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Thread: Understanding Cannabis

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    Understanding Cannabis

    Understanding Cannabis

    cannabinoids.jpg





    What are Cannabinoids & how do they work?
    Cannabinoids are natural chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant (i.e., ∆9-THC, CBD, etc.). Scientists have isolated over 85 cannabinoids; however, only a handful of cannabinoids have known effects on the body. The most commonly known and researched cannabinoid is ∆9-THC (known for its psychoactive affects), followed by ∆9-THCA, Cannabadiol (CBD), and Cannabinol (CBN). Cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors: the CB1 receptor in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and on the CB2 receptor localized primarily to immune cells. This system is known as the endocannabinoid (internal cannabinoid) system; which, is common in animals, and has been found in mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles.

    Tetrahydrocannabinol - THC -
    (∆9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the prime psychoactive component of cannabis. Medicinally, it appears to ease moderate pain and to be neuro-protective. THC occurs naturally in fresh plants, but at very low concentrations. The fresh plant produces the acidic version called THCA (tetra-hydrocannabinolic acid) is then quickly converted to THC at a higher concentration.

    Cannabidiol - CBD -
    Unlike THC, CBD lacks noticeable psycho-active effects while moderating its psycho-activity. Taken by itself, CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, sedative and neuron-protective properties. It's also a potent anti-oxident, protective against chemical damage due to oxidation. CBD can contribute to the high by interacting with THC to enhance or antagonize (interfere or lessen) certain qualities of the high. CBD appears to enhance the sedative effects of THC and antagonize its excitatory effects. Recent studies suggest CBD could protect against development of diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, brain and nerve damage due to stroke, alcoholism, nausea, inflammatory bowel disease, and Huntington's disease.

    Cannabinol - CBN -
    is the third most common cannabinoid. The plant does not produce CBN; it is a degradation (oxidative) product of THC. Fresh samples of cannabis contain very little CBN; however, high levels can be caused from poor curing, poor storage, or poor processing such as when making hash. CBN appears to enhance THC's disorienting qualities. High levels of CBN in cannabis is undesirable, since it represents a lost of 90% of the psycho activity of its precursor (THC).

    Terpenes:
    Terpenes are the major components of resin, and the essential oils and extracts produced from resin. Terpenes function as smell and ease molecules, as well as bio-synthetic building blocks for plants. Approximately 10-29% of The percentages and ratios of terpenes vary from plant to plant. Age, maturation, collection methods, climate, and weather all affect terpene and flavonoid production. Terpenes are produced in the tricomes, the same glands where THC is produced. Science is only now investigating the complex interactions between terpenes and brain activity, and themselves. In the future, we hope to unlock the terpenes mystery, and predict the medicinal properties each lend.











    Term

    Definition / Desription




    Cannabichromene (CBC)

    CBC bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, and cannabinol, among others. Evidence has suggested that it may play a role in the anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects of cannabis, and may contribute to the overall analgesic effects of medical cannabis. However, more research into the compound may be needed before any definite medical effects can be verified.



    Cannabigerol (CBG)

    Cannabigerol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the Cannabis genus of plants. Cannabigerol is found in higher concentrations in hemp rather than in varieties of Cannabis cultivated for high THC content and their corresponding psychoactive properties. Cannabigerol has been found to act as a high affinity α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, moderate affinity 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, and low affinity CB1 receptor antagonist. It also binds to the CB2 receptor, but whether it acts as an agonist or antagonist at this site is unknown. Cannabigerol has been shown to relieve intraoccular pressure, which may be of benefit in the treatment of glaucoma.



    Cannabinoid

    Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that activate cannabinoid receptors. These include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals), the phytocannabinoids(found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (produced chemically by humans). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis. However, there are known to exist numerous other cannabinoids with varied effects. Synthetic cannabinoids encompass a variety of distinct chemical classes: the classical cannabinoids structurally related to THC, the nonclassical cannabinoids (cannabimimetics) including the aminoalkylindoles, 1,5-diarylpyrazoles, quinolines, and arylsulphonamides, as well as eicosanoids related to the endocannabinoids.



