The discovery of a new cannabis compound is said to be more potent than THC and CBD.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, Israeli Chemist and widely known as 'The Father of Cannabis', has discovered a new cannabis compound: cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester or 'EPM301'.
The discovery is a result from Dr. Mechoulam partnering with U.S. biotechnology company, EPM to help develop stable synthetic cannabinoid acid molecules. In turn, branching into a new market of cannabis derivative medication.
EPM301 differs from its counter-compounds, THC and CBD. Its acid is taken out earlier in the production process, making it more potent than "secondary" cannabinoids; which are extracted "later in the plant", Mechoulam explains.
Esterification, a newly developed procedure, can now modify and stabilise the acid to form synthetic derivatives for pharmaceuticals. EPM301 is the first acid that can be successfully stabilised enough for large-scale production. In turn, embracing a new market for medicinal cannabis in pharmaceuticals.
According to Mechoulam's research, the acid possesses properties that can subdue anxiety and nausea. The acid can also be helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriasis, and cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced side effects.
The newly patented compound has no known negative side effects.
Mechoulam told Forbes that the acid can also act as a near-perfect substitute to steroids and opioids without compromising efficacy of treatment.
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…We believe that cannabis carries the ability to introduce replacements to these families.Professor Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D.
In the midst of an opioid epidemic, medicinal cannabis is becoming an appealing alternative. In 2017 alone, almost 50,000 deaths were opioid-related in the U.S. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), opioids account for 67% of deaths worldwide.
Mechoulam is hopeful that in the future, acid-based derivatives will be on the market "parallel" to CBD.
Mechoulam's research has been paramount in the cannabis properties since the 1960s. His research has led to the isolation the compound THC, and the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
For more information on Professor Mechoulam's work, please click here.
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