Selective focus photo of artificial human skullA huge barrier for doctors who want to deliver drugs to the human brain is quite literally a physical obstacle: The blood-brain barrier, which primarily functions to protect the brain.

In a paper published March 13, scientists demonstrated that attaching drug-carrying nanocapsules to CBD – that is, cannabidiol, the minimally psychoactive chemical found in cannabis and hemp – allowed them to slip them past the blood-brain barrier.

The researchers, from Complutense University of Madrid and The Open University in the UK, performed their experiments both in a lab model of the blood-brain barrier and in real mice.

The researchers report that this technique is six times more effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier than G-Technology, a similar type of nanoparticle delivery system designed to evade the blood-brain barrier that is currently undergoing clinical trials.

These results need to be validated further in animal and eventually, human trials. But this paper suggests that treating brain tumors and multiple sclerosis with drugs may not be as much of a medical fantasy as it once was.

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