Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario have discovered how cannabis creates analgesic molecules 30 times more effective than aspirin at reducing inflammation.
The researchers used a combination of biochemistry and genomics to uncover the secrets of marijuana’s success as a drug. They said that their discovery unlocks the potential to create a natural method of pain management that offers powerful relief . And does not carry the risk of addiction associated with traditional pain medications.
Cannabis produces two flavonoids called cannflavin A and cannflavin B, which contain extremely anti-inflammatory properties. They were identified until 1985, but the ban on cannabis prevented research on how the two molecules are actually produced.
When Canada legalized adult cannabis use last year. A team of scientists from the university’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology undertook to investigate how Sativa biosynthesis can produce flavines . And what cannabis genes are needed to create cannflavines A and B.
Cannabis for pain relief
The team has now solved the mystery and revealed that they come from a non-psychoactive part of the plant. Allowing medical cannabis companies to produce more effective natural health products.
“There is a clear need to develop alternatives for the relief of acute and chronic pain that go beyond opioids”. Said researcher Professor Tariq Akhtar. “These molecules are non-psychoactive and target inflammation at the source, making them ideal analgesics.”
Opioids block brain pain receptors to relieve pain, while cannflavines reduce inflammation to target pain in a more natural way.
Another member of the research team. Professor Steven Rothstein, said the challenge is that cannabis contains extremely low levels of cannflavin A and cannflavin B. This means that it would be impractical to collect huge amounts of cannabis for small amounts of these molecules.
The team is currently working on developing a method for the biological engineering of these molecules so that they can create larger quantities. Toronto-based Anahit International Corp. has obtained a patent from the University of Guelph allowing it to biosynthesize cannflavin A and B outside the cannabis plant and researchers will now try to commercialize this form of marijuana for medical purposes.
Anahit also, plans to create a range of creams, pills, sports drinks, transdermal patches, and “other innovative options” based on cannflavin molecules.