The Endocannabinoid System and Heart Disease: The Role of Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2.

M. Hebi and D.P. Thewke  (February 2018)

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Recent studies have shed light on a protective role of CB2 in cardiovascular disease, an ailment which currently takes more lives each year in Western countries than any other disease or injury. By use of CB2 knockout mice and CB2-selective ligands, knowledge of how CB2 signaling affects atherosclerosis and ischemia has been acquired, providing a major stepping stone between basic science and translational clinical research. Here, we summarize the current understanding of the endocannabinoid system in human pathologies and provide a review of the results from preclinical studies examining its function in cardiovascular disease, with a particular emphasis on possible CB2-targeted therapeutic interventions to alleviate atherosclerosis.

The endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular function: novel insights and clinical implications

Salvador Sierra, Natasha Luquin, Judith Navarro-Otano  (December 2017)

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Over the last years, increasing evidence from basic and clinical research supports the role of the eCB system in cardiovascular function. Whereas new discoveries are paving the way for the identification of novel drugs and therapeutic targets, the close cooperation of researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies is needed to achieve successful outcomes.

Translating Endocannabinoid Biology into Clinical Practice: Cannabidiol for Stroke Prevention

Scharf, Eugene L.  (October 2017)

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This speculative synthesis explores the current state of knowledge of the ECS and suggests CBD as a therapeutic candidate for stroke prevention by exerting favorable augmentation of the homeostatic effects of the ECS and, in turn, improving the metabolic syndrome, while simultaneously stalling the development of atherosclerosis.

The role of the endocannabinoid system in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis

Steffens, Sabine (March 2012)

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A dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system has been linked to a variety of pathologic conditions, including atherosclerosis and its related cardiovascular risk factors, obesity, dyslipidemia and diabetes. The endocannabinoid system comprises at least two distinct membrane receptors, CB1 and CB2, their endogenous ligands (named endocannabinoids) as well as enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. It is well established that endocannabinoids are synthesized and released ‘‘on demand’’ and that this process can be regulated both physiologically and under pathological conditions. As regards cardiovascular disease, blocking of CB1 receptors reduces several cardiometabolic risk factors in rodents and humans, indicating a potential relevance for the process of atherosclerosis. A modulation of endocannabinoid levels was reported in patients with coronary artery disease as well as in atherosclerotic mice. The first evidence for a causal role of endocannabinoid-mediated CB1 activation in atherosclerosis has been provided in an experimental mouse study.