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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Secondary Metabolites Profiled in Cannabis Inflorescences, Leaves, Stem Barks, and Roots for Medicinal Purposes.

Scientific Reports “Cannabis research has historically focused on the most prevalent cannabinoids. However, extracts with a broad spectrum of secondary metabolites may have increased efficacy and decreased adverse effects compared to cannabinoids in isolation.

Cannabis’s complexity contributes to the length and breadth of its historical usage, including the individual application of the leaves, stem barks, and roots, for which modern research has not fully developed its therapeutic potential. This study is the first attempt to profile secondary metabolites groups in individual plant parts comprehensively.

We profiled 14 cannabinoids, 47 terpenoids (29 monoterpenoids, 15 sesquiterpenoids, and 3 triterpenoids), 3 sterols, and 7 flavonoids in cannabis flowers, leaves, stem barks, and roots in three chemovars available. Cannabis inflorescence was characterized by cannabinoids (15.77-20.37%), terpenoids (1.28-2.14%), and flavonoids (0.07-0.14%); the leaf by cannabinoids (1.10-2.10%), terpenoids (0.13-0.28%), and flavonoids (0.34-0.44%); stem barks by sterols (0.07-0.08%) and triterpenoids (0.05-0.15%); roots by sterols (0.06-0.09%) and triterpenoids (0.13-0.24%).

This comprehensive profile of bioactive compounds can form a baseline of reference values useful for research and clinical studies to understand the “entourage effect” of cannabis as a whole, and also to rediscover therapeutic potential for each part of cannabis from their traditional use by applying modern scientific methodologies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32094454

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-60172-6

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Untargeted characterization of extracts from Cannabis sativa L. cultivars by gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in high resolution mode.

Talanta“Elucidation of Cannabis composition is required to evaluate the potential of this plant for pharmacological uses, but also for implementation in breeding programs with agronomical purposes. The aim of the present study was to develop a method for untargeted analysis of polar and non-polar Cannabis extracts.

For this purpose, extracts from 17 cultivars of Cannabis sativa L. were analyzed by gas chromatography-time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS) and liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF MS/MS) in high resolution mode.

One hundred sixty-nine compounds were identified in the extracts by searching MS and MS/MS information. Among identified families, there were mainly cannabinoids, terpenoids, lipids and flavonoids, but also some interesting compounds such as amino and organic acids, among others.

Relative contents of terpenoids and cannabinoids in the same cultivars grown in greenhouse and field were compared. Compositional differences in the profile of terpenoids and cannabinoids between both types of grown conditions were found.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31816756

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0039914019310173?via%3Dihub

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Absence of Entourage: Terpenoids Commonly Found in Cannabis sativa Do Not Modulate the Functional Activity of Δ9-THC at Human CB1 and CB2 Receptors.

 View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Compounds present in Cannabis sativa such as phytocannabinoids and terpenoids may act in concert to elicit therapeutic effects. Cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) directly activate cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2); however, it is not known if terpenoids present in Cannabis also affect cannabinoid receptor signaling. Therefore, we examined six common terpenoids alone, and in combination with cannabinoid receptor agonists, on CB1 and CB2 signaling in vitro.

Results: α-Pinene, β-pinene, β-caryophyllene, linalool, limonene, and β-myrcene (up to 30-100 μM) did not change membrane potential in AtT20 cells expressing CB1 or CB2, or affect the response to a maximally effective concentration of the synthetic cannabinoid CP55,940. The presence of individual or a combination of terpenoids did not affect the hyperpolarization produced by Δ9-THC (10 μM): (CB1: control, 59%±7%; with terpenoids (10 μM each) 55%±4%; CB2: Δ9-THC 16%±5%, with terpenoids (10 μM each) 17%±4%). To investigate possible effect on desensitization of CB1 responses, all six terpenoids were added together with Δ9-THC and signaling measured continuously over 30 min. Terpenoids did not affect desensitization, after 30 min the control hyperpolarization recovered by 63%±6% in the presence of the terpenoids recovery was 61%±5%.

