CBD Administered to Middle-Aged Rats with Diabetes and Cognitive Impairments Proves Beneficial

This study suggests that CBD administered to middle-aged rats with CCH aids in the reduction of neuroinflammation and the enhancement of memory performance. 

A team of Brazilian researchers studied the effects of CBD in middle-aged diabetic rats to assess any potential beneficial effects on diabetes and cognitive impairments caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH). CCH is a medical condition that decreases the blood flow to the brain, often leading to cognitive impairments. Research has already confirmed that diabetes increases neuroinflammation (inflammation of the central nervous system) and memory deficits in rats with CCH, especially when combined with aging.

This study focused on treating middle-aged rats with CCH with cannabidiol (CBD) to determine whether it would alleviate cognitive decline and lessen inflammation in the hippocampus. The 14 month old rats were given diabetes and thirty days later the animals were subjected to a placebo surgery or CCH surgery, followed by an immediate treatment with CBD at 10 mg/kg once a day for thirty days.

The rats that had both diabetes and CCH surgery experienced exacerbated cognitive defects; after treatment with CBD these rats with cognitive impairments showed increased memory performance and reduced inflammation in the hippocampus. It was also noted that all of the rats in this study experienced weight loss due to the CBD treatments. Overall, this study suggests that CBD administered to middle-aged rats with CCH aids in the reduction of neuroinflammation and the enhancement of memory performance.

To read the full article, please click here.

CBD Studies Reviewed for Cohesion in Treatment for Children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

By looking at these studies as a whole the researchers stated with moderate certainty that CBD reduces seizures among children with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Researchers from Canadian universities and health clinics conducted a review of prior medical studies to determine if all research was leading to the same conclusion regarding CBD reducing seizure frequency in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Research from MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library and gray literature was reviewed to locate randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The primary outcome for these studies was seizure freedom. Other positive outcomes were reduction in seizure frequency (total, ≥50% reduction), quality of life and sleep. The negative outcomes were status epilepticus, death, gastrointestinal adverse events and visits to the emergency room.

There were four RCTs highlighted in this study that involved treatment with CBD. The results from these four studies demonstrated that there was no statistically significant difference between CBD and the placebo in seizure freedom, quality of life, sleep disruption, or vomiting. There was, however, a statistically significant difference in reduction of medium frequency of monthly seizures, an increase in the number of participants with at least a 50% reduction in seizures and frequent diarrhea. Death and status epilepticus were infrequently reported.

By looking at these studies as a whole the researchers stated with moderate certainty that CBD reduces seizures among children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Patients are cautioned, however, that this study focuses only on CBD and should not be extended to all cannabis products.

To read the full article, click here.

Prescription CBD Epilepsy Treatment to Cost $32,500 a Year

Epidolex is the first cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug approved by the FDA and specifically treats Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

An article written by Peter Loftus, published on August 8, 2018 in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), identifies the annual cost for GW Pharmaceuticals’ new cannabis-derived drug, Epidolex. Epidolex is the first cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD)-based drug approved by the FDA and specifically treats Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, rare forms of epilepsy, in patients 2 years of age and older. The annual cost for Epidolex is $32,500 per patient, which is aligned with other name brand epilepsy drugs that treat rare forms of the condition.

Epidolex is considered an orphan drug, meaning that it treats rare conditions, contributing to its higher price. Chief Executive, Justin Gover, described their pricing model as wanting “to make sure we were pricing Epidiolex in such a way where the means to access this medication would be consistent with branded epilepsy drugs these patients already use.” The drug may be available to uninsured patients for free, if they qualify. Patients with private insurance plans may pay up to $200 a month and it would cost about $5 to $10 a month for those who are qualify for in-state Medicaid programs.

Epidiolex performed very well for many children during the clinical phase. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome patients are looking forward to this new option as current prescription medications are not very effective. Epidolex is being sold through specialty pharmacies that ship directly to patients and caregivers.

The full WSJ article discussed above can be located here.

Hemp as a Nutritional Additive

Learn some of the ways that adding hemp into your diet can be beneficial.

Hemp seeds harvested from non-psychoactive hemp plants containing less than 0.3 percent THC and can be added to a variety of meals; they can be added as-is or made into milk, hemp butter or oil. Registered Dietitian, Amy Shapiro, stated that “there are really no negative side effects to consuming hemp, except if you take blood coagulants, you should increase your hemp intake slowly as it may cause bleeding risks.” Hemp ingested daily can assist with many conditions and general health in the following ways:

MUSCLE MASS Hemp can help build muscle mass. Hemp is a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids. Three tablespoons of hemp is equal to 10 grams of protein, an essential element in building muscle mass.

ENERGY Hemp can help boost energy because it contain complex carbohydrates, which releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream, allowing for consistent energy.

IRON RICH Hemp is rich in iron and can help with anemia.

HEART HEALTH Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids found in hemp help prevent heart disease, keep arteries open and decrease blood pressure.  Hemp also contains arginine, which the body turns into nitric oxide and is necessary for heart health.

