Cannabidiol and Atherosclerosis

Studies and peer-reviewed research into the effects of CBD and Atherosclerosis

The role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosisFrom the abstract:
Our current understanding of the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis suggests a prominent role for immune responses from its initiation through its complications. Given the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors worldwide, there is an urgent need to better understand the underlying mechanisms to improve current treatment protocols. A growing body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signalling plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of atherogenesis and its clinical manifestations. Blocking CB(1) receptors has been shown to mediate not only weight reduction, but also several cardiometabolic effects in rodents and humans, indicating a potential relevance for the process of atherosclerosis. Activation of CB(2) receptors with Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to inhibit atherosclerotic plaque progression in mice, mainly by inhibiting macrophage recruitment. Endocannabinoids released from endothelial cells, macrophages or platelets, reduce hypertension in rodents, a major risk factor for atherosclerosis. In addition, anandamide inhibits inflammatory gene expression in endothelial cells, and consequently monocyte adhesion. Conversely, endocannabinoids might also mediate pro-atherosclerotic effects by inducing platelet activation. In conclusion, the precise role of the endocannabinoid system during atherosclerosis is not yet understood. Whether increased endocannabinoid signalling is associated with disease progression and increased risk of acute thrombotic events remains to be determined.
Cannabinoid receptors in atherosclerosisFrom the abstract:
Cannabinoids, such as Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive compound of marijuana, their synthetic analogs and endogenous cannabinoid ligands, produce their biological effects by interacting with specific receptors. In the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse model of atherosclerosis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol was shown to inhibit disease progression through pleiotropic effects on inflammatory cells. Blocking of cannabinoid receptor CB2, the main cannabinoid receptor expressed on immune cells, abolished the observed effects. The development of novel cannabinoid receptor ligands that selectively target CB2 receptors or pharmacological modulation of the endocannabinoid system might offer novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of atherosclerosis. Several reports demonstrating an implication of the endocannabinoid system in different inflammatory conditions support this hypothesis.
The potential use of cannabidiol in the therapy of metabolic syndromeFrom the abstract:
Cannabidiol, a cannabinoid and serotonin receptor antagonist, may alleviate hyperphagia without the side effects of rimonabant (for example depression and reduced insulin sensitivity). Similar to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma agonists, it may also help the differentation of adipocytes. Cannabidiol has an immunomodulating effect, as well, that helps lessen the progression of atherosclerosis induced by high glucose level. It may also be effective in fighting ischaemic diseases, the most harmful complications of metabolic syndrome. However, it can only be administered as an adjuvant therapy because of its low binding potency, and its inhibiting effect of cytochrome P450 enzymes should also be considered. Nevertheless, it may be beneficially used in adjuvant therapy because of its few side effects

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