By Laura Kuhl
CBD oil is a market that expected to exceed $2 billion this year. With cannabis legalization sweeping the globe, cannabis companies now jump at new opportunities to research and study the possible medical effects CBD oil has on the human body. Here is the latest coming down the CBD oil research pipeline.
GW Pharmaceuticals Is Right Back At It Again
Even before their first CBD-based medicine earned its coveted FDA approval, GW Pharmaceuticals(NASDAQ:GWPH) was already preparing for the next round. Last December, GW reacquired their rights to Sativex, a cannabis drug for muscle spasticity brought on by Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Muscle spasticity is a unique symptom of MS. Due to the disease’s inflammation of the nerves in the spinal cord, many patients experience stiffness or numbness in their legs. Studies have shownthat CBD oil directly reduces the inflammation caused by the disease and can even protect the nerves against long-term damage. CBD-based medicines offer up a complementary treatment that can be combined with existing medications and physical therapy.
Because spastic symptoms are unpredictable, GW Pharmaceuticals created Sativex as an oral spray for a quick and easy application. Patients can use Sativex when symptoms hit to reduce discomfort or use the spray every day to slow symptoms. Sativex is readily available to patients in 29 countries but still needs to clear Phase 3 of testing before GW Pharmaceuticals can submit the drug for approval in the United States.
CannTrust Aims To Conquer ALS
Last week CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX:TRST) announced a laboratory partnership with Australia’s Gold Coast University Hospital. Together they will conduct a study to determine if CBD oil capsules are capable of slowing the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
ALS is a specific form of scoliosis, characterized by the lateral area of a patient’s spinal cord where the degeneration and inflammation are occurring. Since there is no known cure for the disease, this particular CBD research is aimed at better understanding the disease and slowing its progression. Dr. Sabet, a senior specialist with the hospital, clarified by saying, “This study will help advance our understanding of the potential effects of CannTrust's standardized CBD oil capsules on ALS/MND, both as a disease-modifying agent and as a symptomatic treatment and will become the basis for conducting future cannabinoid and ALS clinical trials.”
Dr. Sabet will be leading the six-month study, investigating the effects of CannTrust’s low-dose CBD capsules on ALS’ unique and varying symptoms.
Tetra Bio-Pharma Breaks Records With New CBD Oil Study
Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. (TSXV:TBP) (OTC:TBPMF) is the first company to conduct a studycomparing the effects of CBD oil against fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that is over fifty times more potent than morphine, and Tetra wants to investigate the probability of CBD oil as an alternative to fentanyl.
Santѐ Cannabis, an independent cannabis research organization in Quebec, is partnering with Tetra to complete the study, which is focused primarily on chronic pain disorders. Because of its potency, fentanyl puts patients at risk of overdose if they use the drug regularly. This study will look at how long it takes CBD oil to relieve pain and what role varying THC concentrations have on providing rapid enough relief. According to a statement, Tetra is optimistic that their drug PPP0001 will “provide a novel alternative to fentanyl.”
“The development of a THC-based alternative would help provide a safer option to these patients and help prevent overdosing on fentanyl,” Dr. Antonio Vigano, a doctor a professor who presided over PPP0001’s earlier trials, added in the press release.
Chronic pain may not be a degenerative disease like MS or ALS, but patients still feel relief from using medical cannabis. Studies show that CBD oil specifically, as a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, will greatly reduce the chronic pain caused by inflammation and neuropathic disorders. One such study found that chronic CBD oil use had no addictive side effects on rats in a clinical trial, which is a positive sign for upcoming human trials like the one Tetra Bio-Pharma is conducting.