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Lex Pelger’s best of cannabinoid science: 9 new research studies

Cannabis scientist Lex Pelger brings you the latest in cannabinoid research.



Cannabis scientist Lex Pelger brings you the latest cannabinoid research.

Cannabis scientist Lex Pelger brings you the latest cannabinoid research with nine new studies exploring Tourette’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep and more.

Lex Pelger is a biochemist specialising in cannabinoids and psychedelics. Here we share an extract from his newsletter, where each week he brings subscribers a concise round-up of the latest cannabis research from preclinical studies to reviews and more advanced clinical trials. 

This week we look at Tourette’s, multiple sclerosis (MS) and sleep, while other studies make the case for the entourage effect in epilepsy and reducing inflammation. Read on for this week’s round-up.


Clinical trials in cannabinoids 


THC and CBD in Tourette syndrome

In patients with severe Tourette syndrome, treatment with THC and CBD reduced tics as well as impairments due to tics, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Read more here

Efficacy of Sativex in MS 

In two clinical trials of people with MS, nabiximol spray (Sativex) (1:1 THC:CBD) improved their spasticity scores over 12 weeks. 

Read more here 

Cannabinoids in insomnia disorder 

In insomnia patients, a single dose of 10 mg THC/200 mg CBD significantly decreased the time to sleep and time spent in REM sleep, increased the time until REM sleep occurred, caused changes in brain scan patterns and resulted in no negative next day effects.

Read more here 


Reviews of the current research


A review of the clinical data for CBD

A recent review explores the current state of knowledge on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in various medical conditions.

The researchers say: “CBD is an effective novel treatment option in Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex and Dravet syndrome. Data supporting CBD’s applicability in anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, insomnia, pain, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis and as an anti-aging agent.”

Read more here

Evidence for cannabis and MS

Elsewhere, a review examined the existing data on cannabis and MS, from preclinical to clinical.

The authors say: “Evidence from preclinical studies showed that cannabinoids can limit the demyelination process, promote remyelination, and have anti-inflammatory properties by reducing immune cell infiltration of the central nervous system in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. 

“Moreover, it has been established that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice treated with cannabinoids experienced a significant reduction of symptoms and slowing of the disease progression. Given the complexity of human immune and nervous systems, cannabinoids did not have the anticipated effects on human subjects. However, data obtained from clinical trials showed some beneficial results of cannabinoids as a single or as add-on therapy in reducing the spasticity and pain related to MS.”

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Effects of cannabinoids on spinal motor neuron output

A review of 23 studies analysed how cannabinoids alter the output of spinal motor neurons [part of the central nervous system which connect to muscles, organs and glands throughout the body].

The authors state: “This synthesis of evidence suggests that CB1 agonists can increase the frequency of cyclical patterns of motoneuron output (i.e. fictive locomotion). Furthermore, a majority of the evidence indicates that activating CB1 receptors at motoneuron synapses promotes excitation of motoneurons by enhancing excitatory synaptic transmission and depressing inhibitory synaptic transmission.

“This review reveals equivocal effects of cannabinoids on acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction was largely equivocal, and the influence of cannabinoids in this area remains unclear. Altogether, these reports indicate that the endocannabinoid system is integral within the final common pathway and can impact motor output.”

Read more here 


Preclinical studies on cannabinoids 

The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD and hops terpenes 

In white blood cells, treatment with CBD plus terpenes from the hops plant (the closest relative of cannabis) caused an additive anti-inflammatory effect, similar to that of hydrocortisone.

Read it here


A combination of CBD and terpenes in Dravet syndrome

In a mouse model of Dravet syndrome (a severe childhood epilepsy), superior results were obtained when combining CBD & β-caryophyllene (one of the most cannabis terpenes) than when using them separately in terms of inflammation, behavioural disturbances and brain immune cell reactivities.

Read more


Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota and endocannabinoidome

A study in hamsters showed that using probiotics improves the gut microbiota and the endocannabinoidome.

Read more 

Lex Pelger

This is an extract taken from the weekly cannabinoid science newsletter Cannabinoids & the People, by Lex Pelger. You can sign up to receive the full edition for free here.

With a background in biochemistry, Lex Pelger writes and lectures about cannabinoid science & psychedelics. He produces the weekly cannabis science newsletter ‘Cannabinoids & the People‘ & his company White Whale Creations produces educational content, newsletters, podcasts & science archives. He also offers How-To Guides & personal consultations for using cannabinoids & psychedelics for your health. He’s written three graphic novels based on Moby-Dick about cannabis & the endocannabinoid system as well as hosting The Lex Files podcast about psychoactives, spirituality, the supernormal & science. Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter & TikTok or see all of his offerings on his Linktree.

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