Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain
1. This article investigates the history of medicinal Cannabis root use along with its modern medicinal potential.
2. Cannabis root has been used medicinally since the time of Pliney the Elder. Throughout the ages it has been recommended to treat, quote – fever, inflammation, gout, arthritis, and joint pain – unquote, along with many other ailments. Surprisingly, even with its long history of medicinal use, little has been done with cannabis root by modern medicine.
3. Page 1 of the article offers a chart of all known historical medicinal uses of Cannabis root.
4. A number of specific examples are found throughout the last 400 years in which Cannabis root is boiled, quote – and applied topically to treat gout and arthritis – unquote.
5. Boiled Cannabis root was also administered both topically and orally to treat fever as far back as the 12th century.
6. Inflammation was also treated in a similar way by boiling the root and applying topically. This was seen as early as 500 years ago and was consistent across multiple geographic regions.
7. As a topical treatment for skin burns, the root was ground to a paste and applied raw or with the addition of oil or butter.
8. Boiled hemp roots have been used by some cultures to prevent vomiting, but contradictorily it has been used by other cultures to induce vomiting.
9. Many applications have also been cited regarding its potential to treat bacterial infection, with applications including, quote – topically, orally, and intrarectally – unquote.
10. The active compounds found in Cannabis root include: triterpenoids, friedelin and epifriedenlanol.
11. The cannabinoid content of the root is very low compared to other parts of the plant. No measurable THC was present in the roots examined in other investigations. Similarly, the CBA content was measured to be only 0.004 pmol/g.
12. Multiple compounds present in the root may offer anti-inflammatory characteristics. Friedelin, specifically, has been shown in other investigations to reduce inflammation. In one study, friedelin’s anti-inflammatory effect, quote – were comparable with the antipyretic effect of paracetamol – unquote, (Tylenol).
13. Carvone, another compound present in Cannabis root, has also been shown to significantly reduce pain response in test involving mice. Carvone is now, quote – being investigated as a treatment for osteoarthritis – unquote.
14. Friedelin, isolated from sources other than Cannabis root, have also been shown to have liver protectant properties. It also demonstrated anti-cancer characteristics when exposed to a few specific human cancer cell lines.
15. The author suggests that greater attention is needed from medical professionals and researchers regarding the potential medicinal properties of Cannabis root. With the expansion of legal Cannabis production, the access to test material is equally growing.
16. Additionally, Cannabis roots are currently a waste byproduct of the recreational industry. If these could be used as the precursor for new medicinal therapies patients could be presented with additional options and the Cannabis industry with a new revenue source.
17. The author concludes that the little scholarly research that has been undertaken seems to concur with and explain may of the historic uses of the root and should justify further investigation.
Source: Ryz NR, Remillard DJ, Russo EB. Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2017;2(1):210-216.
Review by: SP
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