Leading international medical cannabis researchers in Israel have documented that CBD extracts made from the whole cannabis plant display superior medicinal properties compared to synthetic single molecule cannabidiol (CBD)
The scientific peer reviewed journal: Pharmacology & Pharmacy (Feb 2015) published the report “Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol”. Report co-author and pioneering cannabis researcher Lumir Hanus was key in discovering the first endogenous cannabinoid compound (Anandamide) in mammal brains in 1992. After reviewing the scientific literature for the last 15 years, Hanus and team noted that many cannabinoid studies focused only on the pure, single-molecule CBD in animal models of disease, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and others.
What the researchers discovered was that these preexisting studies using only a pure isolate of single-molecule CBD resulted in bell-shaped dose response curves. The authors explained that this resulted in ‘Healing was only observed when CBD was given within a very limited dose range, whereas no beneficial effect achieved at either lower or higher doses’. Furthermore, this was a characteristic that ‘imposes serious obstacles that limit its usefulness in a clinical context’.
The research team designed a study to “find a CBD source that could eliminate the bell-shaped dose-response of purified CBD”. They chose to put a whole plant CBD-rich extract to the test and compare its effects against the single-molecule isolate. In this study, the group used a high CBD dominant strain similar to “ACDC” in California, but with origins from previous breeding projects in Spain which were called “Cannatonic” the name taken for its intended use as a “cannabis tonic”. The strain obtained was called “Avidekel”, “clone 202” and procured from Tikkun Olam, a leading Israeli medical marijuana producer. The plant extract tested contained 17.9% (CBD), 1.1% THC, 1.1% cannabichromene (CBC) 0.2% Cannabigerol (CBG) and trace amounts of cannabivarol (CBDV). To evaluate effects on anti-inflammation and painkilling, this specific CBD extract was given to groups of mice.
Multiple groups of mice were given the different experimental products. Control groups were not given anything, others the natural CBD extracts from clone 202, and others the pure synthetic CBD to assess its anti-inflammatory and analgesic behavior, including upon a key marker molecule in the inflammatory pathway, namely tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa). Irregularities in TNFa production have been connected with numerous disease states including cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, Alzheimer’s and clinical depression.
The researchers saw amazingly different results in the dose response curves of the different types of CBD. As understood previously, the synthetic single molecule synthetic CBD had only a bell curve dose response curve, where therapeutic potential was very limited.