By Sanj Chowdhary
Legalising Cannabis Could Be The Key To Treating Alcohol Induced Brain Damage And Britain’s Problems With Binge Drinking
Last year, whilst giving evidence to MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee, Professor Nutt, who was sacked by the Labour government in 2009 for publicly opposing ministers’ decision to upgrade Cannabis from a class C to class B drug – reiterated his claim that using cannabis was considerably less harmful than drinking alcohol.
“A regulated market for those drugs is the best way forward,” he claimed. “Cannabis is not safe, but in population terms I believe that regulation would have a net benefit on public health.”
He went further by adding “I think you might find you could reduce alcohol consumption by a quarter if you went with a Dutch model,”
Well it seems that reducing alcohol consumption isn’t the only net health benefit a regulated system for cannabis could bring!! It appears that cannabis may also hold the key to reversing the brain damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption and long-term alcoholism!
Researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland have recently concluded a study into the potential use of the cannabis compound Cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of alcohol-induced brain damage.
According to the researchers, “the study aimed to advance the preclinical development of transdermal delivery of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.”
The scientists, who used rats suffering from neuro-degeneration resulting from long-term, heavy alcohol consumption, administered a CBD gel via two different delivery methods.
In one group of the rat models a 5% CBD gel was applied transdermally which resulted in a, statistically significant, 48.8% reduction in the neurodegeneration in the entorhinal cortex.
In another group of rats a CBD gel with a 2.5% concentration was injected into the intraperitoneal space (abdominal cavity) and again a statistically significant reduction in neurodegeneration was observed at a slightly higher rate of 50.6%.
From the findings of the first set of experiments the scientists were able to develop a 2.5% concentration ‘next generation gel’ whose formulation was optimised to deliver CBD plasma concentrations of 100.0ng/ml, this resulted in a marked increase in the efficacy of the transdermal gel which delivered a 56.1% reduction in the amount of degenerated brain cells within the entorhinal cortex.
The research, which was published in the September 2013 edition of the Pharmacology, biochemistry and behaviour journal, concluded that; there were “similar magnitudes of neuroprotection following both routes of administration” and that “These results demonstrated the feasibility of using CBD transdermal delivery systems for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.”