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Special Issue "Medical Marijuana"

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A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Emmanuel S. Onaivi

Department of Biology, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, 07470, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cannabinoids; endocannabinoid system; cannabinoid genetics and epigenetics; drug addiction; medical marijuana and cannabinoid pharmacogenomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Medical marijuana is rapidly moving beyond a patient driven phenomenon as new research is unraveling compelling scientific basis for the use of cannabis as medicine and has transformed cannabinoid research into mainstream science. Cannabinoids are the active constituents in marijuana and recent advances indicate the existence of the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of endocannabinoids (eCBs), their synthesizing and degrading enzymes and cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), (CB1-R, CB2-R…CBn-R). These components of the ECS are coded in our genes and CB1-Rs and CB2-Rs are encoded in chromosomes 6 and 1 respectively. With the ubiquitous distribution of the components of the ECS in most biological systems, it is not surprising that the most abundant binding sites in the human brain are for cannabis and cannabinoids. As a result of the ubiquitous distribution and the fundamental role that the ECS plays in the regulation of a number of human physiological processes, drugs that are targeted to different aspects of this system are already benefiting cancer patients and those with AIDS, autoimmune disorders and metabolic syndromes. The medical and recreational use of marijuana has been clouded by stigma that persists. However, recent advances are providing a deeper understanding of the underlying biology that is essential to improving diagnosis and identification of new therapeutic targets in many conditions of ECS dysfunction. Thus the future of medical marijuana is robust with comparative efficacies with other medicines in many diseases where marijuana-cannabinoids are indicated. This special issue covers some of the discoveries in marijuana-cannabinoid research that is providing the scientific bases for the use of marijuana as medicine: from basic science to the clinic.

Dr. Emmanuel S. Onaivi
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • cannabinoids
  • endocannabinoids
  • autoimmune disorders
  • crohn’s disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • glaucoma
  • ALS
  • MS
  • muscular dystrophy
  • cachexia
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • AIDS
  • cancer
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • neuropathic pain
  • PTSD
  • seizure disorders

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Role of Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase and AMP-Activated Kinase in the Rapid Estrogenic Attenuation of Cannabinoid-Induced Changes in Energy Homeostasis
Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4(4), 630-651; doi:10.3390/ph4040630
Received: 7 March 2011 / Revised: 31 March 2011 / Accepted: 4 April 2011 / Published: 12 April 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We sought to determine the involvement of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the estrogenic antagonism of the cannabinoid regulation of energy homeostasis. Food intake and body weight were evaluated in ovariectomized female guinea pigs treated s.c. with estradiol
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We sought to determine the involvement of phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the estrogenic antagonism of the cannabinoid regulation of energy homeostasis. Food intake and body weight were evaluated in ovariectomized female guinea pigs treated s.c. with estradiol benzoate (EB) or its sesame oil vehicle, or the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 or its cremephor/ethanol/0.9% saline vehicle. AMPK catalytic subunit, PI3K p85α regulatory subunit and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression was assessed via quantitative RT-PCR in microdissected hypothalamic tissue. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed in hypothalamic slices. Both EB and AM251 decreased food intake and weight gain, and increased AMPKα1, AMPKα2 and PI3K p85α gene expression in the mediobasal hypothalamus. 17β-Estradiol rapidly and markedly attenuated the decreases in glutamatergic miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency caused by the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 in POMC neurons. This rapid estrogenic diminution of cannabinoid-induced decreases in mEPSC frequency was blocked by the estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist ICI 182,780 and the PI3K inhibitor PI 828, the latter of which also prevented the AM251-induced increase in mEPSC frequency. In addition, the AMPK activator metformin reversed the EB-induced decreases in food intake and weight gain and restored the ability of WIN 55,212-2 to reduce mEPSC frequency. These data reveal that estrogens physiologically antagonize cannabinoid-induced changes in appetite and POMC neuronal activity by activating PI3K and inhibiting AMPK. As such, they provide insight into the neuroanatomical substrates and signal transduction mechanisms upon which these counter-regulatory factors converge in the control of energy homeostasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Marijuana)

Review

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Open AccessReview Association of Marijuana Use and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(7), 719-726; doi:10.3390/ph5070719
Received: 11 May 2012 / Revised: 13 June 2012 / Accepted: 19 June 2012 / Published: 29 June 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (48 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cannabis use has become one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. It is estimated that each year 2.6 million individuals in the USA become new users and most are younger than 19 years of age. Reports describe marijuana use as
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Cannabis use has become one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world. It is estimated that each year 2.6 million individuals in the USA become new users and most are younger than 19 years of age. Reports describe marijuana use as high as 40–50% in male Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome patients. It is this interest in cannabis in the World, coupled with recognition of a cyclic vomiting illness associated with its chronic use that beckons a review of the most current articles, as well as a contribution from our own experiences in this area. The similarities we have demonstrated for both cannibinoid hyperemesis syndrome and cyclic vomiting make the case that cannibinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a subset of patients who have the diagnoses of cyclic vomiting syndrome and the role of marijuana should always be considered in the diagnosis of CVS, particularly in males. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Marijuana)
Open AccessReview Cannabidiol in Humans—The Quest for Therapeutic Targets
Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(5), 529-552; doi:10.3390/ph5050529
Received: 20 April 2012 / Revised: 14 May 2012 / Accepted: 15 May 2012 / Published: 21 May 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cannabidiol (CBD), a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, is attracting growing attention in medicine for its anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antiemetic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, up to this point, a comprehensive literature review of the effects of CBD in humans is lacking. The aim of
[...] Read more.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, is attracting growing attention in medicine for its anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antiemetic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, up to this point, a comprehensive literature review of the effects of CBD in humans is lacking. The aim of the present systematic review is to examine the randomized and crossover studies that administered CBD to healthy controls and to clinical patients. A systematic search was performed in the electronic databases PubMed and EMBASE using the key word “cannabidiol”. Both monotherapy and combination studies (e.g., CBD + ∆9-THC) were included. A total of 34 studies were identified: 16 of these were experimental studies, conducted in healthy subjects, and 18 were conducted in clinical populations, including multiple sclerosis (six studies), schizophrenia and bipolar mania (four studies), social anxiety disorder (two studies), neuropathic and cancer pain (two studies), cancer anorexia (one study), Huntington’s disease (one study), insomnia (one study), and epilepsy (one study). Experimental studies indicate that a high-dose of inhaled/intravenous CBD is required to inhibit the effects of a lower dose of ∆9-THC. Moreover, some experimental and clinical studies suggest that oral/oromucosal CBD may prolong and/or intensify ∆9-THC-induced effects, whereas others suggest that it may inhibit ∆9-THC-induced effects. Finally, preliminary clinical trials suggest that high-dose oral CBD (150–600 mg/d) may exert a therapeutic effect for social anxiety disorder, insomnia and epilepsy, but also that it may cause mental sedation. Potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic explanations for these results are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Marijuana)

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