Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Author: Jo Frowde. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Cannabidiol (CBD)
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
Autoimmune Diseases


ECS KaleidoscopeThe Endocannabinoid System is the name for a series of endogenous cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists, known as Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1), which are abundant in the central nervous system and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2), which are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoids are chemicals made by the body which produce a relaxing sensation similar to smoking cannabis.

The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD). The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an extensive endogenous signaling system with multiple elements, the number of which may be increasing as scientists continue to elucidate its role in human health and disease. PubMed, Altern Ther Health Med, 2019 Jun;25(S2):6-14.

Diet, endocannabinoids, and health. There are many gaps in the knowledge of how the ECS participates in controlling pain through exercise; however, emerging research will reveal key relationships to understand this system in the brain and body. PubMed, Nutr Res, 06/15/2019. (Also see Diet and Systemic Scleroderma)

Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the "C(ut)annabinoid" System. The current review aims to give an overview of the available skin–relevant endo– and phytocannabinoid literature with a special emphasis on the putative translational potential. PubMed, Molecules, 2019 Mar 6;24(5).

Cannabinoids for Treating Cardiovascular Disorders: Putting Together a Complex Puzzle. Although cannabinoids show promising effects in animal models, this does not always translate into human studies, and therefore, extensive clinical studies are needed to truly establish their utility in treating cardiovascular disease. PubMed, J Microsc Ultrastruct, 2018 Oct-Dec;6(4):171-176.

The role of the endocannabinoid system in the antihyperalgesic effect of Cedrus atlantica essential oil (CaEO) inhalation in a mouse model of postoperative pain. The present study shows that CaEO inhalation exerts an antihyperalgesic effect, possibly by the activation of the endocannabinoid system in a preclinical model of postoperative pain. PubMed, J Ethnopharmacol, 2018 Jan 10;210:477-484. (Also see Pain Management)

Endocannabinoids and Their Pharmacological Actions. This review describes endocannabinoids and their pharmacological actions and their interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors. PubMed, Handb Exp Pharmacol.

ECS and the Gut

Cannabinoid Pharmacology and Therapy in Gut Disorders. This review summarizes the main recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands and their metabolizing enzymes in normal gastrointestinal function. PubMed, Biochem Pharmacol, 2018 Nov;157:134-147. (Also see Bowel Dysfunction)

Changes in the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System as a Risk Factor for the Development of Eating Disorders. Besides their central role in controlling food behaviours, peripheral cannabinoids are also involved in regulating adipose tissue and insulin signalling as well as cell metabolism in peripheral tissues such as liver, pancreas, fatty tissue, and skeletal muscle. PubMed, Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets, 02/12/2018.

Intestinal microbiome in scleroderma (SSc): recent progress. Emerging evidence suggests that alterations in gut microbiota exist in the SSc disease state and more studies are needed to ascertain the mechanism by which these alterations perpetuate inflammation and fibrosis in SSc. PubMed, Curr Opin Rheumatol, 2017 Nov;29(6):553-560. (Also see Bowel Dysfunction)

Endocannabinoid system acts as a regulator of immune homeostasis in the gut. Our study unveils a role for the endocannabinoid system in maintaining immune homeostasis in the gut/pancreas and reveals a conversation between the nervous and immune systems using distinct receptors. PubMed, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2017 May 9;114(19):5005-5010. (Also see Bowel Dysfunction)

Cannabidiol (CBD)

What is CBD? Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits and scientific and clinical research underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. Project CBD.

Arthritis group offers first guidelines for patients who use cannabidiol (CBD) for joint pain. The Arthritis Foundation released guidelines for people who want to try CBD — the first such guidance on using the cannabis-derived ingredient from any major patient advocacy group. NBC Health News, 09/24/2019.

Can CBD Really Do All That? How one molecule from the cannabis plant came to be seen as a therapeutic cure–all. New York Times, 05/14/2019.

10 Facts About Cannabidiol (CBD) CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound in marijuana that offers many benefits without any high. Leaf Science, 10/11/2017.

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) The most commonly studied ingredients in marijuana are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Research has looked at these compounds both alone and in combination. Mayo Clinic.

