Research Shows Cannabis Roots Have Hidden Potential

Research Shows Cannabis Roots Have Hidden Potential

In this post:

  • Cannabis roots history
  • Benefits of cannabis roots
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • How to use cannabis roots

Cannabis is most famous for its leaves and buds, but what about its roots? Modern research is limited, but it turns out that cannabis roots offer immense therapeutic potential.

A History of Cannabis Roots in Medicine

People have incorporated cannabis roots in medicine for thousands of years. In fact, cannabis roots first recorded use dates back to 2700 BCE in China, when Emperor Shen-Nung called them a remedy for pain relief. Chinese healers dried and ground the roots into a thick paste to ease discomfort during surgery and applied it to help heal broken bones.

In 79 BCE, the Roman historian Pliny the Elder detailed accounts of boiling cannabis roots in water to soothe burns, joints, and gout. Fast-forwarding to the 18th century, English physician William Salmon wrote about cannabis roots to promote supple joints and treat back, hip and leg pain.

By the 1800s, physicians and herbalists recommended using cannabis roots to soothe the body by treating various ailments, including:

  • Fever
  • Inflammation
  • Gout
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Skin burns
  • Hard tumors
  • Postpartum hemorrhage and difficult child labor
  • Gastrointestinal activity and infection

URL - ACS Contact Banner - Click to Send an Email

Benefits of Cannabis Roots

Today, cannabis roots are not as popular as the plant’s buds, but modern medical science is taking a new look at what this long-neglected portion of the plant has to offer. In a 1971 study, researchers discovered cannabis roots contain friedelin and epifriedelanol, two triterpenoids. Triterpenes are unique compounds composed of three terpene units in plant gums and resins. Like terpenes, they help cannabis defend against predators while exhibiting health benefits to humans who consume them. Possible therapeutic benefits include:

  • Soothing troubled skin: Applying crushed, dry, raw cannabis roots to the skin can assist various conditions, such as helping to soothe and heal burns, cuts, rashes, and dermatitis.
  • Protecting the liver: Studies say friedelin—a triterpenoid found in cannabis roots—contains liver-protective properties.
  • Fighting bacteria and cancer: Pentacyclic triterpene ketones, another compound found in cannabis roots, can reduce bacteria and tumor activity. Research suggests it could also cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
  • Maintaining healthy cells: Cannabis roots have small quantities of choline, a water-soluble compound believed to be an essential dietary nutrient vital to developing and maintaining healthy cell membranes.

Cannabis Roots to Treat Inflammation

Cannabis roots contain several pentacyclic triterpene ketones, known for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Most recently, a study in 2017 entitled “Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain” investigated the medicinal efficacy of cannabis roots for this purpose. Dr. Ethan Russo, a pioneering endocannabinoid system researcher, was among the study’s authors.

Although the study concluded that cannabis roots are not a significant source of standard terpenes or cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, they are rich in other compounds that may have therapeutic applications, particularly for anti-inflammatory activity, including:

  • Friedelin is the most prominent triterpenoid in cannabis, which has anti-inflammatory and potential cancer-fighting properties. Friedelin showed potent anti-inflammatory activity in numerous in vivo tests in adult rats.
  • Epifriedelanol might reduce tissue damage, with possible uses in dietary or cosmetic applications to fight aging-related diseases.
  • Studies show alkaloids have promising anti-inflammatory utilities, such as fighting inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Phytosterols could be used in dietary supplements to fight cardiovascular disease.

URL - ACS Contact Banner - Click to Send an Email

How to use cannabis roots

Topical Applications

Boiling cannabis roots in water and applying them topically is one of the best ways to target overactive inflammation. For this reason, many recipes, such as salves, lotions, balms, massage oils, and even pet sprays, call for cannabis root extract in their ingredients.

Unfortunately, brands haven’t popularized cannabis roots products yet, but people can make their own concoctions at home. Dried cannabis roots can easily incorporate into countless topical applications by mixing them with olive oil, coconut, and various essential oils for additional benefits and customization.

