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Protecting brain cells with cannabinol

Apr. 22, 2024.
1 min. read 7 Interactions

CBN-inspired compounds found more neuroprotective than standard cannabinoid molecules

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Amara Angelica

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Exploring unknown unknowns

Pill and brain (credit: Salk Institute)

Scientists at the Salk Institute have begun exploring the clinical potential of a cannabinoid called CBN (cannabinol). Cannabinoids are compounds derived from the cannabis plant, like THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBD (cannabidiol).

These compounds may help people who develop an age-related neurological disorder like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. In an article in the journal Redox Biology, the scientists explain how CBN especially protects the brain against aging and neurodegeneration.

And they found that four CBN-inspired compounds were more neuroprotective than other CBN molecules.

Treating traumatic brain injury

“Many neurological disorders involve the death of neurons, due to the dysfunction of their power-generating mitochondria,” says Research Professor Pamela Maher, senior author of the study. “CBN achieves its neuroprotective effect by preventing this mitochondrial dysfunction.”

One of the CBN analogs was especially effective in treating traumatic brain injury, producing the highest survival rate after the onset of the condition.

“We’re excited to see how effective these compounds might be in protecting the brain from further damage,” says Maher. “Could we one day give this CBN analog to football players the day before a big game, or to car accident survivors as they arrive in the hospital?”

Citation: Zhibin Liang, et al. 29 Mar 2024. Fragment-based drug discovery and biological evaluation of novel cannabinol-based inhibitors of oxytosis/ferroptosis for neurological disorders. Redox Biology. 10.1016/j.redox.2024.103138 (open access)

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One thought on “Protecting brain cells with cannabinol

  1. Well, mitochondrial dysfunction being one of the hallmarks of aging and neurological disorders being strongly age related issues, this makes sense. Good to see that CBNs hold some potential here.

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