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Avidekel | CBD

as effective as Copaxone in Suppressing EAE…

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective shells, known as myelin, that surround nerve cells along the central nervous system. Over time the disease degenerates these nerves in the brain and along the spine, causing significant physical debilitation. There’s no known cure for MS, with most treatments utilizing immunosuppressive drugs to alleviate symptoms and slow the aggravation of the disease. One especially effective drug used to treat MS is Copaxone. Ironically, this drug was discovered accidentally by researchers trying to fabricate an antigen— a toxin designed to induce an immune response— that would cause experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). EAE is most commonly induced in animal populations and functions similarly to MS, making it a useful tool for researchers to isolate and test the effects of drugs designed to treat MS. This study, conducted by professor Ruth Gallily, intended to compare the efficacy of CBD products, specifically Tikun Olam’s CBD-rich strain, Avidekel, to Copaxone to determine if CBD products could be used to provide symptom relief for those with MS.

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Why did scientists think to use CBD to treat this disease? The main mechanism of injury in MS appears to be inflammation, thus CBD, known for its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties, could prove a viable option for inhibiting damage to the immune system and slowing the spread of the disease. Other cannabis-based drugs, such as Sativex, have already been used to treat spasticity related to MS. The major drawback with this drug, however, is the psychotropic effect it exerts due to the presence of THC. CBD, by contrast, does not induce a psychotropic effect. In the context of Gallily’s test, if purified CBD and Avidekel extract demonstrated effectiveness in treating EAE, they could then be recommended as efficient, anti-psychotropic alternatives to Copaxone.

These results are highly encouraging for several reasons. First, they confirm that CBD products can provide strong immunosuppression in EAE. Avidekel, in particular, is a promising treatment option as it’s proven effective at producing a correlative dose response, whereas purified CBD displays a very limited range of dose effectiveness (See study on Overcoming Bell-Shaped Dose-Response). More importantly though, scientists found no antagonistic effect from combining Copaxone with Avidekel, meaning both drugs can be incorporated into the same treatment protocols to benefit patients with MS.

The test began by inducing EAE in a test population of mice that caused three distinct phases of disease. At each of these phases, scientists treated the mice with either purified CBD or Avidekel extract. Over the course of fifty days, both substances effectively suppressed symptoms of EAE. Next, these results were compared to those of a normal dose of Copaxone administered to a different group of mice with EAE. Researchers found that Avidekel and purified CBD were at least as efficient as Copaxone in suppressing an immune reaction, and in fact generated superior responses during phases Ⅰ and Ⅱ of the disease. This suggests that both compounds can provide more effective, immediate relief compared to Copaxone.

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