APR 19, 2019 10:00 AM PDT

CBDs Help Medication Cross the Blood Brain Barrier

WRITTEN BY: Amy Loriaux

If you ask any neurologist they will likely tell you that the blood brain barrier (BBB) has been a major hurdle in designing drugs that are meant to be delivered into the brain. Various brain diseases, including cancer, cannot be treated unless medication can cross this barrier. There have been a variety of attempts to surmount this challenge (e.g. packaging the drug into nanocapsules that can cross the barrier, like a trojan horse, if you will). Well, a recent study has perhaps found a much cheaper and effective way to deliver medication across the border: cannabidiol (CBD).

Photo source: UnSplash.com

According to a new study recently published in the journal, Molecular Pharmaceutics, researchers discuss a process by which CBDs are used to enhance the ability of these "trojan horse" molecules to pass through the BBB. The study, conducted by Dr. Ana I. Torres-Suárez and colleagues out of the Complutense University in Spain,  used specialized lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) attached to CBD molecules, to produce a 6-fold increase in BBB penetration in both in vitro models of the BBB and in mice. This is compared to the process called G-Technology® (aka glutathione PEGylated liposomes) which is currently undergoing clinical trials.

In the current study, CBDs "decorate" lipid nanocapsules (LNCs). The researchers are not quite sure why CBDs would help an LNC cross the BBB, but they speculate that it has something to do with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system thought to maintain the homeostasis of several biological processes. Cannabinoids have no trouble crossing the BBB, and apparently, they can bring their LNC friends along with them.

It has been known for about a decade now that the ECS is involved in neuroprotection. Both endocannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) help regulate the integrity of the BBB. They are involved in keeping the BBB tight. Although this has not been tested yet, to the best of our knowledge, the researchers speculate that cannabinoids, whether endo- or phyto-based, may serve as a key to pass the guards and pass through the BBB. By activating these receptors, CBDs may be allowed to slip through.

Photo source: UnSplash.com

Other than crossing the BBB, cannabinoids have been suggested as a treatment option for many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. They also may be able to treat gliomas, the most common form of malignant brain tumors. Getting much-needed medication to the brain has always been a thorn in modern medicine's side. Attempts to engineer molecules filled with medication have been a tricky and time-consuming business. It may be that the answer is to make use of the BBB's own defense mechanisms (e.g, CB1 and CB2 receptors, potentially) against it through the use of phytocannabinoids like CBD to pass through naturally.

The news of this new study was originally published in Apple News.

 

Source: International Journal of PharmaceuticalsMolecular Pharmaceutics, Journal of Drug Targeting, Neuromolecular Medicine, Recent Patents on CNS Discovery, Parkinson's Disease, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Neuropsychopharmacology, Apple News

About the Author
  • I currently work at a small CRO involved in clinical trial management.
You May Also Like
MAR 12, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
In New Jersey, Medical Marijuana Patients Can't Be Fired for Drug Tests
MAR 12, 2020
In New Jersey, Medical Marijuana Patients Can't Be Fired for Drug Tests
Thirty-three states, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands now have a comprehensive, publicly a ...
MAR 24, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Florida Won't Cap THC for Patients Under 21
MAR 24, 2020
Florida Won't Cap THC for Patients Under 21
Medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016 when more than 70 percent of voters approved the related measure. ...
MAR 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Over 90% Cannabis Products Too High for Pain Relief
MAR 28, 2020
Over 90% Cannabis Products Too High for Pain Relief
New research has found that the vast majority of legal cannabis products across the US are stronger than necessary for p ...
APR 15, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms in 47% Who Quit Cannabis
APR 15, 2020
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms in 47% Who Quit Cannabis
As cannabis has become more and more popular for both medical and recreational use, researchers are increasingly able to ...
MAY 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Damage Focus and Memory in Teenagers?
MAY 06, 2020
Does Cannabis Damage Focus and Memory in Teenagers?
As cannabis products become more mainstream, increasing numbers of people from every age bracket are using them. Researc ...
MAY 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
US Healthcare Workers Need More Cannabis Education
MAY 28, 2020
US Healthcare Workers Need More Cannabis Education
Cannabis products are becoming more and more mainstream. Despite this, researchers from the University of Alabama have f ...
Loading Comments...