Discussion: None of the six of the most common terpenoids in Cannabis directly activated CB1 or CB2, or modulated the signaling of the phytocannabinoid agonist Δ9-THC. These results suggest that if a phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect exists, it is not at the CB1 or CB2 receptor level. It remains possible that terpenoids activate CB1 and CB2 signaling pathways that do not involve potassium channels; however, it seems more likely that they may act at different molecular target(s) in the neuronal circuits important for the behavioral effect of Cannabis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31559333

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0016

“Terpenoids and Phytocannabinoids Co-Produced in Cannabis Sativa Strains Show Specific Interaction for Cell Cytotoxic Activity. We found that in “high THC” or “high CBD” strains, phytocannabinoids are produced alongside certain sets of terpenoids. Only co-related terpenoids enhanced the cytotoxic activity of phytocannabinoids on MDA-MB-231 and HCT-116 cell lines. This was found to be most effective in natural ratios found in extracts of cannabis inflorescence.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31438532

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The “entourage effect”: Terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

“Mood disorders are the most prevalent mental conditions encountered in psychiatric practice. Numerous patients suffering from mood disorders present with treatment-resistant forms of depression, co-morbid anxiety, other psychiatric disorders and bipolar disorders.

Standardized essential oils (such as that of Lavender officinalis) have been shown to exert clinical efficacy in treating anxiety disorders. As endocannabinoids are suggested to play an important role in major depression, generalized anxiety and bipolar disorders, Cannabis sativa, was suggested for their treatment.

The endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the body including the brain, modulating many functions. It is involved in mood and related disorders, and its activity may be modified by exogenous cannabinoids.

CB1 and CB2 receptors primarily serve as the binding sites for endocannabinoids as well as for phytocannabinoids, produced by cannabis inflorescences. However, ‘cannabis’ is not a single compound product but is known for its complicated molecular profile, producing a plethora of phytocannabinoids alongside a vast array of terpenes.

Thus, the “entourage effect” is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids. Here we review the literature on the effects of cannabinoids and discuss the possibility of enhancing cannabinoid activity on psychiatric symptoms by the addition of terpenes and terpenoids.

Possible underlying mechanisms for the anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects are reviewed. These natural products may be an important potential source for new medications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31481004

http://www.eurekaselect.com/174648/article

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Terpenoids and Phytocannabinoids Co-Produced in Cannabis Sativa Strains Show Specific Interaction for Cell Cytotoxic Activity.

molecules-logo“Mixtures of different Cannabis sativa phytocannabinoids are more active biologically than single phytocannabinoids. However, cannabis terpenoids as potential instigators of phytocannabinoid activity have not yet been explored in detail.

Terpenoid groups were statistically co-related to certain cannabis strains rich in Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) or cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and their ability to enhance the activity of decarboxylase phytocannabinoids (i.e., THC or CBD) was determined.

Analytical HPLC and GC/MS were used to identify and quantify the secondary metabolites in 17 strains of C. sativa, and correlations between cannabinoids and terpenoids in each strain were determined. Column separation was used to separate and collect the compounds, and cell viability assay was used to assess biological activity.

We found that in “high THC” or “high CBD” strains, phytocannabinoids are produced alongside certain sets of terpenoids. Only co-related terpenoids enhanced the cytotoxic activity of phytocannabinoids on MDA-MB-231 and HCT-116 cell lines.

This was found to be most effective in natural ratios found in extracts of cannabis inflorescence. The correlation in a particular strain between THCA or CBDA and a certain set of terpenoids, and the partial specificity in interaction may have influenced the cultivation of cannabis and may have implications for therapeutic treatments.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31438532

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/17/3031

“Anticancer Terpenoids” https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-14027-8_5

“Anticancer effects of phytocannabinoids” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28560402

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Tandem mass spectrometric quantification of 93 terpenoids in Cannabis using static headspace (SHS) injections.

 Go to Volume 0, Issue ja“The therapeutic effect of Cannabis largely depends on the content of its pharmacologically active secondary metabolites, mainly phytocannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenoids. Recent studies suggest of therapeutic effects of specific terpenoids, as well as synergistic effects with other active compounds in the plant.

Although Cannabis contains an overwhelming milieu of terpenoids, only a limited number are currently reported and used for metabolic analysis of Cannabis chemovars. In this study, we report the development and validation of a method for simultaneous quantification of 93 terpenoids in Cannabis air-dried-inflorescences and extracts.

