Canopy Growth Corporation and its medical division, Spectrum Therapeutics, have completed and published a new study on the long-term effects of cannabidiol (CBD), specifically focusing on toxicity and lifespan effects of CBD on a worm species called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans.).

The study was commissioned to evaluate the solubility, stability, acute toxicity, thermotolerance, and effects on lifespan of CBD in C. elegans as part of Canopy Growth’s ongoing commitment to provide the data required to support and influence public policy through research. 

Acute and long-term exposure studies of CBD at physiologically relevant concentrations were studied in the C. elegans worms on the basis that 60 to 80% of their genes are shared with humans, and their comparatively short lifespan of 2-3 weeks makes such studies feasible. 

In the C. elegans model – recognised as a valid model for this kind of research – CBD did not demonstrate any degree of acute or life-long toxicity or related liabilities at physiological concentrations. 

Instead, CBD extended mean lifespan up to 18% and increased late-stage life activity by up to 206% compared to the untreated controls within the study.

Canopy Growth’s senior director of translational and discovery science, Hunter Land, said: “Despite widespread use of CBD, no life-long toxicity studies had been conducted to date to determine the impact – or potential impact – of long-term exposure to CBD.

“These results serve as the only CBD life-long exposure data in an in vivo model to date, and the absence of long-term toxicity gives us the evidence we need as an industry to continue researching the potential health benefits for the broader application of CBD.”

The study was conducted in partnership with NemaLife Inc. and was published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal here.