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Clinical Trial Explores CBD’s Influence on Cannabis Safety

January 5, 2023 08:00 am ET
Clinical Trial Explores CBD’s Influence on Cannabis Safety

A randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial of cannabis recently published by Research Gate explored whether or not cannabidiol (CBD)the primary non-intoxicating constituent of cannabis and hempimproves or reduces the cannabis safety. 

Researchers assessed the effects of four different CBD:THC ratios, only to discover that CBD does not protect against the acute adverse effects of cannabis. THC (short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychotropic element of the marijuana plant, found in the leaves and flowers.

The number of global cannabis consumers is increasing, with approximately 147 million people, or 2.5% of the planet’s population, consuming cannabis annually. With that being said, as well as the fact that more countries around the world are loosening their laws, it is more important than ever to pinpoint strategies that can minimize the harmful effects of cannabis use.

About the Study Into CBD’s Influence on Cannabis Safety

To carry out their study on cannabis safety, researchers recruited 46 healthy, infrequent cannabis consumers. They chose each person to participate in a double-blind, within-subject, randomized trial. Study subjects were administered cannabis preparations that varied in CBD content.

An initial baseline visit was followed by four drug administration visits, during which subjects inhaled vaporized cannabis enriched with 10 milligrams THC and one of the following CBD:THC ratios:

  • 0 milligrams (0:1 CBD:THC)
  • 10 milligrams (1:1)
  • 20 milligrams (2:1)
  • 30 milligrams (3:1)


Delayed verbal recall on the Hopkins Verbal Learning Taskan assessment that requires the memorization of a list of words to test one’s capability to recall directly after memorization (immediate recall) and after a 20-minute delay (delayed recall)was revealed to be the primary outcome of cannabis administration.

Fluctuations in the severity of psychotic symptoms (e.g., Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS] positive subscale) were highlighted as the secondary outcomes of cannabis consumption, in addition to various other cognitive, subjective, pleasurable, pharmacological, and physiological effects.

Serial plasma concentrations of THC and CBD were also measured. As per the results, THC (0:1) was linked to delayed verbal recall impairment and induced positive psychotic symptoms on the PANSS. These effects were not majorly modulated by CBD, regardless of the dosage—a discovery that the study authors say should be considered in future health policy and safety decisions.

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Moreover, the researchers noted that there was no solid proof of CBD regulating the effects of THC on other cognitive, psychotic, subjective, pleasurable, and physiological measures. On the other hand, they observed a dose-response connection between CBD dose and plasma CBD concentration, with no noticeable effect on plasma THC concentrations.

The CBD Market Is Growing at an Exponential Rate

Due to the rapid growth of the CBD industry, more emphasis must be placed on consumer safety. A separate report published by Data Bridge Market research spotlighted the sheer size of the CBD market. The industry is predicted to inflate at a growth rate of 27.8% between now and 2029, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. 

CBD’s diversity is attracting immense demand from buyers and investors, who are indulged with products from key players like Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth Corporation, The Cronos Group, Charlotte’s Web, Curaleaf, Elixinol Wellness Limited, HEXO Corp, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Diamond CBD, ENDOCA, Medterra CBD, Green Roads, VIVO Cannabis Inc., Gaia Herbs Hemp, and Joy Organics.

The cannabinoid is being utilized for a broad spectrum of medical problems, such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, sleep/insomnia, skin care, migraine, seizures, neurological conditions, and inflammation. By acting on biological processes in the body, the cannabis compound can exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects. 

Cannabis Consumption Increased Post-Pandemic, Stimulating Research

Statistics published by Flowhub indicate that 50% of cannabis users have increased their consumption since the pandemic. With the steady rise in consumption, we are likely to see more research efforts taking place. Fortunately, things seem to be moving in the right direction, with a new bill signed by President Joe Biden lending promise for cannabis research.

The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act aims to ease federal limitations on scientific research into the Schedule I controlled substance. It was signed by Biden on Dec. 20. Before it received his signature, the House of Representatives passed the bill during the summer, followed by U.S. Senate approval.

“This is exciting,” said the director of the Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids at the University of California (UC) Los Angeles, Ziva Cooper. “The bill is a significant step forward with respect to chipping away at the barriers for research.”

Despite being welcomed by other cannabis researchers, many industry experts are disappointed by the new law. It lacks a provision from an earlier draft of the legislation that would have enabled scientists to purchase and study the marijuana available to consumers in the 37 states that have legalized the plant for recreational or medical purposes.

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