Cannabis, a Miracle Drug with Polyvalent Therapeutic Utility: Preclinical and Clinical-Based Evidence

/WebMaterial/ShowPic/1319420“Cannabis sativa L. is an annual herbaceous dioecious plant which was first cultivated by agricultural human societies in Asia. Over the period of time, various parts of the plant like leaf, flower, and seed were used for recreational as well as therapeutic purposes. The main chemical components of Cannabis sativa are termed as cannabinoids, among them the key psychoactive constituent is Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (CBD) as active nonpsychotic constituent. Upon doing extensive literature review, it was found that cannabis has been widely studied for a number of disorders. Very recently, a pure CBD formulation, named Epidiolex, got a green flag from both United States Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration for 2 rare types of epilepsies. This laid a milestone in medical cannabis research.

This review intends to give a basic and extensive assessment, from past till present, of the ethnological, plant, chemical, pharmacological, and legal aspects of C. sativa. Further, this review contemplates the evidence the studies obtained of cannabis components on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, emesis, epilepsy, chronic pain, and cancer as a cytotoxic agent as well as a palliative therapy. The assessment in this study was done by reviewing in extensive details from studies on historical importance, ethnopharmacological aspects, and legal grounds of C. sativa from extensive literature available on the scientific databases, with a vision for elevating further pharmaceutical research to investigate its total potential as a therapeutic agent.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34676349/

“This study has analyzed and reviewed the historical, botanical, chemical, ethnopharmacological, and legal aspects of C. sativa from the first human use to the present medical applications with an analysis of its multiple therapeutic applications for various diseased conditions in the contemporary scientific context. There is an abundance of support for its several medicative uses as well as a possible benefit in various diseased conditions. Extensive pharmacological examination is still needed to better understand the clinical significance and uses of active cannabinoids in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. Also, cannabis can be chemically standardized and under prescription can be used. With the majority of the United States currently legalizing medicinal cannabis and/or restricted CBD-only use, physicians need to be educated on the history and correct clinical use of cannabis, as a result of which patients can know more and more about possible treatment utilizing cannabis. Medical cannabis has shown to have clinical efficacy in our past, and in present, data show its therapeutic effects. Extensive research in the field of cannabis can be very fruitful for the medicine world.”

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/515042

Effects of cannabis ingestion on endometriosis-associated pelvic pain and related symptoms

Ostovari, Yu research published in PLOS ONE - Healthcare Ergonomics  Analytics Lab - Purdue University“Background: The use of cannabis for symptoms of endometriosis was investigated utilising retrospective archival data from Strainprint Technologies Ltd., a Canadian data technology company with a mobile phone application that tracks a range of data including dose, mode of administration, chemovar and their effects on various self-reported outcomes, including pelvic pain.

Results: A total number of 252 participants identifying as suffering endometriosis recorded 16193 sessions using cannabis between April 2017 and February 2020. The most common method of ingestion was inhalation (n = 10914, 67.4%), with pain as the most common reported symptom being treated by cannabis (n = 9281, 57.3%). Gastrointestinal symptoms, though a less common reason for cannabis usage (15.2%), had the greatest self-reported improvement after use. Inhaled forms had higher efficacy for pain, while oral forms were superior for mood and gastrointestinal symptoms. Dosage varied across ingestion methods, with a median dose of 9 inhalations (IQR 5 to 11) for inhaled dosage forms and 1 mg/mL (IQR 0.5 to 2) for other ingested dosage forms. The ratio of THC to CBD had a statistically significant, yet clinically small, differential effect on efficacy, depending on method of ingestion.

Conclusions: Cannabis appears to be effective for pelvic pain, gastrointestinal issues and mood, with effectiveness differing based on method of ingestion. The greater propensity for use of an inhaled dosage delivery may be due to the rapid onset of pain-relieving effects versus the slower onset of oral products. Oral forms appeared to be superior compared to inhaled forms in the less commonly reported mood or gastrointestinal categories. Clinical trials investigating the tolerability and effectiveness of cannabis for endometriosis pain and associated symptoms are urgently required.”

“Recent studies have suggested that a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in endometriosis patients, and that aspects of endometriosis-associated pain may be targeted by modulating the ECS .Previous research on the use of illicit cannabis in women with endometriosis has shown promise in the treatment of endometriosis pain and co-morbid symptoms such as poor sleep, gastrointestinal upset and mood disorders.”

