Professor Raphael Mechoulam, 88, who is responsible for the first synthesis of THC, affirmed during CannMed 2019 in Pasadena, California, his desire to create stable synthetic cannabinoids
Dr. Mechoulam works on synthetic cannabinoids. This discovery could pave the way for a whole new line of cannabinoid products capable of treating a number of medical problems, from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease.
Find a formula to obtain synthetic and stable acids
"We took the unstable acid molecules from the cannabis plant and synthesized them to provide a stable and consistent basis for researching new therapies for a wide range of medical needs," said Mechoulam during his presentation to the conference.
This unstable acid molecule is CBD acid (CBDA), a better known natural precursor to CBD. However, despite its lower status, CBDA is a thousand times more powerful than CBD in binding to a particular serotonin receptor believed to be responsible for the relief of nausea and anxiety.
It is this important medical potential that prompted Mechoulam and his team to possibly stabilize the CBDA by adding a methyl ester, which makes it "a potential drug to treat certain nausea and certain anxiety disorders".
"This is exciting and unprecedented research," said Mechoulam in a press release. "We have taken the unstable molecules from the cannabis plant and synthesized them to provide a stable and consistent basis for finding new therapies for a wide range of medical needs - from CNS disorders to inflammation and much more."
“In addition, we have provided several delivery mechanisms, including tablets, topical applications and many others to facilitate multiple approaches. Our work is a catalyst for the development of potential new therapies from a source long considered to have enormous potential. "
From the laboratories to the sale
In collaboration with the Mechoulam team, the discovery of the methyl ester CBDA was made with the help of several universities in Israel, Canada and the United States, a topical cream manufacturer, a laboratory and the young EPM company.
In order to invest more in the molecule, the latter launched its intellectual property portfolio with the healthcare industry last week with a view to possible licensing partnerships.
"This marks the start of a new era in medical research with the introduction by EPM of the world's first innovative license platform for the use of our fully stable acid-based cannabinoid molecules," said Reshef Swisa, managing director of EPM, in a press release. “The work of our world-class research team has allowed us to bridge the promise of therapeutic uses for cannabis with the ability of pharmaceutical companies to use stable and consistent molecules that researchers can use to potentially discover new medication. "
The company hopes the first applications of the new compound will enter phase 1 trials of the FDA (the US authority responsible for validating drugs) in six to twelve months. However, since the average FDA approval time for a drug is 12 years, it may take some time before clinicians can test the benefits of the Mechoulam compound for themselves.
Urging the scientific community to further support medical research on cannabis during his speech at the conference, Mechoulam lamented the research time already lost and the patients who have missed cannabis-based treatments for diseases like epilepsy.
"Should we wait 30 years? No, he says. “We could have helped thousands of children, and we haven't. "