Scientists use CBD as a trojan horse to administer drugs to the human brain

Scientific studies have confirmed that CBD relieves pain, and reduces inflammation. It also improves symptoms of depression and anxiety and reduces the number of seizures associated with childhood disorders such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.

Besides, ongoing studies are investigating the link between CBD and the possibility that it can prevent diabetes, a lowered risk of heart diseaseĀ  and even the treatment of some cancers.

The BBB is a tightly woven layer preventing harmful substances from passing from the bloodstream to the brain, while allowing useful molecules such as glucose, neurotransmitters and amino acids to pass through. Scientists hope to use CBD to push drugs through the protection of the BBB.

It was published this year in the American Chemical Society’s Molecular Pharmaceutics journal.

Stealth drug administration

Neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids can bind to cannabinoid receptors in the BBB. These receptors, in turn, help to transport the useful molecules through the BBB and into the brain.

The research team undertook to prove that it could use this system as a means of delivering drugs that the BBB would typically block in the brain. It would make it possible to treat diseases affecting the central nervous system more effectively.

The researchers attached the CBD to the outer surfaces of the lipid nanocapsules. Rather than loading the nanocapsules with a drug, the researchers packed them with a fluorescent molecule to track their progress. During experiments with human brain cells that mimic the BBB, researchers have shown that nanocarriers with CBD pass more of the fluorescent molecule through the cells than nanocarriers of equal size who did not contain CBD. In the same manner, when injected into healthy mice, CBD nanocapsules administer about 2.5 times more of the fluorescent molecule into the brains of animals.

If scientists can replicate these results in human trials, the CBD could offer real hope to patients with CNS disorders.

Central nervous system (CNS) diseases that are particularly difficult to treat

The CNS is composed of the brain and spinal cord. It is called the “central” nervous system because it collects information from multiple systems and coordinates activities throughout the body.

There are many causes of central nervous system disorders, including trauma, infections, tumors, autoimmune disorders, and strokes. These conditions include motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and many others.

CNS disorders are particularly challenging to treat because the BBB prevents drugs from flowing from the bloodstream to the brain to reach affected areas.