CBD News Roundup: FDA Provides Framework for Future CBD Research

fda on future cbd research

Here’s the latest CBD news:

  • The FDA published a report detailing their plans for data collection and research improvements in the area of CBD research and regulation. 
  • Yale researchers have funded a randomized trial that will measure the effects of CBD on the female brain with a focus on anxiety.
  • A recent survey by University of Michigan researchers explores CBD usage prevalence and habits among fibromyalgia sufferers. 

Table of Contents

  1. FDA Provides Framework for Future CBD Research
  2. Yale Research Group to Explore CBD’s Effects on the Female Brain
  3. Survey Shows CBD’s Popularity Among Fibromyalgia Patients

FDA Provides Framework for Future CBD Research

On January 8, a week before the Senate’s passage of the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, the Food and Drug Administration published an overview on their site detailing the current state of their CBD knowledge base as well as a “framework for building a more robust evidentiary foundation” for safer and smarter public use purposes.

The FDA addressed the following items in the report as they relate to their role in the advancement of CBD research and regulation:

  • The 2018 Farm Bill
  • CBD drug approval (epidiolex)
  • Public input on CBD issues from stakeholders
  • FDA-sponsored product sampling and research initiatives
  • Challenges in data collection
  • Unanswered questions

Of particular importance for the continued advancement of CBD research and regulation were the FDAs calls for refinement in “data approaches,” which emphasized an opt-in registry for CBD users, market-research insights, and other data-rich sources that will help assess CBD safety and efficacy more comprehensively.

With the help of the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act, which is designed to support and streamline the CBD data-collection infrastructure, the FDA seeks to define the CBD “safety profile” more completely for consumer education and regulation purposes.

Yale Research Group to Explore CBD’s Effects on the Female Brain

A team of psychology experts from Women’s Health Research at Yale (WHRY) led by Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Sarah Lichenstein announced on January 11th that their department has funded a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine the effects of CBD on the female brain.

Aiming to expand on the sparse number of findings related to gender-specific effects of CBD, the study will use functional MRI technology to assess activity levels in stress centers of the brain after CBD is administered to participants.

The Yale announcement cites known discrepancies in anxiety prevalence across genders—women are affected twice as often as men—and safety concerns related to benzodiazepine use as key motivators driving this vein of CBD research.

According to WHRY Director Carol M. Mazure, Ph.D., “Dr. Liechtenstein’s study will help us to understand the mechanisms underlying CBD and whether it has therapeutic potential for anxiety.”

Much of the gender-specific research that has been conducted on CBD was summarized in a 4-panel meeting held by the FDA in November of last year, which provided similar insights into the greater prevalence of anxiety and anxiety medication use in women. 

Survey Shows CBD’s Popularity Among Fibromyalgia Patients

The results of a survey published in the Journal of Pain on January 2 by University of Michigan Medical School experts found that almost two-thirds of surveyed fibromyalgia patients are using or have used CBD products.

Survey data revealed that 29.4% of the 2,701 respondents used CBD in the past, and 32.4% were using it at the time, totaling 61.8%.

Researchers also assessed several important dimensions related to the perception and use of CBD by fibromyalgia patients, including: 

  • Reasons for use and discontinuation
  • Communication with healthcare professionals about CBD
  • Perceptions of CBD effectiveness and safety

Most of the respondents used CBD to address “inadequate symptom relief,” and two-thirds of CBD users disclosed their use to their physicians. 

Finally, respondents reported mild to moderate improvements across multiple symptoms. 

Authors called for more studies to further devine CBD’s treatment potential and safety for this population and other chronic pain sufferers. 

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