A new study out this month, published by the Frontiers Journal in Behavioral Neuroscience, gave further evidence that taking CBD, even for prolonged periods of time has no negative long-term effects. The researchers used neurological tests to determine the likelihood of long-term detrimental effects from taking CBD. Among others, the researchers tested for motor function, spacial learning and long-term memory, anxiety behavior, sensorimotor gating and hippocampal neuron number. Mice were used for the study, as they often are with early-stage clinical studies looking to observe long term effects because of their much quicker life cycle relative to humans.
Regarding the rising consumption of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) in people’s everyday life (e.g., beauty products, food and beverages), the importance of studies on the influence of CBD on healthy humans and rodents is evident. Therefore, the behavioral profile of CBD was investigated with a battery of behavioral tests, including motor, anxiety, and memory tests after prolonged CBD treatment… Our results demonstrate that prolonged CBD treatment has no negative effect on the behavior of adult C57Bl/6J mice.Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Lacks on Detrimental Effects on Memory, Motor Performance and Anxiety in C57BL/6J Mice, Front. Behav. Neurosci., 07 May 2019
How do you study the long term effects of CBD?
The study used adult mice for the subjects for their study. Mice are often studied in research projects such as this because of their naturally shorter life cycle. The mice were given CBD at two different points of ages, 3 months and 5 months. Both sets of mice were given the CBD for 6 weeks. It is important here to note that the quantity of CBD the mice were given was extremely high. The mice were give 20mg/kg each day via intraperitoneal injection. This would be similar to a 185 lb/ 84 kg adult taking over 1500mg of CBD each day. This is two factors of magnitude greater than the recommended starting dosage we provide.
This is, however, good for the sake of the study as it ensures that as CBD dosages increases, as we anticipate they are likely to do as the cost of manufacturing CBD decreases, that the upper limit of what quantity of CBD people will be consuming has already been tested. You may find the below chart useful when keeping dosages in mind. Please note that these are simply recommendations and you should always consult your doctor before considering taking CBD.
The study used many common psychiatric and neurological tests to determine how the CBD taken at different stages of life of the mice would effect them long term. The tests include a Rotarod test to look for worsening motor performance. The Morris Water Maze test was used to look for influence on spacial learning and long-term memory. Memory was also tested using the Novel Object Recognition test. Hippocampal neuron number was also calculated to look for long term brain damage. Two different anxiety-based tests were administered, the Dark-Light Box and the Open Field test – both showed no long term negative effects on anxiety behavior.
However, mice who were currently being administered CBD did see altered anxiety behavior using the Elevated Plus Maze test. This is exactly the intended effect of CBD or any medicine; when you’re taking a drug you want to the symptoms of what you’re treating to cease to exist but when you stop treatment you don’t want there to be any longstanding effects on those symptoms.
Only the prepulse inhibition test saw inhibition long-term for mice who were given CBD. The test is used to analyze sensorimotor gating which is how the brain filters out only the necessary information in the higher cortical centers of the brain.
Why does studying the long term effects of CBD matter?
The long term effects of CBD are one of the most important factors to study in the early stages of the development of this treatment. There has been much talk about the short-term benefits; everything from treating opioid use disorder to anxiety, but there has been little research put into the long term effects.
This is understandable as big pharmaceutical companies are waiting to pour their funding into these projects until the FDA gets better about clarifying their position on the matter. Big-pharma won’t fund the clinical studies, one of the major ways these initiatives get started, until they’re sure they have a chance of being able to sell the CBD as a prescription drug. This does mean that the research into CBD, despite its relatively wide range of adoption, has been somewhat slow.
We at Hemp Crate Co are always thrilled to see more studies on CBD and will make sure to bring them to you when we find them while highlighting the key points from the articles. You can find more articles like this one at our blog and more information on CBD at our CBD 101 page.