NAVISTROKE – Nanomedicine to Visualize and Treat Inflammation after Stroke

Working together with a multidisciplinary research team, doctors and Universities to search for an improved treatment after stroke, using medicines based on cannabinoids.

The team consists of three research groups: Van der Stelt lab (U Leiden): Experts on developing drugs. Mulder lab (Radboud UMC Nijmegen): Experts on nanotherapy and the immune system. And Dijkhuizen lab (UMC Utrecht): Experts in stroke research.


High on Nano

In 2013, High on Nano started a crowdfund campaign to attract funding for research on cannabinoid nanoparticles. This eventually led to the NWOwetenschap NAVISTROKE program, funded by Sensi Pharma and NWO_TTW.

PhD student Thijs Beldman discusses his role in the NAVISTROKE program in a short video:.

Press Release, July 2019

A second study is just published in the renowned scientific journal ACS Nano. This is a continuation of the former study, where the research group already showed that the indigenous biomaterial hyaluronic acid (HA) can be efficiently developed into nanoparticles, offering a highly biocompatible delivery platform for targeted imaging and precision therapy of atherosclerosis. In this new study, that was co-funded by Sensi Pharma, a next step was taken to better understand the details of the trafficking of these HA nanoparticles into the atherosclerotic plaque. A better comprehension of the characteristics of this platform will aid in the application of endo-cannnabinoid based nanoparticles in research, such as the recently started NAVISTROKE research program, and eventually the clinic.

As described in the former ACS Nano publication the research group used HA nanoparticles to target atherosclerotic plaques in experimental models. They showed that this nanoparticle platform offers beneficial characteristics for the accurate and efficient delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic compounds, including cannabinoids and related ligands, to atherosclerotic lesions. This was a result of favourable pharmacokinetics, cost effectiveness and the high affinity of these nanoparticles for immune cells within the atherosclerotic plaque.

Read the full press release here.

Scientific Research Project Navistroke Fully Up and Running

Every year, approximately 43,000 people suffer a stroke. In case of a stroke, part of the brain receives insufficient oxygen. This leads to the failure of important brain functions, and in many cases, even to death. The scientific research project Navistroke was set up to tackle this important social problem. Navistroke’s goal is to deploy the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids to limit the damage after a stroke.

In order to achieve this goal, a Grant was awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in order to achieve a collaboration between universities and the industry. This collaboration consists of research groups of Leiden University, Amsterdam UMC and the University Medical Center Utrecht. This team of researchers is joined by the industrial partners Sensi Pharma and Enceladus and is supported by experts in the areas of (endo-)cannabinoids, immunology, nanomedicine and neurology.

​Read more about this project here.

Reducing further damage after stroke

After a stroke, the inflammation that clears up the damage can remain active for too long. That results in extra damage. The NAVISTROKE project investigates whether nanoparticles with cannabis-like substances can dampen or prevent harmful effects.

In the Netherlands, about five people will have a stroke in the next hour. The next hour, five others and that goes on continuously, day in and day out. We count 125 strokes per day, about 46,000 per year. 9,000 of all people with stroke die. Many of the 37,000 survivors suffer from severe cognitive impairments, movement disorders or other disabilities after the recovery.

The objective is not only to reduce the number of strokes as much as possible, but also to promote the recovery therapeutically. By encouraging people to eat healthy and exercise sufficiently. By reducing the risk with medication where necessary. But even afterwards – if the stroke has already happened – improvement may still be possible. This is the aim of NAVISTROKE (Nanomedicine to Visualize and Treat Inflammation after Stroke). Read the complete article here (in Dutch).

Cannabidiol slashes seizures in kids with rare epilepsy, study finds

Cannabidiol, which is found in cannabis plants, reduced the number of convulsive seizures in children with a severe and often fatal epilepsy disorder, according to research published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Among children taking cannabidiol, the decrease in the frequency of convulsive seizures — which involve a loss of consciousness, stiffened muscles and jerking movements — was 23 percentage points greater than the decrease in seizures among children taking a placebo. Read the complete article here.

Crowd funded High On Nano reaches 1st crucial milestone

On May 2nd 2017, the High On Nano project reached an important milestone, as a first set of scientific results were published in the high-impact journal ACS Nano. The study was partially funded by Sensi Pharma BV, a company that was established to solidify High on Nano’s success in 2014, and is aimed at developing and applying natural cannabinoids for medical purposes. Using natural molecular building blocks, an international research team, spearheaded by investigators from the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, shows that hyaluronan-based nanoparticles (HA-NPs) can be employed to molecularly image atherosclerosis-associated inflammation as well as to effectively ameliorate atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, and represents the highest expenditure in the world health care. Read the complete press release here.

Adding CBD to Your diet? – The Protective Benefits of Cannabidiol

CBD Molecule

Evidence for the protective benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant, is quickly mounting up. Studies have found that CBD can influence myriad metabolic and immune processes, and that long-term dietary use may bring many important benefits.

Orally-administered CBD has been shown to exert a neuroprotective effect against ischemic stroke (a form of stroke caused by obstructed blood vessels in the brain), Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. There is also some evidence that CBD could confer an advantage in schizophrenics, while THC alone may exacerbate some symptoms of the disease. In the above study, THC alone was shown to be associated with more severe schizophrenic symptoms than THC combined with CBD.

What is Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD is considered to have a wide scope of potential medical applications – due to clinical reports showing the lack of side effects, particularly a lack of psychoactivity (as is typically associated with ∆9-THC), and non-interference with several psychomotor learning and psychological functions. Online

This is truly the beginnings of something great. Like “I wish I knew this when I was…” great!

What will you find here?

  • Application of natural cannabinoids for medical purposes.
  • Research information about CBD cannabinoids and their effect on the human body.
  • Detailed information about the different workings of CBD1 and CBD2.
  • Partners include the Dutch health ministry and several universities.