Synthetic CBD Analogs (SCAs) - Preclinical

Synthetic CBD Analogs (SCAs) - Preclinical


The Synthetic CBD Analogs (SCAs) program is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel, with additional research and trials at the Kennedy Institute, at the University of Oxford.

180 Life Sciences aims to develop SCAs that are safe and non-psychoactive and formulated to improve efficacy – a real alternative to unregulated cannabidiol (CBD).

This program is led by a team that have been studying SCAs since 1998. Professor Raphael Mechoulam, who is leading the project, was in the first team to synthesize tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, the main compounds in cannabis.

Professor Raphael Mechoulam at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

What are SCAs?

Synthetic CBD analogs are man-made versions of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis.

CBD is known to signal through multiple GPCR receptors including CB2R, TRPV-1, 5HT1α, GPR55, and GPR18.

The compound has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anxiolytic properties, making it a potential treatment for arthritic conditions.

Why Develop SCAs?

Typical CBD contains impurities such as THC (the psychoactive compound within cannabis) and other cannabinoids. By developing SCAs, 180 Life Sciences hopes to create a compound with purity of more than 99.5% with more consistency through batches.

Developing novel, patented ProNanoLipospheres (PNL) will enhance the bioavailability of these compounds, further improving efficacy.

These conditions create greater likelihood for obtaining regulatory approval.


Only two CBD drugs have been approved to date, both developed by GWP Pharma for epileptic conditions. Beyond this, there is little to no clinical proof of CBD’s efficacy in other conditions.

Current treatments for arthritis can be ineffective (NSAIDs) or prohibitively expensive (anti-TNF treatment). The company believes that SCAs provide a potential solution.

180 Life Sciences will be building on previous research into CBD’s effect on arthritis and hopes to begin conducting trials at the University of Oxford.

“There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD. Some products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and could be produced with unsafe manufacturing practices.

The agency is committed to supporting the development of new drugs, including cannabis and cannabis-derived drugs, through the investigational new drug and drug approval process…”.

FDA position – Nov 25, 2019