Targeting of Protein’s Messenger RNA for Viral Replication, Assembly and Release in SARS-CoV-2 Using Whole Genomic Data From South Africa: Therapeutic Potentials of Cannabis Sativa L

frontiers in pharmacology – Retraction Watch“The possible evolutionary trend of COVID-19 in South Africa was investigated by comparing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from a patient in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with those isolated from China, Spain, Italy, and United States, as well as the genomes of Bat SARS CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV), and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Phylogenetic analysis revealed a strong homology (96%) between the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from the study countries as well as those isolated from bat SARS CoV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV.

The ability of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis sativa infusion to interact with gene segments (mRNAs) coding for proteins implicated in viral replication, assembly and release were also investiagted using computational tools. Hot water infusion of C. sativa leaves was freeze-dried and subjected to Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy analysis which revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabispiran, cannabidiol tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol, and cannabinol. Molecular docking analysis revealed strong binding affinities and interactions between the phytocannabinoids and codon mRNAs for ORF1ab, Surface glycoprotein, Envelope protein and Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 whole genome which may be due to chemico-biological interactions as a result of nucleophilic/electrophilic attacks between viral nucleotides and cannabinoids.

These results depict the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also portray the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2. However, further studies are needed to verify these activities in pre-clinical and clinical studies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34539415/

“Taken together, the results from this study indicates a homology between the genome of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and those isolated from Europe, Asia and North America, as well as those isolated from bat SARS COV, MERS-CoV, MHV and IBV. Thus, depicting the spread of the virus is intercontinental and might have evolved from other coronaviruses. The results also indicate the phytocannabinoids of C. sativa infusion as potential therapies against COVID-19 as depicted by their ability to molecularly interact with codon mRNAs of proteins implicated in the replication, translation, assembly, and release of SARS-CoV-2.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.736511/full

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A Review of the Potential Use of Pinene and Linalool as Terpene-Based Medicines for Brain Health: Discovering Novel Therapeutics in the Flavours and Fragrances of Cannabis

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“”Medicinal cannabis” is defined as the use of cannabis-based products for the treatment of an illness. Investigations of cannabis compounds in psychiatric and neurological illnesses primarily focus on the major cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which are hypothesised to benefit multiple illnesses manifesting cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation, as well as chronic pain, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, respectively.

The cannabis plant contains >500 compounds, including terpenes responsible for the flavour and fragrance profiles of plants. Recently, research has begun providing evidence on the potential use of certain plant-derived terpenes in modern medicine, demonstrating anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects of these compounds.

This review examined the effects of two key terpenes, pinene and linalool, on parameters relevant to neurological and psychiatric disorders, highlighting gaps in the literature and recommendations for future research into terpene therapeutics.

Overall, evidence is mostly limited to preclinical studies and well-designed clinical trials are lacking. Nevertheless, existing data suggests that pinene and linalool are relevant candidates for further investigation as novel medicines for illnesses, including stroke, ischemia, inflammatory and neuropathic pain (including migraine), cognitive impairment (relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and ageing), insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Linalool and pinene influence multiple neurotransmitter, inflammatory and neurotrophic signals as well as behaviour, demonstrating psycho-activity (albeit non-intoxicating).   Optimising the phytochemical profile of cannabis chemovars to yield therapeutic levels of beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids, such as linalool, pinene and CBD, could present a unique opportunity to discover novel medicines to treat psychiatric and neurological illnesses; however, further research is needed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34512404/

“Overall, it appears that the importance of the terpene profile of plants to humans extends further than mere olfactory and gustatory delight. Rather, these compounds have the potential for use as treatments for serious chronic neurological and psychiatric illnesses.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211/full

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Cannabidiol Effectively Promoted Cell Death in Bladder Cancer and the Improved Intravesical Adhesion Drugs Delivery Strategy Could Be Better Used for Treatment

pharmaceutics-logo“Cannabidiol (CBD), a primary bioactive phytocannabinoid extracted from hemp, is reported to possess potent anti-tumorigenic activity in multiple cancers.

However, the effects of CBD on bladder cancer (BC) and the underlying molecular mechanisms are rarely reported.

Here, several experiments proved that CBD promoted BC cells (T24, 5637, and UM-UC-3) death.

In summary, this work demonstrates that CBD may become a novel reliable anticancer drug and the developed intravesical adhesion system is expected to turn into a potential means of BC chemotherapy drug delivery.

We believe that our study makes a significant contribution to the field because these results can be developed as a promising strategy for a safer and more efficient anticancer therapy.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/13/9/1415/htm

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Cannabinoids and Cancer

cancers-logo“Cannabinoids, active components of the plant Cannabis sativa, had been used for centuries in ancient medicine as therapeutic remedies for a variety of conditions, before becoming stigmatized due to their psychoactive effects.

