Modulation of the endocannabinoid system: vulnerability factor and new treatment target for stimulant addiction

Image result for frontiers in psychiatry“Interestingly, increasing recent evidence points toward the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECBS) in the neurobiological processes related to stimulant addiction.

This article presents an up-to-date review with deep insights into the pivotal role of the ECBS in the neurobiology of stimulant addiction and the effects of its modulation on addictive behaviors. This article aims to: (1) review the role of cannabis use and ECBS modulation in the neurobiological substrates of psychostimulant addiction and (2) evaluate the potential of cannabinoid-based pharmacological strategies to treat stimulant addiction.

A growing number of studies support a critical role of the ECBS and its modulation by synthetic or natural cannabinoids in various neurobiological and behavioral aspects of stimulants addiction. Thus, cannabinoids modulate brain reward systems closely involved in stimulants addiction, and provide further evidence that the cannabinoid system could be explored as a potential drug discovery target for treating addiction across different classes of stimulants.

Interestingly, emerging human data supports a role for ECBS modulation in vulnerability to psychostimulant addiction, and more significantly in addictive behaviors among dependent individuals. Accumulating evidence thus points to the ECBS as a critical target for the development of pharmacotherapies for the treatment of addiction to psychostimulants.

Given the various neuropharmacological actions of exogenous cannabinoids, and their ability to modulate the acute reinforcing effects of drugs, data on Δ9-THC and CBD is particularly promising as to the potential use of cannabinoids in relapse prevention strategies for psychostimulant-dependent individuals.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00109/full

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The effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain control efficacy and safety: A systematic review and network meta-analysis.

“To determine the effects of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their administration routes on pain and adverse euphoria events.

Randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of cannabis or cannabinoids on pain reduction.

RESULTS:

A total of 25 studies involving 2270 patients were included. We found that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol (THC/CBD) (oromucosal route), THC (oromucosal route), and standardized dried cannabis (with THC; SCT; inhalation route) could reduce neuropathic pain score (SMD -0.41, 95% CI -0.7 to -0.1; -0.61, 95% CI -1.2 to -0.02; and -0.77, 95% CI -1.4 to -0.2; respectively). For nociceptive pain, only standardized cannabis extract (with THC; SCET) via oral route could reduce pain score (SMD -1.8, 95% C; -2.4 to -1.2). In cancer pain, THC/CBD via oromucosal route and THC via oral or oromucosal route could reduce pain score (SMD -0.7, 95% CI -1.2 to -0.2; and -2.1, 95% CI -2.8 to -1.4; respectively). No study was observed for THC/CBD via oral route or inhalation or THC via inhalation for cancer and nociceptive pain, SCET via oromucosal route or inhalation for neuropathic and cancer pain, THC via oromucosal route for nociceptive pain, and SCT via oromucosal or oral route for neuropathic, cancer, and nociceptive pain. Statistically significant increased risks of euphoria were observed in THC/CBD (oromucosal), THC (oromucosal), and SCT (inhalation).

CONCLUSION:

The use of cannabis and cannabinoids via certain administration routes could reduce different types of pain. Product developers could consider our findings as part of their product design so that the effective route of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain control can be achieved.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31495691

https://www.japha.org/article/S1544-3191(19)30353-X/fulltext

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Combination of Cannabinoids, Δ9- Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol, Ameliorates Experimental Multiple Sclerosis by Suppressing Neuroinflammation Through Regulation of miRNA-Mediated Signaling Pathways.

 Image result for frontiers in immunology“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and disabling disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by neuroinflammation leading to demyelination.

Recently a combination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from Cannabis has been approved in many parts of the world to treat MS-related spasticity. THC+CBD combination was also shown to suppresses neuroinflammation, although the mechanisms remain to be further elucidated.

In the current study, we demonstrate that THC+CBD combination therapy (10 mg/kg each) but not THC or CBD alone, attenuates murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by reducing neuroinflammation and suppression of Th17 and Th1 cells.

Collectively, this study suggests that combination of THC+CBD suppresses neuroinflammation and attenuates clinical EAE development and that this effect is associated with changes in miRNA profile in brain-infiltrating cells.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31497013

“Combination of THC+CBD has been used to treat human MS. This treatment is known to decrease not only muscle spasticity but also suppress neuroinflammation.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01921/full

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Real world experience of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the treatment of spasticity using tetrahydrocannabinol:cannabidiol (THC:CBD).

Image result for bmc neurology“Treatment of spasticity poses a major challenge in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient management.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray (THC:CBD), approved for the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis, serves as a complementary off-label treatment option in ALS-related spasticity.

The mean dose THC:CBD were 5.5 daily actuations (range < 1 to 20). Three subgroups of patients were identified: 1) high-dose daily use (≥ 7 daily actuations, 34%, n = 11), 2) low-dose daily use (< 7 daily actuations, 50%, n = 16), 3) infrequent use (< 1 daily actuation, 16%, n = 5). Overall NPS was + 4.9 (values above 0 express a positive recommendation to fellow patients). Remarkably, patients with moderate to severe spasticity (NRS ≥ 4) reported a high recommendation rate (NPS: + 29) in contrast to patients with mild spasticity (NRS < 4; NPS: - 44). For the three main domains of TSQM-9 high mean satisfaction levels were found (maximum value 100): effectiveness 70.5 (±22.3), convenience 76.6 (±23.3) and global satisfaction 75.0 (±24.7).

CONCLUSION:

THC:CBD is used in a wide dose range suggesting that the drug was applied on the basis of individual patients’ needs and preferences. Contributing to this notion, moderate to severe spasticity was associated with an elevated number of daily THC:CBD actuations and stronger recommendation rate (NPS) as compared to patients with mild spasticity. Overall, treatment satisfaction (TSQM-9) was high. The results suggest that THC:CBD may serve as a valuable addition in the spectrum of symptomatic therapy in ALS. However, prospective studies and head-to-head comparisons to other spasticity medications are of interest to further explore the effectiveness of THC:CBD in the management of spasticity, and other ALS-related symptoms.”

“Overall, patients reported outcomes as assessed by TSQM-9 revealed a high treatment satisfaction with THC:CBD. The results of our study suggest that THC:CBD may serve as an important addition to the spectrum of treatment options of spasticity in ALS.”
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[Dronabinol in geriatric pain and palliative care patients : A retrospective evaluation of statutory-health-insurance-covered outpatient medical treatment].

 

“Geriatric patients often suffer from a long history of pain and have a limited life expectancy.

Cannabinoid receptor agonists like dronabinol may be an effective, low-risk treatment option for geriatric patients with chronic pain.

OBJECTIVES:

The effectiveness and side effects of dronabinol therapy in geriatric patients are analyzed. The effects of the approval requirement are presented.

RESULTS:

By using dronabinol, 21 of the 40 geriatric patients (52.5%) achieved pain relief of more than 30%, 10% of the patients of more than 50%. On average, about four symptoms or side effects related to previous treatment were positively influenced. 26% of patients reported side effects. The rejection rates on the part of the health insurances were 38.7% (group A) and 10.3% (group B).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study is one of the few analyses of the use of Dronabinol in geriatric patients. We show that cannabis-based drugs (in this case dronabinol) are an effective, low-risk treatment option that should be considered early in therapy. Regarding the indication spectrum, further clinical studies and an approval-free test phase are necessary.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31473816

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00482-019-00408-1

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Cannabis-based treatments as an alternative remedy for epilepsy

Integrative Medicine Research“Much of the initial reports for cannabis use in seizure control centered on the compound 9-Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, due to the psychoactive properties of THC potential utility was somewhat limited and recent research has focused on non-psychoactive compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD).

The anti-seizure effects of CBD may come from mechanisms such as functional agonism or antagonism at several 7-transmembrane receptors, ion channels, and neurotransmitter transporters.

Recently, another compound that also is without psychoactive effects known as CBDV has also shown anti-seizure properties both in vivo and in vitro.

Many reports exist on illicit cannabis use through the smoking of marijuana by patients as a self-treatment.

Cannabis and cannabis-based treatments offer promising alternatives to traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

Due to the unfortunate fact that many patients suffer from Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), cannabis-based treatments have great value.

Cannabis-based treatments offer some patients with DRE a great remedy for their condition with limited side effects.

This option may prevent some patients with DRE from needing to consider more invasive options such as surgical interventions. In case studies, open label studies, and RCTs, one can see drastic improvements in the frequency of seizures in patients with certain forms of epilepsy.

It is imperative to continue research into cannabis as a potential primary treatment for epilepsy, particularly those with DRE, to help improve quality of life for millions of people suffering from epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31463193

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221342201930157X?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol may be effective against methamphetamine induced mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation by modulation of Toll-like type-4(Toll-like 4) receptors and NF-κB signaling.

Medical Hypotheses“The neurodegeneration, neuro-inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction which occur by methamphetamine (METH) abuse or administration are serious and motivation therapeutic approaches for inhibition of these types of neurodegeneration. As we know, METH through Toll-like receptors (TLRs), specially type 4, and NF-κB signaling pathway causes neuro-inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Neuroprotective approach for management of METH-induced neurodegeneration, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, through a novel neuroprotective agent is continuously being superior to any kind of other therapeutic strategy. Therefore, the clarification, introduction and development of efficacious novel neuroprotective agent are demanded. During recent years, using new neuroprotective agent with therapeutic probability for treatment of METH-induced neuro-inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction has been astoundingly increased.

Previous studies have stated the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory roles of cannabinoid derivate such as cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) in multiple neurodegenerative events and diseases.

According to literature cannabinoid derivate, by inhibition of TLR4 and activation of NF-κB signaling pathway, exerts their anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and cause mitochondrial biogenesis. Thus we hypothesized that by using cannabinoids in METH dependent subject it would provide neuroprotection against METH-induced neurodegeneration, neuro-inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction and probably can manage sequels of METH-induced neurochemical abuses via modulation of TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway.

In this article, we tried to discuss our hypothesis regarding the possible role of CBD and Δ9-THC, as a potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agents, in inhibition or treatment of METH-induced neurodegeneration, neuro-inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction through its effects on TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31465975

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030698771930739X?via%3Dihub

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Opioid-enhancing antinociceptive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and amitriptyline in rhesus macaques.

Cover image for Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology“Cannabinoids can enhance the antinociceptive effects of opioids in a synergistic manner, potentially reducing the analgesic dosage of opioids and improving pain therapy. This strategy has also been used as a rationale to combine certain antidepressants and opioids.

In this experiment, opioid-induced thermal antinociception was assessed in rhesus macaques using a warm-water tail-withdrawal procedure with 3 water temperatures (40, 50, and 55 °C). In general, the acute antinociceptive effects of intramuscular (i.m.) cumulative doses of heroin were studied alone or in combination with i.m. (-)-trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), or the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline.

A nonantinociceptive dose of THC (1 mg/kg) shifted the ED50 for the heroin dose-effect curve 3.6-fold leftward at 50 °C and 1.9-fold leftward at 55 °C compared with heroin alone. When the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist, rimonabant, was administered prior to the most effective THC-heroin combination, rimonabant blocked the THC enhancement of heroin antinociception. When CBN (1-3.2 mg/kg) was administered prior to heroin, or 1 mg/kg of CBN was administered prior to a combination of 0.32 mg/kg of THC and heroin, no shifts were evident in the heroin dose-effect curves at either temperature.

However, similar to THC, amitriptyline (0.32-1 mg/kg) administered prior to heroin significantly shifted the heroin dose-effect curve leftward. Heroin produced both dose- and temperature-dependent thermal antinociception in nonhuman primates and THC produced opioid-enhancing effects in a CB1R-dependent manner. These effects of THC were not shared by cannabinol, but were quantitatively similar to that of amitriptyline.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31464475

https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fpha0000313

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Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors Promote Periodontal Cell Adhesion and Migration.

Journal of Clinical Periodontology banner“Medical and recreational cannabis use is increasing significantly, but its impacts on oral health remains unclear.

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major active component in cannabis, on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration to explore its role in periodontal regeneration and wound healing.

RESULTS:

Both CB1 and CB2 were expressed in periodontal tissues but with different expression patterns. THC promoted periodontal cell wound healing by inducing HPLF cell adhesion and migration. This was mediated by focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation and its modulation of MAPK activities. The effect of cannabinoids on periodontal fibroblast cell adhesion and migration were mainly dependent on the CB2.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggested that cannabinoids may contribute to developing new therapeutics for periodontal regeneration and wound healing.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31461164

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jcpe.13190

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Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.

Mayo Clinic“Cannabidiol (CBD) oils are low tetrahydrocannabinol products derived from Cannabis sativa that have become very popular over the past few years. Patients report relief for a variety of conditions, particularly pain, without the intoxicating adverse effects of medical marijuana.

In June 2018, the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of rare, severe epilepsy, further putting the spotlight on CBD and hemp oils.

There is a growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence to support use of CBD oils for many conditions, suggesting its potential role as another option for treating challenging chronic pain or opioid addiction.

Care must be taken when directing patients toward CBD products because there is little regulation, and studies have found inaccurate labeling of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol quantities.

This article provides an overview of the scientific work on cannabinoids, CBD, and hemp oil and the distinction between marijuana, hemp, and the different components of CBD and hemp oil products.

We summarize the current legal status of CBD and hemp oils in the United States and provide a guide to identifying higher-quality products so that clinicians can advise their patients on the safest and most evidence-based formulations.

This review is based on a PubMed search using the terms CBD, cannabidiol, hemp oil, and medical marijuana. Articles were screened for relevance, and those with the most up-to-date information were selected for inclusion.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31447137

https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30007-2/fulltext

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