Typical cannabis roots salves recipes look something like this:

  1. Grind clean, dry roots (about two root balls) into a powder.
  2. Choose a type of fat to serve as the base, such as coconut oil, and mix the ground roots into it.
  3. Add water to avoid burning and simmer over low heat for 12 hours to prevent roots from burning. Most recipes recommend a 2-to-1 ratio of coconut oil to water.
  4. Allow the balm to cool and solidify, and store in an airtight container.

Edible Cannabis Roots

A topical cream, lotion, or balm is the most common way to work with cannabis roots. However, it is possible to brew the roots into a tea by slowly simmering dried, powdered roots in a crock-pot.

Follow these steps to brew a cannabis root tea:

  1. Grind the roots and add to water in a crock pot or a pot on the stove. You can add other ingredients for aromatics and flavor, such as cinnamon bark, anise, or mint.
  2. Simmer on low heat for 12 hours.
  3. Strain the tea before drinking.

A warning on ingesting cannabis roots: Cannabis roots offer many potential health benefits. However, they are high in alkaloids. While this is one reason for their therapeutic properties, alkaloids can be toxic in excess.

The Bottom Line

Cannabis roots contain a treasure trove of potential medical benefits. Despite their historical use to treat various medical conditions, modern science has barely scratched the surface of what this part of the cannabis plant has to offer. We at ACS Laboratory think it’s time to explore the plant to its full potential, roots and all.

At ACS Laboratory, we are at the forefront of cannabis testing and love researching new compounds like roots! We test for the triterpene Friedelin Contact us to test your products today.

URL - ACS Contact Banner - Click to Send an Email

The Cannabinoids Guide

This complete cannabinoid guide covers major and minor cannabinoids, how they work in the body, and highlights the top compounds brands and operators must test for today.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Cannabinoid Guide

The definitive resource on leading major and minor cannabinoids, how they work in the body, and what to test for.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related Blogs

May 24, 2023

Cannabinoid Report: A Guide to CBD Extraction, Storage, Price, Benefits & More

CBD research indicates could relieve symptoms of anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia, without psychoactive effects.

Elena Schmidt

April 27, 2023

Amanita Muscaria vs. Psychedelic Mushrooms (Psilocybin): What’s the Difference?

Here we explore the main differences between Amanita muscaria and other psychedelic mushrooms, examining where they grow, active ingredients, medicinal value, and legality.

Masha Ty

December 8, 2022

Companies Producing Edibles Containing CBD and Delta-8 THC Receive New Warning Letters from the FDA

FDA recently issued new warning letters to companies that produce CBD and Delta-8 THC edibles.

December 14, 2022

Visit the New and Improved ACS Laboratory Website

Enhanced education, intuitive navigation, mushroom program launch, compliance updates, and more!

Elena Schmidt

January 5, 2023

Functional Mushrooms: Exploring Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi Benefits & Uses

Reviewing functional mushroom benefits, research, and top products, with a focus on reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps.

Masha Ty

December 20, 2022

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Camphene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Research suggests that camphene possesses anti-microbial and antiviral properties, provides coughing relief, and may even be able to prevent heart disease.

Elena Schmidt

December 9, 2022

INTERVIEW: Live Rosin Delta-8: How It's Made, Effects, Safety & Quality

Live rosin delta 8 is a cannabis concentrate made from frozen plant material and manufactured delta-8 extract. Learn more.

January 25, 2023

Comparing Exotic Cannabinoids: Delta-9 THC vs. Delta-8, Delta-10, HHC, HHCP, THC-O (THCOa), & THCP

The main difference between exotic cannabinoids and Delta-9 THC is their molecular structures, psychoactive intensity, and legality.

Elena Schmidt

January 19, 2023

Amanita Muscaria Part II: Active Ingredients, Effects, Nutrition & Legality

Exploring amanita muscaria’s psychoactive effects, toxic potential, edible preparation, and legality in the US and Canada.

Masha Ty

December 29, 2022

A Guide to Delta-8 vs. HHC: Extraction, Products, Safety, Legality, Testing & More

Delta-8 THC is a mildly euphoric psychoactive isomer of Delta-9 THC. HHC belongs to a completely different chemical class known as hexahydrocannabinol. Learn more.

Elena Schmidt

February 14, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need To Know About Fenchyl Alcohol Flavor, Fragrance, And Health Benefits

Everything you need to know about fenchyl alcohol benefits, aromatic profile, and how it impacts your favorite cannabis strains.

