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A 2020 study entitled "Identification of a New Cannabidiol N-hexyl Homolog in a Medicinal Cannabis Variety with an Antinociceptive Activity in Mice: Cannabidihexol" published in the journal Scientific Reports identified two new cannabinoids produced by cannabis: CBDH (cannabidihexol) and THCH (tetrahydrocannabihexol).
The research not only discovered these new cannabinoids, but isolated enough CBDH to experiment on rodent subjects (mice) and learn that this molecule might act as an analgesic and reduce pain.
Study: CBDH & THCH Cannabinoids Discovered
The study, conducted by Italian researchers, continued a series of research investigations by the team. In December 2019, the same scientists released a study that identified two new cannabinoids (CBDP and THCP), as well as a theorized—but never found in the wild until then—family of cannabinoids called phorals.
"In this work we report a new series of phytocannabinoids that fills the gap between the pentyl and heptyl homologs of CBD and Δ9-THC, bearing a n-hexyl side chain...that we named cannabidihexol (CBDH) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabihexol (Δ9-THCH), respectively," reported the pioneering scientists.
The researchers were able to achieve this feat partly due to the availability of highly sensitive modern testing equipment, including high-resolution mass spectrometry. Such technology allows more accurate identification of cannabinoids and other molecules in a cannabis sample "even when present in very small traces" (a significant issue in prior studies lacking this type of technology).
Many CBDH Cannabinoid Discoveries
CBDH & THCH Cannabinoids Discovered. The study reported that it "expanded the scope of cannabinoid identification, completing the series of homologs with different alkyl side chain from three to seven methylene units." It explained that, prior to its investigation, only cannabinoids featuring an odd number of carbon atoms on the side chain have been reported.
"Prior to its investigation, only cannabinoids featuring an odd number of carbon atoms on the side chain have been reported."
This was the first time that a naturally occurring cannabinoid featuring a side chain comprised of an even number of carbon atoms on the side chain (until this study, scientists believed cannabinoids featuring an even number of carbon atoms to be artifacts resulting from fungal oxidation).
The researchers recommended that the origin and full biosynthetic pathway of these new cannabinoids "should be investigated as this might disclose new insights in the cannabis biochemistry."
CBDH & THCH Cannabinoids Discovered: Conclusions
The study concluded that its results contribute "another piece of knowledge toward understanding Cannabis Sativa L. cannabinoma." It stated that it was able to isolate CBDH and evaluate its pharmacological activity in mice. It reported that CBDH demonstrated nocifensive (antinociceptive; pain reducing) characteristics at extremely low doses.
In a demonstration of what scientists call a biphasic response curve, the study reported that at low to moderate doses, CBDH may be a powerful analgesic. However, at more potent doses, the researchers think it may block CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, resulting in no pain relief whatsoever.
CBDH Cannabinoid Human Trials Necessary
This is a good example of why dosing is so critical to the successful administration of cannabinoids for medical conditions and why double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials involving humans are critically necessary for the real-world integration of such phytochemicals into modern medicinal therapies and wellness regimens.
The researchers hypothesized that the potential pain-relieving characteristics of CBDH might be the result of it binding with special TRPV cellular receptors, particularly the TRPV1 type. These receptors are involved in pain, the perception of pain, and the regulation of body temperature.
"CBDH demonstrated nocifensive (analgesic, or pain reducing) characteristics at extremely low doses."
Unfortunately, the volume of THCH gathered was too low to test it on the mice. It should be stressed that this is very preliminary research that has triggered the need for many additional studies that build on the information discovered here. "More in-depth pharmacological studies are currently underway to clarify the mechanism of action of this new phytocannabinoid" reported the scientists.
This leading-edge research is so new that no products featuring CBDH or THCH have been introduced to market. Extensive preclinical and clinical trials are first necessary before these phytocannabinoids can successfully and with confidence be administered to humans for medicinal purposes.
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