Open Book Extracts (OBX) and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have partnered to investigate how cannabinoids like CBD affect brain cells, particularly in regard to neuroinflammation, according to an OBX press release.
CBD (cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), have attracted interest for their potential in treating symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS). For example, the CBD:THC-based nasal spray Sativex has been found to reduce the pain and severity of involuntary muscle contractions in MS. Such contractions are known as spasticity.
Exactly how cannabinoids ease such symptoms is still unknown, however.
The compounds bind to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, found on the surfaces of cells in the brain and spinal cord, among other organs. The interaction between cannabinoids and their receptors appears to alter how those receptors respond to other stimuli, although it remains unclear how this leads to therapeutic effects.
“There is a salient need for rigorous research related to the use of cannabinoids,” said Paul Tesar, PhD, a professor at CWRU School of Medicine and the lead investigator of the joint study.
“Together, OBX and Case Western Reserve are advancing that research, and we look forward to evaluating the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid therapies via scientific rigor,” Tesar said.
As part of the agreement, OBX will grant Case Western Reserve access to the company’s pure cannabinoid materials, including CBD, CBG or cannabigerol, CBN or cannabinol, CBC or cannabichromene, THCV or tetrahydrocannabivarin, and CBDV (cannabidivarin) isolates. OBX also will give the school access to its proprietary custom formulations.
In turn, Case Western Reserve scientists will conduct preclinical studies in select disease models. The researchers’ goal is to assess how single cannabinoid isolates and precise combinations of them impact brain cell functions, and neuroinflammation in particular.
OBX manufactures its products in the company’s Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) factory in North Carolina. The cGMP certification indicates that a facility is FDA-compliant with respect to proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.
A round of financing was recently completed by OBX, which plans to use its real-world experience to inform clinical studies and scientific research aimed at developing therapeutic cannabinoid products.
“OBX is pioneering the development of cannabinoid therapies through strategic partnerships with leading institutions such as Case Western Reserve,” said Dave Neundorfer, the company’s CEO. “We believe that research is essential to optimize the targeted benefits of cannabinoids, allowing us to develop new and proven products for consumers around the world.”
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