There’s still more to explore when it comes to the benefits of cannabis use as medicine. Already, studies have indicated that cannabis contains plenty of medicinal properties that could help with physical ailments and mental health illnesses in humans, along with assisting treatment among opioid users.
More and more, doctors across the country are researching and inquiring about the use of cannabis for a growing list of illnesses. In Doylestown, PA, pharmaceutical company Neuropathix is on the path to creating a synthetic version of CBD grown in test tubes that might end up proving to be more beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The research is specifically aimed to treat extreme discomfort caused by nerve damage from chemotherapy.
Sara Jane Ward, assistant professor of pharmacology at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, said that the focus of CBD, rather than THC, rids hesitancy about any sort of “high.” Ward explained that tests of CBD’s pain-relieving efficacy were tested on mice who she said didn’t absorb it properly in the digestive system. Inhalation through smoke or vape did prove to work better, though has comparable health risks as common oral medication. The main problem now, Ward explained, is how to recommend doses since some people can absorb the cannabis compound more than others.
The solution is Ward’s partnership with Neuropathix called Kannalife. Between Ward and Neuropathix, they concluded that the fat in CBD makes it more difficult to absorb. Now, they’ve partnered to tweak the CBD molecule to be stronger and more effective. The result was the discovery of a new compound called KLS-13019.
Ward said that mice were able to absorb KLS-13019 better than CBD. The compound proved to be even stronger than the original tests with cannabidiol.
The treatment is aimed to test its strength in treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy caused by extreme nerve damage. CIPN can make it difficult for patients to do basic tasks like wear shoes or even walk. It’s a large reason why certain patients end their chemotherapy, according to Marissa Weiss, Lankenau Medical Center director of breast radiation oncology.
There are no treatments for CIPN but recent studies show that CBD might help prevent it. Unfortunately, it isn’t able to reverse CIPN. Plus, Ward said that mice who were taught how to self-administer morphine later opted to use KLS-13019 instead. Though it’s easier to treat addiction in mice, Ward said that it’s a promising sign that it could benefit addiction in humans as well.