This method employs the full evaporation technique via a static headspace sampler, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SHS-GC-MS/MS). In the validation process, spiked terpenoids were quantified with acceptable repeatability, reproducibility, sensitivity and accuracy. Three medical Cannabis chemovars were used to study the effect of sample preparation and extraction methods on terpenoid profiles. This method was further ap-plied for studying the terpenoid profiles of sixteen different chemovars acquired at different dates.

Our results demonstrate that sample preparation methods may significantly impact the chemical fingerprint compared to the non-treated Cannabis. This emphasizes the importance of performing SHS extraction in order to study the natural terpenoid contents of che-movars. We also concluded that most inflorescences expressed relatively unique terpenoid profiles for the most pronounced terpenoids, even when sampled at different dates, although absolute concentrations may vary due to aging.

The suggested method offer an ideal tool for terpenoid profiling of Cannabis and set the scene for more comprehensive works in the fu-ture.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31369251

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.analchem.9b02844

“Anticancer Terpenoids”

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-14027-8_5

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The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Terpenoids from Cannabis.

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image

“Cannabinoids are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects in mammalians; however, the Cannabis plant also contains other compounds such as terpenoids, whose biological effects have not yet been characterized. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids with those of cannabidiol (CBD).

Materials and Methods: Essential oils prepared from three monoecious nonpsychoactive chemotypes of Cannabis were analyzed for their terpenoid content and subsequently studied pharmacologically for their anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo.

Results: In vitro, the three essential oils rich in terpenoids partly inhibited reactive oxygen intermediate and nitric oxide radical (NO) production in RAW 264.7 stimulated macrophages. The three terpenoid-rich oils exerted moderate anti-inflammatory activities in an in vivo anti-inflammatory model without affecting tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) serum levels.

Conclusions: The different Cannabis chemotypes showed distinct compositions of terpenoids. The terpenoid-rich essential oils exert anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities in vitro and in vivo, which vary according to their composition. Their effects seem to act independent of TNFα. None of the essential oils was as effective as purified CBD. In contrast to CBD that exerts prolonged immunosuppression and might be used in chronic inflammation, the terpenoids showed only a transient immunosuppression and might thus be used to relieve acute inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30596146

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0014

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Accumulation of bioactive metabolites in cultivated medical Cannabis.

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“There has been an increased use of medical Cannabis in the United States of America as more states legalize its use. Complete chemical analyses of this material can vary considerably between producers and is often not fully provided to consumers. As phytochemists in a state with legal medical Cannabis we sought to characterize the accumulation of phytochemicals in material grown by licensed commercial producers.

We report the development of a simple extraction and analysis method, amenable to use by commercial laboratories for the detection and quantification of both cannabinoids and terpenoids. Through analysis of developing flowers on plants, we can identify sources of variability of floral metabolites due to flower maturity and position on the plant. The terpenoid composition varied by accession and was used to cluster cannabis strains into specific types.

Inclusion of terpenoids with cannabinoids in the analysis of medical cannabis should be encouraged, as both of these classes of compounds could play a role in the beneficial medical effects of different cannabis strains.”

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In silico gene expression profiling in Cannabis sativa.

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“The cannabis plant and its active ingredients (i.e., cannabinoids and terpenoids) have been socially stigmatized for half a century. Luckily, with more than 430,000 published scientific papers and about 600 ongoing and completed clinical trials, nowadays cannabis is employed for the treatment of many different medical conditions. Nevertheless, even if a large amount of high-throughput functional genomic data exists, most researchers feature a strong background in molecular biology but lack advanced bioinformatics skills. In this work, publicly available gene expression datasets have been analyzed giving rise to a total of 40,224 gene expression profiles taken from cannabis plant tissue at different developmental stages. The resource presented here will provide researchers with a starting point for future investigations with Cannabis sativa.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28529696

“Today, cannabis and its derivatives are successfully employed for treatment of a large number of different pathological conditions. Cannabis sativa is a versatile plant – it is being used for medical as well as for industrial purposes. Like in other plants, the cannabis genome is highly redundant and difficult to resolve. It is very likely that false negatives have caused important transcripts to still be missing. Nevertheless, these 40,224 gene expression profiles will provide researchers with a valuable resource and important genomic insights for future investigations with Cannabis sativa.”  https://f1000research.com/articles/6-69/v1

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