INTRODUCTION: Ryz, Remillard, and Russo, published Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain in August, 2017. It is the best reference for the medicinal qualities of cannabis roots that I have found. The authors mention several compounds in Cannabis Roots which have the potential for medical use. The two most promising compounds, in my opinion, are Friedelin and Epifriedelanol.

Ryz et al also provided research on other plants which contain Friedelin and Epifriedelanol. The purpose of this paper is to briefly familiarize the reader with the Latin Name, Common Name, Image, Distribution/Ecology, Anecdotal Information, and Scientific Research of each of these plants which are not commonly known in the United States.

The plants are Azima Tetranantha Lam, Cissus quadrangularis, Maytenus ilicifolia, Mesua daphnifolia, and Elaeocarpus floribundus.


Azima Tetranantha Lam.

Azima tetracantha_MS_19661919-30281727.jpg

Common Names: Bee Sting Bush, Kundali Plant

Distribution and Ecology: Azima Tetranantha Lam is a brusy bush that lives in dry areas along the coast of South Africa, into Central Africa, Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Philippines.

Anecdotal Information: Traditionally in Siddha medicine, the bark of Azima is used in proportion with other barks to create a remedy for infertility and reproductive strengthening.  Source: Uconn.

Scientific Research: Friedelin isolated from A. tetracantha Lam. leaves showed strong antioxidant activity in vitro and liver protectant properties in vivo Source: Cannabis Roots.


Cissus quadrangularis (Vitaceae)

Common Name: Veldt Grape.

Distribution and Ecology A climbing vine, Cissus quadrangularis is native to tropical Africa, Arabia, India and Sri Lanka. It has spread to the extent that it is considered an invasive species in areas. Source: Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International

It thrives in arid or semi-arid regions, near the coast and up to an altitude of 300 m Source: Feedipedia.

Anecdotal Information: Cissus quadrangularis (Harjor, family Vitaceae) has been known for its bone healing properties for many centuries;The plant has been documented in Ayurveda for the treatment of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis rheumatoid arthritis. Source: Medicinal Plants and Bone Healing.

Scientific Research: A friedelin-rich fraction isolated from C. quadrangularis has been shown to have estrogenic activity in ovariectomized female Wistar rats. Source: Cannabis Roots.


Maytenus ilicifolia

Common Name: Espinheiria Santa

Distribution and Ecology: Paraguay. Brazil.

Anecdotal Information: Known to South Americans as Espinheira Santa. Cissus quadrangularis has been used for skin cancer. It is known to native groups in Paraguay to have very strong estrogen-related properties, to the point of being used to induce abortions. Source: Technical Data Report for ESPINHEIRA SANTA 

Scientific Research: A friedelin-rich fraction isolated from C. quadrangularis has been shown to have estrogenic activity in ovariectomized female Wistar rats. Treating rats with the friedelin-rich fraction (75 and 100 mg/kg per os) improved sexual behavior parameters and estrogenic activity. Source: Cannabis Roots.

in an 1976 plant screening program by the National Cancer Institute, an alcohol and water extract of the leaves was documented with cytotoxicity against cancer cells at very low dosages.” Source: Technical Data Report for ESPINHEIRA SANTA 


Mesua daphnifolia

Image: None available. Mesua daphnifolia is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature‚Äôs Red List of Threatened Species at their lowest level of concern: “Least Concern.”

Common Name: None available.

Distribution and Climate: Malaysia.

Anecdotal Information: None available.

Scientific Information: Friedelin from the stem bark of Mesua daphnifolia had weak cytotoxic activity against four cancer cell lines, including MDA-MB-231 (human estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer), HeLa (human cervical carcinoma), CEM-SS (human T- lymphoblastic leukemia), and CaOV3 (human ovarian cancer). Source: Cannabis Roots.


Elaeocarpus floribundus

Common Name: Rugged Oil Fruit.

Distribution and Ecology: A tall tree found on sandy and clay ridges in India, Anadaman Islands, Indo-China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Borneo, Philippines, Celebes. Source: AsianPlanet.

Anecdotal Information: An infusion of the bark and leaves is used in Sumatra as a mouthwash for inflamed gums. In Malaysia, the bark and leaves are used in a poultice for ulcers and an extract is drunk as a tonic. Fruits are edible. Source: AsianPlanet.

Scientific Information: Friedelin and epifriedelanol isolated from the stem bark of Elaeocarpus floribundus also had weak anticancer activity against CEM-SS and HeLa cell lines. Source: Cannabis Roots.


SUMMARY: Friedelin and Epifriedelanol have anti-cancer and estrogen-regulating properties when found in species other than cannabis. Care must be taken to understand the effects of high concentrations of these compounds on women who are pregnant or who might become so.