Cannabidiol and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Studies and peer-reviewed research into the effects of CBD and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: A brief overview From the abstract:
This minireview highlights the importance of cannabidiol (CBD) as a promising drug for the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Actual pharmacological treatments for IBD should be enlarged toward the search for low-toxicityand low-cost drugs that may be given alone or in combination with the conventional anti-IBD drugs to increase their efficacy in the therapy of relapsing forms of colitis. In the past, Cannabis preparations have been considered new promising pharmacological tools in view of their anti-inflammatory role in IBD as well as other gut disturbances. However, their use in the clinical therapy has been strongly limited by their psychotropic effects. CBD is a very promising compound since it shares the typical cannabinoid beneficial effects on gut lacking any psychotropic effects. For years, its activity has been enigmatic for gastroenterologists and pharmacologists, but now it is evident that this compound may interact at extra-cannabinoid system receptor sites, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. This strategic interaction makes CBD as a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.
CBD reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axisFrom the abstract:
Enteric glial cells (EGC) actively mediate acute and chronic inflammation in the gut; EGC proliferate and release neurotrophins, growth factors, and pro-inflammatory cytokines which, in turn, may amplify the immune response, representing a very important link between the nervous and immune systems in the intestine. Cannabidiol (CBD) is an interesting compound because of its ability to control reactive gliosis in the CNS, without any unwanted psychotropic effects. Therefore the rationale of our study was to investigate the effect of CBD on intestinal biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and from intestinal segments of mice with LPS-induced intestinal inflammation. CBD markedly counteracted reactive enteric gliosis in LPS-mice trough the massive reduction of astroglial signalling neurotrophin S100B. Histological, biochemical and immunohistochemical data demonstrated that S100B decrease was associated with a considerable decrease in mast cell and macrophages in the intestine of LPS-treated mice after CBD treatment. Moreover the treatment of LPS-mice with CBD reduced TNF-α expression and the presence of cleaved caspase-3. Similar results were obtained in ex vivo cultured human derived colonic biopsies. In biopsies of UC patients, both during active inflammation and in remission stimulated with LPS+INF-γ, an increased glial cell activation and intestinal damage were evidenced. CBD reduced the expression of S100B and iNOS proteins in the human biopsies confirming its well documented effect in septic mice. The activity of CBD is, at least partly, mediated via the selective PPAR-gamma receptor pathway. CBD targets enteric reactive gliosis, counteracts the inflammatory environment induced by LPS in mice and in human colonic cultures derived from UC patients. These actions lead to a reduction of intestinal damage mediated by PPARgamma receptor pathway. Our results therefore indicate that CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): Can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? From the abstract:
Migraine has numerous relationships to endocannabinoid function. Anandamide (AEA) potentiates 5-HT1A and inhibits 5-HT2A receptors supporting therapeutic efficacy in acute and preventive migraine treatment. Cannabinoids also demonstrate dopamine-blocking and anti-inflammatory effects. AEA is tonically active in the periaqueductal gray matter, a migraine generator. THC modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission via NMDA receptors. Fibromyalgia is now conceived as a central sensitization state with secondary hyperalgesia. Cannabinoids have similarly demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in headache, fibromyalgia, IBS and related disorders. The past and potential clinical utility of cannabis-based medicines in their treatment is discussed, as are further suggestions for experimental investigation of CECD via CSF examination and neuro-imaging.
Cannabinoid actions at TRPV channels: Effects on TRPV3 and TRPV4 and their potential relevance to gastrointestinal inflammationFrom the abstract:
CBD and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) stimulated TRPV3-mediated [Ca(2+)](i) with high efficacy (50-70% of the effect of ionomycin) and potency (EC(50∼) 3.7 μm), whereas cannabigerovarin (CBGV) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) were significantly more efficacious at desensitizing this channel to the action of carvacrol than at activating it; (ii) cannabidivarin and THCV stimulated TRPV4-mediated [Ca(2+)](i) with moderate-high efficacy (30-60% of the effect of ionomycin) and potency (EC(50) 0.9-6.4 μm), whereas CBGA, CBGV, cannabinol and cannabigerol were significantly more efficacious at desensitizing this channel to the action of 4-α-phorbol 12,13-didecanoate (4α-PDD) than at activating it; (iii) CBC reduced TRPV1β, TRPV3 and TRPV4 mRNA in the jejunum, and TRPV3 and TRPV4 mRNA in the ileum of croton oil-treated mice.
Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugsFrom the abstract:
Cannabinoid-based drugs modeled on cannabinoids originally isolated from marijuana are now known to significantly impact the functioning of the endocannabinoid system of mammals. This system operates not only in the brain but also in organs and tissues in the periphery including the immune system. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids are tricyclic terpenes, whereas the endogenous physiological ligands are eicosanoids. Several receptors for these compounds have been extensively described, CB1 and CB2, and are G protein-coupled receptors; however, cannabinoid-based drugs are also demonstrated to function independently of these receptors. Cannabinoids regulate many physiological functions and their impact on immunity is generally antiinflammatory as powerful modulators of the cytokine cascade. This anti-inflammatory potency has led to the testing of these drugs in chronic inflammatory laboratory paradigms and even in some human diseases. Psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabinoid-based drugs such as Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, HU-211, and ajulemic acid have been tested and found moderately effective in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, although clinical trials are not yet reported, preclinical data with cannabinoid-based drugs suggest efficacy in other inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.
CBD and the gut: New developments and emerging conceptsFrom the abstract:
Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain. The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes. Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions. It is involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastroprotection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut. Cellular targets have been defined that include the enteric nervous system, epithelial and immune cells. Molecular targets of the endocannabinoid system include, in addition to the cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha receptors and the orphan G-protein coupled receptors, GPR55 and GPR119. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss cannabinoid receptors and their localization in the gut, the proteins involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation and the presence of endocannabinoids in the gut in health and disease. We focus on the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids in relation to GI disorders, highlighting recent data on genetic mutations in the endocannabinoid system in GI disease.

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