New cannabinoids for science
In this article we will let you know everything about the new cannabinoids discovered until the last months of 2020. Through a series of points, we will try to provide as much information as possible about the new cannabinoids that can be found naturally in the Cannabis plant and those that can be produced in laboratories.
To do so, we were reviewing scientific studies and research aiming to shed light on this subject that is of such great interest to our blog’s readers. First, we will explain what synthetic cannabinoids are, and then move on to sesqui cannabinoids and the new phytocannabinoids that have been discovered recently.
New Cannabinoids. What are synthetic cannabinoids?
Synthetic cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds that were created by scientific teams in order to better understand the endocannabinoid system present in humans and animals. In the same way, these compounds were also developed in order to improve the possible medical uses of the Cannabis Sativa plant.
Synthetic cannabinoids work by mimicking the phytocannabinoids that can be found in plants such as Cannabis. In this way, many of them work by mimicking delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis, in order to faithfully reproduce the sensations that compounds in marijuana plants can produce.
However, it is important to note that synthetic cannabinoids produced in a laboratory are not the same as the cannabinoids produced by the Cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids), as a marijuana plant is produced in a natural environment while these synthetic cannabinoids are produced in a laboratory. It seems an obvious fact, but it is important to emphasize this difference.
When a scientific laboratory decides to reproduce a marijuana compound by creating a new synthetic cannabinoid, they may decide to reproduce a more powerful version of that compound. In other words, synthetic cannabinoids have, more often than not, more pronounced properties, as they also may have the ability to bind to the receptors of the human endocannabinoid system more effectively. The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the brain (and recently discovered in every cell of the human or animal body, maybe plants too!) that regulate essential life functions when interacting with synthetic or natural cannabinoids.
The new cannabinoids created in laboratory may also be able to unblock other receptors of the endocannabinoid system beyond CB-1 and CB-2, which are traditionally associated with the phytocannabinoids. This is why experts say that the effect of the new synthetic cannabinoids may affect the body differently than phytocannabinoids, depending also on the route of administration of the new synthetic cannabinoids.
Synthetic cannabinoids and clandestinity
Unregulated organizations have also been interested in the creation of new cannabinoids synthetically. This is a type of illegal action aimed at providing low-safety psychoactive material to recreational users. Mafias and non-legal organizations have detected that they can use the labels of “legality” and “safety” in their service to provide false guarantees to their users and offer their fraudulent products for sale.
There are products on the market that are recognizable by names such as Spice or synthetic marijuana, which are produced by dissolving the new synthetic cannabinoids in substances such as ethanol and subsequently sprayed on dried leaves to be consumed in the form of a joint. Great care should be taken with this type of product, which is often marketed as incense or aromatic herb, is highly recommend avoiding them.
These products have not passed any control to guarantee their composition, so that inside these bags of “aromatic herbs” it is possible to find anything and even very harmful compounds. Depending on the manufacturer’s intention, it is possible to find various types of new synthetic cannabinoids without any kind of recipe or composition of the product, and it is also common for Spice to be mixed with chemicals such as mephedrone to increase its psychoactive capacity, which can be extremely harmful to the consumer’s health.
Over the last decade, experts and the media claim that the consumption of this type of clandestine synthetic cannabinoid has skyrocketed. Criminal organizations took advantage of the illegal status of these compounds to produce cheap, unwarranted merchandise, which also enjoys a certain “natural” status among consumers. Consumers are rarely aware of what they are really being supplied under the name of synthetic marijuana or Spice.
Increasing cases of intoxication resulting from the use of Spice have set off alarm bells in public health agencies, and as a result, this type of substance has been added to the list of banned substances. However, the speed with which cannabinoids of questionable quality can be synthesized means that new varieties of this type of substance are constantly being introduced on the markets, making legislative measures insufficient to put an end to the spread of harmful synthetic marijuana.
What are Sesqui cannabinoids?
