A team of scientists discover the process of cannabis to produce molecules that minimize inflammation that are 30 times more potent than aspirin
A research team from the Canadian University of Guelp gives the key to the biological process that the cannabis plant has in order to produce two molecules whose anti-inflammatory and analgesic capacity is up to 30 times higher than that of acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient of the famous aspirin.
The discovery is of great importance in medicine as it can be used to combat the pain of many patients who are currently being treated with opiates and other harmful and invasive medications.
In fact, this discovery is the result of almost 40 years of research initiated by Dr. Marilyn Barrett who, together with her research team, discovered the presence of two molecules in the cannabis plant: Cannaflavina A and Cannaflavina B.
After discovering the presence of both molecules in the plant, the isolation process began and in fact, Cannaflavina B failed to isolate until 2013. As we have already said, the great value for medicine of this discovery is the potential anti-inflammatory, 30 times higher than that of aspirin, of these molecules.
But if the molecules had already been identified and you even knew how to isolate them, what value does the discovery of the University of Guelp have? To fully understand the value of this discovery, we must know that the cannabis plant produces a very small amount of these molecules.
But if we know what biological process cannabis uses to generate Cannaflavina A and Cannaflavina B we can seek the development of a biological system capable of producing the same molecules but in large quantities. In fact, a line of research focuses on the development of some cannabis strain capable of producing the aforementioned molecules in quantities in much larger quantities.
According to the study published in the journal Phytochemistry, once scientists had all the genetic information, it was not very complicated to know which genes of the cannabis plant are responsible for the production of Cannflavins A and B, using classical biochemical techniques.
However, despite the fact that the molecules were discovered in the 1980s, research was forgotten since cannabis was an illegal plant and it was not possible to investigate thoroughly. But after legalization in Canada, there has been a spectacular boom in all research on the therapeutic and genetic properties of the plant. And we arrive at the moment when doctors Akhtar and Rothstein decided to analyze cannabis to discover how the Cannaflavinas biosynthesize plant.
From the point of view of medicine, the most important part of the research is to have the possibility of discovering natural medicines that contain these molecules to develop new alternatives to treat acute and chronic pain other than opiates.
Unfortunately, there are currently too many patients suffering from chronic pain who are being treated with opiates that involve serious side effects, including death from overdose, and which are also addictive. On the contrary, Cannflavins would attack pain without blocking brain pain receptors, but simply by reducing inflammation.
Guelph University is cooperating with a Canadian company in order to biosynthesize Cannaflavina A and B outside the cannabis plant. The goal is to discover new anti-inflammatory drugs from the phytochemical compounds of cannabis that are an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and that are more effective and safer than opioids.
The discoverer team hopes to be able to produce new drugs in different formats such as creams, pills, sports drinks, transdermal patches and others that also have very cheap prices for patients.