Researchers led by Curtin University in Australia have developed tiny cannabidiol (CBD) capsules that could one day be used to treat neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries.
Research shows that CBD may have applications across multiple diseases, including some neurological disorders. One of its major limitations however has been its absorption rate. As such, the researchers in the present study set out to create a new drug delivery system that could increase the absorption of CBD in the brain.
For the study, the researchers created two different capsules. One set of capsules only contained CBD, while another set consisted of both capsules containing CBD and a permeation-modifying bile acid called deoxycholic acid (DCA). The researchers randomly assigned either regimen of capsules to two groups of mice. They also monitored a control group of mice who were administered naked CBD oil.
To assess the short-term bioavailability of CBD, both blood plasma and brain samples were collected 0.3, 1 and 3 hours after administration of capsules. CBD levels were assessed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer.
In the end, the researchers found that bile acid increased both the uptake and retention of CBD in the brain. In particular, mice taking bile acid alongside CBD saw an average increase in CBD brain concentration of 48% and 25% in comparison to mice on CBD capsules alone and naked CBD oil. Mice who consumed bile capsules alongside CBD also saw increases of 40% and 47% in their CBD plasma concentration in comparison to mice who took CBD capsules alone, and those on naked CBD oil.
Further studies are needed to know whether the drug delivery method could be used in humans to the same effect. The researchers say that their findings nevertheless show that bile acids could be used to enhance the delivery of CBD when taken orally.