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Sanobiotec, a cannabinoid research company, has successfully produced tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – a rare cannabinoid, found in trace amounts of the cannabis plant strains. The pure ingredient will open up new research prospects for pharma, wellness industry, and other market players.
October 7, 2020. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid has gained major attention in the cannabis industry as a medically relevant compound with a wide range of applicability prospects. Sanobiotec has announced the synthesis of pure and stable THCV. In doing so, Sanobiotec joins a minor group of players in the cannabis production market who have successfully produced THCV.
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. Furthermore, the impact of the molecule is purported to extend beyond the endocannabinoid system. “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,” reports Mr Urbonas. In fact, it can differentially bind to GPR55 and TRPV1 as an antagonist or agonist depending on concentration thus triggering complex metabolic pathways that are characteristically different from cannabinoid receptors, suggesting potential therapeutic effects that are not usually attributed to cannabinoids,” reports Mr Urbonas.
THCV has been explored for treatment of multiple diseases. The compound has demonstrated efficacy in pre-clinical studies as an anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic, and neuro-protectant. Unlike its appetite stimulant counterpart – THC, THCV decreases appetite, induces satiety and enhances metabolic rate, thus making it a viable candidate for weight loss. 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. Preliminary evidence from rodent studies also suggests a potential use of THCV in treating nicotine addiction and dermatological conditions. “As cannabinoids have a lot of medical benefits to offer, it’s a boon for scientists in terms of research prospects,” says Rytis V. Urbonas.
Rimonabant, an inverse agonist and selective antagonist of the CB1 receptor was one of the pioneer drugs 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 has now single-handedly renewed interest in novel effectors of cannabinoid signaling,” states Urbonas.
As the global cannabis market focused on THC and CBD, a lot of rare compounds were left undiscovered. The discovery of THCV, one of the unique compounds found in the cannabis plant, has unlocked avenues for novel therapeutic uses. 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 now fills a critical gap in the cannabis market. The company is uniquely positioned in the market owing to its proprietary manufacturing processes which allow for optimal scaling-up at high-level efficiencies. “At Sanobiotec we have been successful in assembling a resourceful and hardworking team who have applied pharma-grade R&D in facilitating efficient cannabinoids production,” states Mr. Urbonas.
“Our THCV, which is now in its final stage of development, facilitates commercialization of this unique compound in a scale previously inaccessible. Commercialization, 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. The recent achievement continues the company’s path towards innovation as it has already successfully isolated minor cannabinoids CBN and CBC. By the end of the year, the company is planning to further expand its product portfolio by producing CBGM, CBDV, and Cannflavin A.
With the imminent arrival of THCV in the market, the time is now opportune for pharma, wellness industry, and other market players to explore its unique properties in the treatment of chronic and life-threatening diseases.
Sanobiotec is a cannabinoid science company committed to identification, development, and formulation of innovative active compounds via natural hemp extraction, synthesis, and biosynthesis. Headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania, the company operates a state-of-the-art laboratory and develops proprietary technological solutions designed for the production of natural and custom compounds. Sanobiotec is also engaged in scientific research projects investigating the potential of cannabinoid-based medications used for treatment of specific diseases.