PMS Hemp reduces PMS symptoms because of the high fatty acid content. It has been found that two grams of essential fatty acids a day reduce PMS symptoms.

WEIGHT LOSS Hemp can help with weight loss by replacing fattier and richer types of proteins in the diet. Packed with fiber, it maintains the feeling of fullness for hours; this helps prevent snacking throughout the day.

SLEEP Hemp is high in magnesium, a natural mineral that helps calm the body and relaxes muscles, providing a better night’s sleep.

CBD Administered During Peri-Adolescence Prevents Behavioral Abnormalities in Rats with an Animal Model of Schizophrenia

This study aimed to help prevent the emergence of schizophrenia in peri-adolescence by administering CBD to rats with an animal model of schizophrenia.

According to the Mayo Clinic schizophrenia is “a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.” There has been little advancement in the treatments for this disease and traditional medications offer poor assistance. This study, conducted by a group of Brazilian researchers, aimed to help prevent the emergence of schizophrenia in peri-adolescence, ages 9-11, by administering CBD to rats with an animal model of schizophrenia.

The rats were given either a placebo or CBD at 30 to 60 days after birth, with three experiments following. In the first experiment schizophrenia-like behaviors such as locomotor activity, social interaction and cognitive impairments were assessed on day 90. Side effects commonly associated with antipsychotic treatment were also evaluated throughout the treatment, including body weight gain and muscular rigidity and involuntary movement of the mouth, 48 hours post-treatment interruption and on post-natal day 90. In the second experiment, serum levels of triglycerides and glycemia were assessed on post-natal day 61. In the third experiment, levels of chronic pain, mood disorders and their metabolites were evaluated on post-natal days 61 and 90 in the prefrontal cortex and striatum.

The evaluation of these varied experiments determined that CBD administered to rats with an animal model of schizophrenia prevented the emergence of schizophrenia symptoms and lessened cognitive impairments. The treatment did not induce any motor or metabolic side effects. Treatment with CBD increased the prefrontal cortex 5-HIAA/serotonin ratio and the levels of 5-HIAA on post-natal days 61 and 90, respectively.

This study provides preclinical evidence for a safe and beneficial effect during treatment with CBD on preventing schizophrenia. More studies are required, however, to determine dosage and efficacy in adolescents to prevent the emergence of schizophrenia.

To read the full article, click here.

Determining a CBD/THC Cannabis Oil Treatment Standard for Children with Dravet Syndrome

This study has provided a standard for safety and dosing information for CBD containing minimal amounts of THC.

A group of doctors from four Canadian hospitals conducted a study to determine how CBD/THC oil affected children with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy and is drug resistant. Recent trials provide data on dosing, side effects, and efficacy of CBD, yet there is a lack of information on THC in epilepsy.

The goal of this study was to establish dosage and tolerability of TIL-TC150 in children with Dravet syndrome. TIL-TC150 is a drug is produced by Tilray® containing 100 mg/mL CBD and 2mg/mL THC. The study evaluated quality of life, impact on seizures and EEG results.

Nineteen children received the TIL-TC150 in dosages ranging from 2 to 16 mg/kg/day of CBD and 0.04 to 0.32 mg/kg/day of THC for a period of 20 weeks with an increase in dosage each week. The patients were monitored during this time period to determine tolerability, favorable results and adverse effects.

The mean dosage for patients during the 20 week period was 13.3 mg/kg/day of CBD and 0.27 mg/kg/day of THC. The patients reported that there was a significant improvement in quality of life, reduction in EEG spike activity and a seizure reduction of 70.6%. Adverse effects reported were sleepiness, anorexia and diarrhea.

Overall, TIL-TC150 was safe and well-tolerated by patients. This treatment resulted in a reduction of seizures, decline in EEG spike activity and improved quality of life measures. This study has provided a standard for safety and dosing information for CBD containing minimal amounts of THC.

To review the original medical study, please see the link here.

CBD Reduces Anxiety in a Simulated Public Speaking Test

The study evaluated the effects of varying doses of CBD and a placebo in 57 healthy adult male volunteers who performed a simulated public speaking test. 

Previous independent medical studies have demonstrated that CBD, or cannabidiol, has the same effect as anti-anxiety medication in animals.  The objective of this study, performed by Brazilian and Israeli researchers, was to determine if CBD has the same effect on humans.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).”  The study evaluated the effects of varying doses of CBD and a placebo in 57 healthy adult male volunteers who performed a simulated public speaking test, a well-tested anxiety-inducing technique.

During the study, participants were administered 150mg, 300mg, 600mg CBD or a placebo. During each subject’s simulated public speaking, the subjects were asked how they felt on the Visual Analogue Mood Scale. Their systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate were also taken six times during their speech.  The participants who ingested 300mg CBD demonstrated significantly reduced anxiety during their speeches, in comparison to, the placebo.  There were no significant differences on the Visual Analogue Mood Scale for subjects who received CBD at 150mg, 600mg and the placebo.