At the end of 2020, some news revolutionized the world of cannabinoids: the discovery of sesqui cannabinoids. This is a new group of cannabinoids found by the BioMedican laboratories and which may have properties that are still unknown.
BioMedican is a scientific platform dedicated to biosynthesis with a focus on therapeutic expertise. The company is headquartered in Freemont, California, from where they produce pharmaceutical grade compounds. The current focus of these labs is on the production of cannabinoids for the treatment of pain, anxiety, obesity, brain disorders, among other important issues.
The new sesqui cannabinoids are derived from the biosynthesis of compounds from the Cannabis plant and have not yet been widely studied by the community due to their recent discovery. However, it is known and supported by scientists that CBG sesqui, CBDA sesqui or CBGA sesqui have been biosynthesised in Cannabis plants.
BioMedican filed the patent for the research last December 2020, so it is too early to talk about the possible effects that this new group of cannabinoids could have on the body by interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
These laboratories are already licensed to produce Sesqui CBG and to start investigating the possible powers of these compounds. In the same way that BioMedican is already licensed to produce Sesqui CBD, Sesqui CBN, Sesqui THCV and Sesqui THCA.
In BioMedican’s own words, “this is a significant new discovery. We are the only company in the world that has discovered how to produce these sesqui-cannabinoids and has filed a patent on them. This has the potential to be the next generation of new active cannabinoids. All of our Sesqui-cannabinoids will have a significant amount of the attributes found in CBD, CBG, THCV and THCA, but will also have some different attributes that could potentially make them significantly better.“
Research and time will determine the role of these sesqui cannabinoids. As studies on these compounds continue, it is likely that more will be learned about their effects on people and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system.
Among the new cannabinoids there is also a place for phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are the original compounds found naturally in marijuana plants (and others!). These are compounds that can have different effects on humans and animals, as they interact with the endocannabinoid system to regulate certain actions in the body.
The most popular phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC can produce psychoactive effects in humans, so it has traditionally been used for therapeutic and recreational purposes. CBD, on the other hand, has no any psychoactive effects, while it does have some properties, as scientific studies have shown.
In addition to these phytocannabinoids, new phytocannabinoids have been discovered more recently, as THC and CBD have been founded by visionaries such as Professor Mechoulam many years ago. Some of the more recently discovered new phytocannabinoids include THCV, CBN and CBG, among others. To learn more about each of them, you can read the case studies dedicated to each of them in the links above. However, a brief contextualization of each will be provided below.
THCV is a new cannabinoid that is currently gaining a lot of prominence and there are already seed banks that are producing new strains with high leves of this cannabinoid. This is the case of THCV Victory by Dutch Passion. Some of the properties attributed to THCV are that it acts as an appetite suppressant. Unlike THC, THCV may not produce appetite.
THCV may help to alleviate diabetes. Research shows promise for THCV’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Studies have also shown that THC can reduce panic attacks and appears to curb anxiety attacks in PTSD patients without suppressing the sensation.
CBN is a new cannabinoid present in plants that is non-toxic and better known as the cannabinoid that is generated when THC ages. For that reason, it is usually present in large amounts in older cannabis buds. While this may be a disadvantage for many THC fans, others seek out older cannabis just to enjoy the effects of CBN.
A 2011 study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, found that the combination of THC and CBN has the ability to produce more sedative sensations. It is said that older cannabis products or those exposed to high heat and sunlight, such as Cannabis resins obtained in Morocco, may have a higher CBN content.
Finally, CBG is a new phytocannabinoid that, unlike CBD, has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors and acts mainly through indirect interactions with the endocannabinoid system. CBG is thought to elicit its effects directly through interaction with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the brain.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the recent discovery of the new cannabinoids THCP and CBDP, recently discovered by a team of Italian researchers. To find out all about this promising discovery, we invite you to read the article in which we break down what is known so far about these two new cannabinoids.
This has been all the overview of the new cannabinoids that can be found today. For further interesting reading visit our homepage.