Cannabidiol prolongs life and increases activity in worms and possibly the elderly as well
Canopy Growth, a Canadian company specializing in cannabis, and its medical division Spectrum therapeutics today announced the completion and publication of a study examining the effects of long-term use of cannabidiol. One of the first large studies on the lifelong effects of CBD found that it prolongs life and increases worm activity in old age. Canopy conducted this study in association with Nemalife Inc. and published it online in the journal. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. The objective of the study was to evaluate the solubility, stability, acute toxicity, thermotolerance and the effect on the shelf life of CBD in specific models.
While the results are promising, the use of organisms with a two-week shelf life shows how hard the industry is struggling to meet the demand for pure science, which has been overtaken by consumer hype. After all, CBD is already used by millions of people around the world to treat problems like insomnia and anxiety, and little research has been done in humans to determine its long-term safety or even effectiveness.
The US Food and Drug Administration said last week that the substance’s different effects on men and women will influence its regulation, but has not yet specified how. For now, that leaves companies like Canopy to fill the research gap, which could ultimately help the FDA decide how to regulate it.
What are C. elegans worms?
For the study, Canopy used the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) worm model because they share 60 to 80% of their genes with humans.
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The Canopy study, which will likely be published this week, found no signs of CBD’s toxic effects, even when used during the worms’ lifetimes. Short-lived animals are commonly used in the early pharmaceutical industry tests for toxic effects when new compounds are used.
CBD administration extended average lifespan by up to 18% and increased activity in later life stages by up to 206% compared to untreated controls
None of the 3,504 C. elegans worms in the Canopy study died prematurely compared to a control group, even at significantly high doses, a good sign for the safety of CBD, said Hunter Land, Canopy’s senior scientific director. Best of all, at doses on the order of human consumption, CBD extended the life of the small roundworms by 18% and they showed an increase in activity of 206%.
“As they get older, they move more like young animals,” Land, who designed the study, said in a telephone interview. “Instead of seeing something toxic, we see the opposite: it actually increases health parameters. “
The study is part of a series Canopy is working on evaluating CBD. She already sells products like Martha Stewart brand gum and tinctures. The company also has a partnership with brewery Constellation Brands and is moving towards CBD beverages. Other companies focusing on the compound are also investigating. CBDMD Inc. Managing Director Martin Sumichrast said he is working with other companies on studies to be announced in the coming months.
Clinical interest in CBD, regarded for decades as THC’s annoying little brother, has grown since two major developments in 2018. That year, regulators approved the drug Epidiolex to treat epilepsy, again sparking the interest of scientists. , and new legislation removed CBD from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, making laboratory experiments easier.
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Can the cannabinoid system help extend the life of worms?
Given the number of people who consume it on a daily basis today, especially the elderly who may take other medications and have a slower metabolism, more work is needed, he said. “In general, it is recognized as a fairly safe substance, but people assume that it is totally safe, and I am here to tell you that if you take certain medications, you should not assume it.”
Allyn Howlett, professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, known for her discovery of a receptor in the brain that responds to cannabinoids, said that even the biological basis for CBD’s effects is still not well understood. There could be concerns about neural development and other complex issues that are not addressed in simple animal studies, he said.
“Despite the widespread use of CBD, to date there have been no lifetime toxicity studies to determine the impact, or potential impact, of long-term exposure to cannabidiol,” says Canopy Growth senior director of Translational and Discovery Science Hunter Land. “These results are the only lifetime exposure data for CBD in an in vivo model to date, and the lack of long-term toxicity gives us the evidence we need as an industry to continue investigating the potential health benefits of a broader application of CBD “.
According to Canopy, while more research needs to be done in mammalian models, the C. elegans model indicates a lack of long-term toxicity at physically relevant concentrations. Together with Canopy’s medical division, the company says its ongoing research initiatives aim to better understand and utilize the full potential of cannabis.
Also read: THC CAN HELP REGULATE THE RHYTHM CIRCADIEN AND AGING
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