Purification, characterization and evaluation of the therapeutic activity of the possible synergistic effects between active substances in Curcuma longa L. and Cannabis sativa L.

Subsidised by ICEX in the 2015 Invest in Spain invitation.

June 28, 2015
December 31, 2015


The objective of this project was to search for possible synergies existing between cannabinoids and curcuminoids to enhance their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, as well as to optimise the production of purified cannabinoids and curcuminoids by means of novel environmentally-friendly techniques, such as liquid chromatography-countercurrent chromatography (CCC).

To meet these objectives, the biological activity of the combination of both families of compounds was studied and the purity of the pure compounds and their possible impurities was determined.

This project provided us with the scientific basis to create new formulations to treat illnesses with products from natural plant sources.


The following are the most significant results attained by this project:

- Cannabinoid purification was specialised using the CCC purification system, obtaining over 95% purity.

HPLC-DAD chromatograms of different purified cannabinoids.

curcuma-longa-cannabis-sativa-1.jpg#asse- A suitable chemical analysis methodology was established both for cannabinoids and curcuminoids.

HPLC-DAD chromatogram of a sample of commercial curcumin.


1. Bisdemetoxicurcumin, 2. Demetoxicurcumin and 3. Curcumin.

- Impurities found when the study compounds were isolated or purified were identified.

- A biological activity study was conducted, which discovered interesting synergies between curcuminoids and cannabinoids that may be used in formulas for dermatological use, in treatments against cancer and to fight obesity.


- Research Group PAI TEP-169 “BIOSAHE” belonging to the Thermal Machine and Motor Area. Collaboration to evaluate the purified compounds from Curcumin or Hemp extracts by means of HPLC-DAD (high-precision liquid chromatograph coupled to a diode array molecular absorption detector in the visible-ultraviolet region) as compared with the results obtained by GC-MS (gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer), and to evaluate and identify impurities found by nuclear magnetic resonance.

- Vivacell Biotechnology España SL, a private Cordoba-based company devoted to pre-clinical development of pharmaceuticals, focused on the procurement of new non-psychotropic cannabinoids to treat inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Collaboration in the in vitro study of the biological activity of curcuminoids and cannabinoids and in the identification of synergistic activities between both types of compounds.