Beyond CBD: Neuroprotection and the lesser-known cannabinoids

by Duncan Fisher

October 14, 2022 - 2 min read

CBD is a remarkable compound, about which we have written a great deal in many other posts. It modulates a range of pharmacological targets, where it exhibits notably high antioxidant capability due to its phenolic structure and its inclusion with hydroxyl groups. These features, with its lipophilicity and its ability to function as an anti‐inflammatory agent, make CBD a desirable therapeutic candidate for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. It is able to cross the blood–brain barrier, mediate immune response, and slow neurodegeneration. 

Can other cannabinoids do this too? A review in the British Journal of Pharmacology (2020 Oct; 177(19): 4330–4352) has collated recent studies on what is known. Given the biochemical kinship among all of them, it is not an unreasonable thing to ask. 

The answer is gratifying. Among the examined molecules, chosen for their abundance in the cannabis plant, their ease of synthesis, their efficacy in other therapeutic areas, and their structural similarity to CBD, every one of them displayed neuroprotective properties, across a range of disorders. Cannabigerol (CBG) and its derivatives demonstrate significant anti‐inflammatory effects and are particularly effective in Huntington's disease models. Cannabidiverin (CBDV), ∆9‐tetrahydrocannabiverin (THCV), and cannabichromene (CBC) are effective as anti‐seizure agents. Cannabinol (CBN) displays antioxidant activity, and ∆9‐tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) has anti-inflammatory effects. CBG and THCA, like CBD, act in their anti‐inflammatory way through PPARγ. 

Many of these studies were early-stage screening exercises, with no trial probing. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data on the compounds in mammals other than mice and rats is also lacking. It is far too early to know how well any of these agents would function as neuroprotective therapies in humans. Their exact mechanisms of action are not even known yet, nor is their behavior alongside each other or with other drugs. But it is encouraging, and not unexpected, that neuroprotective properties have been found in all the cannabinoids with physical and biological similarities to CBD. There are over 100 other phytocannabinoids and terpenes also present in the cannabis plant, and they too could possibly have neuroprotective potential as well. In neuroprotection, there is much to investigate beyond CBD. 

DiolPure products contain PureForm CBD™ transformed from aromatic terpenes for pharmaceutical-grade purity. PureForm CBD™ is bioidentical to CBD extracted from hemp and cannabis, but free of any residual cannabinoids like THC or impurities or chemicals that can associate with traditional plant-derived production processes. 

The foregoing is a report on trends and developments in cannabinoid industry research. No product description herein is intended as a recommendation for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome. 

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