A landmark study has shown that long-term exposure to CBD does not appear to have any adverse effects on health.
The study, which is the first of its kind to examine the toxicity and long-term effects of CBD, has found that it did not demonstrate ‘any degree of acute or life-long toxicity’.
Instead, CBD actually extended the average lifespan and increased activity in later life.
The research was conducted by Spectrum Therapeutics, the medical division of Ontario cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation, as part of a commitment to provide the data which is needed to support and influence public policy.
These findings could be instrumental in changing public attitudes and improving access to CBD for patients who use it to help manage a range of symptoms including anxiety and pain.
The study evaluated the solubility, stability, acute toxicity, thermotolerance, and effects on lifespan of CBD in what is thought to be the first long-term toxicity and lifespan research regarding the effects of chronic exposure to cannabidiol.
Acute and long-term exposure studies of CBD at physiologically relevant concentrations were studied in the worm model Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), which is recognised as a valid model for this kind of research on the basis that 60-80 percent of their genes are shared with humans and their short lifespan of two-three weeks makes such studies feasible.
Researchers found that CBD did not demonstrate any degree of acute or life-long toxicity or related liabilities at physiological concentrations.
Instead, it extended the average lifespan up to 18 percent and increased late-stage life activity by up to 206 percent when compared to the untreated controls within the study.
While further research into the life-long use of CBD should be carried out in mammalian models, this study indicates a lack of long-term toxicity at physiologically relevant concentrations.
“Despite widespread use of CBD, no life-long toxicity studies had been conducted to date to determine the impact – or potential impact – of long-term exposure to CBD,” said Hunter Land, senior director of translational and discovery science at Canopy Growth, said:
“These results serve as the only CBD life-long exposure data in an in vivo model to date, and the absence of long-term toxicity gives us the evidence we need as an industry to continue researching the potential health benefits for the broader application of CBD.”
The study is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal and available online.
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