In a study published in the February 2015 issue of Pharmacology & Pharmacy, researchers in Israel found that whole plant CBD-rich cannabis “is superior over [purified, synthetic] CBD for the treatment of inflammatory conditions.”
Martin Lee of Project CBD, an educational service that promotes CBD research, considers the study groundbreaking for challenging the traditional stance of medical research and the pharmaceutical industry – “the notion that ‘crude’ botanical preparations are inherently low grade and less effective than pure, single-molecule compounds.”
As Lee points out, the researchers noted that in pre-clinical studies focused on the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD over the past fifteen years, “administration of pure, single-molecule CBD resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve, meaning that when the amount of CBD exceeded a certain point, its therapeutic impact declined dramatically.”
This phenomenon seriously limited CBD’s usefulness in a clinical context. Interested in finding ways to overcome this limitation, the researchers sought to find a source of CBD that could respond with increasing effectiveness in higher doses. They wondered if whole plant CBD-rich cannabis extract would respond any differently from purified, synthetic CBD.
Using a strain of CBD-rich cannabis that had very little THC (similar to California’s ACDC strain), the team indeed found “a direct dose-dependent inhibition of pain, inflammation, and TNFa production [a systemic inflammatory signally molecule implicated in several diseases].”