It Is Our Turn to Get Cannabis High: Put Cannabinoids in Food and Health Baskets

molecules-logo“Cannabis is an annual plant with a long history of use as food, feed, fiber, oil, medicine, and narcotics. Despite realizing its true value, it has not yet found its true place. Cannabis has had a long history with many ups and downs, and now it is our turn to promote it.

Cannabis contains approximately 600 identified and many yet unidentified potentially useful compounds. Cannabinoids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and alkaloids are some of the secondary metabolites present in cannabis. However, among a plethora of unique chemical compounds found in this plant, the most important ones are phytocannabinoids (PCs).

Over hundreds of 21-22-carbon compounds exclusively produce in cannabis glandular hairs through either polyketide and or deoxyxylulose phosphate/methylerythritol phosphate (DOXP/MEP) pathways. Trans-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are those that first come to mind while talking about cannabis. Nevertheless, despite the low concentration, cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinodiol (CBND), and cannabinidiol (CBDL) may have potentially some medical effects.

PCs and endocannabinoids (ECs) mediate their effects mainly through CB1 and CB2 receptors. Despite all concerns regarding cannabis, nobody can ignore the use of cannabinoids as promising tonic, analgesic, antipyretic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anticancer agents, which are effective for pain relief, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disorders, and appetite stimulation.

The scientific community and public society have now increasingly accepted cannabis specifically hemp as much more than a recreational drug. There are growing demands for cannabinoids, mainly CBD, with many diverse therapeutic and nutritional properties in veterinary or human medicine. The main objective of this review article is to historically summarize findings concerning cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, towards putting these valuable compounds into food, feed and health baskets and current and future trends in the consumption of products derived from cannabis.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32899626/

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/18/4036

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Beneficial effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THCV in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

Neurobiology of Disease“The antioxidant and CB2 receptor agonist properties of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9-THCV) afforded neuroprotection in experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD), whereas its CB1 receptor antagonist profile at doses lower than 5 mg/kg caused anti-hypokinetic effects.

In the present study, we investigated the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV (administered i.p. at 2 mg/kg for two weeks), which had not been investigated before.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV, both to delay the occurrence and to attenuate the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for patients with PD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32387338

“Δ9-THCV exhibited anti-dyskinetic properties in L-DOPA-treated Pitx3ak mutant mice. It delayed the onset of dyskinetic signs and reduced their neurochemical changes. It also reduced their intensity when given once dyskinesia was already present. This potential adds to other properties of Δ9-THCV as antiparkinsonian therapy.

In summary, our data support the anti-dyskinetic potential of Δ9-THCV to ameliorate adverse effects caused by L-DOPA, in particular delaying the occurrence and attenuating the magnitude of dyskinetic signs. This adds to its promising symptom-alleviating and neuroprotective properties described previously. Although further studies are clearly required to determine the clinical significance of these data in humans, the results nevertheless situate Δ9-THCV in a promising position for developing a cannabinoid-based therapy for PD patients.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996120301674?via%3Dihub

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Phytocannabinoids promote viability and functional adipogenesis of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells through different molecular targets.

Biochemical Pharmacology“The cellular microenvironment plays a critical role in the maintenance of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) and their subsequent cell lineage differentiation. Recent studies suggested that individuals with adipocyte-related metabolic disorders have altered function and adipogenic potential of adipose stem cell subpopulations, primarily BM-MSCs, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke or diabetes.

In this study, we explored the potential therapeutic effect of some of the most abundant non-euphoric compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant (or phytocannabinoids) including tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), by analysing their pharmacological activity on the viability of endogenous BM-MSCs as well as their ability to alter BM-MSC proliferation and differentiation into mature adipocytes.

We provide evidence that CBD, CBDA, CBGA and THCV (5 µM) increase the number of viable BM-MSCs; whereas only CBG (5 µM) and CBD (5 µM) alone or in their combination promote their maturation into adipocytes via distinct molecular mechanisms. These effects were revealed both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, phytocannabinoids prevented the insulin signalling impairment induced by palmitate in adipocytes differentiated from BM-MSCs.

Our study highlights phytocannabinoids as a potential novel pharmacological tool to regain control of functional adipose tissue in unregulated energy homeostasis often occurring in metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), aging and lipodystrophy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32061773

“The promiscuous pharmacology of phytocannabinoids makes them viable candidates for new medicines for the treatment of metabolic syndromes through the simultaneous resolution of collective complications due to impaired development, maintenance, activity and function of the adipose tissue. Furthermore, phytocannabinoids are generally well tolerated in comparison to potent synthetic PPAR agonists, and combination treatments may further improve their efficacy at lower doses.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006295220300873?via%3Dihub

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Potential of Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands as Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.

 “Substance use disorder (SUD) is a major public health crisis worldwide, and effective treatment options are limited.

During the past 2 decades, researchers have investigated the impact of a variety of pharmacological approaches to treat SUD, one of which is the use of medical cannabis or cannabinoids.

Significant progress was made with the discovery of rimonabant, a selective CB1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist (also an inverse agonist), as a promising therapeutic for SUDs and obesity. However, serious adverse effects such as depression and suicidality led to the withdrawal of rimonabant (and almost all other CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists) from clinical trials worldwide in 2008.

Since then, much research interest has shifted to other cannabinoid-based strategies, such as peripheral CB1R antagonists/inverse agonists, neutral CB1R antagonists, allosteric CB1R modulators, CB2R agonists, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors, monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitors, fatty acid binding protein (FABP) inhibitors, or nonaddictive phytocannabinoids with CB1R or CB2R-binding profiles, as new therapeutics for SUDs.

In this article, we first review recent progress in research regarding the endocannabinoid systems, cannabis reward versus aversion, and the underlying receptor mechanisms. We then review recent progress in cannabinoid-based medication development for the treatment of SUDs.

As evidence continues to accumulate, neutral CB1R antagonists (such as AM4113), CB2R agonists (JWH133, Xie2-64), and nonselective phytocannabinoids (cannabidiol, β-caryophyllene, ∆9-tetrahydrocannabivarin) have shown great therapeutic potential for SUDs, as shown in experimental animals.

Several cannabinoid-based medications (e.g., dronabinol, nabilone, PF-04457845) that entered clinical trials have shown promising results in reducing withdrawal symptoms in cannabis and opioid users.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31549358

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-019-00664-w

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Δ8 -Tetrahydrocannabivarin has potent anti-nicotine effects in multiple rodent models of nicotine dependence.

British Journal of Pharmacology banner“Both types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2 – regulate brain functions relating to addictive drug-induced reward and relapse. CB1 receptor antagonists and CB2 receptor agonists have anti-addiction efficacy, in animal models, against a broad range of addictive drugs.

Δ9 -Tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ9 -THCV) – a cannabis constituent – acts as a CB1 antagonist and a CB2 agonist. Δ8 -Tetrahydrocannabivarin (Δ8 -THCV) is a Δ9 -THCV analogue with similar combined CB1 antagonist/CB2agonist properties.

KEY RESULTS:

Δ8 -THCV significantly attenuated intravenous nicotine self-administration, and both cue-induced and nicotine-induced relapse to nicotine-seeking behavior in rats. Δ8 -THCV also significantly attenuated nicotine-induced conditioned place preference and nicotine withdrawal in mice.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

We conclude that Δ8 -THCV may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of nicotine dependence. We also suggest that tetrahydrocannabivarins should be tested for possible anti-addiction efficacy in a broader range of preclinical animal models, against other addictive drugs, and eventually in humans.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31454413

https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14844

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Exploring the Ligand Efficacy of Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) using Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

Scientific Reports

“Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is a promising therapeutic target for a variety of disorders. Distinct efficacy profiles showed different therapeutic effects on CB1 dependent on three classes of ligands: agonists, antagonists, and inverse agonists. To discriminate the distinct efficacy profiles of the ligands, we carried out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to identify the dynamic behaviors of inactive and active conformations of CB1 structures with the ligands. In addition, the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) method was applied to analyze the binding free energy decompositions of the CB1-ligand complexes. With these two methods, we found the possibility that the three classes of ligands can be discriminated. Our findings shed light on the understanding of different efficacy profiles of ligands by analyzing the structural behaviors of intact CB1 structures and the binding energies of ligands, thereby yielding insights that are useful for the design of new potent CB1 drugs.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30213978

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31749-z

“Chemical structure of the partial agonist THC, antagonist THCV, and inverse agonist Taranabant.”

Figure 1

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Effects of non-euphoric plant cannabinoids on muscle quality and performance of dystrophic mdx mice.

Image result for Br J Pharmacol.

“Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), caused by dystrophin deficiency, results in chronic inflammation and irreversible skeletal muscle degeneration. Moreover, the associated impairment of autophagy leads to the accumulation of damaged intracellular organelles that greatly contribute to the aggravation of muscle damage.

We explored the possibility of using non-euphoric compounds present in Cannabis sativa, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabidivarin (THCV) to reduce inflammation, restore functional autophagy and positively enhance muscle function in vivo.

We found that CBD and CBDV promote the differentiation of murine C2C12 myoblast cells into myotubes by increasing [Ca2+ ]i mostly via TRPV1 activation, an effect that undergoes rapid desensitization. CBD and CBDV also promoted the differentiation of myoblasts from DMD donors. In primary cultures prepared from satellite cells isolated from healthy donors, not only CBD and CBDV but also THCV promoted myotube formation, in this case mostly via TRPA1 activation. In mdx mice, CBD (60 mg Kg-1), CBDV (60 mg Kg-1 ) prevented the loss of locomotor activity at two distinct ages (from 5 to 7 and 32 to 34 weeks of age). This effect was associated with a reduction in tissue and plasma pro-inflammatory markers, together with the restoration of autophagy.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

We provide new insights into plant cannabinoid interactions with TRP channels in skeletal muscle, highlighting a potential opportunity for novel co-adjuvant therapies to prevent muscle degeneration in DMD patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30074247

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Detection and Quantification of Cannabinoids in Extracts of Cannabis sativa Roots Using LC-MS/MS.

 

“A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry single-laboratory validation was performed for the detection and quantification of the 10 major cannabinoids of cannabis, namely, (-)-trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, tetrahydrocannabivarian, cannabinol, (-)-trans8-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiolic acid, cannabigerolic acid, and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid-A, in the root extract of Cannabis sativa. Acetonitrile : methanol (80 : 20, v/v) was used for extraction; d3-cannabidiol and d3– tetrahydrocannabinol were used as the internal standards. All 10 cannabinoids showed a good regression relationship with r2 > 0.99. The validated method is simple, sensitive, and reproducible and is therefore suitable for the detection and quantification of these cannabinoids in extracts of cannabis roots. To our knowledge, this is the first report for the quantification of cannabinoids in cannabis roots.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29359294

https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0044-100798

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Pharmacology of cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy.

Image result for Epilepsy Behav

“The use of cannabis products in the treatment of epilepsy has long been of interest to researchers and clinicians alike; however, until recently very little published data were available to support its use.

This article summarizes the available scientific data of pharmacology from human and animal studies on the major cannabinoids which have been of interest in the treatment of epilepsy, including ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC), cannabidiol (CBD), ∆9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (∆9-THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Δ9-THCA).

It has long been known that ∆9-THC has partial agonist activity at the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, though it also binds to other targets which may modulate neuronal excitability and neuroinflammation.

The actions of Δ9-THCV and Δ9-THCA are less well understood. In contrast to ∆9-THC, CBD has low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors and other targets have been investigated to explain its anticonvulsant properties including TRPV1, voltage gated potassium and sodium channels, and GPR55, among others.

We describe the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of each of the above mentioned compounds. Cannabinoids as a whole are very lipophilic, resulting in decreased bioavailability, which presents challenges in optimal drug delivery. Finally, we discuss the limited drug-drug interaction data available on THC and CBD.

As cannabinoids and cannabis-based products are studied for efficacy as anticonvulsants, more investigation is needed regarding the specific targets of action, optimal drug delivery, and potential drug-drug interactions.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28087250

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Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study.

Image result for Diabetes Care

“Cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoids affecting lipid and glucose metabolism in animal models. This study set out to examine the effects of these compounds in patients with type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS:

Compared with placebo, THCV significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose (estimated treatment difference [ETD] = -1.2 mmol/L; P < 0.05) and improved pancreatic β-cell function (HOMA2 β-cell function [ETD = -44.51 points; P < 0.01]), adiponectin (ETD = -5.9 × 106 pg/mL; P < 0.01), and apolipoprotein A (ETD = -6.02 μmol/L; P < 0.05), although plasma HDL was unaffected. Compared with baseline (but not placebo), CBD decreased resistin (-898 pg/ml; P < 0.05) and increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (21.9 pg/ml; P < 0.05). None of the combination treatments had a significant impact on end points. CBD and THCV were well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS:

THCV could represent a new therapeutic agent in glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27573936

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