Advances in Cannabinoid Research

Dear Colleagues,

The isolation of Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) followed by the discovery of cannabinoid receptors as well as of endogenous cannabinoids led to the identification of the “endocannabinoid system”. Since then, this system has been recognized as a key modulator of a huge variety of physiological processes and neuroadaptive responses, including learning and memory, nociception, endocrine function, sex and feeding, and brain development. Furthermore, the endocannabinoid system is an important constituent of neuronal substrates involved in reinforcement and brain reward processes, modulating the addiction-producing actions of cannabinoids, as well as of other drugs of abuse. On the other hand, abnormalities in endocannabinoid signaling may be implicated in several diseases, including neurologic and psychiatric diseases, cancer, obesity, and neuropathic and inflammatory pain. As a consequence, cannabinoids have received growing attention for their possible therapeutic applications. Pharmacological strategies include cannabis preparations (raw cannabis, magistral preparations, and standardized cannabis preparations), synthetic analogs of THC, and inhibitors of endocannabinoid uptake or metabolism. Despite numerous advances in the field of cannabinoid research, further investigations are still needed in order to clarify many pending issues, relative to molecular mechanisms and actions of natural as well as synthetic cannabinoids and the precise assessment of the benefits and risks of using them for both therapeutic and recreational purposes. In this context, this Topic welcomes original research, meta-analyses, and review articles, ranging from preclinical research to human studies. Additionally, we also welcome the submission of research focusing on the therapeutical potential of new pharmaceutical preparations.

Dr. Maria Scherma
Prof. Dr. Paola Fadda
Dr. Fabrizio Sanna
Dr. Anna Lisa Muntoni
Topic Editors

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 August 2022.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2022.

Topic Board

Dr. Maria Scherma
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
Interests: eating disorders; psychiatric disorders; addiction; endocannabinoid system; behavioral neuroscience; animal models of eating disorders
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Paola Fadda
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
Interests: psychiatric disorders; eating disorders; addiction; dopaminergic system; endocannabinoid system; behavioral neuroscience; eating behavior; animal models of eating disorders
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Fabrizio Sanna
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cagliari, 09100 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: motivated behavior; sexual behavior; feeding; oxytocin; dopamine; hypothalamus; mesocorticolimbic system; individual differences; neuroplasticity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Anna Lisa Muntoni
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor
Neuroscience Institute, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), 00185 Roma, Italy
Interests: neuropsychiatric disorders; addiction; neuronal mechanisms; plasticity; cannabinoids; extended endocannabinoid system

Keywords

  • endocannabinoid system
  • neuropsychiatric disorders
  • reward and motivation
  • addiction
  • cannabinoid preparations
  • neuropathic pain
  • neuroplasticity

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.924 6.0 2000 16.07 Days 2300 CHF Submit
Biomedicines
biomedicines
6.081 3.6 2013 17.19 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Brain Sciences
brainsci
3.394 3.0 2011 19.85 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Antioxidants
antioxidants
6.313 4.5 2012 16.51 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Pharmaceuticals
pharmaceuticals
5.863 4.6 2004 14.71 Days 2000 CHF Submit

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Systematic Review
The Safety of Dronabinol and Nabilone: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(1), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph15010100 - 14 Jan 2022
Abstract
Dronabinol, a natural cannabinoid, and its semi-synthetic derivative, nabilone, are marketed as medicines in several countries. The aim of our work was to systematically evaluate the frequency of adverse events related to dronabinol or nabilone treatment compared to placebo. Scientific databases were searched [...] Read more.
Dronabinol, a natural cannabinoid, and its semi-synthetic derivative, nabilone, are marketed as medicines in several countries. The aim of our work was to systematically evaluate the frequency of adverse events related to dronabinol or nabilone treatment compared to placebo. Scientific databases were searched for placebo-controlled clinical studies of patients receiving either dronabinol or nabilone therapy with placebo control groups. This meta-analysis was reported following the PRISMA guidelines using the PICO format, and it was registered with the PROSPERO register. There were 16 trials included in the meta-analysis. In the nabilone studies, drowsiness was more than 7 times as frequent in patients treated with nabilone than in the placebo group (OR: 7.25; 95% CI: 1.64–31.95), and the risk of dizziness (OR: 21.14; 95% CI: 2.92–152.75) and dry mouth was also higher (OR: 17.23; 95% CI: 4.33–68.55). The frequency of headache was not different in the two groups. In case of dronabinol, the frequency of dry mouth (OR: 5.58; 95% CI: 3.19–9.78), dizziness (OR: 4.60 95% CI: 2.39–8.83) and headache (OR: 2.90; 95% CI: 1.07–7.85) was significantly higher in the dronabinol groups, whereas in case of nausea, drowsiness and fatigue there was no difference. The severity of adverse events was typically mild-to-moderate and transient. In a risk-benefit assessment, these adverse effects are acceptable compared to the achievable benefit. However, considering the diversity of the adverse effects, more studies are needed to provide a more accurate assessment on the side effect profiles of these two compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Cannabinoid Research)
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Article
Cannabidiol Induces Cell Death in Human Lung Cancer Cells and Cancer Stem Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(11), 1169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14111169 - 17 Nov 2021
Abstract
Currently, there is no effective therapy against lung cancer due to the development of resistance. Resistance contributes to disease progression, recurrence, and mortality. The presence of so-called cancer stem cells could explain the ineffectiveness of conventional treatment, and the development of successful cancer [...] Read more.
Currently, there is no effective therapy against lung cancer due to the development of resistance. Resistance contributes to disease progression, recurrence, and mortality. The presence of so-called cancer stem cells could explain the ineffectiveness of conventional treatment, and the development of successful cancer treatment depends on the targeting also of cancer stem cells. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid with anti-tumor properties. However, the effects on cancer stem cells are not well understood. The effects of CBD were evaluated in spheres enriched in lung cancer stem cells and adherent lung cancer cells. We found that CBD decreased viability and induced cell death in both cell populations. Furthermore, we found that CBD activated the effector caspases 3/7, increased the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, increased the levels of reactive oxygen species, as well as a leading to a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in both populations. We also found that CBD decreased self-renewal, a hallmark of cancer stem cells. Overall, our results suggest that CBD is effective against the otherwise treatment-resistant cancer stem cells and joins a growing list of compounds effective against cancer stem cells. The effects and mechanisms of CBD in cancer stem cells should be further explored to find their Achilles heel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Cannabinoid Research)
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