In silico inquest reveals the efficacy of Cannabis in the treatment of post-Covid-19 related neurodegeneration

Publication Cover “Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the Covid-19 pandemic has proved itself as the deadliest pathogen. A major portion of the population has become susceptible to this strain. Scientists are pushing their limits to formulate a vaccine against Covid-19 with the least side effects.

Although the recent discoveries of vaccines have shown some relief from the covid infection rate, however, physical fatigue, mental abnormalities, inflammation and other multiple organ damages are arising as post-Covid symptoms. The long-term effects of these symptoms are massive. Patients with such symptoms are known as long-haulers and treatment strategy against this condition is still unknown.

In this study, we tried to explore a strategy to deal with the post-Covid symptoms. We targeted three human proteins namely ACE2, Interleukin-6, Transmembrane serine protease and NRP1 which are already reported to be damaged via Covid-19 proteins and upregulated in the post-Covid stage. Our target plant in this study is Cannabis (popularly known as ‘Ganja’ in India).

The molecular docking and simulation studies revealed that Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabivarin (CVN) obtained from Cannabis can bind to post-Covid symptoms related central nervous system (CNS) proteins and downregulate them which can be beneficial in post-covid symptoms treatment strategy. Thus we propose Cannabis as an important therapeutic plant against post-Covid symptoms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33810774/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07391102.2021.1905556?journalCode=tbsd20

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Efficacy of cannabinoids against glioblastoma multiforme: A systematic review

Phytomedicine

“INTRODUCTION

: The increased incidence of Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most aggressive and most common primary brain tumour, is evident worldwide. Survival rates are reaching only 15 months due to its high recurrence and resistance to current combination therapies including oncotomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Light has been shed in the recent years on the anticancer properties of cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa.

OBJECTIVE

: To determine whether cannabinoids alone or in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy inhibit tumour progression, induce cancer cell death, inhibit metastasis and invasiveness and the mechanisms that underlie these actions.

METHOD

: PubMed and Web of Science were used for a systemic search to find studies on the anticancer effects of natural cannabinoids on glioma cancer cells in vitro and/or in vivo.

RESULTS

: A total of 302 papers were identified, of which 14 studies were found to fit the inclusion criteria. 5 studies were conducted in vitro, 2 in vivo and 7 were both in vivo and in vitro. 3 studies examined the efficacy of CBD, THC and TMZ, 1 study examined CBD and radiation, 2 studies examined efficacy of THC only and 3 studies examined the efficacy of CBD only. 1 study examined the efficacy of CBD, THC and radiotherapy, 2 studies examined the combination of CBD and THC and 2 more studies examined the efficacy of CBD and TMZ.

CONCLUSION

: The evidence in this systematic review leads to the conclusion that cannabinoids possess anticancer potencies against glioma cells, however this effect varies with the combinations and dosages used. Studies so far were conducted on cells in culture and on mice as well as a small number of studies that were conducted on humans. Hence in order to have more accurate results, higher quality studies mainly including human clinical trials with larger sample sizes are necessitated urgently for GBM treatment.”

HTTPS://WWW.SCIENCEDIRECT.COM/SCIENCE/ARTICLE/ABS/PII/S0944711321000751

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The effect of cannabis in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a pregnant patient – extensive case report and literature review

pubmed logo“Purpose: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is the fourth most frequent cancer diagnosis among pregnant females. A multidisciplinary team is mandatory to obtain the best treatment and prognosis for the mother and for the baby. Here, we present the case of a patient diagnosed with HL and its evolution during 2 pregnancies.

Case presentation: Herein we present the case of a 21-year-old female Caucasian patient, with free history, diagnosed with HL stage IIB. The patient started first line chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with incomplete remission. She refused any other treatment. Five years later, the patient became pregnant and was offered chemotherapy in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, that she refused, and delivered by C-section at 37 weeks. In the same year, the patient became pregnant again and was proposed termination of pregnancy, that she also refused. The MRI scan revealed progression of HL and she was admitted in the hospital several times for altered general condition, respiratory infections and increased need of painkillers including opioids.

At 26 weeks of pregnancy, the patient began on her own a treatment with pure cannabis. Her pain and general status got better and the tumor tissue decreased.

She delivered by C-section at 34 weeks a boy that presented in the first 24 h postpartum a withdrawal syndrome and intestinal invagination, requiring care in NICU and surgery with bowel resection.

Conclusion: Therefore, we can conclude that cannabis could be part of oncological treatment. No other case like this, as far as we know, has been previously reported.”

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Unveiling the mechanism of action behind the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids in ER + breast cancer cells: impact on aromatase and steroid receptors

The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. In the last years, cannabinoids have gained attention in the clinical setting and clinical trials with cannabinoid-based preparations are underway. However, contradictory anti-tumour properties have also been reported. Thus, the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind their anti-tumour efficacy is crucial to better understand its therapeutic potential.

