Save the Roots: Cannabis Root is Required Medicine
From anti-cancer to anti-aging to pain relief, the cannabis root is powerful medicine.
Flower buds, leaves, and stems usually get all the credit for being the useful and healthful parts of the cannabis plant. This is where cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are found in abundance. The root, however, is also contain a beneficial collection of good medicine.
The major category of helpful molecules found in the cannabis root is a TRITERPENE. A triterpene is a type of hydrocarbon compound of three terpenes. Terpenes in turn are organic molecules plants produce. Basically, they are the main component of most essential oils. There are two triterpenes in the cannabis root in relatively large amounts: friedelin and epifriedelanol.
Friedelin also appears in other plants. It was actually first discovered in the cork plant. It is responsible for a number of interesting health benefits. First, it has been found to have weak antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. Second, friedelin has anti-inflammatory properties, and has been found to reduce the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), a known pro-inflammatory cytokine. This could have positive implications in the use of cannabis root for treating arthritis. Other animal studies show that it is an antipyretic, or fever reducer, and an analgesic, or pain reliever.
Cancer Cell Killing
Epifriedelanol has also shown anti-cancer properties by triggering apoptosis in cervical cancer cell lines. It also may contribute to anti-aging of tissue; one study found that it suppressed a form of cellular senescence, the age-related slowing and stoppage of cell growth. Epifriedelanol appears to be a powerful antioxidant, which can help to slow the aging of tissues.
Another category of chemical found in the Cannabis root is an alkaloid. Usually, alkaloids have some kind of bioactivity associated with them. However, the alkaloids from the cannabis root, cannabisativine and anhydrocannabisativine, do not associate with any significant pharmacological effect.
Finally, an amide molecule called N-(p-hydroxy-beta-phenylethyl)-p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamamide is in the cannabis root. It has pain relieving properties.
Cannabis the leaves and flowers aren’t the only healers in the plant. Cannabis roots have seen historic use for their healing properties. As research increases on this amazing plant, we can expand our knowledge of the active chemicals in the roots. The laboratory studies are few, but promising.