Natural Products and the ECS

Phytecs is exploring product development derived from its research conducted across the globe: North and South America, Europe and Israel. Phytecs researches compounds and derivatives from plant species to create tomorrow’s medicines. These plants produce compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system in many different ways, from mimicking endocannabinoids to slowing or accelerating the enzymes that metabolize them.
There is an abundance of plants from cloves to black truffles to spruce trees that produce compounds that interact with the ECS and other associated lipid signaling networks. Here are a few of the plant genera that produce molecules and entourages of interest to Phytecs.

Artemesia + Artemesia

Members of the daisy family and noted for their high essential oil production, including wormwood, mugwort and sagebrush. Thujone produced by wormwood was once thought to act as a cannabinoid, but has recently been shown to have a rather weak affinity for cannabinoid receptors, though it is active at other receptors.

Camellia + Camellia

A genus of Asian flowering plants. Contains many ornamental varieties and also Camellia sinensis, the tea plant. C. sinensis produces catechins and flavonoids that interact with the ECS.

Cannabis + Cannabis

Cannabis produces a wide range of phytocannabinoid compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system and associated receptors. Cannabis also produces entourages of compounds that are of great interest, because of their synergistic effects.

Catha + Catha

A small genus containing three species. The most famous is Catha edulis, a stimulant herb used in Africa and the Middle East. At least one alkaloid produced by the plant has been shown to elevate endocannabinoid levels in animal tissue studies.

Desmodium + Desmodium

This is a large group of plants, including the tick-trefoils, many of whom produce very active essential oils.

Echinacea + Echinacea

A genus of nine plants called coneflowers within the daisy family. Echinacea purpurea is a popular herbal remedy, though large controlled studies supporting its efficacy are lacking. This species appears to produce alkamides and other constituents that interact with CB receptors.

Glycine + Glycine

Members of the bean family, noted for Glycine max, the soybean. Some flavonoids in this genus appear to inhibit ECS enzymes.

Helichrysum + Helichrysum

A genus of over 600 plants in the sunflower family. Some members produce compounds with striking chemical similarities to cannabinoids.

Heliopsis + Heliopsis

A small genus in the sunflower family, that includes the oxeyes, common across the central US and Canada.

Laminaria + Laminaria

A genus of over thirty species of brown algae commonly called kelp. Some of this genus produces polyunsaturated fatty acids that are chemically similar to endocannabinoids.

Lepidium + Lepidium

A genus of the mustard family. Noted for the “superfood” called maca, and garden cress.

Lyngbya + Lyngbya

Not a plant genus, but one of cyanobacteria. Some of these produce interesting polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Morinda + Morinda

A genus of eighty or so species in the madder family, some of which have been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine.

Pinus + Pinus

The subgenus that includes many European species of pine. It is believed that some species of pine produce analogs of endocannabinoids.

Piper + Piper

An enormous genus containing over 2,000 species of pepper plants. Piper nigrum is commonly known as black pepper and produces the terpenoid b-caryophyllene that functions as CB2 agonist. The kava plant, also of the Piper genus, produces a kavalactone that has significant CB1 affinity.

Pistacia + Pistacia

A genus of shrubs and small trees in the cashew family. Besides the well known pistachio tree, other members of this genus produce medicinal resins which have been used since antiquity.

Protium + Protium

A genus of over one-hundred flowering plants, primarily trees, many of which are native to Central and South America.

Radula + Radula

Members of the liverwort family. Radula marginata, native to Tasmania and New Zealand, was one of the first and only plants, beyond Cannabis, found to produce a phytocannabinoid.

Rhodiola + Rhodiola

A genus in the stonecrop family noted for sedums. Rhodolia rosea known as golden root is a popular herbal medicine.

Ruta + Ruta

A genus of evergreen shrubs noted for their production of intensely aromatic oils, several of which are of potential interest.

Salvia + Salvia

The largest genus in the mint family. It includes common sage and also Salvia divinorum, a potent psychoactive.

Syzygium + Syzygium

A genus belonging to the myrtle family, mostly consisting of evergreen shrubs and trees. The most well-known maybe Syzygium aromaticum known as clove, which contains beta-caryophyllene, a CB2 receptor agonist.

Trifolium + Trifolium

A genus of three-hundred plants in the pea family, noted for clover or trefoil.

Tuber + Tuber

A genus in the Tuberceae family of fungi that includes the black truffle. Recently, an analysis of black truffles found traces of anandamide, a principal endocannabinoid.