Considering this, our work aims to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-cancer properties of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and of the phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cells that overexpress aromatase (MCF-7aro). Their in vitro effects on cell proliferation, cell death and activity/expression of aromatase, ERα, ERβ and AR were investigated.

Our results demonstrated that cannabinoids disrupted MCF-7aro cell cycle progression. Unlike AEA and THC that induced apoptosis, CBD triggered autophagy to promote apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, all cannabinoids reduced aromatase and ERα expression levels in cells. On the other hand, AEA and CBD not only exhibited high anti-aromatase activity but also induced up-regulation of ERβ. Therefore, all cannabinoids, albeit by different actions, target aromatase and ERs, impairing, in that way, the growth of ER+ breast cancer cells, which is dependent on estrogen signalling.

As aromatase and ERs are key targets for ER+ breast cancer treatment, cannabinoids can be considered as potential and attractive therapeutic compounds for this type of cancer, being CBD the most promising one. Thus, from an in vitro perspective, this work may contribute to the growing mass of evidence of cannabinoids and cannabinoids-based medicines as potential anti-cancer drugs.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33722705/

“AEA and THC induce apoptosis in ER+ breast cancer cells, while CBD trigger autophagy to promote apoptosis. AEATHC and CBD impair growth of ER+ breast cancer cells, by disrupting cycle progression. AEATHC and CBD affect aromatase and ERα expression levels in ER+ breast cancer cells. AEA and CBD strongly inhibited aromatase activity and up-regulated ERβ levels. Cannabinoids are considered potential therapeutic compounds for ER+ breast cancer, being CBD the most promising one.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076021000698?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response

bioRxiv“The rapid spread of COVID-19 underscores the need for new treatments.

Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. CBD and its metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, but not congeneric cannabinoids, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells.

CBD acts after cellular infection, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD induces interferon expression and up-regulates its antiviral signaling pathway. A cohort of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence of up to an order of magnitude relative to matched pairs or the general population.

This study highlights CBD, and its active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, as potential preventative agents and therapeutic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 at early stages of infection.”

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.10.432967v1

“Cannabis compound inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells”   https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210314/Cannabis-compound-inhibits-SARS-CoV-2-replication-in-human-lung-cells.aspx

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Cannabinoids as Key Regulators of Inflammasome Signaling: A Current Perspective

Segura Lab - New publication in Frontiers in Immunology“Inflammasomes are cytoplasmic inflammatory signaling protein complexes that detect microbial materials, sterile inflammatory insults, and certain host-derived elements. Inflammasomes, once activated, promote caspase-1-mediated maturation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18, leading to pyroptosis. Current advances in inflammasome research support their involvement in the development of chronic inflammatory disorders in contrast to their role in regulating innate immunity.

Cannabis (marijuana) is a natural product obtained from the Cannabis sativa plant, and pharmacologically active ingredients of the plant are referred to as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids and cannabis extracts have recently emerged as promising novel drugs for chronic medical conditions. Growing evidence indicates the potent anti-inflammatory potential of cannabinoids, especially Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and synthetic cannabinoids; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. Several attempts have been made to decipher the role of cannabinoids in modulating inflammasome signaling in the etiology of chronic inflammatory diseases.

In this review, we discuss recently published evidence on the effect of cannabinoids on inflammasome signaling. We also discuss the contribution of various cannabinoids in human diseases concerning inflammasome regulation. Lastly, in the milieu of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we confer available evidence linking inflammasome activation to the pathophysiology of COVID-19 suggesting overall, the importance of cannabinoids as possible drugs to target inflammasome activation in or to support the treatment of a variety of human disorders including COVID-19.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33584697/

“Cannabis has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects owing to its constituents, cannabinoids and terpenoids. Overall, cannabinoids hold a great promise as additional therapeutics to support the current treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, along with COVID-19”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.613613/full

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CBD activation of TRPV1 induces oxidative signalling and subsequent ER stress in breast cancer cell lines

“Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is an imbalance between the ER’s protein-folding load and capacity. It can be induced by various physiological conditions, activating the unfolded protein response to re-establish homeostasis, promoting cell survival. Under severe or chronic stress, apoptosis is induced. Normal cells generally do not experience continuous ER stress induction. The stressful conditions experienced in the tumour microenvironment facilitates chronic ER stress and UPR activation, which plays a pivotal role in tumour survival.

Exacerbation of pre-existing ER stress can trigger cancer cell death, with a minimal effect on normal cells.

