The Metabolic Efficacy of a Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) Derivative in Treating Diet- and Genetic-Induced Obesity

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 17;23(10):5610. doi: 10.3390/ijms23105610.


Obesity is a global medical problem; its common form is known as diet-induced obesity (DIO); however, there are several rare genetic disorders, such as Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), that are also associated with obesity (genetic-induced obesity, GIO). The currently available therapeutics for treating DIO and GIO are very limited, and they result in only a partial improvement. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), a constituent of Cannabis sativa, gradually decarboxylates to cannabidiol (CBD). Whereas the anti-obesity properties of CBD have been reasonably identified, our knowledge of the pharmacology of CBDA is more limited due to its instability. To stabilize CBDA, a new derivative, CBDA-O-methyl ester (HU-580, EPM301), was synthesized. The therapeutic potential of EPM301 in appetite reduction, weight loss, and metabolic improvements in DIO and GIO was tested in vivo. EPM301 (40 mg/kg/d, i.p.) successfully resulted in weight loss, increased ambulation, as well as improved glycemic and lipid profiles in DIO mice. Additionally, EPM301 ameliorated DIO-induced hepatic dysfunction and steatosis. Importantly, EPM301 (20 and 40 mg/kg/d, i.p.) effectively reduced body weight and hyperphagia in a high-fat diet-fed Magel2null mouse model for PWS. In addition, when given to standard-diet-fed Magel2null mice as a preventive treatment, EPM301 completely inhibited weight gain and adiposity. Lastly, EPM301 increased the oxidation of different nutrients in each strain. All together, EPM301 ameliorated obesity and its metabolic abnormalities in both DIO and GIO. These results support the idea to further promote this synthetic CBDA derivative toward clinical evaluation in humans.

Keywords: CBDA; Magel2; PWS; dyslipidemia; hepatic steatosis; hyperphagia; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Cannabinoids
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity* / drug therapy
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Weight Loss


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cannabinoids
  • Magel2 protein, mouse
  • Proteins
  • cannabidiolic acid

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