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Friday, February 13, 2015

Using CBD for Pediatric Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

The search to find the medical efficacy of marijuana continues as more people become interested in the drug. The medical marijuana movement and subsequent legalization in multiple states, has opened doors for researchers to probe the drug.

The Sanjay Gupta report, where he recanted his condemnation of the medical values of marijuana - after seeing first hand that cannabis had life changing effects for children suffering from epilepsy, sparked the interest of a number of parents who found that traditional medicine wasn’t cutting it. Recent research has been working on a better understanding of an ingredient in marijuana known as CBD (cannabidiol), which clinical findings have shown that CBD may reduce seizures - making it an effective choice for treating pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy, Science Daily reports.

A research team at Stony Brook University has identified fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) as intracellular transporters for two ingredients in marijuana, THC and CBD, according to the article. This may help researchers explain how CBD works within the cells. The researchers outline their findings in a paper, titled "Fatty Acid Binding Proteins are Intracellular Carriers for THC and CBD."

"Anandamide, an endocannabinoid, has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against seizures in basic research studies and this may turn out to be a key mechanism of seizure control," explained Dale Deutsch, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and a faculty member of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at Stony Brook University. "Therefore by CBD inhibiting FABPs, we could potentially raise the levels of anandamide in the brain's synapses."

In 2013, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave a $3.8 million grant to the research team, the article reports. The goal was to pinpoint endocannabinoid transporters to develop drugs for pain and inflammation.

The findings were published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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