This study confirmed that CBD has the same effects as anti-anxiety medications in humans and animals. The next step will be to determine the optimal therapeutic dosage of CBD so that it can be used at a clinical level to help those who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Hemp Fabric Could Prove Crucial to Creating a More Comfortable and Sustainable World

Hemp is a super material: it’s soft, naturally bacteria resistant, UV resistant, long lasting and gets softer with use.

Hemp is a super material: it’s soft, naturally bacteria resistant, UV resistant, long lasting and gets softer with use.  Select companies, such as Patagonia, have a few hemp clothing products on the market but the cost is significantly higher than their cotton and wool counterparts. Currently, most hemp products in the U.S., especially outside of CBD product industry, are made from imported hemp.  The global transportation increases both the carbon footprint of the end products, in addition to, the final cost to the consumer.   Hemp fabric is made from the stalk of the hemp plant, allowing the stems, leaves, and flowers to be used for other hemp-derived products.

The manufacturing of hemp fabric is a labor intensive process.  According to Recreator, a hemp clothing company based in California, hemp goes through the following eight steps to become usable hemp fabric:

1.   Cultivation
2.   Harvesting
3.   Retting (the process whereby naturally-occurring bacteria and fungi, or chemicals, break down the pectins that bind the hemp fibers to be released. Common techniques consist of soaking in water or laying on the ground, allowing dew to do the retting.)
4.   Breaking
5.   Scutching (beating stems, which separates the desired fibers from the hemp’s woody core.)
6.   Hackling (combing of the stems to remove unwanted particles.)
7.   Roving (improves strength.)
8.   Spinning (can be wet and dry spun.)

The greatest advantage to growing hemp, over other natural materials, is that it can be grown quickly (120 days to harvest) in almost any soil.  Hemp grows densely, leaving no room for weeds to grow and its roots reach deep into the soil leaving natural nutrients in the top-soil and sub-soil.  Hemp is also a drought-resistant plant, requiring only 5% of what cotton needs through harvest.

Hemp is truly a super fabric.  We can only hope that in the coming years the mainstream clothing industry will embrace the use of locally-sourced hemp as a prime fabric source.

Effects of CBD on Muscle Quality and Performance in Mice with Muscular Dystrophy

Researchers test CBD’s ability to restore functional autophagy, reduce inflammation and positively enhance muscle function.

Italian researchers sought to determine if CBD would demonstrate any effect on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness; it is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy. Prior research has determined that autophagy, the natural destruction of cells, greatly contributes to the aggravation of muscle damage. Researchers tested CBD’s ability to restore functional autophagy, reduce inflammation and positively enhance muscle function.

During the study, mice with DMD were injected with CBD at different stages of the disease. After treatment, locomotor tests and biochemical analyses were used to evaluate their effects on inflammation and autophagy. Researchers also observed the interaction of CBD with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels; these channels respond to different stimuli, including pain. At the conclusion of the study, researchers determined that the administered CBD prevented the loss of locomotor activity, reduced inflammation and restored autophagy. The mice also had rapid desensitization in the TRP channels, allowing the mice to feel less pain. Overall the researchers are optimistic in utilizing CBD, in conjunction with traditional treatments, to treat DMD and provide patients with a better quality of life through reduced inflammation, restored functional autophagy and improved muscle function.

To review the medical study abstract, please click here.

Is Cannabidiol the Future of Autism Treatment?

CBD could be the future of treating ASD, offering a natural, well-tolerated alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drug therapies.

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, may play a key role in the future treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  CBD is one of the main components of the cannabis plant which produces none of the psychoactive effects caused by the more commonly known cannabinoid, THC.  Researchers have begun to consider CBD as a potential candidate for the treatment of ASD and are currently beginning clinical trials to determine its safety and efficacy.

The causes of autism are not fully understood and there is currently no cure.  Unfortunately, autism is becoming more and more common.  In 2004, the CDC estimated that 1 in 166 children would be diagnosed with autism; by 2018, that number was changed to 1 in 59, nearly triple the previous rate.  Traditionally, doctors have attempted to treat symptoms of autism with anti-psychotic medications, which often have harmful side effects and are unideal for children.

Autism also has a broad range of symptoms and severities.  The most noticeable symptoms include deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and often intellectual disabilities.  Comorbidities can include sleep disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/HDHD) and epilepsy.  Interestingly, while less than 2% of the population suffers from epilepsy, nearly 1/3 of individuals with autism have epilepsy, as well.  CBD is known to be extremely effective for treating epilepsy and many who have administered CBD to autistic individuals for their epilepsy have noticed improvements in other autistic behaviors.  There have been enough claims that CBD is beneficial in treating autism symptoms that New York University (NYU) neurologist Dr. Orrin Devinsky, the same scientist who did research on Epidiolex (the only FDA-approved CBD drug), is now conducting two studies on how CBD affects children aged 5 to 18 with moderate to severe autism.

While no studies have yet proven the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of ASD symptoms, there is sufficient evidence to prompt clinical trials to explore the effects of CBD on autism.  CBD could be the future of treating ASD, offering a natural, well-tolerated alternative to traditional pharmaceutical drug therapies.