Therapeutic cannabinoids in multiple sclerosis: immunomodulation revisited.

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Cannabinoids are compounds with pleiotropic properties that act on the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and are divided into endocannabinoids, the endogenous ligands of these receptors, synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.

The latter are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of this plant have been observed and used for centuries.

Of the over 60 compounds that are unique to Cannabis sativa, the substances that have been attributed the greatest therapeutic potential are Δ9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both of which, used alone or combined with each other, have become approved drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29633480

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ene.13658

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Anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, in experimental allergic contact dermatitis.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

“Phytocannabinoids modulate inflammatory responses by regulating the production of cytokines in several experimental models of inflammation.

Cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor activation was shown to reduce the production of the monocyte chemotactic protein-2 (MCP-2) chemokine in polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly-(I:C)]-stimulated human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, an in vitro model of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

We investigated if non-psychotropic cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) produced similar effects in this experimental model of ACD.

This is the first demonstration of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in an experimental model of ACD.”

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Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis

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“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. The symptoms of MS are highly varied but frequently include pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation, and depression. These symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity, negatively impact functional mobility, and have a detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life.

Although recent years have seen significant advances in disease modifying therapy, none of the current treatments halts or cures MS related symptoms. As a consequence, many people with MS (PwMS) look for alternative and complementary therapies such as cannabis.

The cannabis plant contains many biologically active chemicals, including ~60 cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are typically the most concentrated chemical components of cannabis and believed to primarily drive therapeutic benefit.

There is evidence that CBD has a number of beneficial pharmacological effects. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective. The review of 132 original studies by Bergamaschi et al. describes the safety profile of CBD by highlighting that catalepsy is not induced and physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature) are not altered. Moreover, psychomotor and psychological functions are not negatively affected. High doses of up to 1,500 mg per day and chronic use have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.

Additionally, there is also evidence that CBD may reduce the negative psychotropic effects, memory impairment, and appetite stimulation, anxiety and psychotic-like states of THC while enhancing its positive therapeutic actions.

 Anecdotal reports indicate that an increasing number of PwMS use cannabis (medical marijuana) as a supplement to improve their mobility.

Based on the following considerations, it is our opinion that CBD supplementation maybe advisable for PwMS to reduce fatigue, pain, spasticity, and ultimately improve mobility. “

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00183/full

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Medical cannabis for paediatric developmental–behavioural and psychiatric disorders

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“Humans have used marijuana for millennia, variously as a spiritual sacrament, herbal medicine, dietary supplement or psychoactive inebriant. Use of Medical Cannabis (MC) is advocated for an increasing range of medical indications. Anecdotally, use of naturally occurring cannabis (phytocannabinoids) is said to have a calming effect in some children. There has been little drug discovery work in the field of child and adolescent mental health for many years, and there is an urgent need to develop safe and effective therapeutics for this vulnerable patient group. Medical cannabis may be one such treatment. In summary, MC has potential as a therapeutic option in the management of paediatric mental health symptoms; however, the evidence to support its use for these patients is not yet in. ” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpc.13902

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Cannabidiol exerts antiepileptic effects by restoring hippocampal interneuron functions in a temporal lobe epilepsy model.

British Journal of Pharmacology banner

“A non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), shows promising results as an effective potential antiepileptic drug in some forms of refractory epilepsy.

In an attempt to understand the mechanisms by which CBD exerts its anti-seizure effects, we investigated the effects of CBD at synaptic connections, and the intrinsic membrane properties of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and two major inhibitory interneurons: fast spiking, parvalbumin -expressing (PV) and adapting, cholecystokinin-expressing (CCK) interneurons.

CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS:

In conclusion, our data suggest CBD restores excitability and morphological impairment in epileptic models to pre-epilepsy control levels through multiple mechanisms to restore normal network function.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29574880

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14202

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Glial expression of cannabinoid CB(2) receptors and fatty acid amide hydrolase are beta amyloid-linked events in Down’s syndrome.

Neuroscience

“Recent data suggest that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be involved in the glial response in different types of brain injury. Both acute and chronic insults seem to trigger a shift in the pattern of expression of some elements of this system from neuronal to glial. Specifically, data obtained in human brain tissue sections from Alzheimer’s disease patients showed that the expression of cannabinoid receptors of the CB(2) type is induced in activated microglial cells while fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) expression is increased in reactive astrocytes. The present study was designed to determine the time-course of the shift from neuronal to glial induction in the expression of these proteins in Down‘s syndrome, sometimes referred to as a human model of Alzheimer-like beta-amyloid (Abeta) deposition. Here we present immunohistochemical evidence that both CB(2) receptors and FAAH enzyme are induced in Abeta plaque-associated microglia and astroglia, respectively, in Down‘s syndrome. These results suggest that the induction of these elements of the ECS contributes to, or is a result of, amyloid deposition and subsequent plaque formation. In addition, they confirm a striking differential pattern of distribution of FAAH and CB(2) receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18068305

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306452207012924

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Toxicity, Cannabinoids.

