Cannabinoids as anticancer therapeutic agents.

Cell Cycle Journal are Co-Sponsoring #ACCM15 – The Cell Division Lab “The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativaCannabinoids are active chemical compounds produced by cannabis, and their numerous effects on the human body are primarily exerted through interactions with cannabinoid receptor types 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2). Cannabinoids are broadly classified as endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids. In this review, we will describe the activity of cannabinoids on the cellular level, comprehensively summarize the activity of all groups of cannabinoids on various cancers and propose several potential mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on cancer cells.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32249682

“Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can be used for cancer therapy. Cannabis extracts have stronger anti-tumor capacity than single cannabinoids. Combination of several cannabinoids may have more potent effect on cancer.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15384101.2020.1742952?journalCode=kccy20

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MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling via TLR3 and TLR4 are differentially modulated by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in human macrophages.

Journal of Neuroimmunology“Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are sensors of pathogen-associated molecules that trigger inflammatory signalling in innate immune cells including macrophages. All TLRs, with the exception of TLR3, promote intracellular signalling via recruitment of the myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) adaptor, while TLR3 signals via Toll-Interleukin-1 Receptor (TIR)-domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon (IFN)-β (TRIF) adaptor to induce MyD88-independent signalling. Furthermore, TLR4 can activate both MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling (via TRIF).

The study aim was to decipher the impact of the highly purified plant-derived (phyto) cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), when delivered in isolation and in combination (1:1), on MyD88-dependent and -independent signalling in macrophages.

TLRs are attractive therapeutic targets given their role in inflammation and initiation of adaptive immunity, and data herein indicate that both CBD and THC preferentially modulate TLR3 and TLR4 signalling via MyD88-independent mechanisms in macrophages. This offers mechanistic insight into the role of phytocannabinoids in modulating cellular inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32244040

https://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(20)30057-6/pdf

“Cannabinoids have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory activities in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models as well as ameliorate various inflammatory degenerative diseases. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a major constituent of Cannabis. The second major constituent of Cannabis extract is cannabidiol (CBD). Both THC and CBD have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory properties and to modulate the function of immune cells. In summary, our results show that although both THC and CBD exert anti-inflammatory effects, the two compounds engage different, although to some extent overlapping, intracellular pathways. Both THC and CBD decrease the activation of proinflammatory signaling.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804319/

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The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

 SpringerLink“Cannabis has been used for thousands of years in many cultures for the treatment of several ailments including pain.

The benefits of cannabis are mediated largely by cannabinoids, the most prominent of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As such, THC and/or CBD have been investigated in clinical studies for the treatment of many conditions including neuropathic pain and acute or chronic inflammation.

While a plethora of studies have examined the biochemical effects of purified THC and/or CBD, only a few have focused on the effects of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract. Accordingly, studies using purified THC or CBD may not accurately reflect the potential health benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.

Indeed, the cannabis plant produces a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive molecules which are likely to contribute to the different biological effects. The presence of all these bioactive molecules in cannabis extracts has garnered much attention of late especially with regard to their potential role in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.:

Herein, the current knowledge about the potential beneficial effects of existing products of full-spectrum cannabis extract in clinical studies involving patients with multiple sclerosis is extensively reviewed. In addition, the possible adverse effects associated with cannabis use is discussed along with how the method of extraction and the delivery mechanisms of different cannabis extracts contribute to the pharmacokinetic and biological effects of full-spectrum cannabis extracts.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32239248

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00011-020-01341-1

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Cannabidiolic acid dampens the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells: Possible implication of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ abrogation.

The Journal of Toxicological Sciences “A growing body of experimental evidence strongly suggests that cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), a major component of the fiber-type cannabis plant, exerts a variety of biological activities.

We have reported that CBDA can abrogate cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and its enzymatic activity. It is established that aberrant expression of COX-2 correlates with the degree of malignancy in breast cancer.

Although the reduction of COX-2 expression by CBDA offers an attractive medicinal application, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects have not fully been established.

It has been reported that COX-2 expression is positively controlled by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ) in some cancerous cells, although there is “no” modulatory element for PPARβ/δ on the COX-2 promoter. No previous studies have examined whether an interaction between PPARβ/δ-mediated signaling and COX-2 expression exists in MDA-MB-231 cells.

We confirmed, for the first time, that COX-2 expression is positively modulated by PPARβ/δ-mediated signaling in MDA-MB-231 cells. CBDA inhibits PPARβ/δ-mediated transcriptional activation stimulated by the PPARβ/δ-specific agonist, GW501516. Furthermore, the disappearance of cellular actin stress fibers, a hallmark of PPARβ/δ and COX-2 pathway activation, as evoked by the GW501516, was effectively reversed by CBDA. Activator protein-1 (AP-1)-driven transcriptional activity directly involved in the regulation of COX-2 was abrogated by the PPARβ/δ-specific inverse agonists (GSK0660/ST-247). Thus, it is implicated that there is positive interaction between PPARβ/δ and AP-1 in regulation of COX-2.

These data support the concept that CBDA is a functional down-regulator of COX-2 through the abrogation of PPARβ/δ-related signaling, at least in part, in MDA-MB-231 cells.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32238697

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jts/45/4/45_227/_article

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Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant.

molecules-logo “Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)-as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa.

However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself.

In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32235333

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/7/1567

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From Cannabis sativa to Cannabidiol: Promising Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

frontiers in pharmacology – Retraction Watch“Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana, contains a pool of secondary plant metabolites with therapeutic effects.

