10 CBD Clinical Trials You Might not Know About

…and their importance in today’s health needs!

For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD, and even THC, for humans.

A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now their many benefits are being explored for their possible applications in treatments of different conditions, both for children and adults. Furthermore, they are no longer being looked into as a last resort for terminal patients, but as a first option for conditions like epilepsy, autism, asthma, and even for cancer itself, not just for its symptoms.

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Some CBD clinical trials and studies of immense importance that have been or are being carried out, are:

1. CBD for Epilepsy

It’s no wonder, epilepsy is getting the most attention when it comes to CBD clinical trials, since, over the past decade, there have been countless cases of epilepsy patients who have benefited from CBD oil.

This study, carried out by the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UM School of Pharmacy, aims to determine the benefits and safety of a CBD based medication for children with severe forms of epilepsy. And, though this trial still treats CBD as a last resort, qualifying it as “compassionate care”, it will be an amazing contribution for the medical community.

Ole Miss has an interesting history with cannabis. It was the first authorized cannabis grower for scientific research purposes, though the FDA recently opened up the possibility for other growers to become authorized. Since this is still a controlled substance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) oversees the production and gives out the authorizations every year.

Why did CBD Clinical trials for epilepsy take so long to occur?

In most cases of severe epileptic disorders, the children who suffer from it usually don’t survive long enough to become adults. The goal with treatment is usually to prolong life expectancy and to maintain life skills (speaking, walking, eating) for as long as possible.

Though cannabis and CBD in particular have been shown to do wonders for these children, the social stigma and legal implications of giving it to minors have put a lot of pressure on parents and health professionals, and limit their options.

2. CBD for Asthma

Asthma is an allergic, inflammatory condition that affects the airways, and more than 26 million people in the U.S. suffer from it.

Together with the Hebrew University, an Israeli company is developing a cannabis based treatment for asthma that will benefit both children and adults. The researchers decided to look into CBD due to its well known anti inflammatory properties, though it might also have an effect on the allergic reaction itself, via the immune system. The idea with this research is to develop a supplement in tablet or inhaler form, that will be accessible to everyone.

Cases of severe asthma have been labeled as an “unmet clinical needs” by the World Health Organization, since it is usually treated with corticosteroids, which some people are resistant to, and from 1990 to 2015, the number of asthma cases doubled, which generates the need for better treatments, preferably natural ones that don’t produce harmful side effects. This is where CBD comes in.

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3. Movement Disorders

At the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, a CBD trial will be carried out this year to establish possible beneficial effects of cannabis in a common movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET), which is characterized by involuntary shaking. However, if the results are positive, it is likely to have beneficial effects on all disorders of this type. This trial will focus on CBD and will include a low dose of THC.

Movement disorders, like essential tremor, Parkinson’s, dystonia, among others, affect around 42 million people in the U.S. They alter daily life and are extremely likely to cause anxiety and depression; so CBD shows promise as a treatment for people who suffer from this type of conditions, though so far research has been leaning particularly towards Parkinson’s, since it is so debilitating.

4. CBD for MS

Studies show that CBD reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, such as fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression and spasticity, while increasing mobility.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the protective layers of the nerve fibers and spinal cord, causing failures in the nervous system’s communication to the brain. It can cause numbness, electric shock sensation, and mobility issues, among several other symptoms that significantly affect life and cause disability.

A trial was conducted in 2005, which demonstrated cannabis’ effectiveness at treating pain in patients suffering from MS, and a specific trial was carried out in order to compare the efficacy of two cannabis based medications for MS.

The positive results in these trials are probably due to the role of the endocannabinoid system in multiple sclerosis, which has been established by scientific studies.

5. Endometriosis

CBD is being looked into for its possible ability to treat endometriosis, an illness that affects about 180 million women in the world, and occurs when the lining of the uterus grows in other places around the pelvis, ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.

A new lab in Israel, set up by Israeli doctors with the purpose of carrying out medical research about cannabis’ medicinal properties, will begin an intensive study about the way CBD can benefit patients who suffer from endometriosis, since CBD has been proven to regulate the immune system, even preventing the spread of the disease.

The doctors commented on the current information there is about this particular illness, and stated that a lot more research is needed in order to understand how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system relate to it.

6. CBD Clinical trials for Anorexia

The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research of UCSD has been pushing medical research forward, which is good news for everyone whose health could be benefited by CBD.

