CBDV and Epilepsy: What Do Studies Say?
Medicinal cannabis has been used since the ancient times. Ancient physicians in many parts of the world mixed cannabis into medicines to treat pain and other ailments. In the 19th century, cannabis was introduced for therapeutic use in Western Medicine. Since then, there have been several advancements in how it is administered.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant and to date, more than 100 has been identified. The most common and highly documented cannabinoids are THC and CBD due to their therapeutic potential. CBDV, another emerging cannabinoid, is getting attention these days due to its anticonvulsant properties which is used to control or prevent seizures and convulsions, or stop an ongoing series of seizures.
Considering CBDV’s anticonvulsant properties, would it be possible to use it as epilepsy treatment? Read on, as we compile the current research available about CBDV and its potential to treat epilepsy.
What is CBDV?
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) is one of the marijuana or hemp plant cannabinoids. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that will not cause the euphoric feeling of being “high.” This cannabinoid is closely related to CBD in terms of chemical structure.
This cannabinoid is found more prevalent in indica strains, most specifically in landrace indica strains, and strains that are lower in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBDV Effects and Benefits Based on Research
Like its cousin CBD, CBDV significantly reduces the frequency and severity of focal seizures. It also reduces or even eliminates nausea associated with several conditions, and helps reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Moreover, CBDV shows therapeutic potential in the following areas of medicine:
CBDV Could Help Patients with Rett Syndrome
According to a 2019 CBDV rodent study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information Journal, it has shown promise in helping the neurobehavioral issues associated with Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is caused by an X chromosome mutation that affects girls with seizures, speech issues, and muscle spasticity. CBDV seems to help with both the genetically determined and chemically-induced forms of this and similar diseases.
CBDV May Help with Inflammation
In a 2019 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, CBDV showed potential for patients struggling with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This muscle disease is characterized by chronic inflammation and irreversible skeletal muscle damage and degeneration. CBDV can potentially reduce inflammation and restore and even enhance muscle function. CBDV is also shown to improve locomotion, highlighting the compound’s potential as a new therapy for DMD.
CBDV May Help with Nausea
A rodent CBDV study published in 2013 showed that the cannabinoid may also be a powerful anti-nausea agent. Initial research on rodents shows that CBDV likely acts as an agonist to the CB1 receptors, thereby blocking the nausea response.
CBDV and Epilepsy: What Current Studies Say
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines epilepsy as “a disorder of the brain that causes seizures.” These seizures are not caused by a temporary underlying medical condition such as a high fever.
In 2015 alone, epilepsy affected 1.2% of the total population in the United States. This is about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide: 3 million adults and 470,000 children. Active epilepsy is defined as adults, participating in the 2015 NHIS, who reported a history of doctor-diagnosed epilepsy or seizure disorder and either were currently taking medication to control it, or had one or more seizures in the past year, or both.
CBDV-Rich Extracts Show Anticonvulsant Activity
As stated, CBDV is closely related to CBD in terms of molecular structure, and it is being currently investigated as a therapeutic option in both epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder. In a rodent study in 2013, its anticonvulsant properties have been documented in several animal models of acute seizures and severe epilepsy (SE), where it proved widely effective (except for pilocarpine-induced SE).
CBDV Showed Reduction in Seizure Activities
In a recent 2021 study authored by Brodie, et al., administering CBDV showed 40.5% seizure reduction among the 140 adults studied with seizures. However, the placebo response was high, which may reflect the participants' expectations of CBDV, and a treatment difference from placebo was not observed. CBDV was generally well tolerated among the participants as well.
Cannabidivarin as a Potential Drug to Treat Epilepsy
GW Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, announced that it has commenced a Phase 2 clinical trial of CBDV in adult patients with epilepsy.
According to GW’s CEO, they have completed significant pre-clinical work on CBDV as well as a Phase 1 trial which showed great potential in treating epilepsy.
Is CBDV the Future Wonder Drug to Treat Epilepsy?
Cannabidivarin doesn't offer psychoactive effects, just like its cousin, CBD. Due to its similarity to CBD, CBDV offers therapeutic potential, especially as an active treatment in the field of epilepsy.
CBDV shows promising results so far in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. However, the current studies shown are still in its infancy stages and thorough research must be done in this area.
If you're someone suffering with seizures or epilepsy, consult your doctor first before taking any cannabis supplement. Using cannabinoids the wrong way may have adverse effects, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.