Researchers from Spain and Scotland have modified CBD to try to improve its properties that fight skin disease. The researchers, from the University of Cordoba and the University of Dundee, say the development could prove interesting for treatment of skin disease afflictions such as atopic dermatitis and the rare disease epidermolysis bullosa.
The partners said they have shown for the first time that CBD induces the expression of heme oxygenase 1 – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory enzyme – in cells on the top layer of the skin, known as keratinocytes, by suppressing the BACH1 protein.
The research team designed new molecules that have double the antioxidant power as they inhibit the BACH1 protein and activate NRF2 protein, genes that help protect cells against oxidative stress.
“Once we described the whole working mechanism, we (then made) modifications to the cannabidiol molecule in order to try to improve its properties that fight against skin diseases,” said Eduardo Muñoz, who heads the BIO-304 Immunopharmacology and Molecular Virology research group at the University of Cordoba, “When combining the inhibition of BACH1 with the activation of NRF2, the result is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response and better therapeutic effects.”
The researchers say they will continue modifying the molecules in order to improve their properties, and perform animal studies to better understand the therapeutic potential for skin diseases and other inflammatory conditions.
InnoHealth Madrid, a skincare company, and pharmaceutical developer Emerald Health Biotechnology, Cordoba, also collaborated on the research. Emerald Health Biotechnology is a part of Emerald Health Research, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.