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Synthetic, non-intoxicating analogue of cannabidiol (CBD) is being touted as an effective means of treating seizures in rats by University of California Davis, in conjunction with researchers at the University of Reading, U.K.
Their research suggests that the synthetic version of CBD is easier to purify than plant extract, removes the requirement of agricultural land for hemp cultivation, and even mitigates the legal complexities associated with cannabis-related products.
Read the full report here: Scientific Reports
Of the synthetic version of CBD, UC Davis Department of Chemistry Professor Mark Mascal says; “It’s a much safer drug than CBD, with no abuse potential and doesn’t require the cultivation of hemp,”.
CBD has grown in popularity thanks to the proposed health effects and as well as how the compound does not cause a high. CBD is also being investigated as a pharmaceutical compound for conditions including anxiety, epilepsy, glaucoma and arthritis. But because it comes from extracts of cannabis or hemp plants, CBD poses legal problems in some states and under federal law. It is also possible to chemically convert CBD to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating head-high causing compound in marijuana.
8,9-Dihydrocannabidiol (H2CBD) is a synthetic molecule with a similar structure to CBD. University of California Davis have pioneered a simple method to inexpensively synthesize H2CBD from commercially available chemicals. “Unlike CBD, there is no way to convert H2CBD to intoxicating THC,” he said.
Epilepsy and Seizures
One important and popular medical use of cannabis and CBD is in the treatment of epilepsy. There is strong testing and evidence from animal studies that CBD will help treat epilepsy. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an extract of herbal CBD for treating some seizure conditions.
The researchers tested synthetic H2CBD against herbal CBD in rats with induced seizures. H2CBD and CBD were found to be equally effective for the reduction of both the frequency and severity of seizures.
Mascal is working with colleagues at the UC Davis School of Medicine to carry out more studies in animals with a goal of moving into clinical trials soon. UC Davis has applied for a provisional patent on antiseizure use of H2CBD and its analogues. Mascal has also founded a company, Syncanica, to continue development of the H2CBD synthetic CBD along with appropriate testing.
Additional authors on the paper are Nema Hafezi and Deping Wang at UC Davis, and Yuhan Hu, Gessica Serra, Mark Dallas and Jeremy Spencer at the University of Reading.
Credit: University of California Davis and Reading University
Lead Author: Mark Mascal
Supporting Authors: Nema Hafezi and Deping Wang at UC Davis, and Yuhan Hu, Gessica Serra, Mark Dallas and Jeremy Spencer at the University of Reading.