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258940

Hepatic Cannabinoid Signaling in the Regulation of Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

Logo of arcr“Purpose: The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a key regulatory signaling pathway in the pathophysiology of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). More than 30 years of research have established different roles of endocannabinoids and their receptors in various aspects of liver diseases, such as steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, pharmacological applications of the endocannabinoid system for the treatment of ALD have not been successful because of psychoactive side effects, despite some beneficial effects. Thus, a more delicate and detailed elucidation of the mechanism linking the endocannabinoid system and ALD may be of paramount significance in efforts to apply the system to the treatment of ALD.

Search results: According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the authors selected 47 eligible full-text articles out of 2,691 searched initially. Studies in the past 3 decades revealed the opposite effects of cannabinoid receptors CB1R and CB2R on steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis in ALD.

Discussion and conclusions: This review summarizes the endocannabinoid signaling in the general physiology of the liver, the pathogenesis of ALD, and some of the potential therapeutic implications of cannabinoid-based treatments for ALD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34646717/

“Over the past 30 years, it has been found that the endocannabinoid system is involved in a variety of pathways associated with the onset, or the progression, of several diseases, including ALD. The endocannabinoid system has been observed in both the hepatocytes and various nonparenchymal cells in the liver, in which the endocannabinoid production and its receptor activation may contribute to the development of a spectrum of ALD, ranging from simple alcoholic steatosis to more severe forms such as steatohepatitis and fibrosis. Therefore, understanding the precise physiology of the endocannabinoid system in the liver and unveiling the mechanism underlying the association between ALD progression and hepatic endocannabinoid signaling seem to bear a paramount significance for the advancement of ALD treatment, as well as for the treatment of other chronic liver diseases (e.g., NAFLD, viral hepatitis). Moreover, developing efficacious and highly selective cannabinoid receptor–modulating drugs could be a major breakthrough in the treatment of ALD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8496755/

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A potential role for cannabichromene in modulating TRP channels during acute respiratory distress syndrome

Special Issue Springer/Nature BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making -  Explainable-AI - human-centered.ai“Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening clinical syndrome whose potential to become one of the most grievous challenges of the healthcare system evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the lack of target-specific treatment for ARDS, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve quality of life and outcomes for ARDS patients. ARDS is a systemic inflammatory disease starting with the pulmonary system and involves all other organs in a morbid bidirectional fashion. Mounting evidence including our findings supporting the notion that cannabinoids have potential to be targeted as regulatory therapeutic modalities in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Therefore, it is plausible to test their capabilities as alternative therapies in the treatment of ARDS. In this study, we investigated the potential protective effects of cannabichromene (CBC) in an experimental model of ARDS.

Results: Our data showed that CBC was able to reverse the hypoxia (increasing blood O2 saturation by 8%), ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS (reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokines by 50% in lung and blood), and protect the lung tissues from further destruction. Further analysis showed that CBC may wield its protective effects through transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels, TRPA1 and TRPV1, increasing their expression by 5-folds in lung tissues compared to sham and untreated mice, re-establishing the homeostasis and immune balance.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that inhalant CBC may be an effective alternative therapeutic target in the treatment of ARDS. In addition, Increased expression of TRPs cation channels after CBC treatment proposes a novel role for TRPs (TRPA1 and TRPV2) as new potential mechanism to interpret the beneficial effects of CBC as well as other cannabinoids in the treatment of ARDS as well as other inflammatory diseases. Importantly, delivering CBC through an inhaler device is a translational model supporting the feasibility of trial with human subjects, authorizing further research.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34598736/

“Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in Cannabis plants. Numerous studies suggest beneficial effects of cannabinoids in clinical settings.”

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00101-0

The potential of cannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation in respiratory diseases

European Journal of Pharmacology“The global incidence of respiratory diseases and complications is increasing. Therefore, new methods of treatment, as well as prevention, need to be investigated.

A group of compounds that should be considered for use in respiratory diseases is cannabinoids. There are three groups of cannabinoids – plant-derived phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and endogenous endocannabinoids including the enzymes responsible for their synthesis and degradation.

