By: dsm-firmenich Pharma Solutions Editors
Hear from Mariana Coelho, Clinical Project Scientist at dsm-firmenich, on the impact of pain, the potential benefits of CBD and how emerging science is creating new possibilities for innovation in the pharmaceutical space.
The CBD (cannabidiol)-based drug market is growing rapidly, powered by increasing scientific research indicating the therapeutic potential of the ingredient. In fact, there are currently 160+ active clinical trials exploring the role of CBD in a wide variety of health areas, including CNS (central nervous system) diseases, pain disorders, cancer, and more.2
This new scientific interest in the medical use of CBD follows the recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans in the early 1990s. The endocannabinoid system is a widespread and complex cell-signaling system that is thought to regulate multiple physiological functions, including cognition, sleep, mood, inflammation and pain perception. It is theorized that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system via modulation of its CB1 and CB2 receptors, thereby exerting its (many) potential effects in the body. Thus, while the existence of CBD has been known for decades, these recent developments mean that CBD is now recognized as a promising new therapeutic ingredient across the pharmaceutical industry.
Chronic pain affects a large and growing number of patients worldwide and is a primary reason for seeking medical intervention. Globally, one in 10 people develop chronic pain every year, and its prevalence is as high as 20-25% in some countries and regions.1 Aside from experiencing the pain itself, patients with chronic pain often suffer severe negative effects on their mood, sleep and physical and mental function too. When managed inadequately, it can have a devastating impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Chronic pain is challenging to treat due to the complexity of its multiple potential underlying causes. It is also individual to each person experiencing it, further complicating treatment. Opioids are commonly prescribed to manage pain. They are considered generally safe when used for a short period of time – to treat acute pain, for instance. However, individuals requiring long-term pain management can be at risk of developing a dependency on opioids.
Given the ongoing challenges of pain management, coupled with the potential negative consequences of long-term opioid use, doctors and their patients are increasingly searching for novel solutions that will effectively and safely alleviate the symptoms of pain.
CBD is a relatively safe ingredient, with non-psychoactive properties and low potential for abuse, making it an attractive candidate for pain relief and a potential alternative to opioid-based pharmaceuticals. The ingredient is already popular in the nutraceutical space, with 60% of CBD consumers using it to manage pain.3 However, its relevance in the pharmaceutical market is growing too. There are a number of ongoing studies examining the effects of CBD on a variety of pain-related indications, such as cancer-related pain, musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia, which will further clarify the potential of CBD in managing these conditions.
Our understanding of the role of CBD continues to evolve, and more scientific research is needed to investigate and confirm its mechanism of action and effectiveness as a pharmaceutical for pain management. However, it is possible that CBD may help to unlock and expand treatment possibilities for patients in the field of chronic pain.
CBD is full of promise in the pharmaceutical market, and there are many opportunities for novel CBD-based developments. But to realize the full potential of CBD and enter the market with confidence, it’s important to collaborate with a trusted partner in the field.
dsm-firmenich has created a platform to help its customers realize the full therapeutic potential of CBD-based pharmaceuticals. Together with pioneer in the CBD API market, Brains Bioceutical, it can partner to develop therapies that will safely and efficiently improve people’s lives. dsm-firmenich has more than 70 years of experience in producing and securing the supply of APIs. This, combined with its unique innovation expertise and unparalleled ability to manage the market entry registration process, makes us an ideal partner for the development of purpose-led CBD-based pharmaceuticals.
03 November 2021
4 min read
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