cbd university research

December 15, 2021 By admin Off

Dr de la Vega said, “CBD has been promoted as a medical holy grail that supposedly can cure a vast array of conditions including anxiety, depression, inflammation, cancer and acne. Because of this, we wanted to reveal what CBD was actually doing in the cells of our skin, and use that to inform the potential use of CBD for skin conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural non-psychotropic cannabinoid with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that has become much-hyped as a potential cure for an extensive range of diseases.

A University of Dundee study has shown for the first time why cannabidiol is effective in treating skin conditions, paving the way for research into its potential as a therapy for other diseases, including cancer.

“Our findings were very exciting, as they connected CBD with this well-known protective pathway,” continued Dr de la Vega. “This would explain some of the claimed benefits of CBD in skin. Furthermore, the target identified is very relevant not only in skin conditions, but also, in lung and breast cancer.

Now a team led by Dr Laureano de la Vega in Dundee’s School of Medicine have identified the molecular target of cannabidiol in skin cells. This discovery helps explain some of its beneficial effects and could better identify which conditions CBD might be useful to treat.

Although the clinical benefits of CBD have been proven, the molecular mechanisms and targets responsible for these effects have until now remained a mystery to scientists.

CBD has been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease and is gaining momentum as a treatment for skin disorders. It is already being used to treat seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy and has also been hailed as a possible cancer therapy.

“Despite proven anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and neuroprotective effects and the multi-billion dollar industry of CBD-based products, its mechanism of action was not known and its general use lacked a scientific rationale.

“We, for the first time, have identified one of its mechanisms of action that can explain some of its beneficial effects in the skin. Now, with this information there is a basis to its use in cream-based products. Importantly, although CBD-based creams might be beneficial against some skin conditions, such as Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex or to delay skin aging, our study also shows that CBD should be used with precaution in hyperproliferative skin disorders, such as psoriasis.”

Dr de la Vega and his colleagues showed that CBD targets a protein called BACH1 in skin cells. As BACH1 regulates the expression of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes, this new mechanism could help rationalise the potential use of CBD in some skin disorders associated to high levels of inflammation. Importantly, as BACH1 has emerged as a therapeutic target for lung and breast cancer, the study raises the possibility of new research focused on the potential use of CBD as a cancer treatment.

“Therefore, our research opens the door for future cancer research based on the potential use of CBD, or CBD derivatives, as cancer therapeutics. This does not mean that CBD will cure cancer, it just mean that now we have a rationale to investigate its potential in cancer research.”

The research, carried out in collaboration with Professor Eduardo Munoz of the University of Cordoba in Spain, is published in the latest edition of the journal Redox Biology .

De Vita and Maisto used sophisticated equipment that safely induces experimental heat pain, allowing them to measure how the recipient’s nervous system reacts and responds to it.

“The data is exciting but pretty complex in that different pain measures responded differently to the drug effect, to the expectancy, or both the drug and expectancy combined — so we’re still trying to figure out what is behind the differential data with different kinds of pain measures,” said Maisto. “The next step is studying the mechanisms underlying these findings and figuring out why giving instructions or CBD itself causes certain reactions to a pain stimulus.”

Syracuse University Emeritus Psychology Professor Stephen Maisto is a coauthor of the CBD pain relief study. Credit: Syracuse University.

It’s been hailed as a wonder drug and it’s certainly creating wonder profits. By some estimates, the Cannabidiol (or CBD) market could be worth $20 billion dollars by 2024. While users tout its effectiveness in pain relief, up until now there’s been limited experimental human research on the actual effectiveness of the drug. However, a new study led by researchers at Syracuse University sheds light on the ability of CBD to reduce pain along with the impact that the so-called placebo effect may have on pain outcomes.

“For science and the public at large the question remained, is the pain relief that CBD users claim to experience due to pharmacological effects or placebo effects,” asked Martin De Vita, a researcher in the psychology department at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “That’s a fair question because we know that simply telling someone that a substance has the ability to relieve their pain can actually cause robust changes in their pain sensitivity. These are called expectancy effects.”

“Then we administer a drug, like pure CBD, or a placebo and then re-assess their pain responses and see how they change based on which substance was administered,” said De Vita. Researchers then took it a step farther by manipulating the information given to participants about which substances they received.

