Sanobiotec has synthesised pure and stable THCV, joining a minor group of players in the cannabis production market who have successfully done so
Sanobiotec has produced tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid, found in trace amounts of the cannabis plant strains. The pure ingredient will open research prospects for pharma, wellness industry, and other market players, the company says.
The human endocannabinoid system includes two primary receptors – cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2). A variety of endogenous compounds in the body interact with these receptors to regulate emotion, movement, memory, behavior, and social interaction. THCV is a structural analog of THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. However, unlike THC which functions by activating CB1 and CB2, THCV functions as a neutral antagonist.
“At low doses, THCV competes and displaces other molecules to inhibit CB1 and CB2, but at higher doses, the compound works to activate CB1. It is this unique mechanism that sets it apart in the cannabinoid repertoire,” explains Rytis V. Urbonas, CEO at Sanobiotec. “The compound incites novel antipsychotic effects by enhancing the binding capability of 5HT1A receptors. Consequently, the compound has rapidly gained interest as a treatment for Schizophrenia”.
THCV has been explored for treatment of multiple diseases. The compound has shown promise in pre-clinical studies as an anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic, and neuro-protectant. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, THCV was successful in lowering plasma glucose and improving pancreatic cell function in 62 subjects. The compound has also been successful in inhibiting L-DOPA induced tremors in Parkinson’s disease.
Rimonabant, an inverse agonist and selective antagonist of the CB1 receptor was one drug to be developed in this arena. Approved for the treatment of obesity in 2006, the drug demonstrated significant blood sugar and weight reduction in obese patients.
Moreover, THCV demonstrated high tolerance and safety in a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
THCV is a rare minor cannabinoid, found only in some strains of the cannabis plant. As a consequence, very few producers have been successful in obtaining a substantial amount of product.
In developing a stable and pure THCV, Sanobiotec says it now fills a critical gap in the cannabis market. The company’s proprietary manufacturing processes which allow for efficient scaling up.
“Our THCV, which is now in its final stage of development, facilitates commercialisation of this unique compound in a scale previously inaccessible. Commercialisation, in turn, drives interest and funding in clinical research. So we might find more novel uses for this compound in the next decade,” he notes. By the end of the year, the company is planning to further expand its product portfolio by producing CBGM, CBDV, and Cannflavin A.