MAY 01, 2024 5:03 AM PDT

Researchers Create Neuroprotective Compounds Modeled after Cannabinol (CBN)

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A study examining the neuroprotective properties of cannabinol (CBN) found that the cannabinoid compound can potentially minimize the adverse effects of aging and neurodegeneration. The findings published in Redox Biology suggest CBN can play a pivotal role in new therapies for treating Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and traumatic brain injury. 

The degeneration of brain cells called neurons characterizes many neurological disorders and results in mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction results in inefficiencies in the electron transport chain and reduced synthesis of high-energy molecules. CBN prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibits oxytosis/ferroptosis, but how this mechanism works was unclear before this study. Oxytosis/ferroptosis is cell death caused by iron and oxidative stress. The study provided valuable insights into CBN's antioxidant activities and modulation of mitochondrial function.  

The Salk Institute researchers identified the active groups in CBN involved in neuroprotective mechanisms. Then, the research team created derivative compounds that have greater neuroprotective efficacy. They first divided CBN into small fragments and used chemical analysis to determine the most effective neuroprotectants. The researchers then created four novel CBN analogs and applied them to mouse and human nerve cell cultures. They noted that each of the four analogs protected the cells from dying. The analogs also shared similar neuroprotective abilities with regular CBN. CBN analogs inhibited oxytosis/ferroptosis in cell-based phenotypic screening and prevented mitochondrial dysfunction in brain cells.

The research team found that the analogs inspired by CBN were more neuroprotective than the CBN molecule. In particular, one was highly effective in treating traumatic brain injury in a Drosophila fruit fly model. This analog produced the highest survival rate after the condition's onset.

Novel treatments for age-related neurological conditions are crucial since the risk of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases increases for individuals aged 65 and older. 

Sources: Eureka News Alert, Redox Biology


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
Loading Comments...