A synthetic, non-intoxicating analogue of cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in treating seizures in rats, according to research by chemists at the University of California, Davis.
The synthetic CBD alternative is easier to purify than a plant extract, eliminates the need to use agricultural land for hemp cultivation, and could avoid legal complications with cannabis-related products. The work was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“It’s a much safer drug than CBD, with no abuse potential and doesn’t require the cultivation of hemp,” said Mark Mascal, professor in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry. Mascal’s laboratory at UC Davis carried out the work in collaboration with researchers at the University of Reading, U.K.
The researchers tested synthetic H2CBD against herbal CBD in rats with induced seizures. H2CBD and CBD were found to be equally effective for the reduction of both the frequency and severity of seizures.
Mascal is working with colleagues at the UC Davis School of Medicine to carry out more studies in animals with a goal of moving into clinical trials soon. UC Davis has applied for a provisional patent on antiseizure use of H2CBD and its analogues, and Mascal has founded a company, Syncanica, to continue development.