They will soo launch a trial that specifically looks into the effect of CBD in Adult Anorexia Nervosa, for which there is currently no proven medical treatment.

Cannabis has been observed to aid with anorexia for its appetite enhancing properties, and most of the effect has been attributed to THC. However, CBD shows significant promise in this area, since it not only targets appetite, but also helps reduce anxiety and depression, which are the core of eating disorders.

7. CBD for Early Psychosis

Though cannabis is usually not recommended for schizophrenia or psychosis in general, CBD on its own has shown anti psychotic properties.

A trial will begin in order to determine if the component can reduce symptoms and improve cognitive function in patients with early psychosis. It will also look into the biological response to stress, and the effect of CBD in eating behavior, which is altered by anti psychotic medication.

8. CBD Clinical Trials for Anxiety

An extensive clinical study that was carried out in 2015, evaluated CBD’s anxiolytic properties and its effect on anxiety related disorders. It was determined that CBD shows a broad range of potential relevant to the treatment of different symptoms of anxiety disorders, and has the advantage of not producing detrimental side effects even at higher doses.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and around 40 million adults are affected by them. However, less than 40% of sufferers are receiving treatment for them.

In the past decades, CBD’s beneficial effects in neuropsychiatric disorders has been observed by the medical community through anecdotal evidence and scientific studies, which brings a lot of hope for the development of a successful medical cannabis-based treatment for these conditions.

9. CBD Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain

CBD has shown great promise for pain management, but specifically for chronic pain, it could even be considered a breakthrough.

This current study is examining the effects of both CBD and THC on chronic pain in adults (18-50 yrs.) and it’s related symptoms, and aims to compare the effects of different doses of THC/CBD, in order to determine the best combination. Hopefully this will shed more light on the individual and combined effects of these two cannabinoids.

Chronic pain sufferers develop depression, anxiety and are constantly troubled by inflammation. CBD has the potential of treating all of these issues with little to no side effects, which would allow chronic pain sufferers to have more active lives and care for themselves a lot better.

10. CBD Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia

A medical study in 2016, suggested that clinical endocannabinoid deficiency could be the cause of chronic pain disorders and other illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, which shows the most evidence of having relation to this issue.

Significantly lower levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid were seen in patients suffering from chronic pain. However, several CBD trials for fibromyalgia are still needed in order to determine its benefits, which could be several, since a common treatment for the condition are antidepressants, and it is currently known that CBD and antidepressants share some of their benefits, though work in a completely different way.

This trial showed that most patients experienced reduction of pain and stiffness in as little as two hours after they consumed the cannabis solution. And the beneficial effects were much higher in the ones taking the real cannabis than the control group.

The results concluded that cannabis is much more effective than the different prescription meds currently being indicated for fibromyalgia. Though it’s clear that it requires standardization and regulation for it to be as effective as possible.

Prospects for the future…

Thanks to all these medical studies and trials, we’re finally beginning to learn about the different benefits and possibilities that CBD and cannabis have when it comes to our health and well-being.

The world is currently dealing with an increasing number of medical conditions that are no longer deadly, but that affect quality of life significantly, since they reduce people’s ability to care for themselves and lead a full life.

CBD is showing a lot of promise in medical terms for the near future, not just for adults, but for children who suffer from debilitating conditions. So we’ll see…  

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CBD Oil for Autism: Does it Work?

April is world autism awareness month, and every year has brought with it more progress in terms of knowledge, representation and new treatments for those who live with autism.  

This campaign aims to raise both awareness and funding for medical research in hopes of discovering new treatment options, like CBD, or possible ways of preventing this disorder by identifying risks factors more clearly, which are thought to be a mix of genetic and environmental conditions.

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Hopefully, now that worldwide cannabis legalization is looming above us, it serves as an opportunity to contribute to the different treatments that are currently available for autistic children and adults.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioral disorder with a wide spectrum of severity.

Characteristically, those who suffer from autism, have impaired social, communication, and language skills; and it is generally characterized by rigid, repetitive behaviors and movements.

Around 1% of children in the US are diagnosed with some form of autism: 1 in every 37 boys, and 1 in every 151 girls. Though it is more likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls, that gender gap is beginning to diminish, since there is more awareness of how it can manifest differently in girls.

