Cannabis: From a Plant That Modulates Feeding Behaviors toward Developing Selective Inhibitors of the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System for the Treatment of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.

toxins-logo “In this review, we discuss the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in regulating energy and metabolic homeostasis. Endocannabinoids, via activating the cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R), are commonly known as mediators of the thrifty phenotype hypothesis due to their activity in the central nervous system, which in turn regulates food intake and underlies the development of metabolic syndrome. Indeed, these findings led to the clinical testing of globally acting CB1R blockers for obesity and various metabolic complications. However, their therapeutic potential was halted due to centrally mediated adverse effects. Recent observations that highlighted the key role of the peripheral eCB system in metabolic regulation led to the preclinical development of various novel compounds that block CB1R only in peripheral organs with very limited brain penetration and without causing behavioral side effects. These unique molecules, which effectively ameliorate obesity, type II diabetes, fatty liver, insulin resistance, and chronic kidney disease in several animal models, are likely to be further developed in the clinic and may revive the therapeutic potential of blocking CB1R once again.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31096702

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/11/5/275

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CBD: A New Hope?

 ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters“The nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid, CBD, was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of children with drug-resistant epilepsy. This milestone opens new avenues for cannabinoid research. In this Viewpoint, we provide an overview of recent progress in the field highlighting molecular insights into CBD’s mechanism of action, as well as its therapeutic potential.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31097982

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00127

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Cannabinoid-induced relief of hypermotility in a rat model of the irritable bowel syndrome.

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“Cannabinoid-2 receptor agonists may be useful in treating intestinal motility disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31094052

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nmo.13613

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Cannabidivarin completely rescues cognitive deficits and delays neurological and motor defects in male Mecp2 mutant mice.

SAGE Journals“Recent evidence suggests that 2-week treatment with the non-psychotomimetic cannabinoid cannabidivarin (CBDV) could be beneficial towards neurological and social deficits in early symptomatic Mecp2 mutant mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). The aim of this study was to provide further insights into the efficacy of CBDV in Mecp2-null mice using a lifelong treatment schedule to evaluate its effect on recognition memory and neurological defects in both early and advanced stages of the phenotype progression. CBDV rescues recognition memory deficits in Mecp2 mutant mice and delays the appearance of neurological defects. CBDV administration exerts an enduring rescue of memory deficits in Mecp2 mutant mice. CBDV delays neurological defects but this effect is only transient.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31084246

“Chronic treatment with the phytocannabinoid Cannabidivarin (CBDV) rescues behavioural alterations and brain atrophy in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30056123

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Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy.

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“Dogs in the CBD group had a significant reduction in seizure frequency, compared with the placebo group”
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Endocannabinoid contributions to alcohol habits and motivation: Relevance to treatment.

Addiction Biology banner“Individuals with alcohol use disorder exhibit compulsive habitual behaviors that are thought to be, in part, a consequence of chronic and persistent use of alcohol.

The endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in habit learning and in ethanol self-administration, but the role of this neuromodulatory system in the expression of habitual alcohol seeking is unknown.

Here, we investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system in established alcohol habits using contingency degradation in male C57BL/6 mice.

These results demonstrate an important role for endocannabinoid signaling in the motivation to seek ethanol, in ethanol-motivated habits, and suggest that pharmacological manipulations of endocannabinoid signaling could be effective therapeutics for treating alcohol use disorder.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31056846

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/adb.12768

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Using Cannabis to Treat Cancer-Related Pain.

Seminars in Oncology Nursing

“OBJECTIVE: To describe which cannabinoids and terpenes are effective for treating pain.

CONCLUSION: Cannabis and cannabinoid medicines, as modulators of the endocannabinoid system, offer novel therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer-related pain, not only for patients who do not respond to conventional therapies, but also for patients who prefer to try cannabis as a first treatment option.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Understanding the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, terpenes, routes of administration, potential drug interactions, clinical implications, and potential side effects ensures nurses can better assist patients who use cannabis for the treatment of cancer pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31053395

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749208119300609?via%3Dihub

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Pharmacokinetics and Tolerability of Multiple Doses of Pharmaceutical-Grade Synthetic Cannabidiol in Pediatric Patients with Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy.

