COVID-19 has a global game changer: daily routines and work habits have been completely turned upside-down. The perpetual stress and immobility, permeated with a sense of uncertainty, has impacted consumers' physical and mental well-being. However, this poses an opportunity for cannabinoids such as CBD to support consumer health in the post-COVID environment, demonstrating again the power contained in this powerful botanical. In this podcast, sponsored by Linnea, Nora Rossini, scientific affairs manager, discusses the whitespace market opportunities.
Tune in to hear more about:
- How cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG impact physical and mental well-being.
- How studies around the ability of CBD to impact inflammatory markers and cognitive performance could inform future clinical research studies.
- Regulatory considerations companies must look at when bringing CBD products to market.
- New opportunities for market development
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Vitafoods Insights 00:02
Hello and welcome. You've tuned in to Vitafoods Stories Podcast Series, the podcast that explores the latest insights and innovations, helping the global health and nutrition industry connect, develop and progress.
Well, hello, I’m Heather Granato from Vitafoods Insights. COVID-19 has been a global game changer, impacting economies, governments, and day to day lives in ways no one could have imagined. The perpetual stress of the last two years has permeated consumers daily lives, impacting their physical and mental wellbeing. Ahead of the pandemic, there was a great deal of chatter in the nutraceutical market, around cannabinoids, particularly the non-psychoactive compounds such as cannabidiol, known as CBD, and many others that don't produce a high. They act on the endocannabinoid system impacting multiple parts of the body. In today's podcast, sponsored by Linnea, we talk with Nora Rossini, Scientific Affairs Manager at Linnea, about the potential for cannabinoids to support consumer health in this post-COVID world. Nora graduated in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Milan with a specialisation in chemical toxicology and phytotherapy. Welcome, Nora.
Hello Heather, thank you very much.
Pleased to have you here today. Why don't we start out by talking a little bit about how Linnea positions its cannabinoid ingredients in different markets, pharmaceutical nutraceutical and food? and how you support companies in bringing products to market that are compliant with the appropriate regulatory guidelines and claims?
Regarding cannabinoids, we have a very fragmented regulation worldwide, but also in Europe. Because in many countries, there is a very good regulation regarding cosmetics, a very poor regulation regarding drugs, and are regulation in food supplement that is evolving towards something. So our aim is to help our customer in all this free field to reach their goal to put the product on the market.
Thank you. Certainly, we've seen preclinical and in vitro studies that have explored certain aspects of how CBD may impact inflammatory cytokine activity and protein binding, which have been seen in COVID infection and recovery. Could you comment on the activity of compounds like CBD and how they may be the basis for future pharmaceutical investigations?
Yes, CBD is a very interesting molecule because it is not psychotropic, so is really, really tolerable and safe. And it seems that it's able to down regulate a lot of cytokines involved into the inflammatory response during general inflammatory state use, and of course, during COVID inflammation. Moreover, it is a very interesting, the neurological activity of cannabidiol because it is able to interact with the endocannabinoid system into the brain and not only regulating inflammatory status, but also some mild ailments such as anxiety, towards Leeper Ultra mood and so on that are typical of long COVID issues.
There was an interesting study that came out of Augusta University that focused on the potential of cannabis to address acute respiratory distress syndrome. Could you speak to some of those findings and how they could inform future research studies?
Yes, this study was revolutionary, I can say, because I underlined the activity of cannabidiol into a severe regulatory distress. It seems that cannabidiol is able to reduce the inflammatory state that is the most dangerous manifestation of Coronavirus into the lungs. And following this study, there are ongoing many clinical trials especially on this regard. I can say that we need the more clinical data because these very impressive preclinical results are needed to be confirmed into humans. So, in a very complex environment like human body, because the endocannabinoid system is largely diffused into the body and the danger is to have a good response in inflammatory state use but some aspects that suddenly not expected and not so good to have. So, we will wait the regulatory response. Indeed, the cannabidiol is an amazing molecule and is a very, very good commercial opportunity as you can understand.
Yes. As we look at consumers who are recovering from COVID infection, we certainly see that they struggle with physiological and mental challenges. What are some of the ways that you see that cannabinoids could support their return to general good health?
Cannabinoids are very helpful in this regard. There are many clinical trials that explore the activity of cannabinoids, and in particular cannabidiol, into anxiety disorder disorders, and depression that is a major disorder but altered mood and worsley. It is very helpful in general, and especially for those people that experience long COVID symptoms like this.
So we've also seen that there's a lot of stress and anxiety among consumers exacerbated by what we've seen in the pandemic. So how have cannabinoids not only CBD, but others such as CBG been shown to address those mental issues?
Cannabigerol or CBG is the brand-new cannabinoids into the European and worldwide market. It is very interesting because it shows neuroprotective properties, is slightly different mechanism of action with respect of cannabidiol. So cannabigerol itself, cannabidiol, and a combination of the two might improve, in a really unique way, this kind of a mentor that may appear not only after a COVID infection, but maybe after a lockdown, or something so bad that everybody of us experienced during the last years.
Yes. Do you see that there are more opportunities for the nutraceutical or food supplements space to really market products for general mental wellbeing that would include cannabidiol?
Yes, there is a large space and a high demand from people, from consumers, that wants to try this new solution for their wellbeing. As I said, the cannabidiol is a very well tolerated and also cannabigerol are very well tolerated solution that can be added to the daily routine, as food supplements, to reduce this kind of annoying symptoms of poor sleep, anxiety, and so on. Therefore, it is a very good opportunity, we must take into account the award via regulation.
Absolutely, the regulatory compliance is such an important issue. Nora, is there anything else that you'd like to share with our listening audience about how they might develop products and work with Linnea?
Yes, Linnea is committed to facilitate the marketing of its products to its customers. Therefore, last year, we started another food application both in Europe and in UK for cannabidiol rich ingredients. This novel food application are mandatory to put in the market regulated and legal cannabis extracted into the food market. Therefore, our commitment is really clear, and we can ensure to our customer our full support.
Thank you so much for sharing those insights. I'm sure our listeners we'll be following up with you and the rest of the Linnea team to learn more about the opportunities for CBD in this new environment.
Thank you very much Heather.