Researchers at the University of Guelph have unlocked the process of manufacturing two pain-relieving molecules in cannabis that are said to be nearly 30 times more powerful than aspirin. 

The study, published in the August 2019 volume of Phytochemistry, had professors Tariq Akhtar and Steven Rothstein use biochemistry and genomics to determine how cannabis makes the molecules called cannflavin A and cannflavin B.

Known as ‘flavonoids,’ cannflavins A and B were first identified in 1985, “when research verified they provided anti-inflammatory benefits that were nearly 30 times more effective…than aspirin” the university said in a press release.

Previously, research into cannabis was highly regulated, but due to the legalization of cannabis and the advancements in genomics research, both professors learned how to biosynthesize the molecules outside of the cannabis plant.

Both cannflavins A and B are believed to be more potent than THC or CBD, and will provide an alternative to opioid painkillers, which have extensive side effects and risks of addictions.

The research team has partnered with Anahit International Corporation out of Toronto to develop “effective and safe anti-inflammatory medicines” from the cannflavins A and B, although they believe it will be several years before any product based on the molecules is ready to hit the market.