Heart Disease Marijuana Research

Endocannabinoids acting at cannabinoid-1 receptors regulate cardiovascular function in hypertension.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md 20892-8115, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Endocannabinoids are novel lipid mediators with hypotensive and cardiodepressor activity. Here, we examined the possible role of the endocannabinergic system in cardiovascular regulation in hypertension.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) antagonists increase blood pressure and left ventricular contractile performance. Conversely, preventing the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide by an inhibitor of fatty acid amidohydrolase reduces blood pressure, cardiac contractility, and vascular resistance to levels in normotensive rats, and these effects are prevented by CB1 antagonists. Similar changes are observed in 2 additional models of hypertension, whereas in normotensive control rats, the same parameters remain unaffected by any of these treatments. CB1 agonists lower blood pressure much more in SHR than in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats, and the expression of CB1 is increased in heart and aortic endothelium of SHR compared with Wistar-Kyoto rats.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that endocannabinoids tonically suppress cardiac contractility in hypertension and that enhancing the CB1-mediated cardiodepressor and vasodilator effects of endogenous anandamide by blocking its hydrolysis can normalize blood pressure. Targeting the endocannabinoid system offers novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of hypertension.

The effect of cannabidiol on ischemia/reperfusion-induced ventricular arrhythmias: the role of adenosine A1 receptors.

Author information

1
Biology Department, Faculty of Art and Sciences, Bülent Ecevit University, İncivez, Zonguldak, Turkey ersozgonca67@hotmail.com.
2
Biology Department, Faculty of Art and Sciences, Bülent Ecevit University, İncivez, Zonguldak, Turkey.

Abstract

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid with anti-inflammatory activity mediated by enhancing adenosine signaling. As the adenosine A1 receptor activation confers protection against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced ventricular arrhythmias, we hypothesized that CBD may have antiarrhythmic effect through the activation of adenosine A1 receptor. Cannabidiol has recently been shown to suppress ischemia-induced ventricular arrhythmias. We aimed to research the effect of CBD on the incidence and the duration of I/R-induced ventricular arrhythmias and to investigate the role of adenosine A1 receptor activation in the possible antiarrhythmic effect of CBD. Myocardial ischemia and reperfusion was induced in anesthetized male rats by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery for 6 minutes and by loosening the bond at the coronary artery, respectively. Cannabidiol alone was given in a dose of 50 µg/kg, 10 minutes prior to coronary artery occlusion and coadministrated with adenosine A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX) in a dose of 100 µg/kg, 15 minutes prior to coronary artery occlusion to investigate whether the antiarrhythmic effect of CBD is modified by the activation of adenosine A1 receptors. The experimental groups were as follows: (1) vehicle control (n = 10), (2) CBD (n = 9), (3) DPCPX (n = 7), and (4) CBD + DPCPX group (n = 7). Cannabidiol treatment significantly decreased the incidence and the duration of ventricular tachycardia, total length of arrhythmias, and the arrhythmia scores compared to control during the reperfusion period. The DPCPX treatment alone did not affect the incidence and the duration of any type of arrhythmias. However, DPCPX aborted the antiarrhythmic effect of CBD when it was combined with it. The present results demonstrated that CBD has an antiarrhythmic effect against I/R-induced arrhythmias, and the antiarrhythmic effect of CBD may be mediated through the activation of adenosine A1 receptor.

Cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent, protects against myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury.

Author information

1
Cardiology Department, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. rdurst@partners.org

Abstract

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major, nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent with anti-inflammatory activity mediated by enhancing adenosine signaling. Inasmuch as adenosine receptors are promising pharmaceutical targets for ischemic heart diseases, we tested the effect of CBD on ischemic rat hearts. For the in vivo studies, the left anterior descending coronary artery was transiently ligated for 30 min, and the rats were treated for 7 days with CBD (5 mg/kg ip) or vehicle. Cardiac function was studied by echocardiography. Infarcts were examined morphometrically and histologically. For ex vivo evaluation, CBD was administered 24 and 1 h before the animals were killed, and hearts were harvested for physiological measurements. In vivo studies showed preservation of shortening fraction in CBD-treated animals: from 48 +/- 8 to 39 +/- 8% and from 44 +/- 5 to 32 +/- 9% in CBD-treated and control rats, respectively (n = 14, P < 0.05). Infarct size was reduced by 66% in CBD-treated animals, despite nearly identical areas at risk (9.6 +/- 3.9 and 28.2 +/- 7.0% in CBD and controls, respectively, P < 0.001) and granulation tissue proportion as assessed qualitatively. Infarcts in CBD-treated animals were associated with reduced myocardial inflammation and reduced IL-6 levels (254 +/- 22 and 2,812 +/- 500 pg/ml in CBD and control rats, respectively, P < 0.01). In isolated hearts, no significant difference in infarct size, left ventricular developed pressures during ischemia and reperfusion, or coronary flow could be detected between CBD-treated and control hearts. Our study shows that CBD induces a substantial in vivo cardioprotective effect from ischemia that is not observed ex vivo. Inasmuch as CBD has previously been administered to humans without causing side effects, it may represent a promising novel treatment for myocardial ischemia.

Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?

Author information

1
School of Graduate Entry Medicine & Health, Royal Derby Hospital, University of Nottingham, DE22 3DT, UK.

Abstract

Cannabidiol (CBD) has beneficial effects in disorders as wide ranging as diabetes, Huntington’s disease, cancer and colitis. Accumulating evidence now also suggests that CBD is beneficial in the cardiovascular system. CBD has direct actions on isolated arteries, causing both acute and time-dependent vasorelaxation. In vitro incubation with CBD enhances the vasorelaxant responses in animal models of impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, inflammation or the induction of type 2 diabetes in animal models and reduces the vascular hyperpermeability associated with such environments. A common theme throughout these studies is the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect of CBD. In the heart, in vivo CBD treatment protects against ischaemia-reperfusion damage and against cardiomyopathy associated with diabetes. Similarly, in a different model of ischaemia-reperfusion, CBD has been shown to reduce infarct size and increase blood flow in animal models of stroke, sensitive to 5HT(1A) receptor antagonism. Although acute or chronic CBD treatment seems to have little effect on haemodynamics, CBD reduces the cardiovascular response to models of stress, applied either systemically or intracranially, inhibited by a 5HT(1A) receptor antagonist. In blood, CBD influences the survival and death of white blood cells, white blood cell migration and platelet aggregation. Taken together, these preclinical data appear to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart, and in peripheral and cerebral vasculature. However, further work is required to strengthen this hypothesis, establish mechanisms of action and whether similar responses to CBD would be observed in humans.

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