Professor Raphael Mechoulam also referred to as the “father of cannabis research”, unveiled his latest discovery, Cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester (EPM301), a couple of months ago. The launch of this new proprietary compound (fully stable and synthetic acid-based cannabinoid molecules) triggered a wave of excitement about the future of medical cannabis.
The link in question was introduced to the world in collaboration with EPM. A global biotech company based in the United States. That aims to bridge the gap between the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries.
In a recent and exclusive conversation, CEO Reshef Swisa and Dr. Mechoulam on the journey behind this revolutionary process and its importance for the development of the use of CBD as a medicine.
Meet Cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester EPM301
“EPM developed a method of working with the original substances in cannabis,” explained the professor. “So while most are arguing about THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are literally a secondary substance; they only appear afterward the plant.
“Originally there’s an acid that appears within the plant, and people acids are these mysterious worlds of compounds that are far more potent than cannabinoids,” he added.
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However, these cannabidiolic acids were unstable and therefore useless in drug development. So far, that’s it.
Mechoulam’s recent revelation comes from the development of a method that allows acids to be modified in a way that keeps them stable enough to allow their use on a large scale. This opens the door to more pharmaceutical experiments, the professor explained.
“We take a cannabidiol acid and stabilize it using a simple chemical procedure, called esterification; so the compound is stable, “Swisa explained.
Then the team “started looking at the activities of this compound … and found that this particular compound causes anxiety suppression and nausea suppression,”. He continued, adding that this could also make a big difference in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. As patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or psoriasis.
CBD and THC can help with a long list of conditions, from inflammation and anxiety to depression and nausea, it’s been known for quite some time.
See also: UNM study: cannabis is effective in treating depression, improving psychological state
In fact, Mechoulam was arguably 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 human endocannabinoid system, crowning him the “father of the cannabis research. “
But the 88-year-old researcher’s latest discovery presents cannabidiolic acid as a much more potent compound. Than CBD or THC, with no known negative side effects.
“We urgently need new drugs for various diseases and some of the available drugs may be quite good. But ultimately they cause side effects,” he said, referring to most non-natural pharmaceutical drugs, which at best are semi-synthetic.
“Today we’ve two groups of compounds that require replacement: these are steroids and opioids. We believe that cannabis has the ability to introduce replacements to these families. “
An alternative to steroids and opioids
While CBD has been considered an alternative to addictive prescribed drugs for several years. EPM’s patent on the utilization of cannabidiolic acid is that the first to demonstrate that these drugs can be replaced essentially without major changes in their efficacy.
“We compared our compound not only with cannabinoids, but also with existing drugs that are applied today,” Mechoulam explained. “So, for example, in IBD we compare our compounds with two conventional products: one is prednisone (steroids) and the other is a biological medicine. And in both, we were able to demonstrate that the activity of our compound is very similar to the common one. “
The researcher is optimistic when it involves the longer term .
“I sincerely hope that within the future” at some point we’ll have a cannabidiolic acid derivative on the market in the next few years in parallel with CBD.”
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But he also warned about the importance of properly classifying and regulating drugs for medical use, to avoid unwanted side effects.
“Companies must take care when taking compounds and claiming therapeutic products. They need to do it in accordance with the regulation to create consistency in language. Because people confuse recreational use with medicinal use. And do not necessarily seek a specific indication, with a specific dose, “he concluded….