Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Relationship With Chronic Pain: A Narrative Review

CB1-versus-CB2-receptors “The burden of chronic pain has affected many individuals leading to distress and discomfort, alongside numerous side effects with conventional therapeutic approaches.

Cannabinoid receptors are naturally found in the human body and have long been an interest in antinociception. These include CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are promising candidates for the treatment of chronic inflammatory pain.

The mechanism of action of the receptors and how they approach pain control in inflammatory conditions show that it can be an adjunctive approach towards controlling these symptoms. Numerous studies have shown how the targeted approach towards these receptors has activated them promoting a release in cytokines, all leading to anti-inflammatory effects and immune system regulation.

Cannabinoid activation of glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) models also showed efficacy in pain management. Chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis were shown to also benefit from this considerable treatment. However, it is unclear how the cannabinoid system works in relation with the pain pathway. Therefore, in this review we aim to analyse the role of the cannabinoid system in chronic inflammatory pain.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33072446/

https://www.cureus.com/articles/39887-cannabinoid-receptors-and-their-relationship-with-chronic-pain-a-narrative-review

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Cannabinoid Receptors: An Update on Cell Signaling, Pathophysiological Roles and Therapeutic Opportunities in Neurological, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Diseases

ijms-logo “The identification of the human cannabinoid receptors and their roles in health and disease, has been one of the most significant biochemical and pharmacological advancements to have occurred in the past few decades. In spite of the major strides made in furthering endocannabinoid research, therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system has often been a challenging task.

An impaired endocannabinoid tone often manifests as changes in expression and/or functions of type 1 and/or type 2 cannabinoid receptors. It becomes important to understand how alterations in cannabinoid receptor cellular signaling can lead to disruptions in major physiological and biological functions, as they are often associated with the pathogenesis of several neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases.

This review focuses mostly on the pathophysiological roles of type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors, and it attempts to integrate both cellular and physiological functions of the cannabinoid receptors. Apart from an updated review of pre-clinical and clinical studies, the adequacy/inadequacy of cannabinoid-based therapeutics in various pathological conditions is also highlighted. Finally, alternative strategies to modulate endocannabinoid tone, and future directions are also emphasized.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33080916/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/20/7693

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Cannabidiol (CBD) modulation of apelin in acute respiratory distress syndrome

“Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes.

In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system.

CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33058425/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid that regulates immune responses in multiple experimental disease models, including work by our laboratory showing a benefit following ARDS‐like injury in mice. Consistent with our findings, a recent commentary, based on anecdotal reports, supports the therapeutic use of CBD in COVID‐19‐infected patients. Our data demonstrate that CBD improves lung structure and exerts a potent anti‐inflammatory effect following experimental ARDS.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.15883

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Biochemical Aspects and Therapeutic Mechanisms of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews “Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures. Studies have shown the complexity of epileptogenesis and ictogenesis, in which immunological processes and epigenetic and structural changes in neuronal tissues have been identified as triggering epilepsy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major active component of the Cannabis plant and the source of CBD-enriched products for the treatment of epilepsy and associated diseases.

In this review, we provide an up-to-date discussion on cellular and molecular mechanisms triggered during epilepsy crises, and the phytochemical characteristics of CBD that make it an attractive candidate for controlling rare syndromes, with excellent therapeutic properties. We also discuss possible CBD anticonvulsant mechanisms and molecular targets in neurodegenerative disorders and epilepsy.

Based on these arguments, we conclude that CBD presents a biotecnological potential in the anticonvulsant process, including decreasing dependence on health care in hospitals, and could make the patient’s life more stable, with regard to neurological conditions.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33031814/

“Therapeutic properties of cannabidiol in the treatment of epilepsy”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149763420305832?via%3Dihub

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The immunosuppressive effect of the endocannabinoid system on the inflammatory phenotypes of macrophages and mesenchymal stromal cells: a comparative study

SpringerLink “The inflammatory sequence is the first phase of wound healing. Macrophages (MPhs) and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) respond to an inflammatory microenvironment by adapting their functional activity, which polarizes them into the pro-inflammatory phenotypes M1 and MSC1. Prolongation of the inflammatory phase results in the formation of chronic wounds. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) possesses immunomodulatory properties that may impede this cellular phenotypic switch.

Methods: We investigated the immunosuppressive influence of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on the M1 and MSC1 cytokine secretion. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) were used as inflammagen to stimulate MPhs and MSCs. Both inflammatory phenotypes were co-exposed to AEA or 2-AG, the specific cannabinoid receptor CB2 agonist JWH-133 served as reference. The inflammatory responses were detected by CD80/163 immuno-labelling and by ELISA measures of secreted IL-6, IL-8, MIF, TNF-α, TGF-β, and VEGF.

Results: M1 cells were found positive for CD80 expression and secreted less IL-6 and IL-8 than MSC1 cells, while both cell types produced similar amounts of MIF. TNF-α release was increased by M1, and growth factors were secreted by MSC1, only. Cannabinoid receptor ligands efficiently decreased the inflammatory response of M1, while their impact was less pronounced in MSC1.

Conclusions: The ECS down-regulated the inflammatory responses of MPhs and MSCs by decreasing the cytokine release upon LPS treatment, while CB2 appeared to be of particular importance. Hence, stimulating the ECS by manipulation of endo- or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo may constitute a potent therapeutic option against inflammatory disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33026642/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs43440-020-00166-3

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Signaling Through the Type 2 Cannabinoid Receptor Regulates the Severity of Acute and Chronic Graft versus Host Disease

Blood“Graft versus host disease (GVHD) pathophysiology is a complex interplay between cells that comprise the adaptive and innate arms of the immune system. Effective prophylactic strategies are therefore contingent upon approaches that address contributions from both immune cell compartments.

In the current study, we examined the role of the type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) which is expressed on nearly all immune cells and demonstrated that absence of the CB2R on donor CD4+ or CD8+ T cells, or administration of a selective CB2R pharmacological antagonist, exacerbated acute GVHD lethality. This was accompanied primarily by the expansion of proinflammatory CD8+ T cells indicating that constitutive CB2R expression on T cells preferentially regulated CD8+ T cell alloreactivity. Using a novel CB2R-EGFP reporter mouse, we observed significant loss of CB2R expression on T cells, but not macrophages, during acute GVHD, indicative of differential alterations in receptor expression under inflammatory conditions.

Therapeutic targeting of the CB2R with the agonists, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and JWH-133, revealed that only THC mitigated lethal T cell-mediated acute GVHD. Conversely, only JWH-133 was effective in a sclerodermatous chronic GVHD model where macrophages contribute to disease biology. In vitro, both THC and JWH-133 induced arrestin recruitment and ERK phosphorylation via CB2R, but THC had no effect on CB2R-mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase.

These studies demonstrate that the CB2R plays a critical role in the regulation of GVHD and suggest that effective therapeutic targeting is dependent upon agonist signaling characteristics and receptor selectivity in conjunction with the composition of pathogenic immune effector cells.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33027805/

https://ashpublications.org/blood/article-abstract/doi/10.1182/blood.2020004871/464166/Signaling-Through-the-Type-2-Cannabinoid-Receptor?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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The impact of cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2Rs) in neuroprotection against neurological disorders

 Acta Pharmacologica Sinica“Cannabinoids have long been used for their psychotropic and possible medical properties of symptom relief. In the past few years, a vast literature shows that cannabinoids are neuroprotective under different pathological situations.

Most of the effects of cannabinoids are mediated by the well-characterized cannabinoid receptors, the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) and cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R). Even though CB1Rs are highly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), the adverse central side effects and the development of tolerance resulting from CB1R activation may ultimately limit the clinical utility of CB1R agonists. In contrast to the ubiquitous presence of CB1Rs, CB2Rs are less commonly expressed in the healthy CNS but highly upregulated in glial cells under neuropathological conditions.

Experimental studies have provided robust evidence that CB2Rs seem to be involved in the modulation of different neurological disorders. In this paper, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the protective effects of CB2R activation against the development of neurological diseases and provide a perspective on the future of this field. A better understanding of the fundamental pharmacology of CB2R activation is essential for the development of clinical applications and the design of novel therapeutic strategies.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33024239/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41401-020-00530-2

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Practical use of pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Publication Cover “Pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency as treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are severe and difficult-to-treat developmental and epileptic encephalopathies with onset in early childhood.

Areas covered: This review will critically review the pharmacokinetic properties of CBD, the interactions with antiseizure and non-antiseizure medications, and the main tolerability and safety issues to provide guidance for its use in everyday practice.

Expert opinion: CBD is metabolized in the liver and can influence the activity of enzymes involved in drug metabolism. The best characterized drug-drug interaction is between CBD and clobazam. The most common adverse events include somnolence, gastrointestinal discomfort and increase in serum transaminases.

High-grade purified CBD oral solution represents an effective therapeutic option in patients with DS and LGS.

The findings cannot be extrapolated to other cannabis-based products, synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use and non-medicinal cannabis and CBD derivatives.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33026899/

“Pharmaceutically purified oral cannabidiol (CBD) is approved for treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14737175.2021.1834383?journalCode=iern20

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Chronic treatment with cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) reduces thermal pain sensitivity in male mice and rescues the hyperalgesia in a mouse model of Rett syndrome

Neuroscience “Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare neurologic disorder, characterized by severe behavioural and physiological symptoms. RTT is caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene in about 95% of cases and to date no cure is available.

Recent evidence suggests that non-euphoric phytocannabinoids (pCBs) extracted from Cannabis sativa may represent innovative therapeutic molecules for RTT, with the cannabinoid cannabidivarin having beneficial effects on behavioural and brain molecular alterations in RTT mouse models.

The present study evaluated the potential therapeutic efficacy for RTT of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA; 0.2, 2, 20 mg/kg through intraperitoneal injections for 14 days), a pCB that has proved to be effective for the treatment of nausea and anxiety in rodents.

This study demonstrates that systemic treatment with the low dose of CBDA has anti-nociceptive effects and reduces the thermal hyperalgesia in 8-month old MeCP2-308 male mice, a validated RTT mouse model. CBDA did not affect other behavioural or molecular parameters.

These results provide support to the antinociceptive effects of CBDA and stress the need for further studies aimed at clarifying the mechanisms underlying the abnormal pain perception in RTT.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33010341/

“Chronic treatment with CBDA reduces pain sensitivity in wild type mice.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306452220306254?via%3Dihub

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Therapeutic Potential of β-Caryophyllene: A Dietary Cannabinoid in Diabetes and Associated Complications

nutrients-logo“Diabetes mellitus (DM), a metabolic disorder is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide across developed as well as developing nations. Hyperglycemia is the core feature of the type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), following insulin deficiency and impaired insulin secretion or sensitivity leads insulin resistance (IR), respectively. Genetic and environmental factors attributed to the pathogenesis of DM and various therapeutic strategies are available for the prevention and treatment of T2DM.

Among the numerous therapeutic approaches, the health effects of dietary/nutraceutical approach due to the presence of bioactive constituents, popularly termed phytochemicals are receiving special interest for pharmacological effects and therapeutic benefits. The phytochemicals classes, in particular sesquiterpenes received attention because of potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperglycemic effects and health benefits mediating modulation of enzymes, receptors, and signaling pathways deranged in DM and its complications.

One of the terpene compounds, β-caryophyllene (BCP), received enormous attention because of its abundant occurrence, non-psychoactive nature, and dietary availability through consumption of edible plants including spices. BCP exhibit selective full agonism on cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R), an important component of endocannabinoid system, and plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism and represents the newest drug target for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Many studies demonstrated its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, organoprotective, and antihyperglycemic properties. In the present review, the plausible therapeutic potential of BCP in diabetes and associated complications has been comprehensively elaborated based on experimental and a few clinical studies available. Further, the pharmacological and molecular mechanisms of BCP in diabetes and its complications have been represented using synoptic tables and schemes.

Given the safe status, abundant natural occurrence, oral bioavailability, dietary use and pleiotropic properties modulating receptors and enzymes, BCP appears as a promising molecule for diabetes and its complications.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32998300/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/10/2963

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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