Cannabidiol converts NFκB into a tumor suppressor in glioblastoma with defined antioxidative properties

ISNO: Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology “The transcription factor NFκB drives neoplastic progression of many cancers including primary brain tumors (glioblastoma; GBM). Precise therapeutic modulation of NFκB activity can suppress central oncogenic signalling pathways in GBM, but clinically applicable compounds to achieve this goal have remained elusive.

Methods: In a pharmacogenomics study with a panel of transgenic glioma cells we observed that NFκB can be converted into a tumor suppressor by the non-psychotropic cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD). Subsequently, we investigated the anti-tumor effects of CBD, which is used as an anticonvulsive drug (Epidiolex) in pediatric neurology, in a larger set of human primary GBM stem-like cells (hGSC). For this study we performed pharmacological assays, gene expression profiling, biochemical and cell-biological experiments. We validated our findings using orthotopic in vivo models and bioinformatics analysis of human GBM-datasets.

Results: We found that CBD promotes DNA binding of the NFκB subunit RELA and simultaneously prevents RELA-phosphorylation on serine-311, a key residue which permits genetic transactivation. Strikingly, sustained DNA binding by RELA lacking phospho-serine 311 was found to mediate hGSC cytotoxicity. Widespread sensitivity to CBD was observed in a cohort of hGSC defined by low levels of reactive oxygen-species (ROS), while high ROS-content in other tumors blocked CBD induced hGSC death. Consequently, ROS levels served as predictive biomarker for CBD-sensitive tumors.

Conclusions: This evidence demonstrates how a clinically approved drug can convert NFκB into a tumor suppressor and suggests a promising repurposing option for GBM-therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33864076/

https://academic.oup.com/neuro-oncology/advance-article/doi/10.1093/neuonc/noab095/6231710

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Molecular Mechanism of Autophagy and Its Regulation by Cannabinoids in Cancer

cancers-logo“Autophagy is a “self-degradation” process whereby malfunctioned cytoplasmic constituents and protein aggregates are engulfed by a vesicle called the autophagosome, and subsequently degraded by the lysosome. Autophagy plays a crucial role in sustaining protein homeostasis and can be an alternative source of energy under detrimental circumstances. Studies have demonstrated a paradoxical function for autophagy in cancer, displaying both tumour suppressive and tumour promotive roles. In early phases of tumour development autophagy promotes cancer cell death. In later phases, autophagy enables cancer cells to survive and withstand therapy.

Cannabinoids, which are derivatives of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, have shown to be associated with autophagy induction in cells. There is an emerging interest in studying the signalling pathways involved in cannabinoid-induced autophagy and their potential application in anticancer therapies. In this review, the molecular mechanisms involved in the autophagy degradation process will be discussed. This review also highlights a role for autophagy in cancer progression, with cannabinoid-induced autophagy presenting a novel strategy for anticancer therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33802014/

“This review examines the complex function of autophagy in malignancy and explores its regulation by cannabinoids in different cancers. Autophagy is an important process in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, through the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic constituents. The action of autophagy is highly dependent on tumour stage and type and the receptors with which ligands interact. Cannabinoids are growingly being acknowledged for their anticancer activities and are known to stimulate several mechanisms such as apoptosis and autophagy. Better understanding the mechanism of action behind autophagy and its regulation by cannabinoids will allow the development of novel cancer therapeutics.”
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Cannabigerol Is a Potential Therapeutic Agent in a Novel Combined Therapy for Glioblastoma

cells-logo“Glioblastoma is the most aggressive cancer among primary brain tumours. As with other cancers, the incidence of glioblastoma is increasing; despite modern therapies, the overall mean survival of patients post-diagnosis averages around 16 months, a figure that has not changed in many years. Cannabigerol (CBG) has only recently been reported to prevent the progression of certain carcinomas and has not yet been studied in glioblastoma. Here, we have compared the cytotoxic, apoptotic, and anti-invasive effects of the purified natural cannabinoid CBG together with CBD and THC on established differentiated glioblastoma tumour cells and glioblastoma stem cells. CBG and THC reduced the viability of both types of cells to a similar extent, whereas combining CBD with CBG was more efficient than with THC. CBD and CBG, both alone and in combination, induced caspase-dependent cell apoptosis, and there was no additive THC effect. Of note, CBG inhibited glioblastoma invasion in a similar manner to CBD and the chemotherapeutic temozolomide. We have demonstrated that THC has little added value in combined-cannabinoid glioblastoma treatment, suggesting that this psychotropic cannabinoid should be replaced with CBG in future clinical studies of glioblastoma therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33562819/

