Cannabidiol and Diabetes

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

Cannabidiol attenuates cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathyFrom the abstract:
Diabetic cardiomyopathy was characterized by declined diastolic and systolic myocardial performance associated with increased oxidative-nitrative stress, nuclear factor-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p-38, p38α) activation, enhanced expression of adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1), tumor necrosis factor-α, markers of fibrosis (transforming growth factor-β, connective tissue growth factor, fibronectin, collagen-1, matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9), enhanced cell death (caspase 3/7 and poly[adenosine diphosphate-ribose] polymerase activity, chromatin fragmentation, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling), and diminished Akt phosphorylation. Remarkably, CBD attenuated myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways. Furthermore, CBD also attenuated the high glucose-induced increased reactive oxygen species generation, nuclear factor-κB activation, and cell death in primary human cardiomyocytes.
Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic miceFrom the abstract:
Cannabidinoids are components of the Cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant that have been shown capable of suppressing inflammation and various aspects of cell-mediated immunity. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabidinoid has been previously shown by us to suppress cell-mediated autoimmune joint destruction in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. We now report that CBD treatment significantly reduces the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice from an incidence of 86% in non-treated control mice to an incidence of 30% in CBD-treated mice. CBD treatment also resulted in the significant reduction of plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Th1-associated cytokine production of in vitro activated T-cells and peritoneal macrophages was also significantly reduced in CBD-treated mice, whereas production of the Th2-associated cytokines, IL-4 and IL-10, was increased when compared to untreated control mice. Histological examination of the pancreatic islets of CBD-treated mice revealed significantly reduced insulitis. Our results indicate that CBD can inhibit and delay destructive insulitis and inflammatory Th1-associated cytokine production in NOD mice resulting in a decreased incidence of diabetes possibly through an immunomodulatory mechanism shifting the immune response from Th1 to Th2 dominance.
Neuroprotective and blood-retinal barrier-preserving effects of CBD in experimental diabetesFrom the abstract:
Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by blood-retinal barrier (BRB) breakdown and neurotoxicity. These pathologies have been associated with oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines, which may operate by activating their downstream target p38 MAP kinase. In the present study, the protective effects of a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), were examined in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats after 1, 2, or 4 weeks. Retinal cell death was determined by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling assay; BRB function by quantifying extravasation of bovine serum albumin-fluorescein; and oxidative stress by assays for lipid peroxidation, dichlorofluorescein fluorescence, and tyrosine nitration. Experimental diabetes induced significant increases in oxidative stress, retinal neuronal cell death, and vascular permeability. These effects were associated with increased levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and activation of p38 MAP kinase, as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunohistochemistry, and/or Western blot. CBD treatment significantly reduced oxidative stress; decreased the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1; and prevented retinal cell death and vascular hyperpermeability in the diabetic retina. Consistent with these effects, CBD treatment also significantly inhibited p38 MAP kinase in the diabetic retina. These results demonstrate that CBD treatment reduces neurotoxicity, inflammation, and BRB breakdown in diabetic animals through activities that may involve inhibition of p38 MAP kinase.
Cannabidiol arrests onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD miceFrom the abstract:
We have previously reported that cannabidiol (CBD) lowers the incidence of diabetes in young non-obese diabetes-prone (NOD) female mice. In the present study we show that administration of CBD to 11-14 week old female NOD mice, which are either in a latent diabetes stage or with initial symptoms of diabetes, ameliorates the manifestations of the disease. Diabetes was diagnosed in only 32% of the mice in the CBD-treated group, compared to 86% and 100% in the emulsifier-treated and untreated groups, respectively. In addition, the level of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12 produced by splenocytes was significantly reduced, whereas the level of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 was significantly elevated following CBD-treatment. Histological examination of the pancreata of CBD-treated mice revealed more intact islets than in the controls. Our data strengthen our previous assumption that CBD, known to be safe in man, can possibly be used as a therapeutic agent for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy: Role of inflammation and potential therapies for anti-inflammationFrom the abstract:
