Cannabinoid-based Possible Treatment for Parkinson’s, EHP-102, Seen as Superior to New Molecules in Early Test

Catarina Silva, MSc avatar

by Catarina Silva, MSc |

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Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals announced that two of its cannabinoid-derived candidates — CBGA-Q and CBGA-Q-Na Salt — showed anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. However, these benefits were not superior to those obtained from treatment with the company’s already patented EHP-102 compound.

The findings, “Comparison of the neuroprotective activity of cannabigerol derivatives in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease models,” were presented during the 29th Annual Symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Cannabinoids and other players of the endogenous cannabinoid system — a widespread neuromodulatory network involved in central nervous system development and in response to in-body and environmental stimuli — are known to exert neuroprotective effects, and have been investigated in a variety of conditions that including brain trauma, spinal injury, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.

EHP-102, a compound derived from the non-psychotrophic cannabinoid called cannabigerol (CBG), has previously been shown to attenuate inflammation and neuronal loss in mouse models of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

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CBGA-Q and CBGA-Q-Na Salt are two new molecules derived from cannabigerol acid being developed as possible treatments of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

To test these new compounds, researchers compared their activity with that of EHP-102.

When orally administered to a mouse model of Huntington’s disease, EHP-102, CBGA-Q and CBGA-Q-Na Salt all had anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. But animals treated with EHP-102 showed significantly better responses in comparison to those given either CBGA-Q or CBGA-Q-Na Salt.

Oral EHP-102 and CBGA-Q also eased Parkinson’s-related behavioral symptoms and prevented neuronal loss in mice injected with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). 6-OHDA causes cellular dysfunction and the death of dopaminergic neurons, enabling the molecular replication of Parkinson’s disease in a laboratory setting. Comparing both molecules, EHP-102 was once again found to be superior in its effects than CBGA-Q.

“Patients with Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease suffer from devastating physical and psychological symptoms,” Jim DeMesa, MD, CEO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals, said in a news release.

“There is currently no cure for these diseases and so the results of the studies conducted by our scientific team and collaborators, which demonstrate the possible disease-modifying potential of EHP-102 and some of our other CBG-derivatives, are very encouraging.”

Given EHP-102’s “therapeutic superiority,” its developer plans to soon start the preclinical studies required to advance the compound toward clinical testing in both Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.