Regular marijuana users may need more anesthesia for medical procedures Patients getting surgery may need higher levels of anesthesia if they are regular marijuana users, a new study suggests. NBC Health News, 04/16/2019.

Therapeutic Applications of Cannabinoids. This work is an attempt to understand the positive implications of these compounds and indicates the significant developments of utilizing cannabinoids as therapeutic agents. PubMed, Chem Biol Interact, 2018 Sep 25;293:77-88. (Also see Pain Management)

CBD for Autoimmune Diseases

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Expands Target Indications by Adding More Than 600 Compounds Focused on the Endocannabinoid System from Jenrin Discovery. Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and market drug candidates, which includes CRB-4001, a peripherally–restricted, CB1 inverse agonist targeting liver, lung, heart and kidney fibrotic diseases. Corbus Pharmaceuticals, 09/20/2018. (Also see Endocannabinoid System)

Corbus Pharmaceuticals to Commence Phase 3 Study of Lenabasum for the Treatment of Rare Autoimmune Disease Dermatomyositis. Corbus Pharmaceuticals announced today that the Company will proceed with a Phase 3 trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of lenabasum for the treatment of dermatomyositis. Globe Newswire, 07/25/2018. (Also see Treatments for Dermatomyositis and Clinical Trials)

The relationship of endocannabinoidome lipid mediators with pain and psychological stress in women with fibromyalgia (FM)– a case control study. This study reports about elevated plasma levels of endocannabinoidome lipid mediators in FM. PubMed, J Pain, 06/06/2018. (Also see Treatments for Fibromyalgia)

Mechanisms of action of cannabidiol (CBD) in adoptively transferred experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). CBD markedly improved the clinical signs of at–EAE and reduced infiltration, demyelination and axonal damage. PubMed, Exp Neurol, 2017 Sep 1;298(Pt A):57-67.

Target regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by cannabidiol in treatment of experimental multiple sclerosis (MS).These results provide an interesting discovery about the regulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by cannabidiol administration, that could be a new potential therapeutic target for MS management. PubMed, Fitoterapia, 2017 Jan;116:77-84. (Also see Multiple Sclerosis)

CBD for Scleroderma

Cannabidiol Therapy, EHP-101, Put on Fast Track by FDA. EHP-101, an oral therapy based on cannabidiol (CBD), has been placed onĀ fast track development by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a potential treatment of systemic scleroderma. Scleroderma News, 03/06/2020.

Potential Cannabidiol Treatment EHP-101 Shows Safety in Early Trial, Study in Scleroderma Patients Being Readied. EHP-101, an oral cannabidiol treatment candidate for people with scleroderma (SSc) and multiple sclerosis (MS), was found to be safe and well-tolerated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers. Scleroderma News, 08/28/2019.

Cannabinoid derivatives acting as dual PPARĪ³/CB2 agonists as therapeutic agents for systemic sclerosis (SSc). Altogether the results indicate that dual PPARγ/CB2 agonists qualify as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of SSc and other fibrotic diseases. PubMed, Biochem Pharmacol, 2019 Feb 27;163:321-334.

Lenabasum Safe and Effective in Diffuse Scleroderma Patients, One–year Trial Data Show. Lenabasum, by Corbus Pharmaceuticals, was shown to be safe, well-tolerated and of benefit to patients treated for one year in a long-term extension of a Phase 2 trial. Scleroderma News, 05/17/2018. (Also see Clinical Trials)

Corbus Wins Expanded U.S. Patent Coverage of Anabasum Therapy for Systemic Sclerosis. Corbus Pharmaceuticals has extended its intellectual property portfolio with a new patent for its investigative cannabinoid–derived drug candidate anabasum to treat inflammatory diseases. Scleroderma News, 11/02/2017. (Also see Clinical Trials)

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for Systemic Scleroderma. Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. (EHP), which is developing medications based on cannabinoid science, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for its lead molecule, EHP-101, for the treatment of systemic scleroderma. Globe Newswire, 10/20/2017.

Warnings for CBD

In states with medical marijuana, there is product testing through the legitimate dispensaries, normally making them the best resource for actual CBD.

Warning Letters and Test Results for Cannabidiol–Related Products. Over the past several years, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). FDA, 11/02/2017. (Also see Warnings and Voluntary Recalls on Medications and Treatments)

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