News, Research

CSU’s New Facility Will Expand Cannabinoid Research Beyond THC and CBD

December 20, 2021 08:00 am ET
CSU’s New Facility Will Expand Cannabinoid Research Beyond THC and CBD

THC and its non-intoxicating cousin CBD have always received the bulk of attention from the cannabis community—until now. The cannabis plant actually produces over 150 different cannabinoids, each of which interacts with our bodies’ endocannabinoid systems differently. Thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Leslie Buttorff, founder and CEO of CBD company Panacea Life Sciences, Colorado State University (CSU) will be taking cannabinoid research to new heights.

Buttorff’s generous contribution has allowed CSU to establish a new, state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to cannabinoid research, which will include special equipment such as chemical separation instrumentation. This much-needed equipment not only paved the path for current and future research but also allowed the facility to scale up from benchtop research to research on a small-to-medium industrial scale.

CSU’s College of Natural Sciences will run the center, which opened at the end of October in the chemistry building. Buttorff told media sources:

“CSU is a great university. It’s a land grant university. If you think of all the departments that CSU has to contribute to cannabinoid research, we’ve got chemistry, biology, agriculture, the vet (veterinary) med, human-med. So, it just has all the different departments to bring it all together.”

The opening of the research center marks a substantial milestone for the cannabis industry and the scientists who contribute to its foundation. After delays caused by COVID-19 over the past couple of years, CSU currently has 15 projects related to cannabinoids up and running, including research being conducted by the psychology department that is exploring the effects of cannabinoids on alcohol addiction and treatment.

Minor Cannabinoids With Major Potential

Researchers have really only scratched the surface when it comes to the major cannabinoids, but a world of potential lies within the cannabis plant’s minor cannabinoids, such as THCV and CBG. CSU’s cannabinoid research center now provides a space to delve into these cannabinoids in detail, which could open numerous doors for medical advancement in both humans and animals.

Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known cannabinoids and see what they’re all about.

∆-9-Tetrahydrocannabavarian (THCV)

THCV research suggests that the cannabinoid may be a CB1 antagonist, possibly helping with weight loss and other metabolic disorders. Most research has been conducted on mice, but clinical research was recently conducted on humans. In a test conducted on patients with type 2 diabetes over a 12-week period, THCV showed promise in helping to control blood sugar levels when administered in 5 milligram doses twice daily.

In another study, 10 cannabis consumers were given 10 milligrams of THCV for five days. The results of this study suggested that THCV decreased the effects of THC, helping to solidify that it inhibits the CB1 receptor. So far, studies show that dosages are safe and well-tolerated.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

CBDV is considered a homolog of CBD. Some believe it is an anti-epileptic agent like CBD, though there is no evidence currently supporting this. This theory is based on animal and cell studies. In laboratory settings, CBDV shows promise at reducing inflammation in human skin cells and decreasing fat formations. It also has the potential of working to help fight acne and control bladder dysfunctions.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

CBC shows promise at reducing inflammation and decreasing fat formations and skin cells. It has also been shown to possess pain-fighting capabilities, antidepressant, anti-tumoral, and antibacterial properties. In tests, CBC was shown to increase viability in neuro stem cells.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG actually comes in the form of CBGA. It doesn’t turn into CBG until the acid molecule is removed through decarboxylation. Current research has shown that CBG spikes the appetite of rats and that it may reduce inflammation associated with IBS. In other studies, it helped to improve the motor function of a rat model with Huntington’s disease. A compound by the name of VCE-003.2 that is derived from CBG showed effectiveness in helping multiple sclerosis.

Opening Doors for Pharmacologic Advancements

For students interested in building careers in cannabis science, CSU is the place to be. While the federal government has been somewhat stagnant when it comes to funding and facilitating the research needed to deschedule cannabis and increase its accessibility, private individuals are leading the charge with contributions like Buttorff’s. The cannabis community will have its eye on CSU’s cannabinoid research center and the breakthroughs its researchers discover, but the biggest step is simply starting.

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