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First U.S. Clinical Trial Looking at Cannabinoids and Traumatic Brain Injury

cannabinoids brain injury
Written by Alexandra Hicks

Two prominent Colorado institutions just announced a collaboration on the first clinical trial in the U.S. to analyze the effects of plant-derived cannabinoids on trauma to the brain.

The Flowering HOPE Foundation from Boulder and the Clover Leaf University from Denver have partnered to research how cannabinoids can impact recovery from traumatic brain injury. This is the first clinical trial of its kind to be conducted in the United States. It will assess quantitative EEG brain activity and a cannabinoid-reactive salivary biomarker in 40 patients suffering from mild traumatic brain injury against a control group taking hemp-derived cannabinoid supplements. Researchers are currently recruiting 18 to 55 year old subjects to participate in the trial, which is expected to last one year.

Cannabinoids brain injury research

According to Jason Cranford, Founder of the Flowering HOPE Foundation, “We hope to provide scientific support for the benefits of the natural plant-based compounds contained in hemp and move a step closer towards the unrestricted availability of non synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics.” The Flowering HOPE Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports and studies the medicinal use of plant-derived cannabinoids. Cranford himself has over 25 years of experience in cultivation, extractions, and research.

cannabinoids brain injury

Researchers are looking at the link between cannabinoids and recovery from traumatic brain injury

Their partner on this project, Clover Leaf University, is the first accredited university to specialize in phytotechnology. Chloe Villano, President and Founder, is renowned for her years of work in the cannabis and hemp industries. She mentioned her motivations for participating in the cannabinoids brain injury study:

“This historic study is the first of its kind and it is a privilege to work with the Flowering HOPE Foundation to address the problem of brain injury and collaborate with a neuroscientist who understands the brain endocannabinoid system, such as Dr. Cooper. There are currently no effective treatments for traumatic brain injury or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but phytocannabinoids may be a good candidate, based on the established science of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective mechanisms. Clover Leaf University is excited to take the lead in clinical studies that will improve and save lives,” said Villano.

Doctor Don Cooper Ph.D. (mentioned above) has been studying cannabinoids for nearly two decades and has published 45 peer reviewed papers on neuronal memory formation and plasticity. “I never thought it would take almost 20 years from when I started working on the brain cannabinoid system to have the first approved clinical study on phytocannabinoids and brain injury. We have convincing preclinical data showing that phytocannabinoids are neuroprotective and may be critically important for restoring neuronal function after brain injury,” stated Cooper.

For more information or to participate in this study, contact the Clinical Coordinator at [email protected]. Also, make sure to subscribe to our Medical Cannabis Weekly Report for all the latest news regarding the cannabis industry.


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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.