The prevalence of obesity and obesity-related pathologies is lower in frequent cannabis users compared to non-users. It is well established that the endocannabinoid system has an important role in the development of obesity. We recently demonstrated that prolonged oral consumption of purified Δ-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but not of cannabidiol (CBD), ameliorates diet-induced obesity and improves obesity-related metabolic complications in a high-fat diet mouse model. However, the effect of commercially available medical cannabis oils that contain numerous additional active molecules has not been examined. We tested herein the effects of THC- and CBD-enriched medical cannabis oils on obesity parameters and the gut microbiota composition of C57BL/6 male mice fed with either a high-fat or standard diet. We also assessed the levels of prominent endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like lipid mediators in the liver. THC-enriched extract prevented weight gain by a high-fat diet and attenuated diet-induced liver steatosis concomitantly with reduced levels of the lipid mediators palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA) and docosahexaenoyl ethanolamide (DHEA) in the liver. In contrast, CBD-enriched extract had no effect on weight gain, but, on the contrary, it even exacerbated liver steatosis. An analysis of the gut microbiota revealed that mainly time but not treatment exerted a strong effect on gut microbiota alterations. From our data, we conclude that THC-enriched cannabis oil where THC is the main constituent exerts the optimal anti-obesity effects.
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- endocannabinoid system