Growing research and a deeper look into the various cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant are leading to new insights about their potential medicinal benefits. Cannabimovone (CBM) is one of these lesser-known compounds that are gaining more attention as its healing properties and benefits are uncovered.
CBM is considered a minor cannabinoid in that it is found in smaller percentages in the chemical makeup of the plant. While this distinction means that the quantity of CBM found within most strains of cannabis is far less than the major and well-known cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not imply it is of less potential importance for its therapeutic properties. In fact, CBM was shown in a 2010 study to be unique among other cannabinoids in possessing an abeo–menthane terpenoid structure.
The major cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are agonists of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARg), which is involved in energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism–and a recent study showed that CBM possesses these properties as well. The authors of this study on CBM concluded that this minor cannabinoid “promoted the expression of PPARg target genes regulating the adipocyte differentiation and prevented palmitate-induced insulin signaling impairment.”
This finding suggests that CBM is of viable use for the potential treatment of insulin resistance-type disorders such as diabetes. CBM promoted adipocyte differentiation and has similar effects to rosiglitazone, an antidiabetic drug that has been in use for several decades. By upregulating GLUT4, an insulin-regulated glucose transporter found within adipose tissue, CBM shows promise in treating insulin resistance in the same manner as commonly used pharmaceuticals.
It is important to note that CBM research still has a ways to go before it can be used as a potential treatment for the conditions described. While promising, these discoveries are still new and lack the proper trials in humans to make any definitive claims on the effectiveness of CBM to treat diabetes. Additional research is necessary to further understand how CBM and other lesser-known phytocannabinoids can impact the future of cannabis science and medicine.
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Taglialatela-Scafati O, et al. Cannabimovone, a cannabinoid with a rearranged terpenoid skeleton from hemp. Eur J Org Chem. 2010;2067-2072.
Ianotti FA, et al. Identification and characterization of cannabimovone, a cannabinoid from Cannabis sativa, as a novel PPARg agonist via a combined computational and functional study. 2020;25(5):1119.