Every day, researchers are finding new evidence to back up their claim that cannabis can be used for a number of medical conditions. In order to reach these results, scientists have had to conduct trial experiments to learn more about the effects of cannabis on the body. While these tests are conducted within labs and are quite promising, it’s been difficult for doctors and researchers to understand how cannabis responds to various ailments, since the majority of these tests have been administered to animals, rather than humans.
Recently, however, researchers have completed the first-ever clinical trial to find a treatment for Huntington’s disease, and that is a huge win for the medical cannabis community.
What is Huntington’s disease?
Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes nerve cells in the brain to break down over a period of time. Huntington’s disease, which takes years to progress, essentially deteriorates a person’s physical and mental capabilities, making walking, and moving in general, particularly difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for the disease and the few treatments they have are not very effective. Since Huntington’s disease causes damage to striatal and cortical neurons, researchers have been looking to neuroprotective drugs as a starting point for research on the disease.
So what does this have to do with cannabis?
Cannabis & Huntington’s disease
Researchers have found that the endocannabinoid system is intricately tied to the progression of Huntington’s Disease, and CBD is known to interact positively with the endocannabinoid system. With this information in mind, researchers decided to take a closer look to uncover the possibilities of a more effective treatment.
Recently, the Ramon y Cajal University Hospital’s Foundation for Biomedical Investigation, in collaboration with GW Pharmaceuticals, gave the go-ahead for a clinical trial using cannabis in patients with Huntington’s Disease.
The clinical trial, which was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, used Sativex. This is a specialized cannabis extract that’s already been approved for patients with multiple sclerosis, to show that cannabinoids are completely safe for patients with Huntington’s disease.
While these researchers weren’t able to show a clear statistical difference in motor and cognitive abilities after using Sativex, this pilot study will serve as the foundation for clinical trials to come, which will benefit the medical cannabis community in so many ways.
Researchers are confident in their ability to use cannabis as a treatment for Huntington’s disease, saying that more studies over a prolonged period of time will be needed in order to take this treatment into more serious consideration. Unfortunately, finding a treatment will take some time, but doctors and researchers are doing everything they can to make sure we get there as soon as possible.
Do you know anyone who uses cannabis to treat Huntington’s disease? Does it work for them? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.