According to Prof. Mechoulam, cannabidiolic acid is a much more powerful compound than CBD or THC
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, also known as the " father of cannabis research“, Revealed his latest discovery, cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (EPM301), just a few months ago. The introduction of this new patented compound (synthetic, fully stable, acid-based cannabinoid molecules) has sparked a wave of enthusiasm around the future of medicinal cannabis.
The compound in question has been presented to the world in partnership with EPM, a global biotechnology company based in the United States that aims to bridge the gap between cannabis and the pharmaceutical industries.
During recent conversation, CEO Reshef Swisa and Dr Mechoulam shared the journey behind this revolutionary process and its importance in the evolution of the use of cannabidiol as a pharmaceutical drug.
“EPM has developed a method to work with the original substances of cannabis,” explained the professor. “So while everyone is talking about THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are actually a secondary substance; they do not appear until later in the plant.
“Originally there is an acid that appears in the plant, and these acids are these mysterious worlds of compounds that are much more potent than cannabinoids,” he added.
However, these cannabidiolic acids were unstable and therefore unnecessary in the development of pharmaceutical drugs until now.
The recent revelation of Mechoulam comes from the development of a method which makes it possible to modify the acids so as to maintain them sufficiently stable to allow their use at the larval scale. This opens the door to other pharmaceutical experiments, explained the professor.
“We took a cannabidiol acid and stabilized it by a simple chemical procedure called esterification ; then the compound is stable, ”explained Mr. Swisa.
The team then began to examine the activities of this compound and found that this particular compound causes the suppression of anxiety and the suppression of nausea, he continued, adding that it could make a huge difference in people. cancer patients on chemotherapy, as well as in patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or psoriasis.
Innovate at 88
It has long been known that CBD and THC can help treat a long list of conditions ranging from inflammation and anxiety to depression and nausea.
In fact, Mechoulam was probably the most important scholar to shed light on the active ingredients of the cannabis plant in the 1960s, when his work at the Weizmann Institute led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system human, crowning him "father of cannabis research".
But the 88-year-old researcher's latest discovery presents cannabidiolic acid as a much more potent compound than either CBD or THC: with no known negative side effects.
"We are in dire need of new drugs for several diseases and some of the drugs available may be good enough, but they ultimately cause side effects," he said, referring to most unnatural phama drugs, which are at best semi-synthetic.
“Today we have two groups of compounds that need to be replaced: steroids and opioids. We believe that cannabis has the capacity to introduce substitutes into these families ”.
An alternative to steroids and opioids
While CBD has been considered for several years as an alternative to addictive prescription drugs, EPM's patent on the use of cannabidiolic acid is the first to prove that these drugs can be essentially substituted without major changes. of their effectiveness.
"We are comparing our compound not only to cannabinoids, but also to existing drugs that are applied today," explained Mechoulam. “So, for example, for IBD, we compared our compounds to two classic products: one is prednisone (the steroids) and the other is a biologic drug. And in both cases, we have succeeded in proving that the activity of our compound is very similar to that of the common product ”.
The researcher is optimistic about the future.
"I sincerely hope that one day we will have a cannabidiolic acid derivative on the market in the next few years, alongside CBD itself."
But he also cautioned against the importance of properly classifying and regulating drugs for their medical use, in order to avoid unwanted side effects.
“Companies need to be careful when taking compounds and claiming therapeutic products. They have to do it in accordance with the regulations in order to create consistency in language… because people confuse recreational use with medical use and do not necessarily seek a specific indication, with a specific dosage, ”he said. concluded.