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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A Systematic Review of Minor Phytocannabinoids With Promising Neuroprotective Potential

British Journal of Pharmacology “Embase and Pubmed were systematically searched for articles addressing the neuroprotective properties of phytocannabinoids, aside from cannabidiol and Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol, including Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Δ9 -THCA), Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9 -THCV), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), cannabichromevarin (CBCV), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabigerivarin (CBGV), cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA), cannabichromevarinic acid (CBCVA) cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA) and cannabinol (CBN).

CBG (range 5 mg.kg-1 to 20 mg.kg-1 ) and CBDV (range 0.2 mg.kg-1 to 400 mg.kg-1 ) displayed efficacy in models of Huntington’s disease and epilepsy.

CBC (10-75 mg.kg-1 ), Δ9 -THCA (20 mg.kg-1 ) and Δ9 -THCV (range 0.025-2.5 mg.kg-1 ) showed promise in models of seizure and hypomobility, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Limited mechanistic data showed CBG, VCE.003, VCE.003.2 and Δ9 -THCA mediated some of their effects through PPARy, but no other receptors were probed. Further studies with these phytocannabinoids, and their combinations, are warranted across a range of neurodegenerative disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32608035/

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.15185

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Use of Cannabis for Agitation in Patients With Dementia

 logo“Studies have reported changes in the endocannabinoid system in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), playing a role in the pathophysiology of AD. Cannabinoids have been shown to have neuroprotective properties, reduce neuroinflammation, and enhance neurogenesis. Evidence suggests that the utilization of marijuana products containing both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) or CBD alone have been effective and safe for use in older people with agitation associated with dementia.

A review in 2017 summarized positive findings for therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in agitation of AD and dementia, but there was no definitive conclusion because of varying cannabinoid products. Cannabinoids were shown to be well tolerated, with few short-term side effects. This differs from first-line medications utilized for dementia behaviors, which can have unwanted side effects. Further research regarding the safety, efficacy, and variability of these products in older people is needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32600509/

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ascp/tscp/2020/00000035/00000007/art00006;jsessionid=1ivcuvrvy4g1s.x-ic-live-03

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Cannabidiol Anticonvulsant Effect Is Mediated by the PI3Kγ Pathway

Neuropharmacology“The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (PKB/Akt)/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been associated with several pathologies in the central nervous system (CNS), including epilepsy. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that the PI3Kγ signaling pathway may mediate the powerful anticonvulsant properties associated with the cannabinoidergic system.

This work aims to investigate if the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol (CBD) are mediated by PI3Kγ.

CDB increased latency and reduced the severity of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures, as well as prevented postictal changes, such as neurodegeneration, microgliosis and astrocytosis, in WT animals, but not in PI3Kγ-/-. CBD in vivo effects were abolished by pharmacological inhibition of cannabinoid receptor or mTOR. In vitro, PI3Kγ inhibition or deficiency also changed CBD protection observed in glutamate-induced cell death assay. Thus, we suggest that the modulation of PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway is involved in the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects of CBD.

These findings are important not only for the elucidation of the mechanisms of action of CBD, which are currently poorly understood, but also to allow the prediction of therapeutic and side effects, ensuring efficacy and safety in the treatment of patients with epilepsy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32574650/

“CBD is anticonvulsant in a model of pilocarpine-induced behavioral seizures. CB1 receptor mediates the effects of CBD. PI3Kγ pathway mediates the anticonvulsant neuroprotective effects of CBD.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390820302240?via%3Dihub

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Neuroprotection or Neurotoxicity of Illicit Drugs on Parkinson’s Disease

life-logo“Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is currently the most rapid growing neurodegenerative disease and over the past generation, its global burden has more than doubled. The onset of PD can arise due to environmental, sporadic or genetic factors. Nevertheless, most PD cases have an unknown etiology.

Chemicals, such as the anthropogenic pollutant 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and amphetamine-type stimulants, have been associated with the onset of PD. Conversely, cannabinoids have been associated with the treatment of the symptoms’. PD and medical cannabis is currently under the spotlight, and research to find its benefits on PD is on-going worldwide.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32545328/

https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/10/6/86

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Cannabinoid 1 Receptor (CB1R) Antagonists Play a Neuroprotective Role in Chronic Alcoholic Hippocampal Injury Related to Pyroptosis Pathway

 Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research“Alcohol use disorders affect millions of people worldwide and there is growing evidence that excessive alcohol intake causes severe damage to the brain of both humans and animals.

Numerous studies on chronic alcohol exposure in animal models have identified that many functional impairments are associated with the hippocampus, which is a structure exhibiting substantial vulnerability to alcohol exposure. However, the precise mechanisms that lead to structural and functional impairments of the hippocampus are poorly understood.

Herein, we report a novel cell death type, namely pyroptosis, which accounts for alcohol neurotoxicity in mice.

Conclusions: Alcohol induces hippocampal pyroptosis, which leads to neurotoxicity thereby indicating that pyroptosis may be an essential pathway involved in chronic alcohol-induced hippocampal neurotoxicity. Further, cannabinoid receptors are regulated during this process, which suggests promising therapeutic strategies against alcohol-induced neurotoxicity through pharmacologic inhibition of CB1R.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32524615/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.14391

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Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Effects Induced by Cannabidiol and Cannabigerol in Rat CTX-TNA2 Astrocytes and Isolated Cortexes

ijms-logo“Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are Cannabis sativa terpenophenols.

Although CBD’s effectiveness against neurological diseases has already been demonstrated, nothing is known about CBG. Therefore, a comparison of the effects of these compounds was performed in two experimental models mimicking the oxidative stress and neurotoxicity occurring in neurological diseases.

