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Neuroprotective Effects of Cannabidiol Under Cerebral Ischemic Conditions


The lack of blood flow during cerebral ischemic conditions results in multiple and intricate pathophysiological mechanisms including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, white matter injury, and blood–brain barrier impairment. Despite numerous experimental studies that have been conducted in preclinical settings, current treatments for cerebral ischemia including mechanical and pharmacological therapies are limited, and often accompanied by significant side effects. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate new strategies for treating these conditions. Cannabidiol, the most abundant non-psychotomimetic compound obtained from Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae, is a pleiotropic compound acting in a variety of molecular targets and may affect many pathophysiological processes resulting in improvement of cerebral ischemia outcomes. In this review, we summarize the main effects of cannabidiol in different animal models of cerebral ischemia and discuss some of its putative mechanisms of neuroprotection.

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Reproduced from Citti et al. (2018)

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This work is based on a collaboration supported by Serviço Alemão de Intercâmbio Acadêmico (DAAD)/Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)—PROBRAL, University of Maringá, Maringá, Brazil, and University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany. EM benefits from a PhD scholarship provided by CAPES and BAM benefits from a PhD scholarship provided by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

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Both EM and RMWO wrote the article. BAM prepared the supplementary material and figures. FK made a critical revision of the article before submission to the Journal. All authors discussed and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rúbia Maria Weffort de Oliveira.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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This article is part of a Special Issue to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy

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Meyer, E., de Mattos, B.A., Kirchhoff, F. et al. Neuroprotective Effects of Cannabidiol Under Cerebral Ischemic Conditions. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 31, 579–591 (2021).

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  • Animal models
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Impaired blood flow
  • Marijuana
  • Neuroprotection