Women dominating the field in cannabis and CBD research

At Day 2 of the Europe CBD Expo in London’s ExCel, presentations from leading female figures in the industry showed that women are at the helm of the most exciting and influential research around cannabis and CBD explained.

From cancer research and integrative medicine to cardiovascular dysfunction, ground-breaking research from female researchers showed that women are a dominant force in the field of scientific study around CBD.

Dr. Dani Gordon opened the day's talks with her presentation “CBD & Cannabinoids for Everyone”. Dr.Gordon is a leading expert in clinical cannabinoid medicine, who also specialises in integrative medicine. As well as treating over 2,500 patients in Canada for chronic pain, mental health issues such as cbd helping depression and even headaches and cbd, Dr. Gordan has also helped establish clinics in the UK for treating patients who qualify for medical cannabis treatment in the wake of UK legalization.

Dr Dani Gordon at Europe CBD Expo

Dr. Gordon briefly touched on the theory of endocannabinoid system dysfunction, which is believed to present itself through migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and CBD.

By treating the source of these conditions at the root (the endocannabinoid system), Dr. Gordon proposed that individuals suffering from this particular group of conditions would see a better improvement in their symptoms than compared with treating each individual condition.

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CBD and vascular disorders

While the medical research field has been reluctant to look at the benefits of cannabidiol, in her presentation on the haemodynamic effects of CBD in humans Saoirse O’Sullivan noted that the British Heart Foundation has always been ahead of the curve in supporting CBD research for cardiovascular disorders.

O’Sullivan also noted that while Israeli research has been vital for building our knowledge around cannabidiol, it is only within the last two decades that the wider medical research field has studied the benefits of CBD.

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There’s just very little work that was done pre-2000, so we just didn’t know very much about it and people weren’t working on it

In a presentation of her own work, O’Sullivan educated attendees on the interesting relationship between CBD and cardiovascular function in the human body.

Saoirse O’Sullivan shows her research at Europe CBD Expo

In 2017, O’Sullivan and her team published research on healthy male subjects which showed that CBD reduces resting blood pressure associated with increased heart rate, in response to a variety of stress tests.

When asked what drew her to the field of CBD and vascular function research, O Sullivan stated that she was initially interested in cannabidiol’s ability to activate nuclear receptors in the brain in a similar way to popular anti-diabetic drugs. This initial interest has lead her to a career researching how cannabinoids and in particular, CBD, interact with vascular function.

Gender bias among scientific research

O’Sullivan also offered an exclusive sneak peek of the results of a recently completed study which replicated their earlier research on CBD and blood pressure in men, in female subjects.

While O’Sullivan’s earlier research showed that CBD caused a reduction in stress-related blood pressure among healthy male subjects, she and her team found that female subjects showed no response at all to CBD. When asked why she thought that discrepancy arose, O’Sullivan referenced the overwhelming bias in the scientific community towards working on male subjects over female.

All animal research is done on males, very few people work in females. So I think we’re still at early days, and I think there’s probably a whole host of reasons, and we have a list of at least 5-7 reasons why we haven’t gotten the same response. I think there could be differences in metabolism as well.

Saoirse O’Sullivan speaks at top CBD event

This will be the first time that O’Sullivan and her team have published research around women’s response to CBD, which is likely to prove very important in a field that has been shaped by research done on male subjects.

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O’Sullivan noted that her future research around CBD and cardiovascular function would look at older groups, as well as patients already suffering from vascular dysfunction disorders like hypertension.

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O’Sullivan also appeared on a panel titled Women in Cannabis, which was chaired by Kristina Spionjak, Marketing Director of the London Canna Group who were organizers of the expo. O’Sullivan talked about the position of women in the industry along with other speakers from the event including Dr. Monica Vialpando, founder of Vialpando LLC who gave a talk on cannabis formulation and product development strategies.

However, the panel along with other afternoon talks were delayed when Dan Bilzerian made a last minute appearance which disrupted the evening events.

Dan Bilzerian poses for his new cbd brand

Bilzerian was originally scheduled to close out the event's proceedings, however this was swapped for a brief appearance with a squad of female Ignite models at the brand’s “Ignited Kingdom” stall promoting their recent launch in the UK and Europe.

Alex White

Alex is a writer and sustainable fashion enthusiast. When they aren't writing articles for The Extract, you can find them knee-deep in the vintage section of Oxfam.

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