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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Cannabis-derived compound could form part of the obesity medication puzzle

•, By Nick Lavars

An active compound of cannabis is known to regulate appetite and influence fat formation in humans, but researchers have baulked at the effect it can have on the brain. Researchers at Deakin University have now found a way to nullify these adverse effects.

This involves combining it with retinoic acid, which is an active component of vitamin A. The researchers say how this interacts with the endocannabinoid system to provide the fat-reducing effect isn't exactly clear, but testing the drug in zebrafish and human cells nonetheless returned promising results.

"The complementary actions of the endocannabinoid system and retinoic acid pathway in reducing fat deposits have the potential to treat obesity in a safer and more effective way than if they were used independently," says Dr Yann Gibert, head of Deakin's Metabolic Genetic Diseases Research Laboratory. "The results of our study show, for the first time, that particular compounds in cannabis and vitamin A can work together to reduce the deposit of lipids (fats),"