“Among primary brain tumours, glioblastoma is the most aggressive. As early relapses are unavoidable despite standard-of-care treatment, the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) alone or in combination have been suggested as a combined treatment strategy for glioblastomas. However, the known psychoactive effects of THC hamper its medical applications in these patients with potential cognitive impairment due to the progression of the disease. Therefore, nontoxic cannabigerol (CBG), being recently shown to exhibit anti-tumour properties in some carcinomas, is assayed here for the first time in glioblastoma with the aim to replace THC. We indeed found CBG to effectively impair the relevant hallmarks of glioblastoma progression, with comparable killing effects to THC and in addition inhibiting the invasion of glioblastoma cells. Moreover, CBG can destroy therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells, which are the root of cancer development and extremely resistant to various other treatments of this lethal cancer. CBG should present a new yet unexplored adjuvant treatment strategy of glioblastoma.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/10/2/340

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Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in combination cancer therapy

 Advances in Biological Regulation“Derivatives of the plant Cannabis sativa have been used for centuries for both medical and recreational purposes, as well as industrial. The first proof of its medicinal use comes from ancient China, although there is evidence of its earlier utilization in Europe and Asia. In the 19th century, European practitioners started to employ cannabis extracts to treat tetanus, convulsions, and mental diseases and, in 1851, cannabis made its appearance in the Pharmacopoeia of the United States as an analgesic, hypnotic and anticonvulsant. It was only in 1937 that the Marijuana Tax Act prohibited the use of this drug in the USA. The general term Cannabis is commonly used by the scientific and scholar community to indicate derivatives of the plant Cannabis sativa. The word cannabinoid is a term describing chemical compounds that are either derivate of Cannabis (phytocannabinoids) or artificial analogues (synthetic) or are produced endogenously by the body (endocannabinoids). A more casual term “marijuana” or “weed”, a compound derived from dried Cannabis flower tops and leaves, has progressively superseded the term cannabis when referred to its recreational use. The 2018 World health organisation (WHO) data suggest that nearly 2.5% of the global population (147 million) uses marijuana and some countries, such as Canada and Uruguay, have already legalised it. Due to its controversial history, the medicinal use of cannabinoids has always been a centre of debate. The isolation and characterisation of Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of cannabis and the detection of two human cannabinoid receptor (CBRs) molecules renewed interest in the medical use of cannabinoids, boosting research and commercial heed in this sector. Some cannabinoid-based drugs have been approved as medications, mainly as antiemetic, antianorexic, anti-seizure remedies and in cancer and multiple sclerosis patients’ palliative care. Nevertheless, due to the stigma commonly associated with these compounds, cannabinoids’ potential in the treatment of conditions such as cancer is still largely unknown and therefore underestimated.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33422460/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212492620300853?via%3Dihub

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Medicinal Applications of Cannabinoids Extracted from Cannabis sativa (L.): A new Route to Fight against COVID-19?

 “Cannabis sativa is a well-known plant which has been of benefit since ancient times in several medicinal systems, including Chinese, Indian, Greek and Egyptian ones.

Although C. sativa is one of the most investigated medicinal plants in the world, it faces the most controversial of issues for its legalization as a medication. C. sativa contains several hundreds of phytoconstituents including the infamous «cannabinoid.” It is necessary to properly understand the medicinal importance of these phytochemicals and spread awareness among the countries where it’s still facing legal complexities.

The current review is focusing on most recent literature pertaining to the various applications of cannabinoids with a special focus on medicinal aspect of the phytochemicals. Peer reviewed articles focusing on the importance of cannabis and cannabinoids were the target of this review. Articles were selected based on the relevance to the general scope of the work i.e. application of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids can truly be regarded as wonder drug keeping their immense diversity of usage but unfortunately, many of the mares never researched biologically or pharmacologically due to their low yield in the plant. However, the approval of some cannabinoids by the FDA (along with other recognized national medical health systems) has opened the horizons for the explicit use of these natural drugs in medicines such as Epidiolex® (cannabidiol used for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy) and Sativex®(‘Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol’ used for the treatment of spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, aka: MS.)

Many pharmacological properties of C. sativa are attributed to cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component, along with Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 -THC), a psychoactive component. This review addresses the most important application or current utilization of cannabinoids in a variety of treatments such as: chronic pain, cancer, emesis, anorexia, irritable bowel syndrome, communicative diseases, glaucoma and central nervous system disorders. The biosynthetic pathway of cannabinoids is also discussed. In short, this plant has a myriad of bioactive compounds which have the potential to increase the list of approved cannabinoids suitable for therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33267756/

https://www.eurekaselect.com/188617/article

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Use of Cannabis for Self-Management of Chronic Pelvic Pain

 View details for Journal of Women's Health cover image“Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects up to 15% of women in the United States. The endocannabinoid system is a potential pharmacological target for pelvic pain as cannabinoid receptors are highly expressed in the uterus and other nonreproductive tissues.