In the second half of the 19th century, phyto-cannabinoids have been re-evaluated after the discovery of the chemical structure and isolation of different substances, and the subsequent development of cannabinoid-based drugs that have been FDA approved mainly to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea, insomnia and appetite, epilepsy, spasticity, and pain management.

Then, the elucidation of the endocannabinoid system, from the initial type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2) cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands (especially N-arachidonoylethanolamine, or anandamide, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) to the emerging complexity of a wider system made up of additional putative receptors, ligands and enzymes, altogether termed endocannabinoidome, has further boosted research into the therapeutic potential of phyto-, endo- and even syntho-(synthetic) cannabinoids, cancer treatment included.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34503268/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/17/4458/htm

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The antitumor activity of cannabidiol on lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1299: the role of apoptosis

Publication Cover“In the recent years, the application of new antitumor drugs has focused on the replacement of conventional chemotherapeutics with compounds derived from natural products.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa and is characterized with complex and not entirely understood biological function. Unlike the other most abundant cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa – tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol has low affinity to the endocannabinoid receptors and the manifestation of its activity does not appear to rely on the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabidiol is used in the treatment of many diseases including some types of cancer.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the cytotoxic activity of cannabidiol and its effect on the process of programmed cell death. This process is directly involved in the antitumor effect of many drugs.

We found that CBD treatment led to a dose-dependant apoptosis increase in p53 positive A549 cells.

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have antineoplastic effect and are usually accompanied with no negative side effects such as the ones produced by the conventional chemotherapy treatment.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13102818.2021.1915870

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Cannabidiol Induces Apoptosis and Perturbs Mitochondrial Function in Human and Canine Glioma Cells

Frontiers in Pharmacology (@FrontPharmacol) | Twitter“Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is frequently used both as a nutraceutical and therapeutic.

Despite anecdotal evidence as an anticancer agent, little is known about the effect CBD has on cancer cells. Given the intractability and poor prognoses of brain cancers in human and veterinary medicine, we sought to characterize the in vitro cytotoxicity of CBD on human and canine gliomas.

Glioma cells treated with CBD showed a range of cytotoxicity from 4.9 to 8.2 μg/ml; canine cells appeared to be more sensitive than human.

These results demonstrate the cytotoxic nature of CBD in human and canine glioma cells and suggest a mechanism of action involving dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial activity.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34456736/

“In this present study, we demonstrate that highly purified CBD isolate reduced proliferation and induced caspase-mediated cell death, suggestive of apoptosis, in both canine glioma cell lines SDT3G and J3TBG as well as the human glioma cell lines U87MG and U373MG Uppsala. The growing body of knowledge of the pharmacology, anticancer effects, and other therapeutically relevant properties of cannabidiol reveal the exciting potential of CBD as a potential clinical therapeutic.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.725136/full

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Cannabidiol reverses memory impairments and activates components of the Akt/GSK3β pathway in an experimental model of estrogen depletion

Behavioural Brain Research“Clinical and preclinical evidence has indicated that estrogen depletion leads to memory impairments and increases the susceptibility to neural damage.

Here, we have sought to investigate the effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa, on memory deficits induced by estrogen depletion in rats, and its underlying mechanisms.

Results revealed that ovariectomy impaired avoidance memory, and CBD was able to completely reverse estrogen depletion-induced memory impairment. Ovariectomy also reduced Akt/GSK3β pathway’s activation by decreasing the phosphorylation levels of Akt and GSK3β and Bcl2 levels, which were ameliorated by CBD.

The present results indicate that CBD leads to a functional recovery accompanied by the Akt/GSK3β survival pathway’s activation, supporting its potential as a treatment for estrogen decline-induced deterioration of neural functioning and maintenance.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34450240/

“In the present study, we aimed to understand the possible neuroprotective effect of CBD against estrogen depletion-induced emotional memory deficits, using an animal model of ovariectomy-induced estrogen depletion. Once CBD and estradiol modulate a common pathway, we speculated whether CBD would be able to reverse the deleterious effect of estradiol decline observed in menopause. Results revealed that ovariectomy impaired avoidance memory, and CBD was able to completely reverse estrogen depletion-induced memory impairment.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166432821004435?via%3Dihub

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Changes in Hepatic Phospholipid Metabolism in Rats under UV Irradiation and Topically Treated with Cannabidiol

antioxidants-logo“The liver is a key metabolic organ that is particularly sensitive to environmental factors, including UV radiation. As UV radiation induces oxidative stress and inflammation, natural compounds are under investigation as one method to counteract these consequences.

