What Happens When You Combine the Power of CBD with Delta-5? Cannabis Interview: Dr. Alvin Berger with Delta-5


CBD is all the rage it seems, and with good reason. Its healing properties are well-known, and it’s generally considered safe and side-affect-free. But can it be improved upon? In today’s interview with Dr. Alvin Berger, we learn about Delta-5, a fatty acid compound that Dr. Berger has incorporated with CBD to produce some impressive results. Check out the interview below to learn more!

CM: Your team has developed a unique type of Delta-5 fatty acid. In layman’s terms, what does Delta-5 do?

Dr. Berger: Delta-5 oil’s sciadonic acid (the main active ingredient) is a unique type of fatty acid that competes with the pro-inflammatory fatty acid known as arachidonic acid, for incorporation into membrane lipids. Once incorporated into membrane lipids, it is not a substrate for forming pro-inflammatory (down-stream) molecules known as eicosanoids (prostaglandins and leukotrienes being examples). Via these mechanisms, Delta-5 oil exerts potent, anti-inflammatory actions in the skin and when administered orally. These eicosanoids are also reduced by aspirin and other medicines (via a different molecular medicine) like non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the cost, side effects, tapering off of benefits, and need for a prescription.

When administered to human skin, it penetrates the skin surface and rapidly and potently reduces redness and the appearance of wrinkling, and increases collagen (since collagen is reduced in response to skin inflammation). It is used in the beauty professional channel (mainly by aestheticians) post-peel, post-mask, post-laser, and post-injection to promote rapid healing with less discomfort-fewer missed days from work and fewer embarrassing questions from friends and colleagues).  It has many other benefits for the skin, related to reducing inflammation. Skin inflammation in fact accounts for half of all skin problems. When the oil is consumed orally in pre-clinical models, it reduced inflammation profoundly, more than fish oil, leading to less severity in various clinical conditions, affecting various organs.

CM: What sorts of maladies is Delta-5 good for, and in what forms can it be used?

Dr. Berger: Delta-5 oil is currently sold as a topical, cosmetic oil, used mainly on the face. Our customers report benefits for redness, wrinkles, loss of collagen, psoriasis, sunburn, thermal burns, acne, skin growths, melasma, and healing of cuts, scars, rashes, bruising, and bee bites. It improves the skin in all these situations via the aforementioned unique, novel mechanism of action.

CM: Have there been independent studies verifying Delta-5’s efficacy? Please tell us more about that.

Dr. Berger: Myself and academic colleagues around the world have published many papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals beginning in the 1980s, expanding beyond my original discoveries in 1988 at the University of California Davis, demonstrating efficacy in cell- and pre-clinical models. Some of the work has been in skin cells and accepted as a demonstration of efficacy by cosmetic scientists.  We have more recent data demonstrating increases in collagen and protection from UVA rays as seen in sunburn (both findings consistent with our testimonial data). These last data are not published yet. Smaller controlled studies are in the planning, to be followed by larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies for skin, and then oral consumption, once Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status is approved.

CM: You derive you’re your main ingredient from conifer seeds. Did you explore other sources to come to that one, or did you know to start there?

Dr. Berger: Beginning in the 1960s, scientific papers appeared demonstrating the anti-inflammatory benefits of conifer seeds enriched in sciadonic acid. In the conclusion of each paper, the authors discussed the need for a commercially viable source. Thousands of years before that such seeds were used in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and by indigenous cultures both orally and topically as salves to decrease inflammation. Finding a seed source that was not found in an exotic locale, not too expensive, sufficiently enriched in sciadonic acid (our Delta-5 oil is the most enriched in the world currently at 20%), and could be commercially processed, was the big challenge. I had been in fact researching sources of sciadonic oil since the 1980s.

When we started Sciadonics, Inc. (parent company to our Direct to Consumer company SciaEssentials, LLC), in 1996, we spent another 3 years analyzing seed and byproduct sources of sciadonic acid all over the world before we started selling commercial products. Without a proper source, we would always have an interesting story to tell but that would be it, so the highest priority goal was always to find a commercially viable source to start helping our customers fight their chronic inflammation. We protect our hard work with various patents. We currently use a seed called Nageia nagi as the starting source for our Delta-5 oil.

CM: You are currently offering a topical version of Delta-5; do you have plans to expand the line to other products?

Dr. Berger: We currently sell the oil as a “neat” oil, meaning the Delta-5 oil for sale is just pure oil with some natural alpha tocopherols added for antioxidant protection-about as natural, green, and simple as you can get. We plan to introduce creams, lotions, salves and other forms of Delta-5 oil in response to huge customer demand. We are also experimenting with Delta-5 oils in combination with a hand held ultrasound device to increase skin penetration. Last, we have prepared mixtures of Delta-5 oil with CBD-containing oils, to offer additive or synergistic benefits for the skin (we have patents around such combinations). Once GRAS status is obtained, we will develop oral formulations to combat inflammation with our novel Delta-5 oils.


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