Rat astrocytes were exposed to hydrogen peroxide and cell viability, reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis occurrence were investigated. Cortexes were exposed to K+ 60 mM depolarizing stimulus and serotonin (5-HT) turnover, 3-hydroxykinurenine and kynurenic acid levels were measured. A proteomic analysis and bioinformatics and docking studies were performed.

Both compounds exerted antioxidant effects in astrocytes and restored the cortex level of 5-HT depleted by neurotoxic stimuli, whereas sole CBD restored the basal levels of 3-hydroxykinurenine and kynurenic acid. CBG was less effective than CBD in restoring the levels of proteins involved in neurotransmitter exocytosis. Docking analyses predicted the inhibitory effects of these compounds towards the neurokinin B receptor.

Conclusion: The results in the in vitro system suggest brain non-neuronal cells as a target in the treatment of oxidative conditions, whereas findings in the ex vivo system and docking analyses imply the potential roles of CBD and CBG as neuroprotective agents.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32443623/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/10/3575

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CBD Suppression of EAE Is Correlated With Early Inhibition of Splenic IFN-γ + CD8+ T Cells and Modest Inhibition of Neuroinflammation

SpringerLink “In this study cannabidiol (CBD) was administered orally to determine its effects and mechanisms in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis (MS). We hypothesized that 75 mg/kg of oral CBD given for 5 days after initiation of disease would reduce EAE severity through suppression of either the early peripheral immune or late neuroimmune response.

EAE was induced in C57BL/6 mice at two different magnitudes, and peripheral inflammatory and neuroinflammatory responses were measured at days 3, 10, and 18. Th1, Th17, Tc1, Tc17, Tregs, and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) were identified from the lymph nodes and spleens of each mouse to determine if CBD altered the suppressor cell or inflammatory cell populations in secondary lymphoid tissues. Additionally, neuroinflammation was identified in brain and spinal cord tissues using various immunohistochemical techniques and flow cytometry.

Early treatment of EAE with oral CBD reduced clinical disease at the day 18 timepoint which correlated with a significant decrease in the percentage of MOG35-55 specific IFN-γ producing CD8+ T cells in the spleen at day 10. Analysis of both T cell infiltration and lesion size within the spinal cord also showed a moderate reduction in neuroinflammation within the central nervous system (CNS).

These results provide evidence that oral CBD suppressed the peripheral immune response that precedes neuroinflammation; however, analysis of the neuroinflammatory endpoints also suggest that the modest reduction in neuroinflammation was only partially responsible for CBD’s neuroprotective capability. Graphical Abstract CBD was administered orally for the first 5 days following initiation of EAE. CBD attenuated clinical disease, and we found that CBD suppressed IFN-γ producing CD8+ T cells in the spleen at day 10. There was also modest suppression of neuroinflammation.

Together these data demonstrate that early, oral administration of CBD protected mice from disease, but the modest effects on neuroinflammation suggest other mechanisms participate in CBD’s neuroprotective effect in EAE.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32440886/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11481-020-09917-8

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Beneficial effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THCV in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

Neurobiology of Disease“The antioxidant and CB2 receptor agonist properties of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV) afforded neuroprotection in experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD), whereas its CB1 receptor antagonist profile at doses lower than 5 mg/kg caused anti-hypokinetic effects.

In the present study, we investigated the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV (administered i.p. at 2 mg/kg for two weeks), which had not been investigated before.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV, both to delay the occurrence and to attenuate the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for patients with PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32387338

“Δ9-THCV exhibited anti-dyskinetic properties in L-DOPA-treated Pitx3ak mutant mice. It delayed the onset of dyskinetic signs and reduced their neurochemical changes. It also reduced their intensity when given once dyskinesia was already present. This potential adds to other properties of Δ9-THCV as antiparkinsonian therapy.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV to ameliorate adverse effects caused by L-DOPA, in particular delaying the occurrence and attenuating the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. This adds to its promising symptom-alleviating and neuroprotective properties described previously. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for PD patients.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996120301674?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol: A Brief Review of Its Therapeutic and Pharmacologic Efficacy in the Management of Joint Disease.

Cureus | LinkedIn“Cannabis use in the management of musculoskeletal diseases has gained advocacy since several states have legalized its recreational use.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a commercially available, non-neurotropic marijuana constituent, has shown promise in arthritic animal models by attenuating pro-inflammatory immune responses. Additional research has demonstrated the benefit of CBD in decreasing the endogenous pain response in mice subjected to acute arthritic conditions, and further studies have highlighted improved fracture healing following CBD use in murine mid-femoral fractures.

However, there is a lack of high-quality, novel research investigating the use of CBD in human musculoskeletal diseases aside from anecdotal accounts and retrospective reviews, perhaps due to legal ramifications limiting the enrollment of patients. The purpose of this review article is to highlight the extent of current research on CBD and its biochemical and pharmacologic efficacy in the treatment of joint disease, as well as the evidence for use of CBD and cannabis in patients undergoing joint arthroplasty.

Based on available literature relying on retrospective data and case reports, it is challenging to propose a recommendation for CBD use in perioperative pain management. Additionally, a number of CBD products currently available as supplements with different methods of administration, and it is important to remember that these products are non-pharmaceuticals. However, given the increased social relevance of CBD and cannabis-based medicines, future, prospective controlled studies evaluating their efficacy are needed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32328386

https://www.cureus.com/articles/28249-cannabidiol-a-brief-review-of-its-therapeutic-and-pharmacologic-efficacy-in-the-management-of-joint-disease

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