CBN Cannabinol Explained


When we look at the construction of cannabis, we find that it has over 80 cannabinoids. Until recently, tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) was the only cannabinoid anyone seemed to care about. Thankfully recent research, particularly about cannabidiol (CBD), has brought about an intense interest in all the cannabinoids.

As is the case in many of the known cannabinoids, cannabinol (CBN) stems from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) in cannabis. The plant naturally produces enzymes (aka synthases) that convert the CBGA to one of 3 major cannabinoids: cannabichromene carboxylic acid (CBCA), cannabidiol carboxylic acid (CBDA), and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THCA).

When the plant develops THCA, it usually will be converted to THC as a result of heat or UV light. That being said, THCA can be converted to CBNA over time as well. Prolonged exposure to air causes the THCA to lose hydrogen molecules and oxidize; now we have CBNA. Just like the rest of the acidic cannabinoids, CBNA will convert to cannabinol (CBN) when exposed to heat or UV light.

Cannabis is widely used as a sleep-aid for those who suffer from insomnia and cannabinol is the reason why. By all accounts, CBN is the cannabinoid responsible for the sedative effects of cannabis. Because of this, I tend to reserve high-CBN strains for night use.

Another use for cannabinol as an anti-bacterial. According to a Italian study from 2008, cannabinol “showed potent activity against MRSA” when applied as a topical. Topical uses also have shown promise in treating burns and psoriasis.

The research on cannabinol (CBN) is still lacking, but some early studies have suggested it could stimulate bone growth. If that’s the case, it would be helpful in treating osteoporosis. It could also help those with broken bones to recover more quickly.

When searching for the perfect strain, it’s important to know what you’re getting. This is why lab-testing should never be overlooked. Testing facilities like Steep Hill Lab in California give patients a complete cannabinoid profile of their medicine. It’s always a good idea to check a strains profile before making a decision.

Because cannabinol is a production of degradation, it’s not usually found in high concentrations (in a collective). High levels of CBN are usually related to poor storage methods. If cannabis is stored in an airtight container of some sort, it’s unlikely that a lot of THC would convert to CBN.

Luckily, not all is lost if you’re searching your collective for a sleep-aid. The simple solution would be to allow you’re medicine to age a bit. When exposed to the air, the THC will begin to degrade and convert to CBN, a great way to fight insomnia.

via: Medical Jane

Medical Marijuana vs Melanoma


An in-vitro and in-vivo study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in February 2015 found that treatment with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) helped to decrease the viability of melanoma cells.

Cells perform autophagy, a process designed to clean out intracellular debris (e.g. old cell parts [organelles], proteins that are no longer needed, etc.) with the help of lysosomes (organelles that contain enzymes that help to break down proteins, fats, sugars, DNA and RNA building blocks, etc.). Previously collected evidence has shown that in the first phases of cancer development, autophagy is useful in helping to prevent cancerous growth. 

However, in later stages, autophagy may actually contribute to the formation of cancer by providing resources to cancer cells that help in maintaining survival. In this study, researchers explored whether or not cannabinoids could induce apoptosis (i.e. programmed cell death), and what role autophagy played in this induction, in melanoma cells.

Studying human melanoma cells in-vitro (i.e. outside of the body), researchers found that administration of THC helped to increase melanoma cell death by way of autophagy-dependent apoptosis, possibly by way of the following pathway:
  • THC leads to creation of a fat called sphingolipid ceramide.
  • Sphingolipid ceramide leads to (1) stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; the smooth ER is a part of the cell involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, as well as detoxification, and the rough ER is a part of the cell involved in protein synthesis) and (2) prevention of the Akt/mTORC1 signaling pathways (which prevent apoptosis by inhibiting autophagy, and lead to increased protein production, helping to keep cells alive and functioning properly) through activation of the protein TRIB3.
  • This stress and prevention of pathways leading to increased cell survival may lead to increased death of melanoma cells.
The researchers note, “when lower doses of THC are combined with CBD the anti-tumour effect was enhanced in vitro”. While the use of THC alone helped to decrease melanoma cell survival, use of a caspase inhibitor (i.e. an agent that prevents activation of enzymes that induce apoptosis) helped to increase melanoma cell death even further. Importantly, while THC helped to increase cell death in melanoma cells in a dose-dependent manner (i.e. the higher the concentration used, the more cell death that occurred), there was no increase in cell death in normal melanocytes (up to a THC concentration of 6 ┬ÁM, which is beyond the concentration needed to induce cancer cell death). Therefore, THC treatment destroyed abnormal/cancerous melanocytes, but, importantly, did not destroy normal cells.

These results add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that cannabinoids may be useful for the treatment of various types of cancer (breast, prostate, lung, skin, pancreatic, brain, bladder cancer, leukemia). Specifically, they demonstrate that the use of phytocannabinoids may be useful in the treatment of both BRAF-mutated and BRAF-wildtype (i.e. “normal” BRAF) melanoma. This is especially important for patients with BRAF-wildtype melanoma, given the limited treatment options for this form.

In contrast to alkylating agents used in chemotherapy treatment, phytocannabinoids have so far shown to have a highly favorable safety profile, which provides an additional rationale for increasing research on whether or not cannabinoid therapies are effective for the treatment of cancer, including melanoma.

More at: Medical Jane

BCP the Cancer Fighting Terpene


Beta-caryophyllene, also known as BCP, is a terpene that contributes to the spiciness of black pepper and is also present in oregano, cloves, hops, rosemary, and cannabis. It was first synthesized in 1964, but it wasn’t until 2008 that European scientists discovered that it has cannabinoid-like properties. Like many other cannabinoids and terpenes, BCP targets the body’s CB2 receptors, ignoring the CB1 receptors that are involved in delivering the euphoric high associated with cannabis and, more specifically, the THC cannabinoid.

BCP is often categorized as a cannabinoid, not a terpene, because of how it binds to CB2 cannabinoid receptors. It is not only found in several legal herbs and spices, but is even an FDA-approved food additive. For this reason, some sources label BCP the “first dietary cannabinoid.”

Because it targets CB2 receptors and delivers no high, BCP is an effective way to medicate while avoiding any alteration in perception or motor skills. It can be used to treat several inflammatory disorders, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Like its cousins pinene and limonene, BCP has also been shown to fight cancer, reduce anxiety and depression, and has even been found to be gastroprotective — meaning it can be used to treat ulcers.

BCP also is helpful for those suffering from atherosclerosis and osteoporosis and can even increases bone mass and blocks pain signals, all while avoiding any interference with the nervous system. Because so many other cannabinoids and terpenes act as analgesics (pain killers), BCP is more evidence of the entourage effect, a theory explaining how a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids work synergistically to improve health or fight disease.

A study published in 2014 in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior revealed that a variety of cannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors and may help in the treatment of alcoholism. In the study, researchers injected BCP into animal models and found that activating CB2 receptors resulted in decreased ethanol (alcohol) consumption and preference.

Because BCP is not exclusive to cannabis and has been approved by the FDA as a food additive, it is fully legal. There is tremendous opportunity for food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and herbal remedies to utilize BCP as a tool in the fight against a long list of ailments, including cancer, depression, ulcers, pain, and even osteoporosis.

Much More at: Whaxy

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