Mechoulam was possibly the most significant academic to shed light on the active principles of cannabis back in the 1960s, when his work at the Weizmann Institute led to the discovery of the human endo-cannabinoid system.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, also known as the “father of cannabis research,” revealed his latest discovery, cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (EPM301), only a few months ago. The introduction of this new, patented compound (synthetic, fully stable acid-based cannabinoid molecules) caused a wave of excitement around the future of medicinal cannabis.
The compound in question was presented to the world in partnership with EPM, a global biotechnology company based in the U.S. that aims to bridge the gap between the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries.
During a recent, exclusive conversation, CEO Reshef Swisa and Dr. Mechoulam, shared the history of the journey behind this revolutionary process and its significance in evolving the use of CBD as a pharmaceutical drug. Meet EPM301 “EPM developed a method to work with the original substances of cannabis,” the Professor explained. “So, while everybody is discussing THC and CBD, these cannabinoids are actually a secondary substance; they only appear later in the plant.
“Originally there is an acid that appears in the plant, and those acids are these mysterious worlds of compounds that are much more potent than cannabinoids,” he added.
However, these cannabidiolic acids were unstable, and therefore useless in pharmaceutical drug development. Until now, that is.
Mechoulam’s recent revelation stems from the development of a method that allows to modify the acids in a way that keeps them stable enough to allow for their large-scale use. This opens the door for further pharmaceutical experiments, the professor explained.
“We took a cannabidiol acid and we stabilized it by a simple chemical procedure, called esterification; then the compound is stable,” Swisa explained.
The team then “started looking at the activities of this compound…and found that this particular compound causes suppression of anxiety and suppression of nausea,” he continued, adding that this could make a huge difference in cancer patients on chemotherapy, as well as patients with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) or Psoriasis. Innovating At 88 That CBD and THC can help with a long list of conditions from inflammation and anxiety, to depression and nausea, has been known for quite some time now.
In fact, Mechoulam was possibly the most significant academic to shed light on the active principles of the cannabis plant back in the 1960s, when his work at the Weizmann Institute led to the discovery of the human endo-cannabinoid system, crowning him the “father of cannabis research.”