Collages have put emphasis on research for many years and this focus extends across disciplines. The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) states this form of research is that which, “makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the (respective) discipline.”
In the case of Colorado State University, they have caught on to the need for quality CBD research and have partnered with Extract Labs, a Boulder-based full-service hemp extraction lab, for research on the topic.
A Gallup poll from August 2019 showed that 1 in 7 Americans use CBD. Of those users most use the cannabinoid for medicinal purposes; 40% for pain, 20% for anxiety, and 11% for improved sleep. This interest is growing beyond human use and many pet lovers are beginning to use CBD for their furry loved ones.
CSU’s research funding has been granted by Extract Labs to better understand the extent of CBD medicinal uses in animals. The department that is responsible for carrying out this research is Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
In early 2019 their research was primarily focused on how CBD can affect canine glioma cells. The specific interest of the research was in how this cannabinoid interacts with the cancer cells both alone and in combination with radiation as well.
Gliomas are malignant brain tumors typically located deep within the brain. They are apparently very common in short-nosed dog breeds like Boston Terriers and Boxers. At this point therapy for this diagnosis in canines is focused on quality of life, not quantity. This therapy includes steroids and seizure medication in an attempt to improve the quality of their final days, which is typically around 2 short months after diagnosis.
This research is fueled by the idea that cannabinoids, compounds naturally occurring in the cannabis plant of which CBD and THC are the most well-known and widely used, may be effective in reducing tumor growth in many varieties of cancers. The mechanism of action in this effect is CBD’s ability to increase the effectiveness of some specific cancer treatments currently being used.
At this point the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CBD-based pharmaceutical drug is Epidiolex. It is a drug approved to treat Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet’s Syndrome in child patients over the age of 2 years.
The fact that this drug is effective in seizures led to CSU’s focus. In June 2019 CSU’s research found that 89% of the epileptic dogs that received cannabidiol (CBD) in the CBD trials had a significant reduction in the frequency of their seizures. While these results are encouraging the University recognizes the need for further research.
The role of Extract Labs funding is to provide the CBD isolate and oils needed for the research. CSU is known world-wide for its focus on medical research and Extract Labs is proud to be partnered with a prestigious University. They are offering their customers the opportunity to donate towards CSU’s study through the Extract Labs company website.
As of December 2019 the first research phase was nearing completion and the University is beginning partnerships with other disciplines. They are taking advantage of their access to thought leaders in the pharmacology and biomedical engineering fields. The research team is hopeful that they will be able to publish their results by the end of 2020. The results of this research will provide significant insight into CBD as a whole, but especially as it relates to a serious condition within canine care.
Hopefully such groundbreaking research will lead to more University funded studies of CBD in both animals and humans. The lack of regulation and support by the FDA and government makes it difficult for research teams to gain access to substantial funding for CBD. At this point, University research studies being funded by companies in the private sector is the best possible solution to the research issue until changes are made to federal regulations.
It is unlikely that federal changes will be made to CBD regulations and guidance in 2020, but we can hope that pioneers such as CSU will continue to produce significant research in the industry. More quality and dependable research will give the industry stability and provide consumers with more solid information on dosing and therapeutic treatments.
Until then it is best to consult your care provider, including your veterinarian, before administering CBD products. Purchasing from reputable suppliers is the best way to ensure you are getting an effective and safe product. The most reputable CBD manufacturers have their products third party lab tested for contaminants and CBD content and make those results available to their consumers.