In 2014, it was estimated that more than 3.5 million people in the US live with autism spectrum disorder. The diagnosis of the disorder is increasing quickly, but it is thought to be more due to awareness and better diagnosis criteria, rather than due to an “epidemic” many fear.

Complications…

Around 30% of cases of autism are accompanied by seizures and epileptic disorders, which makes them harder to manage. And the condition may also be complicated by learning disabilities and other disorders, both neurological and physiological.

Adulthood comes with a whole new set of challenges for patients, even those with high functioning autism. For instance, around 35% of young adults with autism haven’t had a job or received further education after high school.

Fortunately, there is constantly more information and scientific research being carried out that could help people and families better cope with this disorder. For example, currently, the University of North Carolina is working on a study that will establish a way of determining if a baby will eventually grow to be diagnosed with autism.

This particular study will allow children to receive therapy and treatment in an early stage, which is likely to result in a better prognosis. Currently, by looking at a brain scan, autism can be predicted and, so far, 8 out of 10 predictions are accurate.

CBD Oil for Kids with Autism

Though at the moment it might seem a little controversial, these past few years, doctors and parents have been turning to cannabis, specifically CBD, in hopes of improving the quality of life of children with autism.

CBD shows promise as a treatment for behavioral symptoms, including violent outbursts, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, and hypersensitivity to physical contact; not to mention it can do a lot for autism that is accompanied by epilepsy, reducing seizures and cognitive decline.

Because traditional treatments are limited, parents have begun exploring alternative treatments such as CBD, and some are beginning to see it as a first option, even before any other medications are tried.

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Clinical Trials…

In 2016, Israeli doctors began carrying out a medical trial with 120 low-to-medium functioning autistic children and young adults, in order to evaluate the behavioral effects CBD could have on their condition.

The supplements that were used were completely free of THC, since the purpose of the study was to determine the properties of CBD alone, and THC still comes with a lot of legal, social and medical baggage that they weren’t prepared to deal with.

During this trial, some patients who were 100% non communicative, started speaking after being given CBD.

At the end of this year, 2019, The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, will be launching a trial with the aim of looking into CBDs effects on severe forms of autism in children.

Why does CBD Oil for autism work?

It has been theorized that the reason CBD reduces self harming behavior in autistic children, is that it improves their communication skills, reducing the frustration that they feel when they’re unable to express ideas and feelings.

Parents have reported a significant improvement in behavior and mood alterations when using CBD Oils or Sprays. It suddenly becomes less stressful and risky to have people over, and it becomes easier to show affection and communicate in a clear way.

A lot of parents report more eye contact, less anxiety at being in an educational setting, and even openness to accepting new foods, which is often an issue.

Also, since epilepsy is a common issue with severe forms of autism, the benefit doubles. Parents use CBD oil for autism and epilepsy, and it has shown a lot of effectiveness, since CBD is better known for its anti-seizure properties and is now being used for epilepsy in children and in adults. This means it can potentially improve the lives of those who suffer from both conditions significantly.

Though doctors know of the many benefits it provides, they want to know exactly how CBD works and why it improves autism symptoms before they “go wild” and prescribe it to every kid that comes to their office. However, there are some who have already begun recommending and prescribing the component.

CBD Oil for High Functioning Autism

Since autism is a spectrum disorder, it varies in severity and need for support. A lot of autistic children grow up to be fully functioning adults. However, they still have difficulties with social interactions, depression and anxiety.

Even for high functioning autism, and what was formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome, CBD oil has been known to help with social anxiety, which is prevalent for those who suffer from the disorder; depression; and even helps reduce repetitive movements.

Autism and the CB2 Receptor

In 2013, a study was conducted in order to identify physiological differences between autistic and non autistic children, in hopes that the origin of the condition could be targeted and life skills improved.

It was discovered that there is a significant difference between autistic and non autistic children when it comes to CB2 receptors.

CB2 receptors, one of the two types of receptors that conform the endocannabinoid system, respond to CBD. The component stimulates them and balances different systems and functions.

Hopefully, in the near future we manage to figure out what exactly is affected when a child suffers from autism, and how CBD targets that alteration.

CBD Oil Dosage for Autism

When it comes to dosage, it is extremely important to consult with a healthcare professional and take into account the child’s age, weight and condition.

Generally speaking, the initial dosage is the same as the one normally used for childhood epilepsy, which is 1mg per kilogram, 3 times a day.

