand agonist with low adipogenic activity. Δ9-THCA-A enhances osteoblastogenesis in bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells. Δ9-THCA-A reduces body weight gain, fat mass, and liver steatosis in HFD-fed mice. Δ9-THCA-A improves glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and insulin profiles in vivo. Δ9-THCA-A induces browning of iWAT and has a potent anti-inflammatory activity.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295219303922?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabidiol Regulates Gene Expression in Encephalitogenic T cells Using Histone Methylation and noncoding RNA during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

 Scientific Reports“Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown by our laboratory to attenuate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In this study, we used microarray and next generation sequencing (NGS)-based approaches to determine whether CBD would alter genome-wide histone modification and gene expression in MOG sensitized lymphocytes.

In summary, this study demonstrates that CBD suppresses inflammation through multiple mechanisms, from histone methylation to miRNA to lncRNA.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31673072

“Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has many biologically active compounds and its medicinal value has been known for centuries. CBD has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in several animal models. In immune system, studies from our lab as well as those from others have shown that both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties. ”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-52362-8

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 and Its Role as an Analgesic: An Opioid Alternative?

 Publication Cover“Understanding how the body regulates pain is fundamental to develop rational strategies to combat the growing prevalence of chronic pain states, opioid dependency, and the increased financial burden to the medical care system.

Pain is the most prominent reason why Americans seek medical attention and extensive literature has identified the importance of the endocannabinoid pathway in controlling pain. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system offers new therapeutic opportunities for the selective control of excessive neuronal activity in several pain conditions (acute, inflammatory, chronic, and neuropathic).

Cannabinoids have a long history of medicinal use and their analgesic properties are well documented; however, there are major impediments to understanding cannabinoid pain modulation.

One major issue is the presence of psychotropic side effects associated with D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or synthetic derivatives, which puts an emphatic brake on their use. This dose-limiting effect prevents the appropriate degree of analgesia .

Animal studies have shown that the psychotropic effects are mediated via brain cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors, while analgesic activity in chronic pain states may be mediated via CB1R action in the spinal cord, brainstem, peripheral sensory neurons, or immune cells.

The development of appropriate therapies is incumbent on our understanding of the role of peripheral versus central endocannabinoid-driven analgesia. Recent physiological, pharmacological, and anatomical studies provide evidence that one of the main roles of the endocannabinoid system is the regulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glutamate release.

This article will review this evidence in the context of its implications for pain. We first provide a brief overview of CB1R’s role in the regulation of nociception, followed by a review of the evidence that the peripheral endocannabinoid system modulates nociception.

We then look in detail at regulation of central-mediated analgesia, followed up with evidence that cannabinoid mediated modulation of pain involves modulation of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in key brain regions. Finally, we discuss cannabinoid action on non-neuronal cells in the context of inflammation and direct modulation of neurons.

This work stands to reveal long-standing controversies in the cannabinoid analgesia area that have had an impact on failed clinical trials and implementation of therapeutics targeting this system.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31596190

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15504263.2019.1668100?journalCode=wjdd20

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

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/

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Terpenes in Cannabis sativa – From plant genome to humans.

Plant Science“Cannabis sativa (cannabis) produces a resin that is valued for its psychoactive and medicinal properties.

Despite being the foundation of a multi-billion dollar global industry, scientific knowledge and research on cannabis is lagging behind compared to other high-value crops. This is largely due to legal restrictions that have prevented many researchers from studying cannabis, its products, and their effects in humans.

Cannabis resin contains hundreds of different terpene and cannabinoid metabolites.

Our understanding of the genomic and biosynthetic systems of these metabolites in cannabis, and the factors that affect their variability, is rudimentary. As a consequence, there is concern about lack of consistency with regard to the terpene and cannabinoid composition of different cannabis ‘strains’.

Likewise, claims of some of the medicinal properties attributed to cannabis metabolites would benefit from thorough scientific validation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31084880

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168945219301190?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Pharmacology of Medical Cannabis.

 “The Cannabis plant has been used for many of years as a medicinal agent in the relief of pain and seizures. It contains approximately 540 natural compounds including more than 100 that have been identified as phytocannabinoids due to their shared chemical structure. The predominant psychotropic component is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), while the major non-psychoactive ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds have been shown to be partial agonists or antagonists at the prototypical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The therapeutic actions of Δ9-THC and CBD include an ability to act as analgesics, anti-emetics, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-seizure compounds and as protective agents in neurodegeneration. However, there is a lack of well-controlled, double blind, randomized clinical trials to provide clarity on the efficacy of either Δ9-THC or CBD as therapeutics. Moreover, the safety concerns regarding the unwanted side effects of Δ9-THC as a psychoactive agent preclude its widespread use in the clinic. The legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and for recreational use in some regions will allow for much needed research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmocology of medical cannabis. This brief review focuses on the use of cannabis as a medicinal agent in the treatment of pain, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the paucity of information, attention is paid to the mechanisms by which medical cannabis may act to relieve pain and seizures.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31332738

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-21737-2_8

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Interactions with Proteins: Insights from Structural Studies.

 “Cannabinoids have been widely used for recreational and medicinal purposes. The increasing legalization of cannabinoid use and the growing success in Medicinal Chemistry of cannabinoids have fueled recent interest in cannabinoid-sensing sites in receptor proteins. Here, we review structural data from high-resolution cryo-EM and crystallography studies that depict phytocannabinoid, endocannabinoid, and synthetic cannabinoid molecules bound to various proteins. The latter include antigen-binding fragment (Fab), cellular retinol binding protein 2 (CRBP2), fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR γ), and cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). Cannabinoid-protein complexes reveal the complex design of cannabinoid binding sites that are usually presented by conventional ligand-binding pockets on respective proteins. However, subtle differences in cannabinoid interaction with amino acids within the binding pocket often result in diverse consequences for protein function. The rapid increase in available structural data on cannabinoid-protein interactions will ultimately direct drug design efforts toward rendering highly potent cannabinoid-related pharmacotherapies that are devoid of side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31332733

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-21737-2_3

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Acute and short-term administrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol modulate major gut metabolomic regulatory pathways in C57BL/6 mice.

Scientific Reports “Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive compound in Cannabis, which is studied extensively for its medicinal value. A central gap in the science is the underlying mechanisms surrounding THC’s therapeutic effects and the role of gut metabolite profiles. Using a mass-spectrometry based metabolomics, we show here that intraperitoneal injection of THC in C57BL/6 mice modulates metabolic profiles that have previously been identified as integral to health. Specifically, we investigated the effects of acute (single THC injection denoted here as ‘1X’) and short -term (five THC injections on alternate days denoted as ‘5X’) THC administration on fecal and intestinal tissue metabolite profiles. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that THC administration alters host metabolism by targeting two prominent lipid metabolism pathways: glycerophospholipid metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31324830

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46478-0

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous