“Diseases affecting the central nervous system (CNS) should be regarded as a major health challenge due to the current lack of effective treatments given the hindrance to brain drug delivery imposed by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Since efficient brain drug delivery should not solely rely on passive targeting, active targeting of nanomedicines into the CNS is being explored. The present study is devoted to the development of lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) decorated with non-psychotropic cannabinoids as pioneering non-immunogenic brain targeting molecules and to the evaluation of their brain targeting ability both in vitro and in vivo. Noticeably, both the permeability experiments across the hCMEC/D3 cell-based in vitro BBB model and the biodistribution experiments in mice consistently demonstrated that the highest brain targeting ability was achieved with the smallest-sized cannabinoid-decorated LNCs. Importantly, the enhancement in brain targeting achieved with the conjugation of CBD to LNCs outperformed by 6-fold the enhancement observed for the G-Technology® (the main brain active strategy that has already entered clinical trials for the treatment of CNS diseases) As the transport efficiency across the BBB certainly determines the efficacy of the treatments for brain disorders, small cannabinoid-decorated LNCs represent auspicious platforms for the design and development of novel therapies for CNS diseases.”
“Night sweats significantly impact the quality of life for cancer patients and are often resistant to treatment.
Cannabinoids have been shown to modulate cytokine activity and produce hypothermia in animal models, suggesting that they may be a promising candidate for palliation of night sweats in patients with oncologic disease.
A retrospective record search identified five cancer patients who had tried oral dronabinol for palliation of their night sweats between 2013 and 2016 and subjectively reported on its efficacy.
Treatment of five patients with advanced cancer with synthetic orally administered dronabinol resulted in the successful management of persistent symptomatic paraneoplastic night sweats.
Dronabinol and/or medicinal cannabis are promising therapies for palliation of night sweats in cancer patients.”
“Although human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapies have dramatically improved the clinical outcome of HER2-positive breast cancer patients, innate and acquired resistance remains an important clinical challenge. New therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools for identification, stratification, and treatment of patients at higher risk of resistance and recurrence are therefore warranted.
Here, we unveil a mechanism controlling the oncogenic activity of HER2: heteromerization with the cannabinoid receptor CB2R. We show that HER2 physically interacts with CB2R in breast cancer cells, and that the expression of these heteromers correlates with poor patient prognosis.
The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) disrupts HER2-CB2R complexes by selectively binding to CB2R, which leads to (i) the inactivation of HER2 through disruption of HER2-HER2 homodimers, and (ii) the subsequent degradation of HER2 by the proteasome via the E3 ligase c-CBL. This in turn triggers antitumor responses in vitro and in vivo. Selective targeting of CB2R transmembrane region 5 mimicked THC effects.
Together, these findings define HER2-CB2R heteromers as new potential targets for antitumor therapies and biomarkers with prognostic value in HER2-positive breast cancer.”
“Complementary therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have earned growing interest from patients and investigators alike, with a dynamic landscape of research in this area. In this article, we review results of the most recent studies evaluating the role of cannabis and turmeric for the treatment of IBD and other intestinal illnesses.
Cannabinoids are well-established modulators of gut motility and visceral pain and have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials suggest that there may be a therapeutic role for cannabinoid therapy in the treatment of IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea and vomiting, and GI motility disorders. Recent reports of serious adverse effects from synthetic cannabinoids highlight the need for additional investigation of cannabinoids to establish their efficacy and safety. Turmeric trials have demonstrated some promise as adjuvant treatment for IBD, though not in other GI disease processes. Evidence suggests that the use of cannabis and turmeric is potentially beneficial in IBD and IBS; however, neither has been compared to standard therapy in IBD, and thus should not be recommended as alternative treatment for IBD. For cannabis in particular, additional investigation regarding appropriate dosing and timing, given known adverse effects of its chronic use, and careful monitoring of potential bleeding complications with synthetic cannabinoids are imperative.”
“OBJECTIVE: To review the efficacy, safety, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of pure, plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex) in the treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
DATA SYNTHESIS: Pure, plant-based CBD is a pharmaceutical grade extract that exhibits clinically significant antiseizure properties, with a hypothesized multimodal mechanism of action. In the GWPCARE trial series, CBD displayed superior efficacy in reducing key seizure frequencies (convulsive seizures in DS; drop seizures in LGS) by 17% to 23% compared with placebo as adjunctive therapy to standard antiepileptic drugs in patients 2 years of age and older. Common adverse effects were somnolence, diarrhea, and elevated hepatic transaminases. Noteworthy drug-drug interactions included clobazam, valproates, and significant inducers/inhibitors of CYP2C19 and 3A4 enzymes.
Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: A discussion regarding CBD dosing, administration, adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and interactions is provided to guide clinicians. CBD offers patients with DS and LGS a new treatment option for refractory seizures.
This is the first cannabis-derived medication with approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. This CBD formulation significantly reduces seizures as an adjunct to standard antiepileptic therapies in patients ≥2 years old with DS and LGS and is well tolerated.”