Starting from there, the dosage can be slowly increased until positive changes are seen. Though, again, medical supervision is advised.  

So, is CBD Oil for Autism a Good Idea?

If you compare CBD to medication like Risperdal, which is often given to patients, there really is no question that CBD is the better option.

Psychiatric medication often causes significant side effects that can harm the body and mind permanently, while CBD causes virtually none, and it’s completely natural.

Parents, experts and patients themselves don’t report any negatives when it comes to CBD oil for autism. Probably the only issue they’ve expressed is having trouble finding the product.

Just like it occurs with epilepsy patients, CBD usually allows autistic children to lower the dosage of other medications they’re taking, or to stop taking them completely.

Healthwise, CBD is a really good option. However, Child Protective Services is still an issue parents sometimes have to deal with, since it’s not yet a recognized treatment. So, legally, when it comes to minors, it’s still a very delicate territory and parents should be well informed before making the decision to give their child CBD supplements.

Here’s to CBD being standardized as a medical treatment!

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CBD Oil for Seizures: Childhood Epilepsy

Epilepsy can be a devastating diagnosis for children and families alike. Feeling like your child’s life has been interrupted and they can no longer enjoy the activities they once had, or that you thought they would, is heartbreaking.

But parents and doctors all over are making a fuss about cannabis and CBD oil. Most of us have heard something about it.

If you’re still wondering what it’s all about, and how it can help, then here you go…

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High CBD Strains for Epilepsy

There are several high CBD cannabis strains out there; some old, some new. Hemp is the better known one, since it’s been around for centuries, and has been used for different purposes, both medicinal and industrial.

When it comes to epilepsy, some popular high CBD strains are Valentine X, AC/DC, Cannatonic, Therapy A, among many others. But Charlotte’s Web, which was originally called “Hippie’s Disappointment”, is one of the better known ones when it comes to use for minors, due to it being high in CBD and extremely low in THC (30:1 ratio), which means it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects, even in small children. But, hemp and other high CBD strains are very similar to it and more easily obtained. Plus, they also have the beneficial effects that people seek when searching for alternative treatments for epilepsy.

What can CBD do for epilepsy patients?

CBD has anti seizure, antispasmodic and neuroprotective properties, which help epileptic patients reduce the frequency of seizures, loosen the muscle spasms that they are prone to, and slow, or even reverse, the deterioration that the seizures cause in the brain.

There have been several heartwarming success stories of epileptic children who have been treated with CBD oil. And Hippie’s Disappointment, for example, was renamed after a patient that responded very well to it in 2012.

Real Children have benefited from it…

Charlotte Figi, who was five when she started taking CBD, suffers from a very complex type of epilepsy, called Dravet syndrome, which was causing her to have around 300 seizures per week. And, since most children who suffer from this illness die before the age of 10… At this point she was already halfway through her life expectancy.

Her parents eventually came to the realization that traditional medication was not going to do much for their daughter’s condition. And as they looked into alternative treatments, they came across cannabis, which was already being used for epilepsy patients.

They wanted their daughter to enjoy life and have as much quality time as possible, since she was only five. Her illness was not allowing her to be a child and experience life the way she should have been able to.

“During that time, she lost the ability to walk, talk, eat, and really just, like, participate in life at all; she couldn’t do anything, she just sort of laid in my arms, catatonic. And I just thought that was it…” Charlotte’s mom said.

After trying “Hippie’s Disappointment”, Charlotte improved dramatically, only suffering from three or four seizures per month. And, in an impressive turn of events, she was able to completely go off her strong epilepsy medication.

Epilepsy in Children

There are several cases like Charlotte’s. This isn’t an isolated situation, epilepsy affects an alarming number of children and adults in the country, and in the entire world, and it has no cure at the moment, so finding the best, least harmful treatment, should be a priority.

What is it?

Epilepsy is a chronic illness that affects the brain, and is characterized by frequent, unpredictable seizures which are not caused by any other underlying condition (such as fever).

People who suffer from epilepsy can be affected by it in a variety of ways because there are different types of seizures and different causes for the illness. So there’s no way to know how much a person’s quality of life will be altered before they have lived with epilepsy for a while.

In 2015, epilepsy affected more than 3.4 million people in the United States. That is 1.2% of the country’s population. Of these, 470.000 were children, and 3 million were adults.

It is estimated that, today, 0.6% of children suffer from active epilepsy. Though it might not seem like it, it’s a lot.