Current literature suggests that cannabinoid treatment may induce cancer cell death via ER stress; however, little is known about the mechanisms of induction.

This study proposed that cannabidiol (CBD) mechanism that occurred through the influx of Ca2+ via the TRPV1 receptor, and increasing ROS production affects protein folding and induces ER stress. ER stress was induced, and detection and quantification were completed using Thioflavin T staining and GRP78 by western blot analysis. The effect of cannabinoid treatment on ROS production and Ca2+ influx was measured. CBD was the most potent ER stress inducer, significantly increasing Ca2+ and ROS accumulation. Concomitant treatment with CBD and an antioxidant significantly increased cell viability and decreased ER stress induction in the MCF7 cell line. Concomitant treatment with a TRPV1 antagonist increased viability in this cell line.

In conclusion, the data suggested that CBD induced ER stress via Ca2+ influx through the TRPV1 receptor, thereby elevating intracellular ROS levels and disrupting protein folding.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33604949/

https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bab.2119

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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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Induced Fit Docking and Automated QSAR Studies Reveal the ER-α Inhibitory Activity of Cannabis sativa in Breast Cancer

Background: Breast Cancer (BC), a common death-causing disease and the deadliest cancer next to lung cancer, is characterized by an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. BC chemotherapy is marked by targeting the activities of some receptors such as Estrogen Receptor alpha (ER-α). At present, one of the most commonly used and approved marketed therapeutic drug for BC is tamoxifen. Despite the short term success of tamoxifen usage, its long time treatment has been associated with significant side effects. Therefore, there is a pressing need for the development of novel anti-estrogens for the prevention and treatment of BC.

Objective: In this study, we evaluate the inhibitory effect of Cannabis Sativa phyto-constituents on ER-α.

Method: Glide and Induced Fit Docking followed by ADME, Automated QSAR and Binding free energy (ΔGbind) studies were used to evaluate the anti-breast cancer and ER-α inhibitory activity of Cannabis sativa, which has been reported to be effective in inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation.

Results: Phyto-constituents of Cannabis sativa possess lower docking scores and good ΔGbind when compared to that of tamoxifen. ADME and AutoQSAR studies revealed that our lead compounds demonstrated the properties required to make them promising therapeutic agents.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that Naringenin, Dihydroresveratrol, Baicalein, Apigenin and Cannabitriol could have relatively better inhibitory activity than tamoxifen and could be a better and patent therapeutic candidate in the treatment of BC. Further research such as in vivo and/or in vitro assays could be conducted to attest the ability of these compounds.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33563181/

https://www.eurekaselect.com/190950/article

 

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The pro-apoptosis effects of Echinacea purpurea and Cannabis sativa extracts in human lung cancer cells through caspase-dependent pathway

 Logo of bmccmt“Considering the advantages of using medicinal herbs as supplementary treatments to sensitize conventional anti-cancer drugs, studying functional mechanisms and regulatory effects of Echinacea purpurea (as a non-cannabinoid plant) Image result for echinacea purpurea

and Cannabis sativa (as a cannabinoid plant) are timely and required.Image result for cannabis sativa

The potential effects of such herbs on lung cancer cell growth, apoptosis, cell cycle distribution, cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, caspase activity and their cannabinomimetic properties on the CB2 receptor are addressed in the current study.

Results: Echinacea purpurea (EP) root extract induced a considerable decrease in A549 viable cells, showing a time and dose-dependent response. The cell toxicity of EP was accompanied by induction of early apoptosis and cell accumulation at the sub G1 phase of the cell cycle. The elevation of cellular ROS level and caspase 3 activity indicate ROS-induced caspase-dependent apoptosis following the treatment of A549 cells by EP extract. The observed effects of EP extract on A549 growth and death were abrogated following blockage of CB2 using AM630, a specific antagonist of the CB2 receptor. Increasing concentrations of Cannabis sativa (CS) induced A549 cell death in a time-dependent manner, followed by induction of early apoptosis, cell cycle arrest at sub G1 phase, elevation of ROS level, and activation of caspase 3. The CB2 blockage caused attenuation of CS effects on A549 cell death which revealed consistency with the effects of EP extract on A549 cells.

Conclusions: The pro-apoptotic effects of EP and CS extracts on A549 cells and their possible regulatory role of CB2 activity might be attributed to metabolites of both herbs. These effects deserve receiving more attention as alternative anti-cancer agents.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33446187/

“Both cannabinoid receptors and naturally occurring cannabinoids, known as phytocannabinoids, have potential therapeutic applications based on their pivotal roles in regulating immunologic responses, alleviating inflammation, tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and migration. Based on the findings, it can be postulated that EP and CS extracts can inhibit lung cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis and should be considered as an alternative anti-cancer agent in lung cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7809807/

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