While the effects of CBD on people are only just beginning to be studied, the effects of individual products have been mostly anecdotal. But a recent study attempted to shed some light on individual products and the cannabinoid as a whole.
Radicle ACES (Advancing CBD Education & Science), an Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved a study conducted by Radicle Science that included 13 different brands of CBD, concluded late last year. Radicle Science is led by Dr. Jeffrey Chen MD/MBA, founder and former director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, and Pelin Thorogood, president and co-founder of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.
The study took place over four weeks and included nearly 3,000 participants who were randomly assigned to take one of 13 CBD products, each from a different brand, to analyze the products’ effects on quality of life, well-being, anxiety, sleep. quality and pain. (Meanwhile, a control group took no CBD products).
Overall, the study showed that CBD had a significant impact on participants – those who took a CBD product experienced a “statistically significant improvement” on all health outcomes, said Dr. Jessica Saleska, Ph.D., who led the research, in an email.
“The Radicle ACES study represents the largest clinical trial ever conducted on commercially available CBD products and provides first-of-its-kind, real-world evidence on the conditions under which users can benefit from the use of CBD, if these benefits are clinically significant, which attributes of CBD products can impact health outcomes and the side effects that may occur,” Saleska said. “This study will provide the American public and healthcare providers with essential data to make more informed choices about these products.”
The researchers measured the five different outcomes using questionnaires asking participants to rate the severity of each health indication.
“We looked at how this score changed over time and compared this change between those who took the product and those who didn’t,” Saleska said. “We also looked at the proportion of people taking the product who experienced a ‘clinically meaningful improvement’, meaning their score improved so much that if a clinician were to assess them as a patient, they would conclude that the participant experienced a distinct and palpable improvement in their quality of life.”
Notably, Saleska said, the study found no significant differences in the effects produced by CBD products with various spectrums (eg, full, broad, or isolated). “The lack of difference by spectrum was interesting. We hypothesized that other Cannabis the compounds would have some impact on the effect of CBD,” Saleska said.
Other key findings from the study include:
- The greatest improvements seen by participants across all health earnings occurred during the first week of using a particular product.
- While about 10% of participants reported experiencing side effects, “almost all” were mild, Saleska said.
- The most significant effects were reported within one hour (30%) or between one and four hours (31%) after taking the product.
While the study provided insights into the potential use of CBD as a whole, it also gave participating companies the opportunity to identify how their own products work.
The 13 brands that participated were:
- Charlotte’s web
- Care British Columbia
- Lord Jones
- Maven Hemp
- MD FARMA
- Peels (a brand derived from citrus fruits)
- Prospect Farms
- PURAURA Naturals from Enhanced Botanicals
- Rae Wellness
- Versea Wellness
Maven Hemp, for example, submitted their original CBD tincture formula to “get a baseline on pure CBD,” says CEO Zev Barnett.
“We’ve never had access to data like this before,” Barnett adds.
Radicle is currently in the process of submitting the study for peer review. Looking ahead, Saleska says more studies are underway for 2022, “including the largest blinded, placebo-controlled trials ever of minor cannabinoids” like tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabinol (CBN) , cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC). ). The study will examine the effects of these cannabinoids on energy, concentration, appetite, sleep disturbances, pain, stress and anxiety, and will aim to enroll approximately 10,000 participants.
This is another study that will also loop over existing brands and products on the market.
“The idea [behind] working with Radicle is to challenge the lack of transparent and meaningful regulations from the FDA and to publish, where possible, real scientific data on [hemp] compounds and try to make a meaningful difference,” says Barnett.