Causes

Mostly, the cause for epilepsy in children is unknown. However, stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and central nervous system infections can cause epilepsy in people who didn’t previously suffer from it.

Types of Seizures

According to Epilepsy Ontario, there are two main types of epileptic seizures, and each has its own subtypes respectively:

1. Focal Seizures: limited to one point in the brain.

  • With retained awareness
  • With loss of awareness

 

2. Generalized Seizures: there is seizure activity in both hemispheres of the brain.

  • Absence seizures: the child abruptly becomes unaware for a period of time.
  • Tonic-clonic or convulsive seizures: first, the child loses consciousness, stiffens, and falls to the floor. Then, the extremities begin twitching uncontrollably.
  • Atonic seizures: the child loses consciousness and collapses.  

 

  • Clonic seizures: the person loses control of their body and starts twitching involuntarily; it might involve loss of consciousness, followed by confusion.  
  • Tonic seizures: muscle spasms, flexion or extension of the arms or legs, and impaired consciousness.
  • Myoclonic seizures: abrupt muscle jerks in different parts of the body.

 

Depending on the type of seizure a person suffers from, it will look different to those around them, which is why it’s so scary for parents who witness their child’s first ever seizure; it’s something no parent expects to see, and most don’t recognize it for what it is. It can be extremely alarming.

Why are CBD and Hemp getting so much attention from parents of epileptic children?

Before Charlotte’s Web was popularized for pediatric seizure disorders, strains like hemp and AC/DC were already being used as an alternative treatment for epilepsy patients, including children. And they still are, since CBD has no side effects and no risk of overdose as far as we know.

In the past few years, actual medical studies and trials have been conducted in different countries, with very positive results, which brings a lot of hope to the medical community.

There are a lot of illnesses, epilepsy among them, which have not yet been fully unravelled, and medication for it hasn’t been perfected. Symptoms and complications are tough to deal with, so science is constantly trying to figure out which medication could be developed in order to help without causing side effects that are worse than the actual illness.

Since cannabis has had such a bad reputation due to its known recreational use, looking into it medicinally has been generally frowned upon. This preconception has slowed the research and the studies, especially when it comes to children. However, we’re coming to a point when illnesses are becoming less deadly, but more impairing. Yes: people now have a longer lifespan, but a very poor quality of life.

It is particularly harrowing for parents to see their young children suffering and not enjoying life. This gives them the courage to try options that might be unpopular, because they really have nothing to lose.

This is the reason why, in the past few years, CBD has had a lot more buzz. Parents are looking, the internet is showing, and, when something works, those parents want to share their experience with the world and with other parents.

Concerns

Parents and healthcare professionals have several concerns: does CBD oil affect a child’s development? Does it get them high? Does it make them more likely to develop an addiction in the future?

The answer to all of these is NO.

Brain Development

CBD in no way affects a child’s development. In fact, in cases where a child suffers from epilepsy or autism, where the cognitive development is impaired, CBD treatments have been shown to stop, and even reverse this deterioration and improve psychosocial abilities.

Does the Child get High?

It doesn’t get children “high”. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects, and people who consume it retain their full capacity and awareness.

Does it Generate Addiction?

CBD has been proven to be non-addictive; it does not create habit or make children or adults more likely to develop it in the future.

The benefits, however, have the potential of preventing brain damage which would have been caused by years of frequent and strong seizures.

CBD: Improving the Quality of Life

Today, thousands of parents and doctors swear by CBD. Remember these are families who have known heartbreak closely by seeing a crippling illness reduce their child’s quality of life immensely.

This is the hardest part of chronic illnesses. Surviving, but not living. Or seeing someone survive, but not live.

CBD is able to not only treat an illness, but to return joy and life to a person, child or adult, who has forgotten what it feels like to enjoy day to day activities. It doesn’t just reduce seizures; it gives something back. And it’s not just for epilepsy patients. CBD helps with a number of symptoms, chronic or acute.

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What should I do if someone is having a seizure?

If you see someone having a seizure, it can be very scary. You might feel extremely worried and be afraid to hurt the person by trying to help.

If there’s a doctor in the room, he or she will likely identify themselves and take charge of the situation. Let them! And be ready to assist them if needed, but don’t get in the way.

If there are no doctors in the room, keep calm and here’s a video that shows you what to do!