The cannabis plant has been found to have an abundance of active compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. While almost 150 phytocannabinoids have now been discovered within Cannabis Sativa. L, there are likely more to be discovered. This point has recently been proven as researchers recently identified a new cannabidiol n-hexyl homolog from the cannabis plant.
Cannabis has been used medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years in societies all around the world. In recent decades, scientific research has succeeded in identifying the medicinal and therapeutic potential of different compounds within the plant, with cannabinoids believed to have the most potent effects.
While many of these compounds may have strikingly similar molecular structures, their effects on humans and animals can vary significantly. For example, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the most abundant and well-known cannabinoid – has strong psychoactive effects, while delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (TCHA) – a precursor cannabinoid to THC – has limited psychoactive effects.
Cannabidihexol and Tetrahydrocannabihexol: New Cannabinoids
The isolation of new cannabinoid, Cannabidihexol (CBDH) and tetrahydrocannabihexol (THCH) were confirmed through various tests and comparisons with previously discovered compounds. According to existing literature, no cannabinoid bearing an n-hexyl sidechain has previously been discovered. Further, the ‘new’ CBDH cannabinoid was assessed for biological tests in vivo showing interesting analgesic (pain-relieving) activity at low doses in mice.
The findings on the presence of the hexyl homologs of CBD and THC (CBDH and THCH) were supported by the stereoselective synthesis of the corresponding pure standards that are found in the plant prior to decarboxylation (burning).
Potential Effects of CBDH as an Analgesic in Mice Study
Following the isolation of CBDH, the cannabinoid was tested using a formalin mice study. For this test, a recognised method – the subcutaneous application of formalin – was used to induce nociception in mice.
The tests revealed that CBDH could have pleiotropic mechanisms of action through which it can exert its pharmacological effect. Doses of 1 and 2 mg/kg were found to significantly reduce the late phase of formalin-induced pain stimulus. However, higher doses of 3 and 5mg/kg were found to be ineffective.
The researchers speculate that the dose-dependent effect of CBDH in this study could be due to the potential activation of receptor-facilitating nociception such as TRPV1, or other channels. On the other hand, at higher doses, CBDH may block receptors involved in pain relief, such as CB1 and CB2. Further studies are needed to fully understand the potential effects of this newly discovered cannabinoid.