Rimonabant was a synthetic cannabinoid based weight loss drug that was originally released in Europe (never in the United States) but later taken off the market due to its severe side effects. As we have mentioned before on cannabisMD, synthetic cannabinoids are cannabinoids created in a lab for testing purposes which where later used for recreational and pharmaceutical needs but withdrawn from public use due to a number of fatalities. This was due to the chemical make up of synthetic cannabinoids being more dangerous compared to our own endocannabinoids and various phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants). In this case it could be considered that its efficacy as a weight loss drug is positive but it’s safety was not.
Cannabinoids (CB’s) can be found everywhere in living things such as humans, animals and plants. Depending on which of these three categories they come from depends on their specific name. For example cannabinoids from humans/animals are called endocannabinoids, endo standing for endogenous. Cannabinoids from a plant are called phytocannabinoids, phyto meaning plant based. As mentioned before, you can get cannabinoids generated from a lab environment which classifies them as being synthetic, therefore they are called synthetic cannabinoids.
It should be pointed out however that cannabinoids can have a number of potential benefits such as the phytocannabinoids from cannabis plants specifically the sativa strains. It is understand through both clinical studies and anecdotal testimonies that these cannabinoids (cannabidiol) have the ability to relieve pain, and treat a wide range of conditions via their symptoms and causes. Some major conditions included, Epilepsy, Cancer, Dementia and even Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to name but a few. The degree of how effective cannabis can be on these conditions is still anyone’s guess but as further research is carried out, we will begin to know more.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
Since the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, there is a demand for efficient and safe anti-obesity drugs that can make and keep a steady rate of weight loss and improve comorbidity. The researchers in this study did a meta-analysis of all published randomized regulated experiments to test the effectiveness and safety of the newly approved anti-obesity synthetic cannabinoid rimonabant.
Researchers collated data from four double-blind, randomized regulated experiments with 4105 people that compared 20 mg per day rimonabant with placebo. Subjects that were administered rimonabant had a 4·7 kg (95% CI 4·1–5·3 kg; p<0·0001) bigger weight loss after 1 year than did those administered placebos. Rimonabant caused more side effects than the placebo. Patients given synthetic cannabinoids were 2·5 times more likely to stop the treatment because of a depressive frame of mind syndromes than were those administered placebo. More so, anxiety made more subjects to stop treatment in rimonabant groups than in placebo groups. The findings from this study indicate that 20 mg per day rimonabant greater the risk of psychiatric side effects, such as depressed mood disorders and anxiety.
These clinical discoveries go hand in hand with findings of animal experiments that implicate the CB1 receptor in controlling of antidepressant-like or anxiolytic-like impacts of the endocannabinoid network. Inhibition of the destruction of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide has an antidepressant-like impact in rodents; this impact was stopped by rimonabant. In rodents exposed to stress brought on by swimming, another CB1 antagonist impaired the reduction in corticosterone secretion that concludes from exposure to tricyclic antidepressants. Mice that were either genetically lacking for an enzyme that destroys anandamide or gained a selective inhibitor of this enzyme showed decreased anxiety-like behavior; furthermore, this impact was stopped by rimonabant.
This research consistently displayed that pharmacological stopping of the CB1 receptor destroyed the antidepressant-reducing or anxiety-reducing methods of endocannabinoids. However, some abnormalities in animal experiments should be taken into account, since some studies have indicated that rimonabant might have antidepressant or anxiolytic abilities. Another look that might give a different physiological basis for increased mood syndromes seen with greatest weight-loss comes from reports that leptin, the adipose-derived hormone, had an antidepressant ability after intrahippocampal but not hypothalamic injection.