CBN May Help In the Fight Against Cancer By Blocking Certain Procarcinogenic Enzymes

In 2014, Current Medicinal Chemistry published a report that succinctly outlined how inhibitors of CYP1 enzymes act as therapeutic agents against some forms of cancer.

This action is partially due to CYP1 enzymes’ ability to deactivate some forms of anticancer drugs, known as CYP1-mediated drug resistance. Likewise, these enzymes catalyze reactions that lead to the activation of procarcinogens.

CYP1 inhibitors, therefore, prevent significant scientific value. According to the researchers of the study, Cui and Li, “CYP1 inhibitors could effectively block the procarcinogen-induced tumor initiation in animal models and benefit us with chemoprevention.”

Yamaori et al. wanted to investigate the potential CYP1 inhibition properties of several cannabinoids. In 2010, they published their findings in the journal, Biochemical Pharmacology.

When they investigated three major cannabinoids, they found that they competitively inhibited 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity of recombinants:

  • CYP1A1
  • CYP1A2
  • CYP1B1

Their research showed that CBN struggled to combat the catalytic activity of CYP1A1, whose most potent inhibitor was shown to be one of the other major cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD).

However, CBN did show isoform-selective direct inhibition of both CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 enzymatic activity at significant levels.

A year later, in the journal, Life Sciences, researchers published a paper that looked at how cannabinoids impact CYP3A enzymes and their catalytic functions.

They showed that CBN acts as equally well upon CYP3A7 as both THC and CBD.