Cannabinoids and the Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis

Cannabinoids and the Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis: Emerging Effects of Cannabidiol and Potential Applications to Alcohol Use Disorders – Karoly – 2020 – Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research – Wiley Online Library

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CBD may influence [Alcohol Use Disorders] AUD symptoms through its actions across the digestive, immune, and central nervous systems, collectively known as the microbiota–gut–brain axis (MGBA). Notably, emerging work suggests that alcohol and cannabinoids exert opposing effects on the MGBA. Alcohol is linked to immune dysfunction (e.g., chronic systemic inflammation in the brain and periphery) as well as disturbances in gut microbial species (microbiota ) and increased intestinal permeability. These MGBA disruptions have been associated with AUD symptoms such as craving and impaired cognitive control. Conversely, existing preclinical data suggest that cannabinoids may confer beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal and immune system, such as reducing intestinal permeability, regulating gut bacteria, and reducing inflammation. Thus, cannabinoids may exert AUD harm‐reduction effects, at least in part, through their beneficial actions across the MGBA.