CBD and stem cells
The use of cannabis products is becoming more mainstream in today's society but has existed in the medical world for decades. With their more widespread use, new and exciting uses are being found, which can help patients suffering from various conditions. Regenerative medicine, equally new and intriguing, is now looking to cannabis and CBD products to see what benefits can be found. Numerous studies are now underway to tie cannabis and stem cells into powerful therapy for those in need.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are cells within the body that have not differentiated or become a specific cell type. They can travel around the body, seek damage and inflammation, and replace older cells, causing a regenerative effect on the tissue. Stem cells can be found in several locations throughout the body, including bone marrow, fat tissue, and even our teeth. However, the number of stem cells we produce declines as we age, and the potency of our cells can also diminish over time. In our later years, to receive the same benefits as when we were younger, our stem cells must be supplemented or activated at higher levels.
Modern uses for cannabinoids
Although cannabis is mostly associated with smoking marijuana, the medical industry has developed several products using the components and compounds found in cannabis, called cannabinoids. It is possible to use these compounds to formulate products and supplements beyond the conventional use of smoking. By carefully creating these compounds, researchers can adjust their purity, potency, and strength to fit a wide range of medicinal uses.
Modern uses of cannabinoids include treatments for neuropathic pain, muscle spasticity, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and chronic illness. They have even been used to combat eating disorders and weight loss for people living with HIV. Their multitude of capabilities has led many to believe cannabis to be a "miracle plant."
What can cannabinoids treat?
One of the most common uses for medical cannabinoids has been through cannabidiol or CBD. It can be easily ingested, generally as an oil or edible, and has beneficial cannabis effects without THC's mind-altering effects. Typical uses are for the treatment of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and chronic pain.
How does this relate to stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapies also utilize natural and alternative methods to heal the body and prevent common disorders' harmful symptoms. It was a natural fit for researchers to investigate the combination of these two methodologies to uncover what potential benefits could be found. Unsurprisingly, researchers found that the combination of CBD and stem cells was complimentary and therapeutic.
Can CBD oil increase stem cell growth?
Laboratory scientists at the University of California – San Diego conducted numerous trials concerning CBD oil effects on lab-grown neural stem cells donated from patients with common neurological disorders. This method allows researchers to create "simulated brains" in a laboratory setting to test different substances' effects on a real human body. They found that cannabidiol strongly regulates the proliferation, migration, and neurogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
CBD may be able to help increase stem cell migration
According to another study conducted by EllenSchmuhl et al.:
"Non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) was found to increase the migration of MSCs in a time- and concentration-dependent manner." (1)
This means that CBD, combined with stem cell therapy, could potentially boost both the activation and the cells' ability to travel throughout the body.
Additionally, further studies have shown the combination to significantly reduce neuro-inflammation levels in patients with neurocognitive disorders, opening a new range of possibilities to treat these conditions. While further testing is necessary to make definitive conclusions, the evidence points to a highly beneficial relationship between stem cell therapy and medical cannabis products. (2)
DVC Stem is a stem cell therapy pioneer, offering stem cell therapies for years and has become a cornerstone of the medical tourism industry. Located in the tropical paradise of Grand Cayman in the Western Caribbean, we offer patients a nearby alternative to traveling long distances and to less ideal locations. Our protocols are IRB approved, and our cells come from regulated, U.S. based, FDA compliant laboratories. We seek to offer the highest quality products, the latest available treatments for various conditions, all combined with a world-class setting and service. Contact us today to request additional information.
1) Schmuhl, E., Ramer, R., Salamon, A., Peters, K., & Hinz, B. (2013, December 01). Increase of mesenchymal stem cell migration by cannabidiol via activation of p42/44 MAPK. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295213007478
2) Libro, R., Diomede, F., Scionti, D., Piattelli, A., Grassi, G., Pollastro, F., . . . Trubiani, O. (2016, December 23). Cannabidiol Modulates the Expression of Alzheimer's Disease-Related Genes in Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/1/26
Note: This post is intended to provide general information about regenerative medicine, and related areas. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.
About the author
Louis A. Cona, MD
Medical Director | DVC Stem
Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 12 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.