Scientist hopes CBD product will help kids with intellectual disabilities

SEATTLE - You’ve heard of CBD, an extract derived from cannabis; the popularity and the touted benefits continue to spread.

Now a local scientist is embarking on a new clinical trial studying CBD in hopes of helping children with a rare disorder called Fragile X syndrome.

Dr. Raphael Bernier at the University of Washington is getting ready to test a CBD gel for the first time ever.

“I am a scientist so I am always cautiously optimistic,” Benier said.

Benier is hopeful that CBD will reinvigorate the brain activity in children with Fragile X.

“It’s a genetic disorder that is categorized by intellectual disability, anxiety and a number of social challenges,”Benier said.

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis but unlike THC in marijuana, CBD is non pyschoactive meaning it will not get the user high.

After an expected DEA approval, Dr. Bernier will start to test  a CBD gel provided by Zynerba Pharmaceuticals.

“We are hoping this will ameliorate some of those challenges we see, reduce irritability, increase social ability,” Bernier said.

But outside of clinical trials, CBD products are growing in popularity for consumers to alleviate pain and anxiety.

CBD is now in various products like drinks, pet treats and ointments.

CVS also just announcing that they will start selling CBD products at 800 stores in 8 states.

Washington state is not one of the eight.

So far the FDA has approved a drug containing CBD to fight epilepsy but what about all the other products on the market. Are they effective?

“The difficult thing about CBD products because they are not regulated by the FDA the quality control can be a challenge,” Dr. Meade said.

Dr. Meade says it is hard to know the products are effective or if it’s just a placebo effect.

She also says some studies have found that some products have THC in them even when they say they do not. That is why Dr. Meade says consumers should use with discretion.

She also supports clinical trials like one Dr. Bernier is getting ready to do.

“We absolutely need research we need good data to be able to tell people how to use it safely and what to use it for and what’s most effective for,” Dr. Meade said.