Still little studied, cannabicyclol (CBL) is a cannabinoid. It is naturally found in the cannabis plant
The general and medical knowledge we have of the cannabinoid CBL (or cannabicyclol) is very limited. Most of the existing research on CBL focuses on the structure and biosynthesis of the molecule. Its medical applications have not given promising results.
Structure and properties of the CBL molecule
CBL has the molecular formula C21H30O2, identical to many other cannabinoids including THC, CBD, the CBC and the CBG. However, all these molecules differ slightly in the arrangement of their atoms, which gives them significantly different effects.
CBL differs from THC in that it does not contain no double bond within its molecule. The position of the double bond in the different isomers of THC determines how psychoactive the isomer is (Δ⁹ -THC is the most psychoactive). In the complete absence of a double bond, cannabicyclol cannot be potentially psychoactive. Furthermore, its affinity with cannabinoid receptors is unknown.
CBL in the cannabis plant
CBL results from the degradation of cannabichromene (CBC). CBL has been found in Pakistani hashish samples kept for periods ranging from six months to four years. All samples that contained CBL previously contained CBC at higher concentrations. However, the CBC and CBL levels were very low, especially compared to the main constituents.
CBL was also found in a old sample of cannabis found in a Chinese tomb and dated to around 2700 BCE. In this sample, CBN and CBL were respectively the most present molecules. Levels of CBD were much lower and THC was undetectable (although the presence of CBN and other metabolites indicates that it previously possessed high amounts of THC).
Medical potential of CBL
Very little is known about the medical potential of cannabicyclol. It has been studied with several other cannabinoids for its potential to inhibit the production of prostaglandins (hormones controlling contractions of smooth muscles). However, of all the cannabis compounds, its biological activity is the weakest.
In survey in rabbits published in 1976, administration of cannabicyclol produced no effect at 1 mg / kg, but caused convulsions and death when administered at 8 mg / kg. However, only two rabbits received CBL, and only one died. Thus, it is clear that more research on CBL is needed.