CBD, irritable bowel syndrome, and a robot called CannaBot™ | Weed | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

CBD, irritable bowel syndrome, and a robot called CannaBot™

How a Pittsburgh-based company is taking advantage of legalized hemp to study how CBD could treat IBS

Hemp-derived cannabidiol, aka CBD, is all the rage in holistic medicine. Products litter shelves of health stores and users swear that CBD helps combat several ailments like anxiety, pain, and insomnia.

But serious research into the product has yet to be completed, so the medical community has remained somewhat skeptical on CBD’s effectiveness. Compassionate Certification Centers is hoping to change that. CCC is a Pittsburgh-based company that specializes in cannabis-based medicine and has several medical marijuana facilities throughout the country.

CCC co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bryan Doner has started the first clinical study researching CBD's efficacy in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Doner was able to start his clinical research thanks to the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp. Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants, but hemp contains very low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical component of marijuana that gets users high.

The U.S. Farm Bill still has some restrictions on the cultivation and sale of hemp, but according to the Brookings Institute, the bill allows for broad hemp cultivation and “explicitly allows the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes.” Basically, the shackles are off hemp; companies like CCC are excited to start the research.

“We are focused on combining cannabis-based therapy with other treatment modalities to get a better understanding of potential treatment synergies for specific conditions,” said Doner in a press release.

According to a press release, clinical research enrollment should take place this February and will be comprised of 20 subjects. The number of subjects could increase during the three-month trial.

The IBS study will utilize artificial intelligence in the form of robot called CannaBot™, which will help potential users learn more about how CBD could help treat their medical conditions. (CannaBot™ was created by another Pennsylvania-based company, AI Health Outcomes Inc.) CCC also plans to partner with a Pennsylvania university to advance more clinical research on CBD.

CCC has several facilities concentrated in Southwestern Pennsylvania with officers in Pittsburgh, Irwin, Butler, Natrona Heights, and Washington.

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