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of topical application of phytocannabinoid-cannabidiol (CBD) on the skin of nude rats chronically irradiated with UVA/UVB, paying particular attention to its impact on the liver antioxidants and phospholipid metabolism.

The results of this study indicate that CBD reaches the rat liver where it is then metabolized into decarbonylated cannabidiol, 7-hydroxy-cannabidiol and cannabidiol-glucuronide. CBD increased the levels of GSH and vitamin A after UVB radiation. Moreover, CBD prevents the increase of 4-hydroxynonenal and 8-iso-prostaglandin-F levels in UVA-irradiated rats. As a consequence of reductions in phospholipase A2 and cyclooxygenases activity following UV irradiation, CBD upregulates the level of 2-arachidonoylglycerol and downregulates prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. Finally, CBD enhances decreased level of 15-deoxy-Δ-12,14-prostaglandin J2 after UVB radiation and 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid after UVA radiation.

These data show that CBD applied to the skin prevents ROS- and enzyme-dependent phospholipid metabolism in the liver of UV-irradiated rats, suggesting that it may be used as an internal organ protector.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34439405/

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/8/1157

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Cannabidiol – A phytocannabinoid that widely affects sphingolipid metabolism under conditions of brain insulin resistance

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“Obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and attenuated brain insulin signaling are significant risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders, e.g., Alzheimer’s disease. IR and type 2 diabetes correlate with an increased concentration of sphingolipids, a class of lipids that play an essential structural role in cellular membranes and cell signaling pathways.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa plant that interacts with the endocannabinoidome. Despite known positive effects of CBD on improvement in diabetes and its aftermath, e.g., anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, there are no studies evaluating the effect of phytocannabinoids on the brain insulin resistance and sphingolipid metabolism. Our experiment was carried out on Wistar rats that received a high-fat diet and/or intraperitoneal CBD injections.

In our study, we indicated inhibition of de novo synthesis and salvage pathways, which resulted in significant changes in the concentration of sphingolipids, e.g., ceramide and sphingomyelin. Furthermore, we observed reduced brain IR and decreased tau protein phosphorylation what might be protective against neuropathologies development.

We believe that our research will concern a new possible therapeutic approach with Cannabis -plant derived compounds and within a few years, cannabinoids would be considered as prominent substances for targeting both metabolic and neurodegenerative pathologies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34435590/

“CBD might be an essential factor that leads to the reduction of brain IR. Thus, we believe that our research will concern a new possible therapeutic approach with a Cannabis-plant derived compounds and within a few years, those substances would be considered as prominent compounds for targeting both metabolic and neurodegenerative pathologies.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221008404?via%3Dihub

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Add-on cannabidiol in patients with Dravet syndrome: Results of a long-term open-label extension trial

“Objective: Add-on cannabidiol (CBD) reduced seizures associated with Dravet syndrome (DS) in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials: GWPCARE1 Part B (NCT02091375) and GWPCARE2 (NCT02224703). Patients who completed GWPCARE1 Part A (NCT02091206) or Part B, or GWPCARE2, were enrolled in a long-term open-label extension trial, GWPCARE5 (NCT02224573). We present an interim analysis of the safety, efficacy, and patient-reported outcomes from GWPCARE5.

Methods: Patients received a pharmaceutical formulation of highly purified CBD in oral solution (100 mg/ml), titrated from 2.5 to 20 mg/kg/day over a 2-week period, added to their existing medications. Based on response and tolerance, CBD could be reduced or increased to 30 mg/kg/day.

Results: Of the 330 patients who completed the original randomized trials, 315 (95%) enrolled in this open-label extension. Median treatment duration was 444 days (range = 18-1535), with a mean modal dose of 22 mg/kg/day; patients received a median of three concomitant antiseizure medications. Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 97% patients (mild, 23%; moderate, 50%; severe, 25%). Commonly reported AEs were diarrhea (43%), pyrexia (39%), decreased appetite (31%), and somnolence (28%). Twenty-eight (9%) patients discontinued due to AEs. Sixty-nine (22%) patients had liver transaminase elevations >3 × upper limit of normal; 84% were on concomitant valproic acid. In patients from GWPCARE1 Part B and GWPCARE2, the median reduction from baseline in monthly seizure frequency assessed in 12-week periods up to Week 156 was 45%-74% for convulsive seizures and 49%-84% for total seizures. Across all visit windows, ≥83% patients/caregivers completing a Subject/Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale reported improvement in overall condition.

Significance: We show that long-term CBD treatment had an acceptable safety profile and led to sustained, clinically meaningful reductions in seizure frequency in patients with treatment-resistant DS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34406656/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/epi.17036

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