CSG MedLab

5 March 2019

What is CBDV? – A scientific update

A scientific summary of what we know about CBDV so far.

By Fran Cà

A simplified summary of CBDv (Cannabidivarin) 

For the full and scientific summary, scroll down.

CBDv is part of the “Varin” cannabinoid family and is closely related to CBD. Even though the compound was first discovered in 1969 by Dr Vollner, research on the therapeutic benefits of this cannabinoid is in its early stages.  

Medicinal benefits of CBDv

Although the research surrounding CBDv is relatively new, scientists have shown promising results that point to the fact that CBDv may help treat or relieve the symptoms in regards to the following medical conditions:

– CBDv may have potential as an anti-seizure medication for epilepsy by modulating the activity of the TRPV1-receptor.

– CBDv also seems to modulate the activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that is also linked with several other neurological disorders (including epilepsy).

– CBDv seems to be of particular interest in the research of rare diseases like Fragile-X-Syndrome (1) and Rett Syndrome (3)

– Further studies are being done on the benefits that CBDv brings to pain-, inflammatory disease, and obesity management.

– There are also promising signs that CBDv may support or stimulate the growth of stem cells (MSCs) in our bone marrow.

CBDv and the entourage effect 

According to early research, it seems that CBDv’s beneficial effects on epilepsy are multiplied by combining it with the terpene Linalool. And for the stimulation of stem cell growth, a combination of CBDv and THCv seems to be more effective.

A scientific summary of Cannabidivarin (CBDv)

Cannabidivarin, also known as cannabidivarol or CBDV, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid isolated for the first time by Doctor Vollner and colleagues in 1969. This compound is biosynthesized by an acidic precursor called cannabidivarinic acid or CBDVA, which is converted into CBDV through a reaction, known as decarboxylation, involving the loss of a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule following the exposure to heat and UV light.

Propyl-tailed analogue of CBD

Under acidic conditions, CBDV can be converted into another member of “varin family” — THCV, through a series of structural rearrangements (reaction defined isomerization). From a structural point of view, CBDV is very similar to CBD, except for the side chain, which is shorter in CBDV and is called “propyl-tailed” (figure 1). Therefore, CBDV can be defined as a “propyl-tailed analogue” of CBD.

Figure 1.

CBDV
CBD

Medicinal benefits of CBDV

Although identified over thirty years ago, the research on CBDV’s pharmacological effects is relatively recent. Like its counterpart CBD, CBDV has demonstrated a potent anti-seizure activity both in animal and human epilepsy models. The mechanism underlying this anti-epileptic activity of both compounds is thought not to occur through the activation or blocking of cannabinoid receptors (CB1-R and CB2-R). Rather, they act by modulating the activity of another receptor called “transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1” (TRPV1) – also known as capsaicin receptor – involved in the onset and progression of several types of epilepsy.
Furthermore, CBDV seems to also modulate the activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in several neurological disorders including epilepsy. Such anti-epileptic action is potentiated by the entourage effect of Linalool, a terpene responsible for the floral, spicy and slight citrus fragrance of some cannabis strains.

CBDV has also shown to inhibit an enzyme called “diacylglycerol (DAG) lipase-α”, which is highly expressed in the nervous- and immune system and responsible for the synthesis of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), the principal endocannabinoid in the central nervous system.
DAG lipase-α is emerging as a therapeutic target for the treatment of a range of conditions including Fragile-X-Syndrome (1), pain, inflammatory diseases, and obesity (*). Together with D9-THCV, CBDV also seems to stimulate the recruitment of stem cells present in bone marrow (called “mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs”) with a treatment efficacy of 100%.

(*) Of note, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently given CBDV the orphan designation (2) for the treatment of Rett Syndrome (3) (2017) and Fragile X Syndrome (2018).

Definitions:

(1) Fragile-X-Syndrome: Fragile-X-Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females.

(2) Orphan designation: The so-called ‘orphan drugs’ are intended to treat diseases so rare that investors are reluctant to develop them under usual market conditions.

(3) Rett Syndrome: A brain disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls. After the first year of life, girls with Rett Syndrome develop severe problems with language and communication, learning, coordination, and other brain functions.

Bibliography:

  • Drugbank- cannabidivarin. https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB14050
  • European Medicine Agency (EMA)_cannabidivarin_Rett Syndrome.
  • European Medicine Agency (EMA)_cannabidivarin_Fragile X Syndrome.
  • Hill TD, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;170(3):679-92.
  • Iannotti FA, et al. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2014;5(11):1131-41.
  • Morano A, et al. Epilepsia Open. 2016;1(3-4):145-151.
  • Rock EM, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;170(3):671-8.
  • Russo EB. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-64.
  • Singh PK, et al. Biosci Rep. 2016;36(3). pii: e00331.
  • Wilkerson JL, et al. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2017;363(3):394-401.

Post author
Fran Ca
Fran Cà is Coffeeshop Guru's in-house medicinal cannabis expert and all-around science nerd. She scours the latest research papers with pin-point precision to keep you up-to-date on the most recent developments and thrilling discoveries surrounding the awesome power of cannabis.
See more from Fran Ca

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