    Cannabinoid Receptors

    Before the 1980s, it was often speculated that cannabinoids produced their physiological and behavioral effects via nonspecific interaction with cell membranes, instead of interacting with specific membrane-bound receptors. The discovery of the first cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s helped to resolve this debate. These receptors are common in animals, and have been found in mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. At present, there are two known types of cannabinoid receptors, termed CB1 and CB2, with mounting evidence of more. The human brain has more cannabinoid receptors than any other GPCR type.



    Cannabinol (CBD)

    Cannabidiol has shown to decrease activity of the limbic system[10] and to decrease social isolation induced by THC.[11] It's also shown that Cannabidiol reduces anxiety in social anxiety disorder. [12] [13] In April 2005, Canadian authorities approved the marketing of Sativex, a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis to alleviate pain. Sativex contains tetrahydrocannabinol together with cannabidiol. It is marketed in Canada by GW Pharmaceuticals. In 1985 a single case study suggested that CBD may be effective in the management of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in a Parkinson's Disease patient.[14] Studies have shown that CBD may reduce schizophrenic symptoms in patients, likely due to their apparent ability to stabilize disrupted or disabled NMDA receptor pathways in the brain, which are shared and sometimes contested by norepinephrine and GABA.[6][15] Leweke et al. performed a double blind, 4 week, explorative controlled clinical trial to compare the effects of purified cannabidiol and the atypical antipsychotic amisulpride on improving the symptoms of schizophrenia in 42 patients with acute paranoid schizophrenia. Both treatments were associated with a significant decrease of psychotic symptoms after 2 and 4 weeks as assessed by Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. While there was no statistical difference between the two treatment groups, cannabidiol induced significantly fewer side effects (extrapyramidal symptoms, increase in prolactin, weight gain) when compared to amisulpride.[16] Cannabidiol has also been shown as being effective treating an often drug-induced set of neurological movement disorders known as dystonia.[8] In one study, five out of five participants showed noted improvement in their dystonic symptoms by 20-50%.[7] CBD also appears to protect against 'binge' alcohol induced neurodegeneration.[17][18] Cannabidiol may block THC's interference with memory.[19]



    Cannabinol (CBN)

    Cannabinol (CBN) is a psychoactive substance cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica/afghanica.[1] It is also a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).[2] CBN acts as a weak agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with lower affinity in comparison to THC.[3][4]



    Cannabis Indica

    Cannabis indica is an annual plant in the Cannabaceae family. A putative species of the genus Cannabis, it is typically distinguished from Cannabis sativa.[1][2] Cannabis indica may have a CBD:THC ratio 4–5 times that of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis strains with relatively high CBD:THC ratios are less likely to induce anxiety than vice versa. This may be due to CBD's antagonistic effects at the cannabinoid receptors, compared to THC's partial agonist effect. CBD is also a 5-HT1A receptor (serotonin) agonist, which may also contribute to an anxiolytic-content effect.[12] This likely means the high concentrations of CBD found in Cannabis indica mitigate the anxiogenic effect of THC significantly.[13] The effects of sativa are well known for its cerebral high, hence used daytime as medical cannabis, while indica are well known for its sedative effects and preferred night time as medical cannabis.[13] Indica plants are normally shorter and stockier plants than sativas. They have wide, deeply serrated leaves and a compact and dense flower cluster. The effects of indicas are predominantly physical and sedative. Due to the relaxing nature of indicas, they are best used for non-active times of the day and before bed.[14]



    Cannabis Sativa

    Cannabis sativa is an annual herbaceous plant in the Cannabaceae family. People have cultivated this herb throughout recorded history as a source of industrial fibre, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual enlightenment, and medicine. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. Cannabis indica may have a CBD:THC ratio 4–5 times that of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis strains with relatively high CBD:THC ratios are less likely to induce anxiety than vice versa. This may be due to CBD's antagonistic effects at the cannabinoid receptors, compared to THC's partial agonist effect. CBD is also a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, which may also contribute to an anxiolytic effect.[5] This likely means the high concentrations of CBD found in Cannabis indica mitigate the anxiogenic effect of THC significantly.[5] The effects of sativa are well known for its cerebral high, hence used daytime as medical cannabis, while indica are well known for its sedative effects and preferred night time as medical cannabis.[5] Generally, the sativa plant is a taller and lankier variety, characterised by narrow serrated leaves and loose spear-like flower clusters that can be extremely resinous. The primary effects of sativas are on the mind and emotions. These benefits can be particularly helpful for the psychological aspects of many illnesses, giving people an increased sense of well-being. Due to the stimulating nature of sativas, they are generally better for daytime use. Caution should also be taken for people experiencing heightened anxiety or those with mental health conditions.[2]



    Caryophyllene

    Caryophyllene ( /ˌkæri.ɵfɪˈliːn/), or (−)-β-caryophyllene, is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is a constituent of many essential oils, especially clove oil, the oil from the stems and flowers of Syzygium aromaticum (cloves),[1] the essential oil of hemp Cannabis sativa,[2] rosemary Rosmarinus oficinalis,[3] and hops.[4] It is usually found as a mixture with isocaryophyllene (the cis double bond isomer) and α-humulene (obsolete name: α-caryophyllene), a ring-opened isomer. Caryophyllene is notable for having a cyclobutane ring, a rarity in nature. Caryophyllene is one of the chemical compounds that contributes to the spiciness of black pepper. In a study conducted by Jürg Gertsch et al. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), beta-caryophyllene was shown to selectively bind to the cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2) and to exert significant cannabimimetic antiinflammatory effects in mice.[2] Since the widespread plant natural product beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive and ingested daily with food it is the first dietary cannabinoid. Whether this compound is able to modulate inflammatory processes in humans via the endocannabinoid system is yet unknown. Beta-caryophyllene does not bind to the centrally expressed cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) and therefore does not exert psychomimetic effects. The first total synthesis of caryophyllene in 1964 by E.J. Corey was considered one of the classic demonstrations of the possibilities of synthetic organic chemistry at the time.[5]



    Gas chromatography (GC)

    Gas chromatography (GC), is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture (the relative amounts of such components can also be determined). In some situations, GC may help in identifying a compound. In preparative chromatography, GC can be used to prepare pure compounds from a mixture.[1][2] In gas chromatography, the mobile phase (or "moving phase") is a carrier gas, usually an inert gas such as helium or an unreactive gas such as nitrogen. The stationary phase is a microscopic layer of liquid or polymer on an inert solid support, inside a piece of glass or metal tubing called a column (an homage to the fractionating column used in distillation). The instrument used to perform gas chromatography is called a gas chromatograph (or "aerograph", "gas separator"). The gaseous compounds being analyzed interact with the walls of the column, which is coated with a stationary phase. This causes each compound to elute at a different time, known as the retention time of the compound. The comparison of retention times is what gives GC its analytical usefulness. Gas chromatography is in principle similar to column chromatography (as well as other forms of chromatography, such as HPLC, TLC), but has several notable differences. Firstly, the process of separating the compounds in a mixture is carried out between a liquid stationary phase and a gas mobile phase, whereas in column chromatography the stationary phase is a solid and the mobile phase is a liquid. (Hence the full name of the procedure is "Gas–liquid chromatography", referring to the mobile and stationary phases, respectively.) Secondly, the column through which the gas phase passes is located in an oven where the temperature of the gas can be controlled, whereas column chromatography (typically) has no such temperature control. Thirdly, the concentration of a compound in the gas phase is solely a function of the vapor pressure of the gas.[1] Gas chromatography is also similar to fractional distillation, since both processes separate the components of a mixture primarily based on boiling point (or vapor pressure) differences. However, fractional distillation is typically used to separate components of a mixture on a large scale, whereas GC can be used on a much smaller scale (i.e. microscale).[1] Gas chromatography is also sometimes known as vapor-phase chromatography (VPC), or gas–liquid partition chromatography (GLPC). These alternative names, as well as their respective abbreviations, are frequently used in scientific literature. Strictly speaking, GLPC is the most correct terminology, and is thus preferred by many authors.[1]



    Hash Oil

    Hash oil, or "butane honey oil" (BHO), is a mix of essential oils and resins extracted from mature cannabis foliage through the use of various solvents. It has a high proportion of cannabinoids (ranging from 40 to 90%) and is used in a variety of cannabis foods.



    Hashish

    Hashish (also spelled hasheesh, hashisha, or simply hash) is a concentrated resin produced from the flowers of the female cannabis plant. Hash can often be more potent than marijuana and can be smoked or chewed.[41] It varies in color from black to golden brown depending upon purity.



    High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

    High-performance liquid chromatography (sometimes referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), HPLC, is a chromatographic technique used to separate a mixture of compounds in analytical chemistry and biochemistry with the purpose of identifying, quantifying and purifying the individual components of the mixture. HPLC is also considered an instrumentation technique of analytical chemistry, instead of a gravitimetric technique. HPLC has many uses including medical (e.g. detecting vitamin D concentrations in blood serum), legal (e.g.detecting performance enhancement drugs in urine), research (e.g. purifying substances from a complex biological sample, or separating similar synthetic chemicals from each other), and manufacturing (e.g. during the production process of pharmaceutical and biologic products).[1] HPLC can alternatively be described as a mass transfer involving adsorption. HPLC relies on the pressure of mechanical pumps on a liquid solvent to load a sample mixture onto a chemistry column, in which the separation occurs. A HPLC separation column is filled with solid particles (e.g. silica, polymers, or sorbents), and the sample mixture is separated into compounds as it interacts with the column particles. HPLC separation is influenced by the liquid solvent’s condition (e.g. pressure, temperature), chemical interactions between the sample mixture and the liquid solvent (e.g. hydrophobicity, protonation, etc…), and chemical interactions between the sample mixture and the solid particles packed inside of the separation column (e.g. Ligand affinity, ion exchange, etc...). HPLC is distinguished from ordinary liquid chromatography because the pressure of HPLC is relatively high (~150 bar, ~2000 PSI), while ordinary liquid chromatography typically relies on the force of gravity to provide pressure. Due to the higher pressure separation conditions of HPLC, HPLC columns have relatively small internal diameter (e.g. 4.6 mm), are short (e.g. 25 mm), and packed more densely with smaller particles, which helps achieve finer separations of a sample mixture than ordinary liquid chromatography can. This gives HPLC superior resolving power when separating mixtures, which is why it is a popular chromatographic technique. The schematic of an HPLC instrument typically includes a sampler by which the sample mixture is injected into the HPLC, one or more mechanical pumps for pushing liquid through a tubing system, a separation column, a digital analyte detector (e.g. a UV/Vis, or a photodiode array (PDA)) for qualitative or quantitative analysis of the separation, and a digital microprocessor for controlling the HPLC components (and user software). Many different types of columns are available, varying in size, and in the type (i.e. chemistry) of solid packed particle types available. Some models of mechanical pumps in a HPLC instrument can also mix multiple liquids together, and the recipe or gradient of those liquids can modify the chemical interactions that occur in HPLC’s column, and thereby modify the chemical separation of the mixture.



    Humulene

    Humulene, also known as α-humulene or α-caryophyllene, is a naturally occurring monocyclic sesquiterpene, which is a terpenoid consisting of 3 isoprene units. It is found in the essential oils of Humulus lupulus (hops) from which it derives its name.[3] It is an isomer of β-caryophyllene, and the two are often found together as a mixture in nature. It is also found in Lindera strychnifolia, and is one of the chemical compounds that contribute to the taste of the spice Vietnamese coriander. It also contributes to the characteristic aroma of Humulus lupulus and Cannabis sativa, where it is present in the essential oil of the plants.