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“Cannabinoids are a collective group of compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors. They include plant-derived phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and endogenously-derived endocannabinoids. The primary source of cannabinoid toxicity is from plant-derived cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. These agents act as cannabinoid receptor agonists. More than 60 naturally occurring cannabinoids are found in the Sativa and Indica species of Cannabis, with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the main psychoactive compound. Other naturally occurring cannabinoids include cannabidiol and cannabinol. Marijuana is the most common colloquial name for crushed, dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant. In recent years, there have been many reports of marijuana toxicity, primarily in the pediatric population, as medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized. The terms phytocannabinoids, marijuana and cannabis are used interchangeably. Synthetic cannabinoids were created for therapeutic and research purposes; however, despite legal efforts to limit their availability, synthetic cannabinoids have become an increasingly common drug of abuse, sold under various street names such as K2, Spice, and Black Mamba. Synthetic cannabinoids are associated with much more morbidity and mortality than the phytocannabinoids. Prescription preparations for medical usage include dronabinol, or pure THC, nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, and cannabidiol (CBD). Pharmaceutical use of cannabinoids is an ongoing field of research.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29489164

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482175/

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Cannabidiol inhibits pathogenic T cells, decreases spinal microglial activation and ameliorates multiple sclerosis-like disease in C57BL/6 mice.

British Journal of Pharmacology

“Cannabis extracts and several cannabinoids have been shown to exert broad anti-inflammatory activities in experimental models of inflammatory CNS degenerative diseases.

Clinical use of many cannabinoids is limited by their psychotropic effects. However, phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), devoid of psychoactive activity, are, potentially, safe and effective alternatives for alleviating neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Treatment with CBD during disease onset ameliorated the severity of the clinical signs of EAE.

CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, ameliorates clinical signs of EAE in mice, immunized against MOG. Suppression of microglial activity and T-cell proliferation by CBD appeared to contribute to these beneficial effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21449980

“In summary, we have shown that CBD administered to MOG-immunized C57BL/6 mice, at the onset of EAE disease, reduced the severity of the clinical signs of EAE. CBD treatment was accompanied by diminished axonal loss and inflammation (infiltration of T cells and microglial activation). Moreover, CBD prevented proliferation of myelin-specific T cells in vitro. These observations suggest that CBD may have potential for alleviating MS-like pathology.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01379.x/full

“Study Shows Cannabidiol (CBD) Improves MS-Like Symptoms”  http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=31211

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Time-dependent effect of phytocannabinoid treatments in fat cells.

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“The objectives of this paper is to investigate, demonstrate, and compare the mechanism of action of phytocannabinoids as antidiabetic and anti-obesity agents in preadipocytes and adipocytes, relative to rosiglitazone and metformin.

Briefly, cannabis extract, Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (in very low dosages) were shown to promote glucose uptake higher or to equivalent levels, reduce fat accumulation, and reverse the insulin-resistant state of 3T3-L1 cells more effectively, relative to rosiglitazone and metformin. The phytocannabinoids had a more pronounced effect in preadipocytes undifferentiated model rather than the differentiated model. They induced a protective effect at the mitochondrial level by preventing overactivity of the succinate dehydrogenase pathway (p < .01), unlike rosiglitazone, through activation of the glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase shuttling system. An increase in oxygen consumption and an increased expression of beta to alpha adrenoceptors (p < .05) in treated cells were noted.

These findings contribute toward understanding the mechanism of action of phytocannabinoids in fat cells and highlight the antidiabetic and anti-obesity properties of various phytocannabinoids that could potentially support the treatment of obesity-related insulin resistance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29464872

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Identification of a sustainable two-plant diet that effectively prevents age-related metabolic syndrome and extends lifespan in aged mice.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

“The current system of food production is linked to both the increasing prevalence of chronic disease and the deterioration of the environment, and thereby calls for novel ways of producing nutritious foods in a sustainable manner.

In the “longevity village” of Bama, China, we have identified two plant foods, hemp seed and bitter vegetable (Sonchus oleraceus), that are commonly consumed by its residents and grow abundantly in unfarmed land without fertilizers or pesticides.

Here, we show that a diet composed of these two foods (the “HB diet”) provides a sufficient variety of nutrients and confers significant health benefits.

Aged mice allowed ad libitum access to the HB diet not only had longer life spans and improved cognitive function but were also protected against age-related metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, gut dysbiosis and chronic inflammation compared to aged mice fed a control Western diet.

Furthermore, longevity-related genes (including 5’adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, sirtuin 1, nuclear respiratory factor 1 and forkhead box O3) were significantly up-regulated, while aging-related genes (including mammalian target of rapamycin and nuclear factor kappa B) were down-regulated.

These results demonstrate that the HB diet is capable of promoting health and longevity, and present a sustainable source of healthy foods that can help control the prevalence of chronic diseases and reduce agricultural impact on the environment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080417

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286316303461?via%3Dihub

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