Cannabimimetic plants: are they new cannabinoidergic modulators?

“Phytochemicals and secondary metabolites able to interact with the endocannabinoid system (Cannabimimetics) have been recently described in a broad range of plants and fruits. These findings can open new alternative avenues to explore for the development of novel therapeutic compounds. The cannabinoids regulate many physiological and pathological functions in both animals and plants. Cannabis sativa is the main plant that produces phytocannabinoids inside resins capable to defend the plant from the aggression of parasites and herbivores. Animals produce anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, which thanks to binding with main receptors such as type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) and the type-2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) are involved in inflammation processes and several brain functions. Endogenous cannabinoids, enzymes for synthesis and degradation of cannabinoids, and CB1R and CB2R constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Other plants can produce cannabinoid-like molecules such as perrottetinene extracted from Radula perrottetii, or anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol extracted from some bryophytes. Moreover, several other secondary metabolites can also interact with the ECS of animals and take the name of cannabimimetics. These phytoextracts not derived from Cannabis sativa can act as receptor agonists or antagonist, or enzyme inhibitors of ECS and can be involved in the inflammation, oxidative stress, cancer, and neuroprotection. Finally, given the evolutionary heterogeneity of the cannabimimetic plants, some authors speculated on the fascinating thesis of the evolutionary convergence between plants and animals regarding biological functions of ECS. The review aims to provide a critical and complete assessment of the botanical, chemical and therapeutic aspects of cannabimimetic plants to evaluate their spread in the world and medicinal potentiality.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30877436

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00425-019-03138-x

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Epidiolex as adjunct therapy for treatment of refractory epilepsy: a comprehensive review with a focus on adverse effects.

 

Image result for F1000Res. journal

“Medically refractory epilepsy remains an area of intense clinical and scientific interest since a significant porportion of patients continue to suffer from debilitating seizures despite available therapies. In this setting, recent studies have focused on assessing the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD)-enriched cannabis, a plant based product without psychoactive properties which has been shown to decrease seizure frequency in animal models. More recently, several randomized controlled and open label trials have studied the effects of Epidiolex, a 99% pure oral CBD extract, on patients with refractory epilepsy. This in turn has led to the FDA approval of and more recently, to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s placement of Epidiolex into schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In this review, we summarize the major findings of several recent large-scale studies using this product with a focus on its adverse effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30854190

“The recent FDA approval of Epidiolex combined with the placement of this compound in schedule V of the CSA (the least restrictive schedule of the CSA) has created a much-needed opportunity for the continued study of high-concentration, regulated CBD as a potential therapy for refractory epilepsy. Although recent RCTs and open-label extended-access programs have already demonstrated significant improvement in seizure frequency and severity with a relatively well-tolerated side effect profile for this compound, continued monitoring of Epidiolex is needed to further asses the long-term safety and efficacy, particularly with regard to immune, cognitive, hormonal, and reproductive function. Furthermore, there have been no large-scale RCTs demonstrating significant seizure reduction with Epidiolex in patients with focal onset seizures. Nonetheless, to date, Epidiolex has proven to be an attractive treatment option for an otherwise devastating group of epileptic syndromes. Future studies expanding our knowledge of this compound will be helpful in better understanding its role in the future of epilepsy treatment.”  https://f1000research.com/articles/8-234/v1

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Promoting cannabis products to pharmaceutical drugs.

European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

“Cannabis sativa is widely used for medical purposes. However, to date, aroma, popular strain name or the content of two phytocannabinoids-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are mostly considered for therapeutic activity. This is despite the hundreds of compounds in this plant and their potential synergistic interactions in mixtures. New, specific and effective cannabis-based drugs must be developed to achieve adequate medical standards for the use of cannabis. To do this, the comprehensive molecular profile of cannabis-based drugs must be defined, and mixtures of compounds should be tested for superior therapeutic activity due to synergistic effects compared to individually isolated cannabis compounds. The biological pathways targeted by these new drugs should also be characterized more accurately. For drug development and design, absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination versus toxicity (ADME/Tox) must be characterized, and therapeutic doses identified. Promoting the quality and therapeutic activity of herbal or synthetic cannabis products to pharma grade is a pressing need worldwide.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30851400

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928098719300880?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System.

molecules-logo

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has lately been proven to be an important, multifaceted homeostatic regulator, which influences a wide-variety of physiological processes all over the body. Its members, the endocannabinoids (eCBs; e.g., anandamide), the eCB-responsive receptors (e.g., CB₁, CB₂), as well as the complex enzyme and transporter apparatus involved in the metabolism of the ligands were shown to be expressed in several tissues, including the skin. Although the best studied functions over the ECS are related to the central nervous system and to immune processes, experimental efforts over the last two decades have unambiguously confirmed that cutaneous cannabinoid (“c[ut]annabinoid”) signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch. The current review aims to give an overview of the available skin-relevant endo- and phytocannabinoid literature with a special emphasis on the putative translational potential, and to highlight promising future research directions as well as existing challenges.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30845666

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/5/918

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol’s Promise for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder.

