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Medical Marijuana Potpourri - Section 2
For the past two days, we have been discussing cannabidiol and cannabinol. Today, we will discuss three other cannabinoids - cannabichromene, cannabigerol and tetrahydrocannabivarin.
Editors' Note: Medical marijuana has become an important area of study in healthcare. Doctors and healthcare professionals must understand the medical, legal, social and political issues to best respond to their patients’ questions and attend to their needs. This content area is not intended to encourage or dissuade the use of medical marijuana, but has been created to provide a balanced portrayal of the research in this area. The Drug Enforcement Agency issued “The DEA Position on Marijuana” in January 2011, which is their most recent position statement and provides information about medical marijuana and issues related to the conflicts between federal and state law.
Cannabichromene (CBC) was first discovered in 1966. It is typically found in significant quantities in freshly harvested, dry cannabis. To date, cannabichromene has not been subject to rigorous study; fewer than 75 published papers available on PubMed make specific reference to cannabichromene. According to a 2009 review entitled “Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb” by Izzo et al., “CBC exerts anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and modest analgesic activity.” CBC has also been shown to promote anti-cancer activity in malignant cell lines and to possess bone-stimulating properties. More recently, a 2011 preclinical trial published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, reported that CBC influences nerve endings to modify sensations of pain. “[This] compound might represent [a] useful therapeutic agent with multiple mechanisms of action,” the study concluded.
Similar to cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG) also has been subject to relatively few scientific trials since its discovery in 1964. To date, there exists only a limited number of papers available referencing the substance – a keyword search on PubMed yields fewer than 55 citations. It has been documented that CBG possesses anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-bacterial properties. According to a 2011 review by Russo published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, “[A] whole plant extract of a CBG-chemotype … would seem to offer an excellent, safe new antiseptic agent” for the treatment of multi-drug resistant bacteria. A more recent review published in 2012 in the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics further acknowledges that CBG and similar non-psychotropic cannabinoids “act at a wide range of pharmacological targets” and could potentially be utilized in the treatment of a wide range of central nervous system disorders, including epilepsy.