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2021 Study: Pharmacology & Toxicology of Cannabis Roots

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

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A May 2021 study entitled "Cannabis Roots: Pharmacological and Toxicological Studies in Mice" that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the biochemical dynamics and potential medicinal role of cannabis roots in an experiment involving rodents.

The study declared that its goal was to evaluate "the anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic [antispasmodic] effects, as well as the toxicological profile, of the aqueous extract of cannabis roots in mice."

The Study

"For the single-dose toxicity study, we administered CsAqEx [aqueous extract of cannabis roots] at the dose of 1000 mg/kg by gavage. In a repeated dose toxicity study, animals received CsAqEx at doses of 25 mg or 100 mg/kg for 28 days," reported the study's authors.

"The cannabis roots showed anti-inflammatory activity...presenting a reduction in edema formation."

The research found that the aqueous solution of the cannabis roots (CsAqEx) "inhibited the migration of leukocytes at the doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg. The CsAqEx showed anti-inflammatory activity...presenting a reduction in edema formation at all tested doses."

Regarding toxicity, the scientists "did not observe clinical signs of toxicity in the animals after acute treatment with CsAqEx, which suggested that the median lethal dose (LD50) is greater than 1000 mg/kg." They noted that repeated doses of the CsAqEx solution derived from the roots of marijuana plants "did not produce significant changes in hematological, biochemical, or organ histology parameters."

THC in Cannabis Roots

The study utilized cannabis roots "collected (latitude 08°59'25" south and longitude 39°54'34" west) and donated by the Brazilian Federal Police as a result of seizures in illegal plantations in the 'Vale do São Francisco,' in a region popularly known as the marijuana polygon, located between the states of Bahia and Pernambuco" in Brazil.

"As expected, we found low levels of Δ9-THC, 0.1–0.3 percent in the stems and less or equal to 0.03 percent in the roots."

"As expected, we found low levels of Δ9-THC, 0.1–0.3 percent in the stems and less or equal to 0.03 percent in the roots," reported the research. It noted that these numbers indicate a "low psychotropic potential" of the roots of the plant.

The study's authors reported that this was "the first study demonstrating the anti-inflammatory and antiasthmatic potential" of marijuana roots and that they did not affect the motor coordination or mobility of the test subjects. They also noted that the roots "showed low oral toxicity in single-dose and repeated doses."

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