Scientists have discovered three rare cannabinoids that have been shown to lessen seizure in mice. The team of researchers at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics is focused on developing a better cannabis-based treatment for Dravet syndrome.
Research done at the University of Sydney by a group of pharmacologists has provided new understandings into how cannabis extracts can improve the symptoms epilepsy patients by reducing seizure.
The study which has been published in the British Journal of Pharmacology reported that three acid cannabinoids significantly lowered seizures in a mouse study while studying Dravet Syndrome.
Jonathon Arnold, the associated professor at the Sydney Pharmacy School shared that cannabis extracts have been used in Western medicine from a long time for controlling seizures.
However, the prohibition made it difficult to learn more about its role. It is now that the researchers have the chance to understand how cannabis compounds can be used in modern therapeutic treatments.
The University of Sydney received a historic donation in 2015 from Barry and Joy Lambert to advance their research on medical cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics.
Their granddaughter Katelyn suffered from Dravet syndrome which features frequent seizures and causes a delay in cognitive and motor development. No adequate seizure control is offered by conventional therapies which in a way lowers the quality of life.
The Lambert family claims that they observed a drastic improvement in Katelyn’s health with the use of cannabis extracts which made them an ardent supporter of cannabis for therapeutic treatment.
They were also eager to learn how cannabis works in the treatment of seizure and other health conditions. Katelyn’s father, Michael said that using hemp oil saved his daughter. This is why in 2015; the Lambert Initiative was established to understand how cannabis extracts have anticonvulsant effects.
The research program is systematically testing whether cannabis constituents can lower seizures in the mouse model. The team started by testing compounds individually and has found various constituents in cannabis that promise anticonvulsant effects.
The team also studied three rare cannabinoid acids that promised significant results.
One of these acidic cannabinoids is cannabigerol acid which is referred to as the “mother of all cannabinoids”. It is the precursor molecule for the creation of other popular cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabinoid acids are present in abundance in cannabis and have not received enough attention from the scientific community.
The team is focused on their research currently and hoping to develop a better treatment for Dravet syndrome. They are assessing the cannabinoids one by one and are exploring how they can put all the information back together.