• Research & Development

Products OverviewOur products, broadly described, are medical cannabinoid products developed from one or more of the cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Cannabis sativa is one of the most widely used plants for both recreational and medicinal purposes. To date a total of 525 natural constituents covering several chemical classes have been isolated and identified from Cannabis sativa. The cannabinoids belong to the chemical class of terpenophenolics, of which 85 have been uniquely identified in cannabis, including the most psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol commonly referred to as THC.

The most common natural plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) are: THC, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN). Several of the identified cannabinoids are both chemically and pharmacologically poorly characterized; however, the pharmacology of THC has been widely studied, and it is regarded as the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Cannabinoids were first discovered in the 1940s, when CBD and CBN were identified. THC was not identified until 1964, but by that time cannabinoids had been removed from the pharmacopeiae of most countries, making further research on the plant difficult.

There are three general types of cannabinoids:

  1. Phytocannabinoids, that occur uniquely in the cannabis plant.
  2. Endogenous cannabinoids produced naturally in many animal species including humans.
  3. Synthetic cannabinoids compounds produced in a laboratory. Forms of synthetic THC are available by prescription in a number of countries, including the US. In the US, marketed as Marinol®.

Phytocannabinoids, also called natural cannabinoids, herbal cannabinoids, and classical cannabinoids, are only known to occur naturally in significant quantity in the cannabis plant. They are concentrated in a viscous resin that is produced in glandular structures known as trichomes, and are most prevalent in the flowers of the female plants.

Cannabinoid receptors in the human body were not discovered until 1988. CB1 receptors are found throughout the body and are the most prevalent neurotransmitter system in the brain, specifically in the basal ganglia and in the limbic system, including the hippocampus. They are also found in the cerebellum and in both male and female reproductive systems.

CB2 receptors are found most exclusively in the immune system, with the greatest density in the spleen. CB2 receptors appear to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and possibly other therapeutic effects of cannabis. CB2 receptors appear in any tissue when there is pathology.

The endocannabinoid system refers to a group of neuromodulators and receptors involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. The system is named for endocannabinoids, the endogenous lipids that bind cannabinoid receptors.

Science increasingly recognizes the role that endo-cannabinoids play in major life functions in the human body. Cannabinoids act as a bio regulatory mechanism, which explains why they have been recommended as a treatment for many diseases and ailments in anecdotal reports and scientific literature. Common prescribed ailments include: Pain, arthritic conditions, migraine headaches, anxiety, epileptic seizures, insomnia, loss of appetite, GERD (chronic heartburn), nausea, glaucoma, AIDS wasting syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder (particularly depression-manic-normal), multiple sclerosis, menstrual cramps, Parkinson's, trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, and bladder incontinence.

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People Behind the Scenes

Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph.D.
"The endocannabinoid system provides unique opportunities for regulating homeostasis to promote health with phyto-cannabinoid based pharmaceuticals."
Meet Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph.D. >