 Related image“Substance use disorder is characterized by repeated use of a substance, leading to clinically significant distress, making it a serious public health concern. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in common neurobiological processes underlying substance use disorder, in particular by mediating the rewarding and motivational effects of substances and substance-related cues. In turn, a number of cannabinoid drugs (e.g., rimonabant, nabiximols) have been suggested for potential pharmacological treatment for substance dependence. Recently, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, has also been proposed as a potentially effective treatment for the management of substance use disorder. Animal and human studies suggest that these cannabinoids have the potential to reduce craving and relapse in abstinent substance users, by impairing reconsolidation of drug-reward memory, salience of drug cues, and inhibiting the reward-facilitating effect of drugs. Such functions likely arise through the targeting of the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems, although the exact mechanism is yet to be elucidated. This article seeks to review the role of the endocannabinoid system in substance use disorder and the proposed pharmacological action supporting cannabinoid drugs’ therapeutic potential in addictions, with a focus on CBD. Subsequently, this article will evaluate the underlying evidence for CBD as a potential treatment for substance use disorder, across a range of substances including nicotine, alcohol, psychostimulants, opioids, and cannabis. While early research supports CBD’s promise, further investigation and validation of CBD’s efficacy, across preclinical and clinical trials will be necessary.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30837904

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00063/full

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Plant-Based Modulators of Endocannabinoid Signaling.

Journal of Natural Products

“Extracts from Cannabis species have aided the discovery of the endocannabinoid signaling system (ECSS) and phytocannabinoids that possess broad therapeutic potential. Whereas the reinforcing effects of C. sativa are largely attributed to CB1 receptor agonism by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the observed medicinal effects of Cannabis arise from the combined actions of various compounds. In addition to compounds bearing a classical cannabinoid structure, naturally occurring fatty acid amides and esters resembling anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol isolated from non- Cannabis species are also valuable tools for studying ECSS function. This review highlights the potential of plant-based secondary metabolites from Cannabis and unrelated species as ECSS modulators.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30816712

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00874

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Complete biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast

Image result for nature journal

“Cannabis sativa L. has been cultivated and used around the globe for its medicinal properties for millennia. Some cannabinoids, the hallmark constituents of Cannabis, and their analogues have been investigated extensively for their potential medical applications. Certain cannabinoid formulations have been approved as prescription drugs in several countries for the treatment of a range of human ailments. However, the study and medicinal use of cannabinoids has been hampered by the legal scheduling of Cannabis, the low in planta abundances of nearly all of the dozens of known cannabinoids, and their structural complexity, which limits bulk chemical synthesis. Here we report the complete biosynthesis of the major cannabinoids cannabigerolic acid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, cannabidiolic acid, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid and cannabidivarinic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, from the simple sugar galactose. To accomplish this, we engineered the native mevalonate pathway to provide a high flux of geranyl pyrophosphate and introduced a heterologous, multi-organism-derived hexanoyl-CoA biosynthetic pathway. We also introduced the Cannabis genes that encode the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of olivetolic acid, as well as the gene for a previously undiscovered enzyme with geranylpyrophosphate:olivetolate geranyltransferase activity and the genes for corresponding cannabinoid synthases. Furthermore, we established a biosynthetic approach that harnessed the promiscuity of several pathway genes to produce cannabinoid analogues. Feeding different fatty acids to our engineered strains yielded cannabinoid analogues with modifications in the part of the molecule that is known to alter receptor binding affinity and potency. We also demonstrated that our biological system could be complemented by simple synthetic chemistry to further expand the accessible chemical space. Our work presents a platform for the production of natural and unnatural cannabinoids that will allow for more rigorous study of these compounds and could be used in the development of treatments for a variety of human health problems.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-0978-9

“Yeast can produce THC, CBD, novel cannabinoids”  https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2019/02/28/Yeast-can-produce-THC-CBD-novel-cannabinoids/4411551303863/

“Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids”  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/uoc–ypl022419.php

“Engineered yeast can brew up the active ingredients in cannabis plants”  https://www.newscientist.com/article/2195103-engineered-yeast-can-brew-up-the-active-ingredients-in-cannabis-plants/

“High grade cannabis chemicals produced using brewing yeast”  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/cannabis-drug-produced-yeast-marijuana-thc-cbd-medicine-california-a8799576.html

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Lung alveolar tissue destruction and protein citrullination in diesel exhaust exposed mouse lungs.

Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology banner

“Humanity faces an increasing impact of air pollution worldwide, including threats to human health. Air pollutants prompt and promote chronic inflammation, tumourigenesis, autoimmune and other destructive processes in the human body.

Post-translational modification of proteins, e.g. citrullination, results from damaging attacks of pollutants, including smoking, air pollution and others, rendering host tissues immunogenic. Citrullinated proteins and citrullinating enzymes, deiminases, are more prevalent in patients with COPD and correlate with ongoing inflammation and oxidative stress.

In this study, we installed an in-house-designed diesel exhaust delivery and cannabidiol vaporization system where mice were exposed to relevant, urban traffic-related levels of diesel exhaust for 14 days and assessed integrity of alveolar tissue, gene expression shifts and changes in protein content in the lungs and other tissues of exposed mice. Systemic presence of modified proteins was also tested.

The protective effect of phytocannabinoids was investigated as well.

Data obtained in our study show subacute effects of diesel exhaust on mouse lung integrity and protein content. Emphysematous changes are documented in exposed mouse lungs. In parallel, increased levels of citrulline were detected in the alveolar lung tissue and peripheral blood of exposed mice.

Pretreatment with vaporized cannabidiol ameliorated some damaging effects.

Results reported hereby provide new insights into subacute lung tissue changes that follow diesel exhaust exposure and suggest possible dietary and/or other therapeutic interventions for maintaining lung health and healthy ageing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30801928

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bcpt.13213

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Cannabinoids: a new approach for pain control?

Image result for ovid journal

“To analyze available data related to the use of cannabinoids in medicine, with a special focus on pain management in cancer. The use of cannabis for medical purposes is growing but there are still numerous questions to be solved: effectiveness, safety, and specific indications.

RECENT FINDINGS:

There is considerable variation between countries in the approaches taken, reflecting a variety of historical and cultural factors and despite few randomized controlled studies using natural cannabinoids, there is a trend to state that the use of cannabis should be taken seriously as a potential treatment of cancer-related pain. Cannabidiol, a nontoxic phytocannabinoid with few side-effects is promising in various indications in medicine.

SUMMARY:

The endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target. Cannabinoids may be considered as potential adjuvant in cancer-related pain management. Cannabidiol appears to be the drug of choice. Analgesic trial designs should evolve to get closer to real-life practice and to avoid biases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30789867

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00001622-900000000-00002

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous

Increased expression of cannabinoid CB2 and serotonin 5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes in a model of newborn hypoxic-ischemic brain damage.

Neuropharmacology

“Preclinical work shows cannabidiol as a promising drug to manage neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (NHIBD). The molecular mechanism is not well defined but the beneficial effects of this phytocannabinoid are blocked by antagonists of both cannabinoid CB2(CB2R) and serotonin 5-HT1A (5-HT1AR) receptors that, in addition, may form heteromers in a heterologous expression system. Using bioluminescence energy transfer, we have shown a direct interaction of the two receptors that leads to a particular signaling in a heterologous system. A property attributed to the heteromer, namely cross-antagonism, was found in primary cultures of neurons thus indicating the occurrence of the receptor heteromer in the CNS. Oxygen-glucose deprivation to neurons led to an increase of CB2R-mediated signaling and an upregulation of CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex expression. In situ proximity ligation assays in brain cortical section were performed to compare the expression of CB2-5-HT1A complexes in rat E20 fetuses and at different postnatal days. The expression, which is elevated in fetus and shortly after birth, was sharply reduced at later ages (even at P7). The expression of heteromer receptors was more marked in a model of NHIBD and, remarkably, the drop in expression was significantly delayed with respect to controls. These results indicate that CB2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complex may be considered as a target in the therapy of the NHIBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30738036

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390819300462?via%3Dihub

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous