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Colorado’s MedPharm Wins Grant to Study CBD as Alzheimer’s Treatment

Study to seek first clear evidence for effectiveness of cannabinoid-based products against brain-wasting disease.




Colorado’s MedPharm creates pharmaceutical-grade dosage forms and produces ingredients to be used in the delivery of cannabis compounds. PHOTO BUSINESSWIRE

Denver-based MedPharm Research, a cannabis researcher specializing in neuropharmacology with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, announced its proposed study of the therapeutic effects of CBD on Alzheimer’s patients has been selected for funding by Colorado State University’s Institute of Cannabis Research (“ICR”).

“This is a big win for not only our team, but the entire cannabinoid research community,” said MedPharm’s director of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, Duncan Mackie, Ph.D. “The completion of this project will provide the first clear mechanistic and cellular evidence for the application of cannabis and cannabinoid-based natural products for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neuroinflammatory diseases.”

Can minor cannabinoids become major players?

The company’s proposal, titled “Isolation and Pharmacological Evaluation of Phytocannabinoids for Alzheimer’s Disease,” was approved by the ICR review panel, who applauded the novelty of the project and how well the proposal defined the metric of evaluation for each analysis. The panel expressed its confidence that the study is likely to yield successful results — adding that minor cannabinoids are an area where more research is needed.

“The study results will allow MedPharm to further develop innovative, bioavailable and bioequivalent dosage forms. These are important elements in support of investigational new drugs and new drug applications for future FDA-approved products,” said Scott Karolchyk, MS, RPh, director of formulation and development.

CBD as a shield against neurodegeneration

According to the Center for Disease Control, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are projected to grow to 13.9 million, nearly 3.3% of the population in 2060. Brains of people with Alzheimer’s show neurodegeneration and high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) has neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other studies have shown that CBD has been shown to be effective in vivo, making the phytocannabinoid an interesting candidate for novel therapeutic interventions in Alzheimer’s therapy.

“Alzheimer’s is a terrible brain disease.” said Albert Gutierrez, president of MedPharm. “Any way we can provide therapies to help treat it, such as doing a pharmacological evaluation to find out what a certain compound can do, helps us close in on a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and perhaps a pathway to greater and more helpful cannabis-based therapies down the road.”


Refining cannabis compounds

Since beginning operations in 2017, MedPharm has grown into a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing, research and development laboratory and cannabis processing facility in Denver, Colorado. The company’s facility includes on-site cultivation, formulation development, analytical method development and validation and quality control analysis and stability studies. MedPharm creates pharmaceutical-grade dosage forms and produces ingredients to be used in the delivery of cannabis compounds. MedPharm received the first cannabis research license issued to the state of Colorado in October, 2018

Anticipated start date of the project is October 1, 2022. More information about MedPharm can be found at:



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