Cannabidiol and why we need to take it seriously
There is a growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) in a number of health conditions. To find out more, IMI spoke to Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition for Naturecan, a company that produces and markets a Broad-Spectrum of CBD Distillate. Ms Cosgrove is also a member of the CBD research team at Liverpool John Moores University.
Increasingly, CBD is being perceived as mainstream, rather than ‘alternative’ therapy and there is a growing body of evidence for CBD’s effect in various health conditions. Furthermore, there are now prescription CBD products which have passed the required regulatory hurdles (evidence of efficacy and safety) and been granted Marketing Authorisations as medicines.
This interview is concerned with consumer CBD products that are available for the public to buy from a pharmacy or online. Ms Cosgrove says, “[CBD] isn’t going to go away; the interest from the consumer is growing all the time”. Community pharmacists can expect to be asked increasing numbers of questions about CBD products.
The endocannabinoid system helps modulate the regulation of homeostasis across all major systems within the body, so all systems operate efficiently. The endocannabinoid system is a network of cell receptors that responds to cannabinoids like CBD and THC, among others. There are receptors in the brain, the immune system and in the periphery – and these are associated with pain and inflammation pathways.
CBD is associated with reduction in inflammation, improvement in sleep, reduction in pain and has been shown to possess anticonvulsant properties. There is evidence of a neuroprotective effect, so in head injuries, such as in concussion and closed brain injuries that can occur, for example, during contact sports. “I must stress that more research is need in this area, but certainly they have found some evidence of suppressing the inflammation resulting from concussion injury”, says Ms Cosgrove
The bioavailability of CBD is an issue because it is fat-soluble and oral doses are poorly absorbed in the absence of food. Inhalation (vaping) achieves rapid absorption of CBD, although no-one should advise taking this up purely to improve CBD absorption. CBD oil drops have been formulated for buccal delivery. “This is the next best way of achieving rapid uptake into the bloodstream”, says Ms Cosgrove. Many people find oral dosage forms the most convenient way to take CBD but they should be reminded to take them with food to maximise absorption Oral dosage forms (capsules) are convenient and many people prefer this route and CBD in foods are absorbed more slowly as they must be digested first. Capsule forms are better absorbed when taken with food. There are also solubilised forms of CBD, e.g. Naturecan’s Accelerator (CBD powered by Novasol) that can improve bioavailability.
Moyra Cosgrove is Head of Nutrition for Naturecan. Her main focus is consumer CBD and she is responsible for the Novel Food Application to the UK Food Standards Agency for Naturecan’s Broad Spectrum CBD Distillate. She also advises on the nutritional aspects of Naturecan’s product range and manages the research programme partnership with Liverpool John Mores University.