Is The Worm Turning For CBD? Canopy Growth Says Toxicity Trial Is A World-First

RESEARCH by Canopy Growth subsidiary Spectrum Therapeutics has found CBD increases the lifespan of worms by almost 20%.

Published late November the study examined the long-term effects of cannabidiol (CBD), specifically focusing on toxicity and lifespan effects in Caenorhabditis elegans (C elegans) – a type of threadworm.

Canopy believes it is one of the first long-term toxicity and lifespan research studies examining the effects of chronic exposure to CBD and was commissioned to provide the data required to inform public policy development. 

The C elegans were chosen as up to 80% of their genes are shared with humans, and they have a comparatively short lifespan of less than three weeks. 

The authors say the CBD did not demonstrate any degree of ‘acute or life-long toxicity and demonstrated an extended mean lifespan up to 18% and increased late-stage life activity by up to 206% compared to the untreated controls within the study’.

“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.

“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,” said Hunter Land, Senior Director of Translational and Discovery Science at Canopy Growth.

The study was conducted in partnership with NemaLife and is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal.

This research should prove of interest to those European and UK companies looking for trial data on potential CBD toxicity for their Novel Food applications.

BusinessCann has reported on the ongoing and slated trials which are being undertaken or considered to achieve compliance for CBD brands to remain on sale in the UK market.

After previously regarding CBD as safe, in line with WHO guidelines, the US Food and Drug Administration changed its stance in relation to CBD saying it posed ‘real-risks’ to health.

That was in November, 2019, and in February this year, the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) shifted its position on usage, too. The FSA suggested a cap of 70mg of CBD a day and expressed concerns in relation to its potential harm to the liver.

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