Research Roundup: older cannabis users healthier than peers; CBD aids dogs with osteoarthritis

Also: Israeli clinical trial shows microdoses of THC can effectively relieve pain

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Daily doses of CBD could help dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, according to a new study published in the Journal of Immunology. Photo by Rattankun Thongbun/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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CBD for dogs

In a double-blind clinical study of large dogs diagnosed with canine osteoarthritis, researchers discovered that dogs given high doses of CBD showed a significant improvement in their quality of life.

In the study, published in the Journal of Immunology, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas divided the dogs into four groups. One group received a placebo while the other three each received a different preparation of cannabidiol.

Researchers treated one group of dogs with 50 milligrams of pure CBD oil every day for the course of the four-week trial. Another group received the same oil at a lower dose—20 milligrams of pure CBD. The third group of dogs got 20 milligrams of liposomal CBD, meaning the medicinal compound was encased in tiny lipid bubbles for easier absorption. 

Based on veterinarians’ evaluations of the dogs’ mobility and pain before, during, and after the study—and reports from the pets’ owners—research determined that the dogs in the placebo group and the low-dose CBD group showed no signs of improvement. Dogs in the high-CBD group and the liposomal-CBD group did see significant improvement in their conditions.

No lazy stoners here

A new study comparing the health and fitness habits of 28 older cannabis users to 136 non-users found that cannabis users aged 60 and up are more likely to lead healthier lives than non-users of the same age group.

According to research published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, the subjects were participating in a four-month study that looked at the relationship between changes in physical activity and cognitive function in older adults. Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder measured each participant’s body mass index. They also asked subjects to self-report how frequently they exercised.

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Research shows that cannabis users over 60 are likely to be more active than their peers. Photo by Jupiterimages/Getty Images

The cannabis users in the group self-reported that they exercised more days per week than non-users. They also scored higher on a survey of healthy community activities. In addition, the cannabis users had significantly lower BMI measurements than non-users.

“In this study, current cannabis use was associated with lower BMI and more exercise behavior in healthy older adults wishing to increase their physical activity,” the authors concluded. “Whereas the results are preliminary, with both more extensive and rigorous additional research needed, the discovery of a role for cannabis as a potential facilitator of physical activity among older adults may hold promise.”

THC microdoses work

According to a study published in the European Journal of Pain, microdoses of THC can effectively relieve pain without side effects commonly associated with cannabis use.

In a clinical trial carried out by Israeli med-tech company Syqe Medical, patients received three to four inhalations per day, each containing up to 500 micrograms. According to a July 1 press release, a typical medical cannabis patient consumes 150,000 micrograms of THC per day.

“This illustrates a key finding from the study that patients can benefit from dramatically lower doses,” the press release states.

Syqe claims that its study is “the first scientific confirmation that microdosing—the process of using extremely low doses of active drug compounds to treat various conditions – actually works with cannabis”.

The clinical trial used Syqe’s Selective Dose Inhaler, a drug-delivery platform that enables doctors and patients to select microgram-level doses with very high precision.

“This study is the first to show that human sensitivity to THC is significantly greater than previously assumed, indicating that if we can treat patients with much higher precision, lower quantities of drug will be needed, resulting in fewer side effects and an overall more effective treatment. The Syqe drug delivery technology is also applicable to opioids and other compounds that, while potentially effective, are notoriously associated with dangerous side effects. The introduction of a tool to prescribe medications at such low doses with such high resolution may allow us to achieve treatment outcomes that previously were not possible,” said Perry Davidson, Syqe Medical CEO.

Thanks for the tip

Have you read a recent study that sheds new light on the topic of cannabis? Are you a researcher working on a clinical trial? If so, send me a link and I might feature it in a future edition of CannCentral’s Research Roundup. Thanks!

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