Cannabinoids are the active phytochemicals found in marijuana which include the euphoric THC and many, many non-euphoric types. A synthetic version of one of them has reached trial stages for autoimmune and skin related diagnoses and for the life shortening genetic condition Cystic fibrosis.
I stumbled across the information while looking up whether marijuana has been found helpful for preventing or treating eczema or the autoimmune skin condition psoriasis, [link] – yes was potential answer and a specific synthetic cannabinoid was mentioned: Ajulemic acid.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science found that Cannabinoids, having anti-inflammatory properties, work to inhibit the proliferation of skin cells called keratinocytes, which play a role in causing psoriasis. [link]
Its Wikipedia page led me to the company and the clinical trials. The synthetic molecule is being purified and called Resunab by the company Corbus Pharmaceuticals. They have already been approved for Phase Two trials for the drug for four different serious diagnoses: Cystic Fibrosis, Systemic Sclerosis, Dermatomyositis, Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus. The synthetic cannabinoid activates the CB2 receptors and does not cause symptoms of euphoria as does THC, the euphoria promoting chemical found in marijuana. [Read more regarding Resunab and the clinical trials by Corbus Pharmaceuticals]
And why was I looking up eczema and psoriasis and cannabinoids? – the incredible itchiness I’ve been experiencing since only a few days off of my medical marijuana. Some autoimmune symptoms are worse and a previously tiny itchy spot is now raised scabby patches over a large area of my back – arrgh. (It’s talk like a pirate day.) My genetic study and personal life experience has proven to my satisfaction that my body needs an external source of cannabinoids — and a non-euphoric source would be nice but a euphoric source in the meantime is less itchy than having no source – for me at least and maybe for the other psoriasis patients who participated in previous research studies.
Take home point for patients with one of the four diagnoses in Stage 2 trials – contact the company for more information regarding whether they are still looking for patients to participate.
Take home point for me – I’m not 100% sure but my back is itchy, and I think the take home point is that my body needs an external source of cannabinoids and I should just accept that and adapt my life to the current realities of limited legality, limited access, difficulty traveling legally, etc. Marijuana has been found to help promote brain cell growth, prevent cancer, and help reduce inflammatory symptoms associated with autoimmune disease. And previous reading had suggested that I have a genetic problem in my keratinocytes that may be associated with, drum roll, migraines, TMJ, IBS, and eczema. I have had all of those problems for many years of my life, decades of discomfort, hours of lost time with my children, hours of reduced productivity at work.
But marijuana is a powerful drug and the strains and quality of what is available to medical patients varies greatly. It is safest when the strain has a good balance of euphoric and non-euphoric cannabinoids — both types have medical properties and affect the neurotransmitters in the brain and throughout the nervous system.
Previous (very messy collections of notes) posts on keratinocytes:
- Substance P, neuropathic pain, migraines, and the cannabinoid system
An article on Morgellons; a link, and a comment I added re keratinocytes
Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.