We’ve recently taken a dive into a study published online in November of 2020 titled, “Effect of Cannabidiol on the Long-Term Toxicity and Lifespan in the Preclinical Model Caenorhabditis elegans. This study was performed because no lifelong toxicity study had been published previously. One thing to note is that this study was performed on Caenorhabditis elegans (worms) due to an estimated 60-80% of their genes having a human ortholog. We wanted to examine this study and pose questions on what the results could mean for humans.
So what did the research find?
In short, researchers discovered that CBD did not show any sign of prolonged lifespan toxicity or liabilities through the worms. The worms treated with CBD displayed increased lifespan by up to 20%, with their late-stage life activities increasing by 200%. These results only show the impact of CBD on worms and the absence of toxicity which is why more research is required into long-life effects on human beings. The effects of cannabinoids on lifespan cannot be readily determined through human testing. Humans already have a longer lifespan than other mammals; it will take a while to arrive at definitive conclusions.
However, the Canadian Cannabis Grower’s Corporation worked with a preclinical model for its research with worms as their genes resemble humans. Additionally, worms have a lifespan of 2-3 weeks; thus, it gave the researchers adequate time to monitor the increase in lifespan during the research.
Since the worms showed promising results (with their similar genes to human beings), it is only safe to conclude that there is a potential for such positive results for humans in the future. Of course, this realization doesn’t mean CBD is no longer sufficient; it just highlights the fact that more research is needed to understand the possibility of a person enjoying a longer lifespan with CBD.
The researchers who unraveled the findings with worms evaluated based on acute toxicity, solubility, and stability to check how CBD performs in the animal with these factors. Is it soluble, stable, and non-toxic? These questions aid their research, and for human beings to know if CBD will offer a long lifespan, these questions also need to be answered.
None of the worm subjects died when exposed to acute cannabinol as instead, the results showed the opposite. As the worms were exposed to cannabinol in concentrations, their lifespan extended, and this may apply to human beings if human trials happen.
Without inferring too much from the data, studies like these give us a lot of hope. We are so excited to be working in an industry where we get the opportunity to learn more every day. For many years, Cannabis has been federally labeled as a schedule 1 drug and has not been able to be studied. As this landscape changes and we are allowed to study more and more components of hemp and cannabis plants, we hope to learn more and more promising things.