Autism, rare cannabinoids and endocannabinoid system


Among multiples mental health conditions investigated for its connection to the endocannabinoid system, autism spectrum disorder may be one of the most interesting. For years, researchers have been studying the treatment of autism symptoms CBD and other cannabinoids. And they have explored many apparent links between autism and various aspects of endocannabinoid system function.

Although the field is still relatively young, some key points have already been established. A review published in May 2021 concluded that “cannabis and cannabinoids can have promising effects in the treatment of symptoms related to autism spectrum disorder and can be used as a therapeutic alternative to relieve these symptoms.”

A month later, an article in Research on autism described a study in which male and female mice did not have CB1 the cannabinoid receptor was analyzed for its social behavior and communication, two key areas in autism spectrum disorder (TEA). The researchers observed that these “mutant” mice vocalized and behaved differently than normal control mice.

“Our results show that loss of this receptor results in several changes in social behavior and communication during both early development and adulthood, supporting the role of the endocannabinoid system in these. TEA-core behavioral domains ”, conclude the authors.

CBDV: Towards the Neurotype

More than two dozen other articles on autism and cannabis or cannabinoids have been published this year. In July, the magazine Molecular autism presented evidence that the administration of cannabidivarin (CBDV), a propyl analogue of CBD which is also found in the cannabis plant, can modulate functional connectivity in the utensil to the “neurotypical”.

The stratum is a part of the basal ganglia that plays a central role during development. Previous research of some of them UK– i WEBased authors established that both CBD i CBDV they affect the brain function of the basal ganglia differently between people with autism spectrum disorder and those who do not.

The new article extends that links even more with functional connectivity, a measure of the correlation of brain activity that can be assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Atypical functional connectivity to the widget can contribute to multiple TEA symptoms, the authors explain.

Future studies could bring science closer to the real world by determining whether modulation of functional connectivity to the stratum is associated with a significant change in symptoms.

CBC & Bladder cancer

Speaking of so-called “minor” cannabinoids, a recent study in the magazine Molecules highlights the potential clinical value of cannabichromene (CBC), an intriguing minor phytocannabinoid present in small amounts in many varieties of cannabis.

Researchers in Israel aimed to identify cannabis compounds and their combinations that exhibited cytotoxicity against bladder urothelial carcinoma, the most common urinary tract cancer. Using an assay to test the cellular toxicity of various cannabis extracts and high-performance liquid chromatography to identify the chemical content of the extracts, the scientists determined that the most active extract contained CBC i THC.

Their preclinical results, published in January 2021, indicate this CBC i THC together as well CBD alone inhibited cell migration and induced cell death in urothelial carcinoma cells.

Rare plant cannabinoids

Cannabis is not the only plant that contains useful cannabinoids. In a magazine article The plants, researchers based in India and Poland write about the presence and biosynthesis of a wide range of lesser known phytocannabinoids in fungi (griffolic acid, cannabiorcicromenic acid), hepatic (lunular acid, vittatin), rhododendron (daurichromenic acid) rhododauricromenic) and flowering plants of the genera Glycyrrhiza and Helichrysum (amorfrutina, bibencil-CBG).

Although they occur naturally in small amounts, these cannabinoids are known to help plants relieve abiotic stresses such as cold, heat, excessive light, and UV the authors write to protect them from pathogens and to eat them. And since these compounds also possess other therapeutic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, they are potentially useful in treating human diseases.

A better understanding of their natural synthesis in plants can provide an idea of ​​how these compounds can be replicated and produced on a scale sufficient for clinical use, the authors conclude.

Nate Seltenrich, a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics such as environmental health, neuroscience and pharmacology.

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