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Study: Novel CBD strain shows promising effects on pain

A novel strain of CBD has been shown to have positive pain-relieving effects in studies on mice.

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Pain sensitivity was greatly reduced in animals that were treated with KLS-13019 or CBD. 

A novel strain of CBD has been shown to have positive pain-relieving effects in mice.

A US study has generated promising results around the pain-relieving capabilities of a novel CBD analog in animals with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). 

CIPN is a common side effect of certain cancer treatments that damage peripheral nerves, which carry sensory information to the arms, legs, and brain. 

The severe pain manifests in different ways in human patients but involves tingling or burning sensations and numbness, weakness, or discomfort in the limbs.

Studies have shown that while CBD reduces pain sensation in animals, its ability to do so in humans is limited by low bioavailability.

New work by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, suggests this obstacle may be overcome by a novel CBD analog known as KLS-13019, developed by the Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company Neuropathix.

In previous work in cell models, it was found to be more potent than CBD, and studies in animals suggested it had improved bioavailability.

In a series of experiments designed to gauge animals’ pain responses, researchers found that pain sensitivity was greatly reduced in animals with CIPN that were treated with KLS-13019 or CBD. 

KLS-13019 further reversed sensitivity to painful stimuli in animals in which peripheral neuropathy was already established, an effect that was not observed in CBD-treated animals.

Dr Sarah Ward

Dr Sara Ward. Photo: Temple University Health System

Dr Sara Jane Ward, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the Katz School of Medicine and senior investigator on the new study, commented: “In a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), we’ve been able to show for the first time that KLS-13019 works as well as, if not better than, CBD in preventing the development of neuropathy and reversing pain sensitivity after pain has been established.” 

Earlier studies have also hinted at the possibility that CBD is able to reduce opioid craving in patients with opioid use disorder.

While Dr Ward and colleagues did not find evidence supporting a role for CBD in reducing opioid craving, they did observe significantly reduced opioid-seeking behaviour in KLS-13019-treated animals.

“This tells us that KLS-13019 has benefits beyond its ability to alleviate pain,” Dr Ward added.

Researchers suspect that while sharing a mechanism with CBD for pain relief, KLS-13019 may have an additional mechanism of action, one that breaks up the pathways reinforcing opioid use.

Dr Ward and her team also plan to test the ability of KLS-13019 to alleviate other types of pain, beyond CIPN.

The findings were published online in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister title and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@prohibitionpartners.com / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

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