We hypothesize that cannabis use is common for self-management of CPP, and our primary objective was to determine the prevalence of cannabis use in this population.

Results: A total of 240 patients were approached, with 113 responses (47.1% response rate). There were 26 patients who used cannabis (23%). The majority used at least once per week (n = 18, 72%). Most users (n = 24, 96%) reported improvement in symptoms, including pain, cramping, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, libido, and irritability. Over one-third (35%) stated that cannabis use decreased the number of phone calls or messages sent to their provider, and 39% reported decreased number of clinical visits. Side effects, including dry mouth, sleepiness, and feeling “high,” were reported by 84% (n = 21).

Conclusions: Almost one-quarter of patients with CPP report regular use of cannabis as an adjunct to their prescribed therapy. Although side effects are common, most users report improvement in symptoms. Our study highlights the potential of cannabis as a therapeutic option for patients with CPP.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33252316/

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jwh.2020.8737

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In search of preventative strategies: novel high-CBD cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 gateway tissues

 Archive of "Aging (Albany NY)".“With the current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality.

The inhibition of viral entry and thus spread is a plausible therapeutic avenue. SARS-CoV-2 uses receptor-mediated entry into a human host via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is expressed in lung tissue as well as the oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes and gastrointestinal tract. The modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may be an effective strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility.

Cannabis sativa, especially those high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been found to alter gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its effects on ACE2 expression remain unknown.

Working under a Health Canada research license, we developed over 800 new C. sativa cultivars and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to down-regulate ACE2 expression in target COVID-19 tissues. Using artificial 3D human models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high-CBD C. sativa extracts that decrease ACE2 protein levels. Some C. sativa extracts down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells.

While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is important for future analyses of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19. The extracts of our most successful novel high-CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the prevention/treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33221759/

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Therapeutic Applications of Cannabinoids in Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure

 logo“A large number of cannabinoids have been discovered that could play a role in mitigating cardiac affections. However, none of them has been as widely studied as cannabidiol (CBD), most likely because, individually, the others offer only partial effects or can activate potential harmful pathways.

In this regard, CBD has proven to be of great value as a cardioprotective agent since it is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule. Thus, we conducted a review to condensate the currently available knowledge on CBD as a therapy for different experimental models of cardiomyopathies and heart failure to detect the molecular pathways involved in cardiac protection.

CBD therapy can greatly limit the production of oxygen/nitrogen reactive species, thereby limiting cellular damage, protecting mitochondria, avoiding caspase activation, and regulating ionic homeostasis. Hence, it can affect myocardial contraction by restricting the activation of inflammatory pathways and cytokine secretion, lowering tissular infiltration by immune cells, and reducing the area of infarct and fibrosis formation. These effects are mediated by the activation or inhibition of different receptors and target molecules of the endocannabinoid system.

In the final part of this review, we explore the current state of CBD in clinical trials as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases and provide evidence of its potential benefits in humans.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33194003/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2020/4587024/

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Cannabidiol (CBD) as a Promising Anti-Cancer Drug

cancers-logo“Recently, cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have been the subject of intensive research and heavy scrutiny. Cannabinoids encompass a wide array of organic molecules, including those that are physiologically produced in humans, synthesized in laboratories, and extracted primarily from the Cannabis sativa plant. These organic molecules share similarities in their chemical structures as well as in their protein binding profiles. However, pronounced differences do exist in their mechanisms of action and clinical applications, which will be briefly compared and contrasted in this review. The mechanism of action of CBD and its potential applications in cancer therapy will be the major focus of this review article.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33143283/

“The use of cannabinoids containing plant extracts as herbal medicine can be traced back to as early as 500 BC. In recent years, the medical and health-related applications of one of the non-psychotic cannabinoids, cannabidiol or CBD, has garnered tremendous attention. In this review, we will discuss the most recent findings that strongly support the further development of CBD as a promising anti-cancer drug.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/12/11/3203

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Ingestion of a THC-Rich Cannabis Oil in People with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

Issue Cover “Objective: To determine the benefit of a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich cannabis oil on symptoms and quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.

Conclusions: Phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy to reduce symptoms and increase the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia. Future studies are still needed to assess long-term benefits, and studies with different varieties of cannabinoids associated with a washout period must be done to enhance our knowledge of cannabis action in this health condition.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33118602/

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate the benefit of cannabis oil—a THC-rich whole plant extract—on symptoms and on quality of life of people with fibromyalgia. We conclude that phytocannabinoids can be a low-cost and well-tolerated therapy for symptom relief and quality of life improvement in these patients, and we suggest that this therapy could be included as an herbal medicine option for the treatment of this condition”

https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/21/10/2212/5942556

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