All cannabinoids exert their biological effects through either type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1) and/or type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2). In numerous studies (in vitro and in vivo), cannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation have shown beneficial anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-fibrotic properties.

Although in the respiratory system, most of the studies have focused on the positive properties of cannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation. There are few research reports discussing the negative impact of these compounds. This review summarizes the properties and mechanisms of action of cannabinoids and inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation in various models of respiratory diseases.

A short description of the effects selected cannabinoids have on the human respiratory system and their possible use in the fight against COVID-19 is also presented. Additionally, a brief summary is provided of cannabinoid receptors properties and their expression in the respiratory system and cells of the immune system.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34648805/

“Phytocannabinoids are terpenophenolic compounds produced by specialized parts of the Cannabis sativa plant and are found in high concentrations in marijuana and hashish. In most of models, these compounds have shown positive biological properties. Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-fibrotic actions are especially emphasized.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299921007160?via%3Dihub

Lung cancer patient who had declined conventional cancer treatment: could the self-administration of ‘CBD oil’ be contributing to the observed tumour regression?

b-on, bliblioteca do conhecimento online | BMJ“Conventional lung cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy; however, these treatments are often poorly tolerated by patients. Cannabinoids have been studied for use as a primary cancer treatment. Cannabinoids, which are chemically similar to our own body’s endocannabinoids, can interact with signalling pathways to control the fate of cells, including cancer cells. We present a patient who declined conventional lung cancer treatment. Without the knowledge of her clinicians, she chose to self-administer ‘cannabidiol (CBD) oil’ orally 2-3 times daily. Serial imaging shows that her cancer reduced in size progressively from 41 mm to 10 mm over a period of 2.5 years. Previous studies have failed to agree on the usefulness of cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. This case appears to demonstrate a possible benefit of ‘CBD oil’ intake that may have resulted in the observed tumour regression. The use of cannabinoids as a potential cancer treatment justifies further research.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34649854/

“Patient’s perspective

“I was not very interested in traditional cancer treatments as I was worried about the risks of surgery, and I saw my late husband suffer through the side effects of radiotherapy. My relative suggested that I should try ‘cannabidiol (CBD) oil’ to treat my cancer, and I have been taking it regularly ever since. I am ‘over the moon’ with my cancer shrinking, which I believe was caused by the ‘CBD oil’. I am tolerating it very well and I intend to take this treatment indefinitely.””

https://casereports.bmj.com/content/14/10/e244195

“Cannabis oil led to lung cancer regression in 80-year-old woman: Report”

https://www.freepressjournal.in/world/cannabis-oil-led-to-lung-cancer-regression-in-80-year-old-woman-report

“Case Report: Lung Cancer Shrinks in Patient Using CBD Oil”

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/960949

Characterization of cannabinoid receptors expressed in Ewing sarcoma TC-71 and A-673 cells as potential targets for anti-cancer drug development

Life Sciences“Aims: Characterizing cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) expressed in Ewing sarcoma (EWS) cell lines as potential targets for anti-cancer drug development.

Main methods: CBR affinity and function were examined by competitive binding and G-protein activation, respectively. Cannabinoid-mediated cytotoxicity and cell viability were evaluated by LDH, and trypan blue assays, respectively.

Key findings: qRT-PCR detected CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 receptor (CB2R) mRNA in TC-71 cells. However, binding screens revealed that CBRs expressed exhibit atypical properties relative to canonical receptors, because specific binding in TC-71 could only be demonstrated by the established non-selective CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]WIN-55,212-2, but not CB1/CB2R radioligand [3H]CP-55,940. Homologous receptor binding demonstrated that [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binds to a single site with nanomolar affinity, expressed at high density. Further support for non-canonical CBRs expression is provided by subsequent binding screens, revealing that only 9 out of 28 well-characterized cannabinoids with high affinity for canonical CB1 and/or CB2Rs were able to displace [3H]WIN-55,212-2, whereas two ligands enhanced [3H]WIN-55,212-2 binding. Five cannabinoids producing the greatest [3H]WIN-55,212-2 displacement exhibited high nanomolar affinity (Ki) for expressed receptors. G-protein modulation and adenylyl cyclase assays further indicate that these CBRs exhibit distinct signaling/functional profiles compared to canonical CBRs. Importantly, cannabinoids with the highest affinity for non-canonical CBRs reduced TC-71 viability and induced cytotoxicity in a time-dependent manner. Studies in a second EWS cell line (A-673) showed similar atypical binding properties of expressed CBRs, and cannabinoid treatment produced cytotoxicity.

