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Recent Research On Cannabis 2022

There are now approximately 140 active clinical trials examining cannabidiol's therapeutic potential. Simply go to ClinicalTrials.gov to see what studies are currently being conducted. On the recent research on cannabis, a search of PubMed.gov, a database of scientific studies and reviews maintained by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, yielded more than 500 such papers. Things are a-moving and a-shaking in the realm of CBD research!

Since 2022, research has centered on learning more about neurodegenerative disorders like ALS, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Alzheimer's, and MS. CBD's involvement in reducing the symptoms of dementia, and potentially reversing it, has been studied in a number of research. Across numerous neurodegenerative illnesses, dementia is one of the most severe and difficult-to-manage symptoms. CBD's neuroprotective properties are being studied not just in the context of neurodegenerative illnesses, but also as a possible stroke prevention and treatment.

With research looking at CBD's effects on opiate use and withdrawal, alcoholism, cannabis use disorder, and cocaine addiction, the broader benefits of CBD to treat addiction are becoming clearer. CBD's effect in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms in general has also been studied in some research.

Psychiatric disorders, which include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression, fall under the same umbrella. CBD has been studied as an antipsychotic medication, which could make it effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. CBD is also being investigated as a potential treatment for anhedonia, which would allow individuals suffering from depression to rediscover happiness in things they formerly loved.

With a lot of preclinical study still being done and research moving into more and more human clinical trials, there is still a big push to look at CBD and seizure disorders. At the preclinical level, PTSD and fear-based memory are of interest, as are diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathic pain, and nausea.

Are All Research Studies Created Equally?

A hand wearing a blue latex glove dropping an orange liquid into several tiny lab tubes sitting in a tube rack
A hand wearing a blue latex glove dropping an orange liquid into several tiny lab tubes sitting in a tube rack

The current procedure for moving a medicine from research and development to human consumption is as follows: Before being approved for public use, new medications go through a series of tests. Each round of research adds to the credibility of the drug's promise of efficacy in human patients. Studies are carried out in laboratories after initial discovery work to find a molecule and therapeutic target for the substance, and often involve looking at the effects of a medicine on tissue or flesh cells in a test tube (in vitro).

In terms of final usefulness, this first step in the development process is regarded as the least reliable. Following that, live animal subjects will be examined (in vivo). While the outcomes of these research can be encouraging, they aren't always the same in human individuals. "Preclinical trials" refers to the first two stages of testing. Reviews are the next layer in terms of credibility after that. Researchers will assemble all relevant studies on a specific ailment, analyze each study, and draw conclusions based on this larger body of data in reviews. Reviews are more trustworthy than any single laboratory or animal study, but they are in the middle of the pack in terms of reliability. Human studies, sometimes known as "clinical trials," provide the most convincing evidence for a medicine.

Clinical trials can be developed and carried out in a variety of methods. Controlled human clinical trials provide strong evidence, with randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studies being the most reliable in terms of efficacy and success rates. In a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, some individuals receive the experimental treatment while others receive a placebo (a placebo). Neither the researchers nor the volunteers will know which is which until the study is completed (they are both "blind" in this case).

Current Clinical Trials

Human clinical studies are where we learn the most about CBD's efficacy. Clinical trials are being conducted on CBD for the following purposes:

  • Alcohol use disorder (alcoholism)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Epilepsy
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Infantile spasms (a form of seizure disorder)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic disorder affecting appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function, and behavior)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome (a neurological disorder)

And there are many others!

Clinical trials are also being conducted to see if CBD can help with the side effects of long-term THC usage, such as memory loss and depression. The effects of early heavy cannabis usage on teenage brains are also being studied, as well as how CBD can help offset the negative effects. Every coin has two sides, and although it's vital to consider the positive benefits CBD may have on the human body and disease, it's also necessary to consider how cannabis may negatively impact humans.

A lady wearing a clinical goggle, a nose mask, and a blue latex glove looking into a microscrope
A lady wearing a clinical goggle, a nose mask, and a blue latex glove looking into a microscrope

New And Exciting Areas Of Research

There are intriguing new preclinical studies on the horizon looking at how CBD can treat disorders including endometrial and cervical cancer (the female reproductive system has a lot of cannabinoid receptors! ), panic attacks, and neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects children. The "endocannabinoidome" is an expanded understanding of the endocannabinoid system proposed by Italian researchers, which includes the family of endogenous cannabinoids and other active compounds that act like endogenous cannabinoids, as well as all receptors they interact with (not just CB1 and CB2) and the enzymes that create and break down the compounds.

Final Words

Multiple chemicals in cannabis, or marijuana, have potential therapeutic and medical benefits, including 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Over the last 25 years, attitudes regarding cannabis have shifted dramatically, with states in the United States legalizing medicinal and recreational use, and Canada and Uruguay legalizing recreational use on a national basis. As a result, cannabis product usage is on the rise, particularly among young people.

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