What is CBDQ?

Meet the non-toxic synthetic cannabinoid known for its potent anticancer and antiproliferative qualities.

CBDQ cannabinoid oil from cannabis plant
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CBDQ, otherwise known as HU-331, is a novel synthetic cannabinoid chemically synthesized from CBD. It does not occur naturally in the cannabis plant, nor is it a degradation product formed solely from exposure to natural elements or the environment. Scientists create CBDQ by mixing CBD with potassium hydroxide or exposing CBD to air and oxidizing agents. CBDQ is best-known as a potential anticancer and antiproliferative therapeutic drug able to inhibit cancer cell growth and reduce tumor size. CBDQ derivative EHP-101 is a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fibrosis.

What is CBDQ?

Definition: CBDQ is short for cannabidiol hydroxy-quinone and otherwise known as HU-331. It’s a novel synthetic cannabinoid chemically synthesized from isolated cannabidiol (CBD) under laboratory conditions using potassium hydroxide or a combination of air and oxidizing agents. It’s not a cannabinoid naturally present in varieties of cannabis, nor is it a product of natural degradation like CBN or CBL. 

Chemical formula: CBDQ has the chemical formula C21H2O3 and a molecular mass of 328.445 g/mol. As a quinone cannabinoid, CBDQ has a specific molecular structure. It consists of a benzene core with two carbonyl bonds and a six-membered vinylene group. 

Cannabidiol Hydroxy-Quinone chemical formula

Origins: Scientists first synthesized CBDQ in 1968 when Israeli organic chemist and “Father of Cannabis Research” Ralph Mechoulam oxidized CBD using potassium hydroxide. More recently, CBDQ is synthesized through Friedel-Crafts alkylation of a resorcinol derivative and oxidized using Fremy’s salt, also known scientifically as dipotassium nitrosodisulfonate. Fremy’s salt is the chemical compound that forms the quinone.

Research on CBDQ

Despite being a relatively unknown cannabinoid in and out of the cannabis industry, CBDQ is well-researched. Each study offers a fantastic insight into how it works inside your body — some of its anticancer and antiproliferative capabilities will blow your mind. 

Marijuana plant

Inhibits type II topoisomerase isoforms to prevent cancer cell proliferation

CBDQ is primarily an anticarcinogenic drug. It inhibits type II topoisomerase isoforms (TOP2) to help prevent cancer cells from forming and increasing. 

TOP2 is an enzyme that cuts into our two DNA strands to ensure knots, tangles, and supercoils don’t occur, promoting healthy cell formation and replication. However, TOP2 can also cause cancerous cells to replicate and multiply. 

Thankfully, CBDQ catalytically inhibits TOP2 activity, preventing it from forming unhealthy cancer cells. By comparison, conventional anticancer drugs eliminate cancer cells through apoptosis. This process can also negatively affect healthy cells. CBDQ doesn’t eliminate healthy cells, and researchers consider it safe to consume. 

Is CBDQ a viable treatment for colon cancer?

CBDQ is a potential colon cancer treatment able to reduce tumor growth. 

In 2004, researchers injected nude mice with HT-29 colon cancer cells. The mice were then treated with 5mg/kg of CBDQ three times a week via three routes of administration. Administration routes included intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and intratumoral. The researchers discovered significant tumor growth reductions by the end of the study. 

Another study looked at CBDQ’s cardiotoxicity compared to doxorubicin, a conventional chemotherapy drug. Researchers discovered CBDQ was more active and less toxic than doxorubicin and reduced a colon carcinoma tumor weight by 54%. Overall, this research suggests CBDQ is a safer and more effective anticancer treatment. 

CBDQ reduces certain types of cancer by 50%

CBDQ’s anticancer capabilities aren’t limited to just colon cancer. Research suggests it can successfully tackle breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, T-cell lymphoma, and Burkitt’s lymphoma. What’s more, Burkitt’s lymphoma and T-cell lymphoma are the two types of cancer most sensitive to CBDQ. It reduced them both by as much as 50%. 

CBDQ deactivates enzymes responsible for drug metabolism 

One of the more unknown functions of CBDQ is its ability to deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes more effectively than CBD. 

Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) are a class of enzymes responsible for breaking down and metabolizing the majority of prescription and over-the-counter medications. CYP enzyme deactivation can cause adverse negative effects in patients using other CYP enzyme inhibiting drugs. 

CBDQ derivatives target vital receptors

EHP-101, a vital derivative of CBDQ also known as VCE-004.8, is a dual agonist of PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma) and CB2 (cannabinoid 2) receptors, making it a viable treatment for diabetes and obesity.

PPARy is a nuclear receptor responsible for many cellular functions, including metabolism, anti-inflammation, and cell proliferation. CB2 is a crucial receptor and central component of your endocannabinoid system. It primarily regulates immune function and inflammatory response. 

Studies show EHP-101’s activation of PPARy receptors promotes decreased weight gain, lowered body fat, and improved insulin sensitivity, all of which help combat or manage type 2 diabetes and obesity. 
PPARy and CB2 also modulate inflammatory and fibrotic responses. Research indicates EHP-101’s activation of both receptors might combat symptoms of scleroderma and fibrosis.

Benefits: What is CBDQ good for?

Scientist holding cannabis plant

CBDQ is good for preventing cancer growth and reducing tumor size. Unfortunately, CBDQ’s anticancer and antiproliferative qualities have only been tested on animal test subjects and not in humans. We cannot conclusively say CBDQ is a viable cancer treatment, though its future use is very promising. 

CBDQ might also be a decent therapeutic alternative for the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Pain and inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Scleroderma
  • Fibrosis

Effects: How does CBDQ make you feel?

While CBDQ has anticancer and antiproliferative benefits, how it makes you feel is somewhat unknown. However, we can safely assume it has similar benefits to CBD, including pain and inflammation relief. Currently, no studies suggest CBDQ causes relaxation, anti-anxiety, or any other feelings of calm or balance. However, CBDQ is not an agonist of cannabinoid 1 receptors and will not induce a euphoric high like THC or delta-8. As far as we know, it won’t impair your thinking or judgment.

Is CBDQ legal?

Believe it or not, CBDQ is legal and not listed as a federally controlled substance under the US Controlled Substances Act despite being a synthetic cannabinoid. Nowhere does it state the use, possession, sale, distribution, or production of CBDQ are prohibited or punishable under federal law.

How does CBDQ compare to other cannabinoids?


  • CBD is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in cannabis plants, while CBDQ is a synthetic cannabinoid not found in cannabis plants. Scientists synthesize CBDQ from CBD using lab-grade chemicals. 
  • CBD and CBDQ have a minimal affinity with cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors. However, CBDQ derivatives (EHP-101) activate cannabinoid 2 receptors, making them viable treatments for obesity, diabetes, and fibrosis.
  • Taken together, researchers claim CBD is not effective against type II topoisomerase isoforms, suggesting CBD is potentially less effective as an anticancer treatment compared to CBDQ. 
  • Neither CBD nor CBDQ is toxic or harmful to humans. Research shows CBDQ is less toxic and more active than conventional anticancer drugs. Likewise, there are no reports of toxicity caused by CBD consumption in the short or long term. 
  • CBD is a proven treatment for epilepsy and epilepsy-induced seizures, whereas CBDQ isn’t. 


  • Unlike THC, CBDQ is a non-intoxicating synthetic cannabinoid. It’s unable to activate CB1 receptors, meaning it won’t cause a euphoric high, nor will it impair your thinking and judgment. 
  • You could argue CBDQ is a better, more effective potential treatment for cancer than THC. However, THC is a potent pain reliever. Taken together and they could prove to be a powerhouse duo, particularly for cancer-related pain symptoms. 
  • CBDQ is currently not a federally controlled substance under the US Controlled Substances Act. On the other hand, THC is an illegal controlled substance.


CBDQ is the best synthetic cannabinoid you’ve probably never heard of. It’s a potent anticancer and antiproliferative substance capable of great things without causing toxicity or adverse side effects. We’re also excited to see it

Sadly, there are no studies showing CBDQ’s effects and benefits on human test subjects. We hope to see future research on how it works in our bodies and if it is a legitimate treatment for cancer, obesity, and fibrosis.