Cannabis Components 30 Times as Potent as Aspirin

Until international prohibition, cannabis was in many countries legally used for medical purposes. Due to prohibition, though, research suffered — was impossible — and because of that we have been deprived of two marijuana components which researchers estimate to be 30 times as strong as aspirin. And much healthier.

With more than 400 compounds, marijuana is one of the most complex plants known. More so even, several components of marijuana such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol have opposing effects. This all adds to the intrigue — and interest — of the plant.

But due to marijuana’s scheduled status research has been mostly impossible so far. Thus we ended up in the ridiculous situation that researchers have for decades known about two compounds of marijuana, which are estimated to be 30 times as strong as aspirin. And, of course, safer due to their natural origin.

The compounds, Cannflavin A and Cannflavin Bm — two flavonoids — have strong anti-inflammatory properties without the health negatives coming from long-term anti-inflammatory use.

But, so far, there has been an issue with both Cannflavin as they are present in only very minimal levels in cannabis. You could basically grow a whole attic of marijuana and you would still not have sufficient of both. Additionally, they are very difficult to extract.

” You can’t just grow fields and fields of the plant and expect to get enough of the bioactive compound out of them, because they’re in such low amounts and, since they’re complex chemicals, they’re hard to get at. Extracting and purifying them is possible, but it’s not economically viable.”
— Tariq Akhtar, assistant professor at University of Guelph to the Toronto Star

In other words, there is no way that Cannflavin A and Cannflavin Bm in their natural form could ever compete with Aspirine or Paracetamol commercially. It would just be too expensive.

Modern Science and Legalization to the Rescue

Luckily, progress in science has made much possible and Akhtar. And the team recently completed a research project which helped them identify the genes in marijuana responsible for the production of Cannflavin A and Cannflavin Bm.

while the team haven’t yet proceeded creating their own Cannflavins, the identification of the DNA strains responsible is a first major step on the path to a potential healthier over-the-counter alternative to Aspirin and Paracetamol. Akhtar is even hopeful that due to the strength of both compounds, future applications may contribute ending the opioids endemic.

” What’s interesting about the molecules in cannabis is that they actually stop inflammation at the source. And most natural products don’t have the toxicity that’s associated with over-the-counter pain relief drugs, which, even though they’re very effective, do come with health risks. So, looking at natural products as an alternative is a very attractive model.”

while the components have been known since the 80s, it was only thanks to the legalization of marijuana in Canada that Akhtar and his could proceed with their research, and start a possibly groundbreaking cornerstone for a healthier alternative medicine society.

”We wouldn’t have been able to do this if it wasn’t for the climate right now in this country really pushing people like us to do this research”
— Tariq Akhtar, assistant professor at University of Guelph to the Toronto Star

While in the USA the DoJ still holds research up, in recent months we have seen many positive legal initiatives. Of course, Canada leads the zeitgeist due to its legal marijuana, and the EU has also incited its member nations to proceed with medical marijuana use research.

Another country which has taken medical marijuana serious is Israel, which hopes to return to the top of the pyramid when it comes to cannabis science. More than 50 years after Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered THC, Israel is once again among the leading cannabis research nations, backed with an according legal framework already.


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