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. Despite many years of research, treatment options for diabetic retinopathy remain limited and with adverse effects. Discovery of new molecular entities with adequate clinical activity for diabetic retinopathy remains one of the key research priorities in ophthalmology. This review is focused on the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive native cannabinoid, as an emerging and novel therapeutic modality in ophthalmology based on systematic studies in animal models of inflammatory retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy – a retinal disease associated with vascular-neuroinflammation. Special emphasis is placed on novel mechanisms which may shed light on the pharmacological activity associated with CBD preclinically. These include a self-defence system against inflammation and neurodegeneration mediated by inhibition of equilibrative nucleoside transporter and activation of adenosine receptor by treatment with CBD.
Cannabinoids alter endothelial function in the Zucker rat model of type 2 diabetesFrom the abstract:
Circulating levels of anandamide are increased in diabetes, and cannabidiol ameliorates a number of pathologies associated with diabetes. The aim of the present study was to examine how exposure to anandamide or cannabidiol might affect endothelial dysfunction associated with Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats. Age-matched Zucker Diabetic Fatty and Zucker lean rats were killed by cervical dislocation and their arteries mounted on a myograph at 37 °C. Arteries were incubated for 2h with anandamide, cannabidiol or vehicle, contracted, and cumulative concentration-response curves to acetylcholine were constructed. Anandamide (10 µM, 2h) significantly improved the vasorelaxant responses to acetylcholine in aortae and femoral arteries from Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats but not Zucker lean rats. By contrast, anandamide (1 µM, 2h) significantly blunted acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation in third-order mesenteric arteries (G3) from Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats. Cannabidiol incubation (10 µM, 2h) improved acetylcholine responses in the arteries of Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats (aorta and femoral) and Zucker lean (aorta, femoral and G3 mesenteric), and this effect was greater in the Zucker Diabetic Fatty rat. These studies suggest that increased circulating endocannabinoids may alter vascular function both positively and negatively in type 2 diabetes, and that part of the beneficial effect of cannabidiol in diabetes may be due to improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation.
The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetesFrom the abstract:
Endocannabinoids (ECs) are defined as endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). ECs, EC anabolic and catabolic enzymes and cannabinoid receptors constitute the EC signalling system. This system participates in the control of lipid and glucose metabolism at several levels, with the possible endpoint of the accumulation of energy as fat. Following unbalanced energy intake, however, the EC system becomes dysregulated, and in most cases overactive, in several organs participating in energy homeostasis, particularly, in intra-abdominal adipose tissue. This dysregulation might contribute to excessive visceral fat accumulation and reduced adiponectin release from this tissue, and to the onset of several cardiometabolic risk factors that are associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This phenomenon might form the basis of the mechanism of action of CB1 antagonists/inverse agonists, recently developed by several pharmaceutical companies as adjuvants to lifestyle modification for weight reduction, glycaemic control and dyslipidaemia in obese and type 2 diabetes patients. It also helps to explain why some of the beneficial actions of these new therapeutics appear to be partly independent from weight loss.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in metabolic disorders with focus on diabetesFrom the abstract:
The cannabinoid receptors for Δ(9)-THC, and particularly, the CB(1) receptor, as well as its endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, are deeply involved in all aspects of the control of energy balance in mammals. While initially it was believed that this endocannabinoid signaling system would only facilitate energy intake, we now know that perhaps even more important functions of endocannabinoids and CB(1) receptors in this context are to enhance energy storage into the adipose tissue and reduce energy expenditure by influencing both lipid and glucose metabolism. Although normally well controlled by hormones and neuropeptides, both central and peripheral aspects of endocannabinoid regulation of energy balance can become dysregulated and contribute to obesity, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes, thus raising the possibility that CB(1) antagonists might be used for the treatment of these metabolic disorders. On the other hand, evidence is emerging that some nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, can be employed to retard β-cell damage in type 1 diabetes. These novel aspects of endocannabinoid research are reviewed in this chapter, with emphasis on the biological effects of plant cannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptor antagonists in diabetes.

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