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Federal Health Agencies Offer Funding For Studies on Rare Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Interest in the therapeutic potential of rare cannabinoids and terpenes continues to grow. The nation’s medical research agency is now offering funding for scientific studies on these unique compounds found in cannabis and hemp.

Multiple agencies under the NIH (National Institutes of Health) umbrella are urging research into CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichromene), CBDV (cannabidivarin), THCV (tetrahyrdocannabivarin), as well as CBD (cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids. Studies would look at many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, alcohol use disorder, migraine and stroke. They also want to fund studies on terpenes including myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, linalool, pinene, and humulene.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that cannabis plants may have potential in the treatment of pain, nausea, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy, obesity, wasting disease, substance use disorders, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions,” reads the Notice of Special Interest. They want analyze the different potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis/hemp by focusing on each minor cannabinoid and terpene separated from the psychoactive properties of delta-9-THC.

The cannabinoids CBD and THC have received the most attention from researchers, but there are more than 110 other cannabinoids and more than 120 different terpenes present in cannabis and hemp. Some of these rarer cannabinoids show promise for treating various conditions, but there is still much to learn about their therapeutic potential.

Similarly, terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. These molecules may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but more research is needed, the notice says.

To see existing research on each cannabinoid click on its name and scroll down to the “scientific studies” section. There you will find links to medical research and animal studies: CBC, CBDA, CBD, CBDV, CBGA, CBG, CBN, THCV, Terpenes.

The group of federal health agencies are asking for applicants to apply for funding for studies in specific areas of interest. They want to see if rare cannabinoids and terpenes could be used in therapies for the following:

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

  • Pain pathways
  • Connection with the microbiome
  • How specific terpenes may influence the pain relieving properties of minor cannabinoids
  • Multifaceted approaches to pain relief

National Cancer Institute

  • How rare cannabinoids and terpenes influence immune function and inflammation during cancer therapy
  • How these cannabinoids, alone or in combination, change cancer signaling pathways and influence outcomes
  • Studying potential adverse effects in cancer treatment
  • How cannabinoids and terpenes may work in the management of cancer symptoms

National Eye Institute

Examining rare cannabinoids and terpenes in the treatment of:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Uveitis (inflammation inside the eye).

National Institute on Aging

How minor cannabinoids and terpenes may affect:

  • Age-related cognitive decline
  • Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep
  • Aging-related changes in the endocannabinoid system (kidneys, muscle, bone, nervous system etc.)
  • Other chronic conditions.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

  • Research into the role of the endocannabinoid system in alcohol use disorder
  • Development of medications for alcohol use disorder targeting the endocannabinoid pathways
  • CBD, rare cannabinoids, and terpenes to treat alcohol use disorder
  • Studying brain functions shared by alcohol use disorder and cannabis use disorder

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

  • Research into how cannabinoids and terpenes can affect the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of oral, dental and craniofacial diseases.
  • Studies on the pain-relieving, immune-mediating, anti-inflammatory potential and therapeutic uses of minor cannabinoids and terpenes.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Minor cannabinoids and terpenes effects on neurological disorders, including:

  • pain
  • migraine
  • headache
  • epilepsy
  • movement disorders
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • stroke

Office of Research on Women’s Health

Potential of cannabis and hemp derivatives use for these the following diseases specifically in women:

  • pain
  • cancer
  • glaucoma
  • autoimmune disorders (including multiple sclerosis)
  • obesity