Medical Research

Cannabinoids & Brain Health

Written by Lydia Kariuki

Cannabinoids have been implicated in the treatment of various conditions, and the potential benefits of cannabinoids are believed to go as far and wide as the endocannabinoid system is stretched out in the body.

When it comes to the brain and the central nervous system, cannabinoids are promising candidates for treatment due to their neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and neuro-modulatory properties. In fact, they been studied and used in the management of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, childhood seizures, Parkinson’s, and malignant brain tumors.[1]

Neurotech International Ltd, a medical cannabis company, recently concluded studies on the potential benefits of cannabinoids on the brain using their proprietary cannabis cultivar DOLCE/NTI. The studies were conducted at Monash, RMIT, and the University of Wollongong. This cultivar, which contains cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), cannabidiphorol (CBDP), and canabidibutol (CBDB), showed significant anti-inflammatory activity.

The DOLCE/NTI cannabis cultivar contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which minimizes the regulatory hiccups that are likely to come up as the company moves toward commercialization.

Compared to CBD alone, DOLCE/NTI appears to have stronger (80% more) anti-inflammatory properties. The full-spectrum cultivar exerted these effects by reducing expression of arginase 1 and iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase); expression of these genes is increased during inflammation.

At the levels tested, DOLCE/NTI did not produce any toxic effects on healthy brain cells.

“These final trial results are very encouraging, in particular, the powerful anti-inflammatory mode of action of our strains compared to CBD alone,” said Brian Leedman, chairman of Neurotech. These results demonstrate that the DOLCE/NTI leads may have a broader application in relation to the management and treatment of a number of neurological disorders.”

The researchers are now ready to move to phase 1 clinical trials, which are expected to begin shortly.

Image Credit: Piqsels

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  1. Maroon J & Bost J. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surg Neurol Int. 2018;9:91.

About the author

Lydia Kariuki