“Why marijuana is headed for the mainstream. The credibility of cannabis as a source of a legitimate pharmaceutical ingredient in prescription medications took a major step forward in 2018 when the FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for two types of severe seizures. Epidiolex was a stellar candidate for approval. It reduced convulsive seizures by about 40% and has a good safety profile.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30620324
“Recent research has identified potential uses of cannabinoids in dermatology, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and wound healing.
This study examined dermatology providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions on therapeutic cannabinoids using a 20-question online survey.
The response rate was 21% (n=531). Most responders thought cannabinoids should be legal for medical treatment (86%). Nearly all (94%) believed it is worthwhile to research dermatologic uses of cannabinoids. 55% reported at least one patient-initiated discussion about cannabinoids in the last year. Yet, 48% were concerned about a negative stigma when proposing cannabinoid therapies to patients. While most responders (86%) were willing to prescribe an FDA-approved cannabinoid as a topical treatment, fewer (71%) were willing to prescribe an oral form. 64% of respondents did not know that cannabidiol is not psychoactive and 29% did not know that tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive.
Dermatology providers are interested in prescribing cannabinoids and patients are speaking about cannabinoids with their dermatologists. However, providers’ fund of knowledge on this subject is lacking. These results highlight the need for further education and research to detangle the dermatologic benefits and risks of cannabinoids.”
“Cannabinoid system in the skin – a possible target for future therapies in dermatology.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19664006
“Hypothermia, the gold standard after a hypoxic-ischemic insult, is not beneficial in all treated newborns.
Cannabidiol is neuroprotective in animal models of newborn hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
This study compared the relative efficacies of cannabidiol and hypothermia in newborn hypoxic-ischemic piglets and assessed whether addition of cannabidiol augments hypothermic neuroprotection.
HI led to sustained depressed brain activity and increased microglial activation, which was significantly improved by cannabidiol alone or with hypothermia but not by hypothermia alone. Hypoxic-ischemic-induced increases in Lac/NAA, Glu/NAA, TNFα or apoptosis were not reversed by either hypothermia or cannabidiol alone, but combination of the therapies did. No treatment modified the effects of HI on oxidative stress or astroglial activation. Cannabidiol treatment was well tolerated.
cannabidiol administration after hypoxia-ischemia in piglets offers some neuroprotective effects but the combination of cannabidiol and hypothermia shows some additive effect leading to more complete neuroprotection than cannabidiol or hypothermia alone.”
“Pain comorbid with depression is frequently encountered in clinical settings and often leads to significant impaired functioning. Given the complexity of comorbidities, it is important to address both pain and depressive symptoms when evaluating treatment options.
Overall, studies suggested that pain and depression are highly intertwined and may co-exacerbate physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms could lead to poor physical functional outcomes and longer duration of symptoms. An important biochemical basis for pain and depression focuses on serotonergic and norepinephrine systems, which is evident in the pain-ameliorating properties of serotonergic and norepinephrine antidepressants.
Alternative pharmacotherapies such as ketamine and cannabinoids appear to be safe and effective options for improving depressive symptoms and ameliorating pain. In addition, cognitive-behavioral therapy may be a promising tool in the management of chronic pain and depression.
The majority of the literature indicates that patients with pain and depression experience reduced physical, mental, and social functioning as opposed to patients with only depression or only pain. In addition, ketamine, psychotropic, and cognitive-behavioral therapies present promising options for treating both pain and depression.”
“The endocannabinoid system refers to a widespread signaling system and its alteration is implicated in a growing number of human diseases.
However, the potential role of endocannabinoids in skeletal muscle disorders remains unknown. Here we report the role of the endocannabinoid CB1 receptors in Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.
In murine and human models, CB1 transcripts show the highest degree of expression at disease onset, and then decline overtime. Similar changes are observed for PAX7, a key regulator of muscle stem cells. Bioinformatics and biochemical analysis reveal that PAX7 binds and upregulates the CB1 gene in dystrophic more than in healthy muscles.
Rimonabant, an antagonist of CB1, promotes human satellite cell differentiation in vitro, increases the number of regenerated myofibers, and prevents locomotor impairment in dystrophic mice.
In conclusion, our study uncovers a PAX7-CB1 cross talk potentially exacerbating DMD and highlights the role of CB1 receptors as target for potential therapies.”
“We propose that the endocannabinoid system participates in the development of degenerative muscle disease, through effects on muscle differentiation, regeneration, and repair processes, and suggest that CB1 receptor may represent a potential target for the adjuvant therapy of muscle dystrophies.”
“This study aimed to evaluate pain and its symptoms in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refractory to other therapies, treated with a combination of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), in association with spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
Results: Effective pain management as compared to baseline result was achieved in all the cases studied. The positive effect of cannabinoid agonists on refractory pain was maintained during the entire duration of treatment with minimal dosage titration. Pain perception, evaluated through numeric rating scale, decreased from a baseline mean value of 8.18±1.07–4.72±0.9 by the end of the study duration (12 months) (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The results indicate that cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) can have remarkable analgesic capabilities, as adjuvant of SCS, for the treatment of chronic refractory pain of FBSS patients.”
“Outcomes indicate remarkable analgesic capabilities of cannabinoid agonists (THC/CBD) as an adjuvant to SCS for treating chronic refractory pain in FBSS patients, since all the cases studied achieved effective pain management compared to baseline.”