Synopsis: Study Reveals 21 New Cannabinoids
This week’s Hot Article, Study Reveals 21 New Cannabinoids, written by Pat Beggan and published by Ganjapreneur is a look at evidence that researchers in British Columbia have uncovered about additional cannabinoids and how THC and CBD may not be as important to effect profiles as once thought.
Using 33 strains collected by researchers from five different licensed producers in the Canadian medical cannabis market, UV spectrum was used to classify the different chemical compounds present. To the surprise of the scientist, the extractions presented 21 additional cannabinoid-like compounds were found that had been previously unidentified.
The tests on the extractions revealed that the differences between the strains only accounted for 36% of their overall chemical makeups. The remaining 64% of chemical differences are being attributed to other cannabinoids including the 21 newly identified ones. The interesting and complicated relationships between chemical compounds that correlated with higher THC production were different than other cannabinoids that were associated with higher CBD production.
The overall goal of this study was not to find these additional cannabinoids nor was it to prove that the distinct effects of cannabis strains were tied to their THC or CBD content and combination alone. The researches had set out to prove that the spectrum of possible effects is much wider than had been believed previously. They did just that with their findings. The researchers also determined that years of specifically breeding cannabis for the purpose of elevated THC levels harm the plant’s diversity through a condition called “Domestic Syndrome.”
In fact, this harmful effect on cannabis plants has caused many strains with THC levels higher than 20% to seemingly lose the chemical ability to produce CDB. The prevalence of the formerly unidentified cannabinoids was lower in THC-rich strains. This finding also indicated that these strains affected by Domestic Syndrome may have lost the ability to produce other cannabinoids indefinitely.
Researchers concluded that most of the strains they sampled were closely related and CBD and THC were only a small piece of the puzzle when using cannabinoids to classify strains by their effect. Further research will be needed to understand the newly identified cannabinoids and the part they play in shaping the effects of cannabis.
Science is an important part of the cannabis industry. There is so much more to learn about this ancient plant that has been previously unknown. It is important to stress the need for research and funding directed at research is at an all-time high. The Canadian government seems to understand this well and we should all support and voice our collective voices in the United States for more independent research to be done on cannabis and its effects.