Research Brief – Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) Reduces Symptoms of Rett Syndrome (RTT) Including Thermal Pain

This study, published in the journal Neuroscience, evaluated the effect of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) on RTT symptoms.

Rett syndrome (RTT) is an incurable neurological condition involving severe psychological and behavioral disorders such as loss of speech and motor skills, seizures, bruxism and screaming spells. The cause of RTT is a gene mutation, specifically the MECP2 gene.

Study subjects were given daily intraperitoneal injections of 0.2, 2, and 20 mg/ kg for 14 days.

Study Findings

The study suggests that non-euphoric cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa may be an innovative treatment option for RTT. The study authors concluded that systemic treatment of low dose CBDA was shown effective for treating nausea and anxiety in mice. This study also shows that systemic, low dosage treatment with CBDA resulted in anti-nociceptive effects (i.e., the blockage of pain by sensory neurons). CBDA also reduced thermal hyperalgesia in male mice, blocking the detection of a painful or injurious stimulus by sensory neurons. CBDA did not affect behavioral symptoms in study subjects with RTT. Another cannabinoid called “cannabidivarin (CBDV)” has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on behavioral symptoms in mouse models with RTT. 


These study results are favorable for the antinociceptive effects of CBDA, but more studies, including human study subjects are needed to back the claims of effectiveness and safety of CBDA to treat RTT symptoms. Study authors explain that it’s also important to learn more about the underlying mechanisms at play in the control of pain perception in RTT.

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