Canopy Growth Corporation and its medical division, Spectrum Therapeutics, have completed and published a new study on the long-term effects of cannabidiol (CBD), specifically focusing on toxicity and lifespan effects of CBD in the preclinical model C. elegans.
The study was commissioned to evaluate the solubility, stability, acute toxicity, thermotolerance, and effects on lifespan of CBD in C. elegans as part of Canopy Growth’s ongoing commitment to provide the data required to support and influence public policy through research. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, this study represents the first long-term toxicity and lifespan research regarding the effects of chronic exposure to cannabidiol – one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Acute and long-term exposure studies of CBD at physiologically relevant concentrations were studied in the worm model Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) on the basis that 60-80% of their genes are shared with humans, and their comparatively short lifespan of 2-3 weeks makes such studies feasible. In the C. elegans model, which is recognized as a valid model for this kind of research, CBD did not demonstrate any degree of acute or life-long toxicity or related liabilities at physiological concentrations. Instead, CBD extended mean lifespan up to 18% and increased late-stage life activity by up to 206% compared to the untreated controls within the study.
“Despite widespread use of CBD, no life-long toxicity studies had been conducted to date to determine the impact – or potential impact – of long-term exposure to CBD,” shared Hunter Land, Senior Director of Translational and Discovery Science at Canopy Growth. “These results serve as the only CBD life-long exposure data in an in vivo model to date, and the absence of long-term toxicity gives us the evidence we need as an industry to continue researching the potential health benefits for the broader application of CBD.”
The study was conducted in partnership with NemaLife Inc., and is published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal and available online.
While further research into the life-long use of CBD should be carried out in mammalian models, the C. elegans model indicates a lack of long-term toxicity at physiologically relevant concentrations. Canopy Growth and its medical division Spectrum Therapeutics continue to advance a range of research initiatives aimed at furthering the understanding of – and unleashing – the full potential of cannabis.