Italian researchers have discovered a new class of cannabinoids: CBDH and THCH useful for treating various diseases
Last year it was the turn of THCP and CBDP, this year, we went further with the discovery of Cannabidiexol (CBDH) and Tetrahydrocannabiexol (THCH). This entirely Italian discovery may revolutionize the sector because this new class of cannabinoids can be used in various pathologies.
Increasing the concentration of CBDH and THCH increases the analgesic effect
Professors Giuseppe Cannazza and Livio Luongo: “The increase in the concentration of CBDH and THCH increases the analgesic effect, but beyond a certain threshold, the effect wears off. The reason is that, by working on many targets and on different pathologies, by stimulating one of them, we obtain the pharmacological effect, but by increasing the dose, we touch other switches that lose this. particular advantage, perhaps to gain another ”.
It is a discovery that could revolutionize medical cannabis as it is known until now. It is a discovery entirely carried out in Italy by a team of Italian researchers. They are started with a variety of Italian medical cannabis and with public funding. In this case, it is a scientific study that identifies a new class of cannabinoids: it was published in Scientific Reports, a journal that is part of the famous Nature network and this is one of the indirect effects of the UN decision, which wanted to reclassify cannabis internationally by removing it from Table IV and finally recognizing the medical properties: hence the possibility of having more freedom in research.
To deepen the discovery the journal ilfattoquotidiano.it spoke directly with Prof. Giuseppe Cannazza (researcher at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, WHO consultant in the long UN-approved cannabis review process) and Livio Luongo, associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Naples Luigi Vanvitelli. It should be noted that this is not the first time that researchers have made a discovery of such magnitude: it was actually in December 2019, when, still in Scientific Reports, they had discovered another class of cannabinoids. , with important pharmacological properties. And in 2020, they succeeded again. “We are completing the homologous series of the well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD. Last year it was the turn of THCP and CBDP, this year we went further with the discovery of Cannabidiexol (CBDH) and Tetrahydrocannabiexol (THCH) ”, says Giuseppe Cannazza, specifying that“ this is news class of cannabinoids and it is extremely interesting because these are substances which have been confused with another organic compound (methyl ether, nes), and this will serve to clarify the chemical composition of cannabis, a fundamental operation for the medicine of tomorrow ”.
Hemp is a real workshop of molecules
Dr Livio Luongo explains it in simple terms: “The difference between cannabis and other plants is that in the latter there are at most two or three active ingredients useful to humans, while in cannabis we have found many pharmacologically active compounds which may be useful in many different pathologies ”. Thus, according to the researcher, "we generally speak of officinal plants, but hemp is a real workshop of useful molecules". A vision completed by Cannazza who continues: “It's like a small industry that we can orient towards specific pathologies, depending on the composition. Each variety has its own chemical composition and each variety could be beneficial for a specific pathology. It is a true pharmaceutical industry which addresses various pathologies ”. In this sense, the collaboration between the two researchers is fundamental, because they unite the soul of the chemist - who studies the composition of a given variety - with that of the pharmacologist, who analyzes the effects. And it is thanks to this collaboration that it has been possible to make these important new discoveries, which need to be studied further.
The main thing is to have made the research public, "to give the possibility, as did the" father "of research on cannabis, Rapahel Mechoulam, then renowned researchers like Vincenzo Di Marzo, Daniele Piomelli or Benjamin Cravatt, to open up avenues for studying new compounds ”. The compounds at the center of the latest scientific publication, Luongo points out, “first of all demonstrated that increasing the concentration increases the analgesic effect, but when the concentration exceeds a certain threshold, the effect disappears. . The reason is that by working on many targets and different diseases, by stimulating one of them, we have the pharmacological effect, but by increasing the dose we hit other switches that make you lose that particular advantage, perhaps to gain another. This is why they must be studied in depth, starting from diseases linked to pain, but also those of the gastrointestinal tract ”.
If, on the one hand, we are dealing with compounds that had been neglected by research, on the other hand, it should be emphasized that modern technologies allow tests that were unthinkable until recently to be carried out. And recent changes, first and foremost the United Nations decision, are also opening up new avenues. "It's a great revolution," said Cannazza, who played a key role as a consultant in the re-evaluation process desired by WHO, which then led to the UN decision. “In reality, the WHO indications went well beyond, but this is already a great recognition, given that a critical review of cannabis has been awaited for 60 years. To have participated as a chemist in this process is a huge satisfaction. We are now hoping that funds will arrive for the world of cannabis research as well, not only to understand how bad it can be, but also to understand what it can cure.
All the more reason to think that an Italian group, with very few resources, is establishing itself as one of the most active at the international level, with discoveries that could revolutionize the sector both in terms of research and medical application. “We must not forget,” recalls Mr. Luongo, “that in order to lay the foundations that will allow us to move forward, fundamental research must be funded. On my small scale I work more with projects funded by private companies or even from abroad, because often in Italy it is seen as an option, and not only in the field of cannabinoids and the risk is remain stationary ”. On the other hand, Mr. Cannazza points out that “thanks to ministerial funding on hemp, I was able to buy the machines that allowed us to make these latest discoveries. And this paradoxically confirms what my colleague says: without funding, research stops ”. In any case, the greatest pride is the fact that these latest discoveries were made with Italian public funds after winning a tender. And Mr. Luongo underlines the importance of this step: “The funds should be public, and not private, because researchers are thus free. The freedom to do basic research that may not have an immediate economic return, and then the beauty of making a discovery and sharing it, publishing it immediately, which would not have been possible with a company behind it. It's the beauty of being able to give it to everyone, which is in a way the goal of research, to advance science on a global level ”.