Besides Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol that is the principal psychoactive constituent of Cannabiscannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid and may represent a prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development for human pathologies where both the inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) play an important role to their etiology and progression.

To this regard, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative disorders, are characterized by extensive oxidative damage to different biological substrates that can cause cell death by different pathways. Most cases of neurodegenerative diseases have a complex etiology with a variety of factors contributing to the progression of the neurodegenerative processes; therefore, promising treatment strategies should simultaneously target multiple substrates in order to stop and/or slow down the neurodegeneration.

In this context, CBD, which interacts with the eCB system, but has also cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism, might be a good candidate as a prototype for anti-oxidant drug development for the major neurodegenerative disorders, such as PD and AD. This review summarizes the multiple molecular pathways that underlie the positive effects of CBD, which may have a considerable impact on the progression of the major neurodegenerative disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32210795

“The present review provided evidence that the nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoids CBD could be a potential pharmacological tool for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders; its excellent safety and tolerability profile in clinical studies renders it a promising therapeutic agent.

The molecular mechanisms associated with CBD’s improvement in PD and AD are likely multifaceted, and although CBD may act on different molecular targets all the beneficial effects are in some extent linked to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, as observed in in vitro and in vivo studies. Therefore, this review describes evidence to prove the therapeutical efficacy of CBD in patients affected by neurodegenerative disorders and promotes further research in order to better elucidate the molecular pathways involved in the therapeutic potential of CBD.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00124/full

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Endocannabinoid system and cardiometabolic risk factors: A comprehensive systematic review insight into the mechanistic effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

Life Sciences“Increased levels of endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA) have a pathophysiological role in the setting of cardiometabolic diseases. This systematic review was carried out to appraise the effect of omega-3 on cardiometabolic risk factors by highlighting the mediating effect of endocannabinoids.

Eleven animal studies and two human studies showed a marked reduction in 2-AG and AEA levels following intake of omega-3 which correlated with decreased adiposity, weight gain and improved glucose homeostasis. Moreover, endocannabinoids were elevated in three studies that replaced omega-3 with omega-6.

Omega-3 showed anti-inflammatory properties due to reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines, regulation of T-cells function and increased levels of eicosapentaenoyl ethanolamide, docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide and oxylipins; however, a limited number of studies examined a correlation between inflammatory cytokines and endocannabinoids following omega-3 administration.

In conclusion, omega-3 modulates endocannabinoid tone, which subsequently attenuates inflammation and cardiometabolic risk factors. However, further randomized clinical trials are needed before any recommendations are made to target the ECS using omega-3 as an alternative therapy to drugs for cardiometabolic disease improvement.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32184122

“Endocannabinoid system (ECS) may mediate favorable effects of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiometabolic disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids showed anti-inflammatory effects due to increased levels of ethanolamide and oxylipins. Plant-derived omega-3 may be as effective as animal-derived omega-3 in ECS modulation. Omega-3 may have a potential to be an alternative to drugs for cardiometabolic disease improvement.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320520303040?via%3Dihub

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The molecular mechanisms that underpin the biological benefit of full spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain and inflammation.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease“Cannabis has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases.

The biological effect of cannabis is mainly attributed to two major cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. In the majority of studies to-date, a purified tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone or in combination have been extensively examined in many studies for the treatment of numerous disorders including pain and inflammation. However, few studies have investigated the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis plant extract.

Given that cannabis is known to generate a large number of cannabinoids along with numerous other biologically relevant products including terpenes, studies involving purified tetrahydrocannabinol and/or cannabidiol may not precisely consider the potential biological benefits of the full-spectrum cannabis extracts. This may be especially true in the role of cannabis as a treatment of pain and inflammation. Herein, we review the pre-clinical physiological and molecular mechanisms in biological systems that are affected by cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32201189

“Full-spectrum cannabis extract demonstrates several convincing beneficial anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in preclinical studies. Full-spectrum cannabis extract may represent a promising therapeutic agent that seems to benefit a variety of conditions associated with pain and inflammation.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925443920301162?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol attenuates behavioral changes in a rodent model of schizophrenia through 5-HT1A, but not CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Pharmacological Research“Preclinical and clinical data indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, can induce antipsychotic-like effects.

These data suggest that CBD induces antipsychotic-like effects by activating 5-HT1A receptors and indicate that this compound could be an interesting alternative for the treatment of negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32151683

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661819315439?via%3Dihub

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An overview of cannabis based treatment in Crohn’s disease.

 Publication Cover“Cannabis use among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients is common. There are many studies of various laboratory models demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis, but their translation to human disease is still lacking.

Areas covered: The cannabis plant contains many cannabinoids, that activate the endocannabinoid system. The two most abundant phytocannabinoids are the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the (mostly) anti-inflammatory cannabidiol (CBD). Approximately 15% of IBD patients use cannabis to ameliorate disease symptoms. Unfortunately, so far there are only three small placebo controlled study regarding the use of cannabis in active Crohns disease, combining altogether 93 subjects. Two of the studies showed significant clinical improvement but no improvement in markers of inflammation.

Expert opinion: Cannabis seems to have a therapeutic potential in IBD. This potential must not be neglected; however, cannabis research is still at a very early stage. The complexity of the plant and the diversity of different cannabis chemovars create an inherent difficulty in cannabis research. We need more studies investigating the effect of the various cannabis compounds. These effects can then be investigated in randomized placebo controlled clinical trials to fully explore the potential of cannabis treatment in IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32149543

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17474124.2020.1740590?journalCode=ierh20

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