Elena Schmidt

December 16, 2022

Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric): History & Toxicology of the Most Misunderstood Mushroom

Amanita mushrooms are fully legal in the United States and have a long history of use. Discovery Amanita mythology and toxicology in this ACS blog.

Masha Ty

January 3, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Farnesene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Farnesene is a cannabis terpene known as sesquiterpenes and is thought to have sedative and regulating effects on the human body and mood.

Elena Schmidt

February 2, 2023

A Guide to Delta-8 vs. THCOa: Extraction, Products, Safety, Legality, Testing & More

Comparing Delta-8 THC and THCOa’s chemistry, effects, potency, and extraction methods.

Elena Schmidt

February 20, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Ocimene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

As a cannabis terpene, ocimene offers strains potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-viral, anti-seizure, and anti-inflammation.

Elena Schmidt

February 24, 2023

Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Orientin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Orientin is a flavonoid prevalent in cannabis, bamboo leaves, and various teas is. Its impact as an antioxidant extends into numerous human therapeutic benefits.

Elena Schmidt

March 7, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Valencene Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Valencene is a rare terpene found in cannabis. It exudes an herbaceous, sweet citrus aroma with woodsy notes and is abundant in citrus fruits.

Elena Schmidt

March 15, 2023

Understanding Amanita Pantherina Mushrooms: Appearance, Effects, and Legality

The Amanita pantherina, or the Panther Cap, is a relative of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Its cap features ochre brown dots with white spots. It's a delirium rather than a psychedelic, and it's legal!

Masha Ty

March 23, 2023

Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Vitexin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Vitexin fans praise it for everything from benefiting the brain and heart to fighting diabetes and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Elena Schmidt

March 20, 2023

Terpene Tuesdays: Everything You Need to Know About Sabinene Hydrate Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits

Sabinene Hydrate is a vital component of various plant essential oils, including cannabis. It displays antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial uses.

Elena Schmidt

April 11, 2023

Psilocybin Guide: Effects, Benefits, Risks, and Legality

In this blog, we will explore the history, science, and potential benefits of psilocybin and its potential risks and legal status.

Elena Schmidt

April 12, 2023

H4 CBD Guide: Experience, Legality, Products & Benefits

This guide examines H4-CBD from every angle, explaining its effects and chemical structure, user reviews, comparison to CBD and THC, and commercial products.

Elena Schmidt

May 3, 2023

A Complete Guide to THCH: Research, Products, Potency & Effects

THC-H’ is a unique minor cannabinoid whose chemical structure allows it to readily attach to receptors in the brain, making it notably stronger than Delta-9 THC.

Elena Schmidt

May 10, 2023

A Complete Guide to THCB Research, Potency & Effects

Preliminary research suggests THCB may have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticonvulsant properties.

Elena Schmidt

May 18, 2023

Psilocin Guide: Effects, Benefits, Risks, and Legality

This guide compares psilocin to psilocybin, highlighting differences and similarities in how they work in the body, their effects, strength, benefits, and legality.

Masha Ty

February 17, 2023

DEA Says Delta-8 and Delta-9 THCOA (aka THCO) Falls Under Controlled Substances Act, not Farm Bill

According to the DEA's interpretation of the law, THCOA doesn’t fall within the Farm Bill's definition of hemp because hemp plants don’t naturally produce the cannabinoid.

Elena Schmidt

March 28, 2023

The Powerful Benefits of Beta-Glucans in Functional Mushrooms

Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber located primarily in the cell walls of mushrooms and whole grains, known to lower blood sugar, defend against infections, and even kill cancer cells.

Elena Schmidt

April 5, 2023

ACS Laboratory Launches the First Premium Hemp “Bored Gummy” COA on the Blockchain

New collection of Bored Gummy, Launches April 7 in the Automatic Slims Metaverse Marketplace

Elena Schmidt

January 30, 2023

ACS Laboratory Receives 82 Emerald Badges for Exemplary Hemp and Cannabis Test Results, More Than Any Laboratory in the USA

Recently Awarded 21 Emerald Test Proficiency Badges for 2022, ACS has Reaffirmed its Position as the Most Trusted Third-party Hemp and Cannabis Testing Provider

ACS Laboratory