New cannabinoid discovery by professor Raphael Mechoulam is beyond exciting!
Also known as the “father of cannabis research,” Dr. Mechoulam revealed this discovery just a few months ago. He calls it cannabidiolic acid methyl ester, or EPM301.
After discovering EPM301, it was patented by US global biotech company, EMP. This cannabinoid molecule is synthetic, fully stable, and acid-based. But what does this mean for the cannabis industry?
The cannabinoid compound was first shown to the world in a partnership with EPM. This company is working to connect the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries.
Discussing the Discovery of EPM301
CEO Reshef Swisa and Dr. Mechoulam discussed some of the history behind the innovative process and how it will progress the use of CBD in the pharmaceutical industry.
“EPM developed a method to work with the original substances of cannabis,” explained Dr. Mechoulam. “So, while everybody is discussing THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are actually a secondary substance; they only appear later in the plant.”
He continued, “Originally, there is an acid that appears in the plant, and those acids are these mysterious worlds of compounds that are much more potent than cannabinoids.”
The issue here is that these cannabidiolic acids weren’t stable. With this being the case, they were useless to the pharmaceutical industry. But with the innovations uncovered by Dr. Mechoulam and EPM, this is about to change.
The recent research from Mechoulam highlights a method that can be utilized to change the acids. This change keeps the acids stable enough to enable large-scale use, thereby allowing innovative pharmaceutical experiments that could change the way cannabis can be used within this industry.
Swisa commented, “We took a cannabidiol acid and we stabilized it by a simple chemical procedure, called esterification; then the compound is stable.”
He went on to say that the team then began “looking at the activities of this compound… and found that this particular compound causes suppression of anxiety and suppression of nausea.” Swisa believes that this has the potential to tremendously impact cancer patients as they go through chemotherapy, and patients who have IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) or Psoriasis.
88 Years Old & Still Innovating
Many believe in the potential of CBD and THC in the world of pharmaceuticals. But more research is essential to show their applications in this field.
However, Dr. Mechoulam is one of the researchers behind some studies regarding the human endocannabinoid system. His academic research showcased the active principles of the cannabis plant during the 1960s. This is what ultimately led to him being known as the “father of cannabis research.”
With his revealing of cannabidiolic acid as an even more potent cannabis compound than CBD or THC, he’s still finding ways to progress the cannabis industry. Furthermore, his discovery doesn’t have any known negative side effects, although more research is vital to show all aspects of this compound.
“We badly need new drugs in several diseases, and some of the drugs that are available may be pretty good. But they ultimately cause side effects,” Mechoulam said, highlighting the side effects that come with many non-natural pharmaceutical drugs.
He went on to say, “We have two groups of compounds today that need to have a replacement: these are steroids and opioids. We believe that cannabis carries the ability to introduce replacements to these families.”
Trading Steroids and Opioids for Cannabis Compounds Like EPM301
Even though many consider CBD an alternative to the addictive prescription drugs that are still readily available, EPM patenting the use of cannabidiolic acid could be the first sign that it’s possible to safely substitute these drugs. This is something that could occur without sacrificing efficacy.
Mechoulam went on to explain, “We compare our compound not only to cannabinoids but to the existing drugs that are applied today. So, for example, in IBD, we compared our compounds to two conventional products: one is prednisone (the steroids), and one is a biological drug. And in both of them, we managed to prove that the activity of our compound is very similar to the common one.”
This research has a lot of potential in the future. But for now, more research is crucial to come to conclusions that could revolutionize the relationship between the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries.
More from Mechoulam
Mechoulam commented on the discovery, saying, “I sincerely hope that one day we will have, within the next few years, a cannabidiolic acid derivative on the market in parallel to CBD itself.”
He went on to warn the world that it’s vital to classify and regulate drugs correctly for medical use to help people avoid undesirable side effects.
“Companies should be careful when they’re taking compounds and claiming therapeutics. They need to do it in accordance with the regulation in order to create consistency in the language… because people confuse recreational use with the medicinal use and aren't necessarily looking to a specific indication, with specific dosing.”