One important note to also consider is the source of the CBD. “What we used in our study was pure CBD isolate oil,” said De Vita. “Commercially available CBD products differ in their content and purity, so results might be different for different CBD products, depending on what other compounds they may or may not contain.”

Most people think of pain as an on and off switch, you either have it or you don’t. But pain, as De Vita describes it, is a complex phenomenon with several dimensions influenced by psychological and biological factors.

As part of the study De Vita and Maisto developed advanced experimental pain measurement protocols “to pop the hood and start looking at some of these other mechanistic pain processes,” said De Vita. “It’s not just pain, yes or no, but there are these other dimensions of pain, and it would be interesting to see which ones are being targeted. We found that sometimes pharmacological effects of CBD brought down some of those, but the expectancies did not. Sometimes they both did it. Sometimes it was just the expectancy. And so, we were going into this thinking we were going to primarily detect the expectancy-induced pain relief but what we found out was way more complex than that and that’s exciting.”

In some cases, participants were told that they got CBD when they actually received a placebo, or told they would be getting a placebo when they actually got CBD. “That way we could parse out whether it was the drug that relieved the pain, or whether it was the expectation that they had received the drug that reduced their pain,” according to De Vita. “We hypothesized that we would primarily detect expectancy-induced placebo analgesia (pain relief). What we found though after measuring several different pain outcomes is that it’s actually a little bit of both. That is, we found improvements in pain measures caused by the pharmacological effects of CBD and the psychological effects of just expecting that they had gotten CBD. It was pretty remarkable and surprising.”

Dezarie Moskal is a doctoral candidate at Syracuse University and assisted in the CBD pain relief study. Credit: Syracuse University.

For example, whereas pain intensity reflects a “sensory” dimension of pain, unpleasantness represents an “affective,” or emotional, aspect of pain. “If you think of pain as the noxious noise coming from a radio the volume can represent the intensity of the pain, while the station can represent the quality,” said De Vita.

Results from his previous study showed that while cannabinoid drugs weren’t reducing the volume of pain, they were “changing the channel making it a little less unpleasant.” According to De Vita, “It’s not sunshine and rainbows pleasant, but something slightly less bothersome. We replicated that in this study and found that CBD and expectancies didn’t significantly reduce the volume of the pain, but they did make it less unpleasant — it didn’t bother them as much.”

De Vita, along with Syracuse Emeritus Psychology Professor Stephen Maisto, were uniquely prepared to answer that exact question. The pair, along with fellow lab member and doctoral candidate Dezarie Moskal, previously conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental research examining the effects cannabinoid drugs on pain. As the first experimental pain trial to examine CBD, their study yielded consistent and noteworthy results. Among other findings, the data showed that CBD and expectancies for receiving CBD do not appear to reduce experimental pain intensity, but do make the pain feel less unpleasant.

Martin De Vita is a researcher in the psychology department at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences and coauthor of the study. Credit: Syracuse University.

Reference: “The effects of cannabidiol and analgesic expectancies on experimental pain reactivity in healthy adults: A balanced placebo design trial.” by Martin J. De Vita, Stephen A. Maisto, Christina E. Gilmour, Lauren McGuire, Elizabeth Tarvin and Dezarie Moskal, 22 April 2021, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology . DOI: 10.1037/pha0000465.

A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot be sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other unknown elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.

CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status has been in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal – that would be like making oranges legal, but keeping orange juice illegal.

CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical preparations for use on skin. If you’re hoping to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion or cream – or even a bath bomb — may be the best option. Alternatively, a CBC patch or a tincture or spray designed to be placed under the tongue allows CBD to directly enter the bloodstream.

CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first cannabis-derived medicine approved by the FDA for these conditions.

The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the possession of drugs. In essence, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) – even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.

Is CBD safe?

Animal studies, and self-reports or research in humans, suggest CBD may also help with:

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. You can even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?

People taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver related blood tests. Many non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. So, you should let your doctor know if you are regularly using CBD.

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer or COVID-19, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may prove to be a helpful, relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD currently is typically available as an unregulated supplement, it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting.

Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level of blood thinning and other medicines in your blood by competing for the liver enzymes that break down these drugs. Grapefruit has a similar effect with certain medicines.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Outside of the US, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and for cancer pain. Within the US, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.

If you decide to try CBD, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source. And talk with your doctor to make sure that it won’t affect any other medicines you take.

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?

How can CBD be taken?