Betacaryophyllene – A phytocannabinoid as potential therapeutic modality for human sepsis?

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“Sepsis is a clinical condition resulting from a dysregulated immune response to an infection that leads to organ dysfunction. Despite numerous efforts to optimize treatment, sepsis remains to be the main cause of death in most intensive care units.

The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in inflammation. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) activation is immunosuppressive, which might be beneficial during the hyper-inflammatory phase of sepsis.

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a non-psychoactive natural cannabinoid (phytocannabinoid) found in Cannabis sativa and in essential oils of spices and food plants, that acts as a selective agonist of CB2R.

We propose BCP administration as novel treatment to reduce hyper-inflammation in human sepsis.”

Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders.

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“Learning to associate cues or contexts with potential threats or rewards is adaptive and enhances survival. Both aversive and appetitive memories are therefore powerful drivers of behaviour but the inappropriate expression of conditioned responding to fear- and drug-related stimuli can develop into anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders, respectively. These disorders are associated with abnormally persistent emotional memories and inadequate treatment, often leading to symptom relapse.

Studies show that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, reduces anxiety via serotonin1A and (indirect) cannabinoid receptor activation in paradigms assessing innate responses to threat.

Accumulating evidence from animal studies investigating the effects of cannabidiol on fear memory processing also indicates that it reduces learned fear in paradigms that are translationally relevant to phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cannabidiol does so by reducing fear expression acutely, and by disrupting fear memory reconsolidation and enhancing fear extinction, both of which can result in the lasting reduction of learned fear.

Recent studies have also begun to determine the effects of cannabidiol on drug memory expression using paradigms with translational relevance to addiction. Emerging evidence suggests that cannabidiol reduces the expression of drug memories acutely and by disrupting their reconsolidation.

Here we review the literature demonstrating the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol before focusing on studies investigating its effects on various fear and drug memory processes. Understanding how cannabidiol regulates emotion and emotional memory processing may eventually lead to its use in treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders.”

Evaluation of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol metabolites and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic rats.

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Cannabis has been known to be the oldest psychoactive plant for years. It is classified in the Cannabis genus, which is part of the Cannabacea family.

Cannabis sativa L. is the most common species. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive constituent identified in Cannabis sativa L.

THC is the most notable cannabinoid among all phytocannabinoids.

THC is exposed to degradation and converted into its active and inactive metabolites that are conjugated with glucuronic acid, and excreted in urine. THC is converted to active metabolite, 11-hydroxy-Δ9-THC (11-OH-THC), and then converted to an inactive metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy- Δ9-THC (THC – COOH).

ElSohly and Slade mention that C. sativa and its products have been used as medicinal agents.

Cannabinoids show a variety of therapeutic effects against chronic pain and muscle spasms, nausea and anorexia caused by HIV treatment, vomiting and nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy as well as anorexia associated with weight loss caused by immune deficiency syndrome.

Many studies report that THC provides protection against neuronal injury in a cell culture model of Parkinson disease and experimental models of Huntington disease, exhibits anti-oxidative action and mitigates the severity of the autoimmune response in an experimental model of diabetes.

The development and progression of diabetes mellitus and its complications arise out of increased oxidative damage. Kassab and Piwowar report that the best-known pathways of diabetic complications include oxidative stress.

The aims of the study presented in this paper were: (a) to explain the effects of THC on oxidative stress in T2DM treated with THC and (b) to determine the level of THC metabolites in the urine of diabetic and control rats induced by THC injection.

The object of the study is to examine the effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) against oxidative stress in the blood and excretion of THC metabolites in urine of type 2 diabetic rats.

These findings highlight that THC treatment may attenuate slightly the oxidative stress in diabetic rats.”

β-Caryophyllene, a phytocannabinoid attenuates oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, glial activation, and salvages dopaminergic neurons in a rat model of Parkinson disease.

“Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) area.

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of β-caryophyllene (BCP) against rotenone-induced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a rat model of PD.

The findings demonstrate that BCP provides neuroprotection against rotenone-induced PD and the neuroprotective effects can be ascribed to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”

Cannabidiol Counteracts Amphetamine-Induced Neuronal and Behavioral Sensitization of the Mesolimbic Dopamine Pathway through a Novel mTOR/p70S6 Kinase Signaling Pathway.

“Schizophrenia-related psychosis is associated with disturbances in mesolimbic dopamine (DA) transmission, characterized by hyperdopaminergic activity in the mesolimbic pathway. Currently, the only clinically effective treatment for schizophrenia involves the use of antipsychotic medications that block DA receptor transmission. However, these medications produce serious side effects leading to poor compliance and treatment outcomes.

Emerging evidence points to the involvement of a specific phytochemical component of marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD), which possesses promising therapeutic properties for the treatment of schizophrenia-related psychoses.

Our findings demonstrate a novel mechanism for the putative antipsychotic-like properties of CBD in the mesolimbic circuitry. We identify the molecular signaling pathways through which CBD may functionally reduce schizophrenia-like neuropsychopathology.


The cannabis-derived phytochemical, cannabidiol (CBD), has been shown to have pharmacotherapeutic efficacy for the treatment of schizophrenia.

However, the mechanisms by which CBD may produce antipsychotic effects are entirely unknown. Using preclinical behavioral procedures combined with molecular analyses and in vivo neuronal electrophysiology, our findings identify a functional role for the nucleus accumbens as a critical brain region whereby CBD can produce effects similar to antipsychotic medications by triggering molecular signaling pathways associated with the effects of classic antipsychotic medications.