Significance: Cannabinoids induce cytotoxicity in EWS cell lines via non-canonical CBRs, which might be a potential therapeutic target to treat EWS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34592231/

Cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) were detected in EWS TC-71 and A-673 cells. CBRs expressed in EWS cell lines exhibit atypical binding and signaling characteristics. Ligands with highest affinity for these non-canonical CBRs induce EWS cell death.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320521009802?via%3Dihub

 

Efficacy of Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Alone or in Combination With a 1:1 Ratio of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Reversing the Spatial Learning Deficits in Old Mice

Archive of "Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience".“Decline in cognitive performance, an aspect of the normal aging process, is influenced by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) signaling diminishes with advancing age in specific brain regions that regulate learning and memory and abolishing CB1 receptor signaling accelerates cognitive aging in mice.

We recently demonstrated that prolonged exposure to low dose (3 mg/kg/day) Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) improved the cognitive performances in old mice on par with young untreated mice. Here we investigated the potential influence of cannabidiol (CBD) on this THC effect, because preclinical and clinical studies indicate that the combination of THC and CBD often exhibits an enhanced therapeutic effect compared to THC alone.

We first tested the effectiveness of a lower dose (1 mg/kg/day) THC, and then the efficacy of the combination of THC and CBD in 1:1 ratio, same as in the clinically approved medicine Sativex®. Our findings reveal that a 1 mg/kg/day THC dose still effectively improved spatial learning in aged mice. However, a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD failed to do so.

The presence of CBD induced temporal changes in THC metabolism ensuing in a transient elevation of blood THC levels. However, as CBD metabolizes, the inhibitory effect on THC metabolism was alleviated, causing a rapid clearance of THC. Thus, the beneficial effects of THC seemed to wane off more swiftly in the presence of CBD, due to these metabolic effects.

The findings indicate that THC-treatment alone is more efficient to improve spatial learning in aged mice than the 1:1 combination of THC and CBD.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34526890/

“In conclusion, our observations indicate that 1 mg/kg/day THC dose is still effective in improving the spatial learning in aged mice. With regard to the efficacy, THC-alone has proved to be more efficient in improving spatial learning in aged mice than its 1:1 combination with CBD. However, the possibility of THC/CBD being efficient in other ratios or at the earliest time-points, like immediately after the treatment cease, cannot be negated. Possibly, reducing the dose of CBD may improve the efficacy of the THC/CBD combination.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2021.718850/full

The Effect of Medical Cannabis on Pain Level and Quality of Sleep among Rheumatology Clinic Outpatients

logo“Introduction: Medical cannabis (MC) is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

In this study, we evaluated the effect of MC treatment on pain level and quality of sleep of patients with different medical conditions at the rheumatology clinic.

Conclusions: MC had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34531934/

“MC has a favorable effect on pain level and sleep quality among nearly the entire spectrum of resistant “chronic pain syndromes” seen or referred to rheumatology clinics, including inflammatory diseases resistant to biological treatment, although the effect of MC on synovitis was relatively mild.

Cannabis should be seriously considered in every “chronic pain condition” whenever the accepted modalities of treatment are insufficient for alleviating patient’s pain and sleep problems.”

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2021/1756588/

Endocannabinoid Levels in Ulcerative Colitis Patients Correlate With Clinical Parameters and Are Affected by Cannabis Consumption

Logo of frontendo“Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic, idiopathic, inflammatory, gastrointestinal disorders.

The endocannabinoid system may have a role in the pathogenesis of IBD.

We aimed to assess whether cannabis treatment influences endocannabinoids (eCBs) level and clinical symptoms of IBD patients.

Conclusion

Our study supports the notion that cannabis use affects eCB “tone” in UC patients and may have beneficial effects on disease symptoms in UC patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8438407/

“In conclusion, our study suggests that cannabis use may affect eCBs tone in UC patients. This affect has a beneficial effect on UC symptoms.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2021.685289/full