The Discussion Group met at Temple University, to discuss the role of the Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) receptor in stem cells. A recent article published in the Blood journal highlights the ability of cannabinoids to increase stem cell proliferation and direct their migration from the bone marrow.The role of cannabinoids and their receptors in stem cell activity has not been well characterized. The research was also of interested because the experiments were conducted in both human and mouse stem cells.
Bone marrow and stem cells make endocannabinoids, these endocannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors (Cannabinoid receptors have been found in nearly every cell in the human body). If cannabinoids can enhance stem cell migration and proliferation, this could be a powerful therapy. For instance, if you can increase the numbers and movement of stem cells to an injured tissue, you could vastly enhance the healing process.
The authors speculate that the cannabinoids which activate the CB2 receptor are promising therapeutic agents that could enhance stem cell therapies.
Previous work by this research team has also shown that the CB1 receptor is important for enhancing similiar properties in stem cells.
Lastly, the synthetic cannabinoid HU-210 is about 100-1000x times more potent than THC from and this synthetic agent has been found to be neurogenic. Meaning that HU-210 can cause new neurons (brain cells) in the brain to form. However this study was done in rats...and humans are different from rats.
The effect of chronic Cannabis use on stem cells is unknown.
If you're a Temple undergrad, graduate or medical student you may enroll in the Cannabinoid Discussion Group for class credit. This makes Temple one of the only, if not THE only insitution in the country to offer a course on cannabinoids.
Temple University Cannabinoid Discussion Group
Tuesdays at noon, Room 123, Pharmacy School
Building, 3307 North Broad Street. located in Philadelphia, PA