26 Oct Synthetic CBD May Be a Safe Treatment for Seizures
Synthetic CBD May Be a Safe Treatment for Seizures
Cannabis contains cannabidiol as the primary component which is known to have valuable medicinal properties. Scientists have now successfully prepared a synthetic version of the compound which does not produce intoxicating effects while offering relief similar to the natural compound. The cost of production is fairly low since it can be prepared easily from inexpensively available ingredients. Scientists have tested the synthetic compound on laboratory rats and the results have shown to provide relief in seizures.
If this synthetic compound is made commercially available, it could serve as a relatively safe alternative for treating seizures compared to the natural cannabis that also produces intoxicating effects. Synthetic CBD may be a safe treatment for seizures as the synthetic compound has the same properties as the naturally occurring compound as it shares a similar molecular structure and is called 8,9-di-hydro cannabidiol (H2CBD). However, this compound is prepared in the lab instead of being extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant.
What Does the Research Say
Teams of researchers in the US and UK are actively engaged in researching this compound. All the tests carried out so far suggest that the synthetic compound can be helpful in the treatment of seizures in rats as the naturally occurring compound. Currently, research is being carried out at UC Davis as well as at Reading University in the UK.
The published research on these investigations gives a positive picture of the outcomes witnessed by administering controlled doses of the compound to rats in order to induce seizures by chemical means. According to Mark Mascal who is the lead researcher of the team, safety levels are considerably increased by the use of the synthetic compound H2CBS compared to the natural CBD compound. This is a positive sign since it reduces the risk of abuse which is a major concern among policymakers debating legalization of cannabis for medical purposes in states across the US.
The research team is also of the view that even though the synthetic compound has the potential to be commercially produced, it should be used as the last resort in the course of treatments for different kinds of seizures and epilepsy. Hence, there may be some instances where the legalization of marijuana may become a necessity.
How Does CBD Help In The Treatment Of Epilepsy?
To state things simply, epilepsy is an umbrella term that is used to refer to different kinds of brain conditions resulting in seizures of different intensities and duration. The CDC estimates that in 2015, around 3.4 million individuals in the US suffering from epilepsy. Among these, 470,000 were children. For centuries, cannabis has been used by people in different parts of the world as a means of relief from seizures with varying levels of efficacy.
The Role of CBD in Treating Depression
In addition to providing relief in epilepsy, CBD has also shown to produce positive effects in the treatment of depression. Synthetic CBD may be a safe treatment for seizures as the scientific results have been encouraging even though no conclusive findings have been obtained so far. The endocannabinoid pathway, a major channel that affects the nervous system through the action of CBD, was discovered by scientists only two decades ago; hence, any research carried out on the effects of CBD on depression are fairly recent and have not been validated by subsequent studies.
Around 100 compounds are known so far that affect the endocannabinoid pathway, out of which THC and CBD are the most important compounds. The former has greater intoxicating effects while the latter compound is less intoxicating. Due to this, researchers have focused their efforts on investigating the effects of CBD because THC has the potential for misuse and other adverse effects on the patient. In fact, CBD extracts have been approved by the FDA as a means of treatment for some types of seizures.
Benefits of Synthetic CBD
Despite having less intoxicating effects, naturally occurring CBD has some negative effects on the individual. These have been discussed at length in scientific research along with the advantages of using synthetic alternatives in different kinds of treatment.
One of these disadvantages is that it is termed to be a controlled substance in several countries. Since H2CBD is a synthetic compound, it can be produced and sold commercially without encountering any legal hassles that affect the sale of naturally occurring CBD. Moreover, synthetic CBD requires fewer resources as it can be grown in the lab.
Synthetic CBD also reduces the potential for people using natural CBD to produce THC, which is a commonly occurring malpractice. With H2CBD, this simply cannot take place. Animal studies are being designed to test the effects of H2CBD on other animals, before progressing to formal clinical studies. If the results are positive, the product could soon receive a patent for mass commercial production of the compound. The results for thousands of patients would be extremely positive in the US and other countries around the world.