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International Journal of Chemical and Biomedical Science

2016; 2(1): 1-8

Published online March 1, 2016 (


Non-cannabinoids Compounds, Cannabis Extracts,


Received: January 24, 2016 Revised: February 10, 2016 Accepted: February 12, 2016

Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis Extracts: A Review

Maria Rosana Ramirez

CITER-The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Argentine Government, Agency, Argentina

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Maria Rosana Ramirez. Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis Extracts: A Review. International Journal of Chemical and Biomedical Science. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-8.


A central tenet underlying the use of plant preparations is that herbs contain many bioactive compounds. Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) a primary metabolite with reported psychotropic effects. Therefore, the presence of THC makes controversial the use of Cannabis to treat diseases by which their uses and applications were limited. The question then is: is it possible to use the extracts from Cannabis to treat the diseases related with it use in folk medicine? More recently, the synergistic contributions of bioactive constituents have been scientifically demonstrated. We reviewed the literature concerning medical cannabis and its secondary metabolites, including fraction and total extracts. Scientific evidence shows that secondary metabolites in cannabis may enhance the positive effects of THC a primary metabolite. Other chemical components (cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid) in cannabis or its extracts may reduce THC-induced anxiety, cholinergic deficits, and immunosuppression; which could increase its therapeutic potential. Particular attention will be placed on non- cannabinoid compounds interactions that could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, epilepsy, fungal and bacterial infections. The evidence accessible herein pointed out for the possible synergism that might occur involving the main phytocompounds with each other or with other minor components.

1. Introduction

Plant extracts were regularly employed by people in prehistoric time until at the present. In ancient civilizations plant extracts were used for biomedically curative and psychotherapeutic option. Although some of the therapeutic properties attributed to natural products have proven to be erroneous, medicinal plant therapy is often based on speculation and superstition. On the other, approximately 80% of the world’s population (mainly in non-developed countries), still relies upon natural preparations for medication in primary health care. Almost 50, 000 species of plants have been used for medicinal purposes [1]. Of all the species plants with biomedicinal reports, Cannabis sativa is one of the most remarkable because it is considered to be useful for almost any use [2].

The use of the C. sativa on medicinal issues varies, and the literature reports that it is used to treat enteric infections, inflammatory conditions, disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain etc [3]. Interestingly, other biomedical benefits where the potential use of cannabis has been suggested include epilepsy, glaucoma and asthma.

The chemical composition of Cannabis sativa has been studied previously [4]. It was found to contain an enormous variety of chemicals compounds [5]. At least of the 483 chemical compounds identified are exclusive to Cannabis, the more than 60 of which are phytocannabinoids (group of C21 terpenophenolic). They are divided into 10 subtype: 1) Cannabigerol, 2) Cannabichromene, 3) Cannabidiol, 4) ∆9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, 5) ∆8

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