Specifically, we report that CBD can attenuate both behavioral and dopaminergic neuronal correlates of mesolimbic dopaminergic sensitization, via a direct interaction with mTOR/p70S6 kinase signaling within the mesolimbic pathway.”

Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

“Recruitment of the brown-like phenotype in white adipocytes (browning) and activation of existing brown adipocytes are currently being investigated as a means to combat obesity.

The present study was designed to investigate the effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a major nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa, on induction of browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

These data suggest possible roles for CBD in browning of white adipocytes, augmentation of lipolysis, thermogenesis, and reduction of lipogenesis.

In conclusion, the current data suggest that CBD plays dual modulatory roles in the form of inducing the brown-like phenotype as well as promoting lipid metabolism.

Thus, CBD may be explored as a potentially promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity.”

Cannabidiol, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis sativa.

It has possible therapeutic effects over a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders.

CBD attenuates brain damage associated with neurodegenerative and/or ischemic conditions.

It also has positive effects on attenuating psychotic-, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors.

Moreover, CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis.

The mechanisms of these effects are still not entirely clear but seem to involve multiple pharmacological targets.

In the present review, we summarized the main biochemical and molecular mechanisms that have been associated with the therapeutic effects of CBD, focusing on their relevance to brain function, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders.”

Cannabidiol Rescues Acute Hepatic Toxicity and Seizure Induced by Cocaine.

“Cocaine is a commonly abused illicit drug that causes significant morbidity and mortality. The most severe and common complications are seizures, ischemic strokes, myocardial infarction, and acute liver injury. Here, we demonstrated that acute cocaine intoxication promoted seizure along with acute liver damage in mice, with intense inflammatory infiltrate.

Considering the protective role of the endocannabinoid system against cell toxicity, we hypothesized that treatment with an anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor, URB597, or with a phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), protects against cocaine toxicity.

URB597 (1.0 mg/kg) abolished cocaine-induced seizure, yet it did not protect against acute liver injury.

Using confocal liver intravital microscopy, we observed that CBD reduced acute liver inflammation and damage induced by cocaine and prevented associated seizure.

Additionally, we showed that previous liver damage induced by another hepatotoxic drug (acetaminophen) increased seizure and lethality induced by cocaine intoxication, linking hepatotoxicity to seizure dynamics.

These findings suggest that activation of cannabinoid system may have protective actions on both liver and brain induced by cocaine, minimizing inflammatory injury promoted by cocaine, supporting its further clinical application in the treatment of cocaine abuse.”

The cannabinoid CB₂ receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

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“The widespread plant volatile beta-caryophyllene (BCP) was recently identified as a natural selective agonist of the peripherally expressedcannabinoid receptor 2 (CB₂).

…the natural plant product BCP may be highly effective in the treatment of long lasting, debilitating pain states. Our results have important implications for the role of dietary factors in the development and modulation of chronic pain conditions.

Cannabis preparations, which have been used since thousands of years for the treatment of pain have recently come again into the focus as potential therapeutics for inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions. Currently, cannabis extracts and synthetic preparations of the psychoactive cannabis compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been approved in many countries for clinical pain management at doses and formulations that show on only minor central side effects…

A natural selective agonist for CB2 receptors is the plant volatile BCP, which represents a dietary phytocannabinoid. BCP is found in large amounts in the essential oils of many common spices and food plants… Several health effects have been attributed to BCP or medicinal plants containing BCP, including anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-fibrotic and anxiolytic-like activity.

In the present study, we investigated the analgesic effects of BCP in formalin-induced inflammation model and in a model of neuropathic pain, which involves the partial ligation of the sciatic nerve… BCP is the first natural CB2 receptor agonist, which could orally reduce inflammatory responses in different animal models of pain.

Thus, it is likely that BCP belongs to a group of common plant natural products with major potential impact on human health.

The oral intake of this dietary cannabinoid with vegetable food could be advantageous in the daily routine clinical practice over synthetic cannabinoid agonists.”

Protective effects of cannabidiol on lesion-induced intervertebral disc degeneration.

“Disc degeneration is a multifactorial process that involves hypoxia, inflammation, neoinnervation, accelerated catabolism, and reduction in water and glycosaminoglycan content…

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa (up to 40% of Cannabis extracts). Contrary to most cannabinoids, CBD does not produce psychotomimetic or cognitive effects. Interesting, in the last years it has been suggest that CBD produces a plethora of others pharmacological effects, including antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-proliferative, anti-anxiety, hypnotic and antiepileptic, anti-nausea, anti-ischemic, anti-hyperalgesic, and anti-inflammatory…

The present study investigated the effects of cannabidiol intradiscal injection in the coccygeal intervertebral disc degeneration induced by the needle puncture model using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histological analyses…

 Cannabidiol significantly attenuated the effects of disc injury induced by the needle puncture. Considering that cannabidiol presents an extremely safe profile and is currently being used clinically, these results suggest that this compound could be useful in the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration.

 In summary our study revealed anti-degenerative effects of intradiscal microinjection of CBD 120 nmol. CBD represents one of the most promising candidates present in the Cannabis sativa plant for clinical use due to its remarkable lack of cognitive or psychotomimetic actions.”