“Prior studies have evaluated the use of various constituents of cannabis for their anti-seizure effects. Specifically, cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, has been investigated for treatment-resistant epilepsy, but more information is needed particularly on its use in a pediatric population.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and safety of a synthetic pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol oral solution in pediatric patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

RESULTS:

Overall, 61 patients across three cohorts received one of three doses of cannabidiol oral solution (mean age, 7.6 years). The age composition was similar in the three cohorts. There was a trend for increased cannabidiol exposure with increased cannabidiol oral solution dosing, but overall exposure varied. Approximately 2-6 days of twice-daily dosing provided steady-state concentrations of cannabidiol. A bi-directional drug interaction occurred with cannabidiol and clobazam. Concomitant administration of clobazam with 40 mg/kg/day of cannabidiol oral solution resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in mean cannabidiol exposure. Mean plasma clobazam concentrations were 1.7- and 2.2-fold greater in patients receiving clobazam concomitantly with 40 mg/kg/day of cannabidiol oral solution compared with 10 mg/kg/day and 20 mg/kg/day. Mean plasma norclobazam values were 1.3- and 1.9-fold higher for patients taking clobazam plus 40 mg/kg/day of cannabidiol oral solution compared with the 10-mg/kg/day and 20-mg/kg/day groups. All doses were generally well tolerated, and common adverse events that occurred at > 10% were somnolence (21.3%), anemia (18.0%), and diarrhea (16.4%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Inter-individual variability in systemic cannabidiol exposure after pediatric patient treatment with cannabidiol oral solution was observed but decreased with multiple doses. Short-term administration was generally safe and well tolerated.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31049885

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40263-019-00624-4

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Higher cannabidiol plasma levels are associated with better seizure response following treatment with a pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol.

“The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between cannabidiol (CBD) dose, CBD plasma level, and seizure control in a large open-label single-center study.

METHODS:

All participants with treatment-refractory epilepsy participating in our expanded access program (EAP) were approached for participation. Highly purified grade CBD (Epidiolex®) dosing was weight-based and could be increased every 2 weeks by 5 mg/kg/day up to a maximum dosage of 50 mg/kg/day depending on tolerance and seizure control. Seizure counts were obtained at each visit with frequency calculated per 2-week periods. Cross-sectional plasma peak levels of CBD were obtained ~4 h after dosing in consecutively presenting patients.

RESULTS:

We evaluated 56 adults and 44 children (100 total; 54 female) at two time points – one before initiating CBD and one at the time of CBD plasma level testing. There was a positive linear correlation between CBD dosage (range from 5 to 50 mg/kg/day) and level (range from 7.1-1200 ng/mL) in all participants (r = 0.640; p < 0.001). The quantile regression model supported the notion of increased CBD levels being associated with improvement in seizure frequency after adjusting for age – specifically, a 100 ng/mL increase in CBD level was associated with approximately two counts reduction in seizure frequency per time period (1.87 96% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-3.39; p = 0.018). In participants with the same CBD level, differences in seizure improvement did not depend on age (p = 0.318).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this open-label study, we found evidence of a linear correlation between CBD dosage and plasma levels, and that higher dose/levels are associated with a higher response rate for seizure improvement. Children and adults responded to CBD similarly. However, seizure control response rates suggest children may respond to lower dosages/plasma levels than adults. Findings reported in this study are specific to Epidiolex® and should not be extrapolated to other CBD products.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31048098

https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(19)30051-4/fulltext

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Emerging evidence for the antidepressant effect of cannabidiol and the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy

“Significant limitations with the currently available antidepressant treatment strategies have inspired research on finding new and more efficient drugs to treat depression. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic component of Cannabis sativa, and emerges in this regard as a promising compound. In 2010, we were the first laboratory to demonstrate that CBD is effective in animal models of predictive of antidepressant effect, a finding now confirmed by several other groups. Recent evidence suggests that CBD promotes both a rapid and a sustained antidepressant effect in animal models. CBD has a complex pharmacology, with the ability to interact with multiple neurotransmitter systems involved in depression, including the serotonergic, glutamatergic, and endocannabinoid systems. Moreover, CBD induces cellular and molecular changes in brain regions related to depression neurobiology, such as increased Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels and synaptogenesis in the medial prefrontal cortex, as well as it increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This review presents a comprehensive critical overview of the current literature related to the antidepressant effects of CBD, with focus at the possible mechanisms. Finally, challenges and perspectives for future research are discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31039391

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891061818302114?via%3Dihub

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