An interdisciplinary research project is underway between Precision Plant Molecules (PPM) and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine to understand how minor cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid and serotonin receptors.

The two institutions have completed initial cell signalling with the minor cannabinoids being produced and purified at PPM. 

The research explores agonistic and antagonistic effects of minor cannabinoids on the CB1 (cannabinoid receptor) and 5-HT1a (serotonin receptor). 

PPM’s chief growth officer and senior scientist Dr Andrea Holmes

The team is using delta 9-THC (a CB1 partial agonist), WIN 55,212-2 (a CB1 full agonist) and 8-OH-DPAT (a 5-HT1a agonist) as comparison. 

Initial results indicate that some minor cannabinoids such as CBC, CBDV, CBT, CBN and CBG have very little agonistic activity on the CB1 receptor, potentially explaining their non-psychotropic effects.

The study is being overseen by University of South Carolina School of Medicine Dr Kenneth Walsh and Dr Kandy Velazquez

PPM chief growth officer and senior scientist Dr Andrea Holmes said the study was one of several research initiatives at the company.  

Long term, the study aims to fill a knowledge gap by understanding what type of cannabinoids activate or deactivate the CB1, CB2 and 5-HT1a receptors and also determine the ability of the cannabinoids to relieve neuropathic pain.