The father of cannabis research has delivered the medical world a special Christmas in July present this year, revealing that he has discovered a new potent cannabis compound.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, an 88-year-old Israeli chemist, has been dubbed the ‘father of cannabis’ since the 1960s. At a conference earlier this year, he revealed a new cannabis compound – Acid Methyl Ester or ‘EPM301’ for short.
Unlike the two most popular cannabis compounds THC and CBD, EPM301 is extracted from the plant earlier in the manufacturing process. As a cannabidiolic acid, it is then able to be stabilized through a procedure called ‘esterification’.
EPM301 is the only cannabinoid acid that can currently be stabilized, giving it a wide range of potential medical applications unseen in medicine before. EPM301 causes the body to suppress anxiety and nausea, according to Dr Mechoulam, and could potentially be used to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Psoriasis and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Since the 1960’s Dr Mechoulam has been able to prove that both THC and CBD have anti-nauseant properties, but his recent research proves that EPM301 is a far more potent compound. While non-medical cannabis-related drugs can treat nausea, many cause significant side effects for patients.
EPM301 currently has no known negative side effects.
Interestingly, EPM301 may have another, particularly important purpose. When comparing the cannabidiolic acids like EPM301 to existing drugs like steroids, Dr Mechoulam found that the two can be substituted for each other.
We have two groups of compounds today that need to have a replacement: these are steroids and opioids. We believe that cannabis carries the ability to introduce replacements to these families.
Opioids currently account for 67% of drug deaths worldwide, according to the UN, and are taken by over 34 million people every year. While EPM301 won’t be on the market this year, Dr Mechoulam is hopeful patients won’t be waiting long as EPM301 was recently patented by US biotechnology company EPM.
Dr Mechoulam findings are also consistent with studies of chronic pain patients, which found that medical cannabis decreases opioid use long term. You can find that study here.