Synthetic version of CBD has been found to treat seizures in rats

May 29, 2019

A new study has found that a wholesale synthetic and non-intoxicating version of CBD has effectively treated seizures in rats. The CBD alternative, known as 8,9-Dihydrocannabidiol (H2CBD) is a synthetic molecule with a similar structure to CBD. The single largest difference being, unlike CBD, there is no way to convert H2CBD to the intoxicating THC.

The new research, published just this week, May 28, 2019, was conducted by the University of California, Davis. It concluded that the alternative cannabinoid was not only easier to purify than a plant extract, but that it eliminated the use of agricultural land for hemp cultivation. It could also help avoid legal complications in the UK associated with cannabis-related products.

Research CBD

A Safer Drug to Use

The California University carried out their work in collaboration with researchers at the University of Reading, UK, published in the journal of Scientific Reports. Head researcher Mark Mascal, Professor in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry has said, “It's a much safer drug than CBD [H2CBD], with no abuse potential and doesn't require the cultivation of hemp”.

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The trial period saw researchers test synthetic H2CBD against herbal CBD in rats with induced seizures. Both H2CBD and CBD were found to be equally effective in the reduction of both the frequency and severity of seizures. These findings are substantial when we consider the grey area that continues to exist around CBD’s legal status in both the UK and US.

Mascal will continue to work with colleagues at the UC Davis School of Medicine to carry out more animal studies, in the hope of moving into a clinical trial phase soon. UC Davis has also officially applied for a provisional patent on the anti-seizure use of H2CBD and its analogues. Professor Mascal has founded the company, Syncanica, to continue this development.

CBD Research in Science

Treatment for Many Conditions

Recently, products containing CBD have been vastly growing in popularity and it’s all down to the compound’s many possible health benefits, as well as the fact that CBD does not cause a high.


It is currently being investigated as a pharmaceutical compound for many conditions including, epilepsy, glaucoma, anxiety, and arthritis. And, just last year the FDA officially approved its first cannabis-based medicine, Epidiolex, for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy.

Also Read:  A guide to CBD oil for anxiety – The benefits, dosage and drawbacks

CBD, however, does still pose legal problems in the UK and in some states under federal law. Mascal’s study has also claimed that ‘it is possible to chemically convert CBD to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound in marijuana’. If so, could we see soon see H2CBD stealing the spotlight from CBD? Only time will tell.

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