    Kief

    Kief is a powder, rich in trichomes, which can be sifted from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants and either consumed in powder form or compressed to produce cakes of hashish.[40]



    Mass Spectrometry (MS)

    Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles.[1] It is used for determining masses of particles, for determining the elemental composition of a sample or molecule, and for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds. MS works by ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratios.[1] In a typical MS procedure: A sample is loaded onto the mass spectrometer, and undergoes vaporization The components of the sample are ionized by one of a variety of methods (e.g., by impacting them with an electron beam), which results in the formation of charged particles (ions) The ions are separated according to their mass-to-charge ratio in an analyzer by electromagnetic fields The ions are detected, usually by a quantitative method The ion signal is processed into mass spectra MS instruments consist of three modules: An ion source, which can convert gas phase sample molecules into ions (or, in the case of electrospray ionization, move ions that exist in solution into the gas phase) A mass analyzer, which sorts the ions by their masses by applying electromagnetic fields A detector, which measures the value of an indicator quantity and thus provides data for calculating the abundances of each ion present The technique has both qualitative and quantitative uses. These include identifying unknown compounds, determining the isotopic composition of elements in a molecule, and determining the structure of a compound by observing its fragmentation. Other uses include quantifying the amount of a compound in a sample or studying the fundamentals of gas phase ion chemistry (the chemistry of ions and neutrals in a vacuum). MS is now in very common use in analytical laboratories that study physical, chemical, or biological properties of a great variety of compounds.



    Myrcene

    Myrcene, or β-myrcene, is an olefinic natural organic compound. It is classified as a hydrocarbon, more precisely as a monoterpene. Terpenes are dimers of isoprene, and myrcene is one of the most important. It is a component of the essential oil of several plants including bay, ylang-ylang, wild thyme, and hops.[3][4] It is produced mainly semi-synthetically from myrcia, from which it gets its name. It is a key intermediate in the production of several fragrances. α-Myrcene is the name for the structural isomer 2-methyl-6-methylene-1,7-octadiene, which is not found in nature and is little used.[5]



    Phytocannabinoids

    Phytocannabinoids (also called natural cannabinoids, herbal cannabinoids, and classical cannabinoids) are known to occur in several different plant species. These include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, Acmella oleracea, Helichrysum umbraculigerum, and Radula marginata.[8] The best known herbal cannabinoids are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from Cannabis and the lipophilic alkamides (alkylamides) from Echinacea species.[8] A significant number of cannabinoids are found in both Cannabis and Echinacea plants. In Cannabis, these cannabinoids are concentrated in a viscous resin produced in structures known as glandular trichomes. In Echinacea species, cannabinoids are found throughout the plant structure, but are most concentrated in the roots and stems.[9] Tea (Camellia sinensis) catechins have an affinity for human cannabinoid receptors.[10] Phytocannabinoids are nearly insoluble in water but are soluble in lipids, alcohols, and other non-polar organic solvents. However, as phenols, they form more water-soluble phenolate salts under strongly alkaline conditions. All-natural cannabinoids are derived from their respective 2-carboxylic acids (2-COOH) by decarboxylation (catalyzed by heat, light, or alkaline conditions).



    Pinene

    Pinene (C10H16) is a bicyclic monoterpene chemical compound.[1] There are two structural isomers of pinene found in nature: α-pinene and β-pinene. As the name suggests, both forms are important constituents of pine resin; they are also found in the resins of many other conifers, as well as in non-coniferous plants such as big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). Both isomers are used by many insects in their chemical communication system. In chemical industry, selective oxidation of pinene with some catalysts gives many compounds for perfumery, such as artificial odorants. An important oxidation product is verbenone, along with pinene oxide, verbenol and verbenyl hydroperoxide. [3]



    Potency Comparison (average)

    This is a graphical representation of this sample's cannabinoid profile, compared with the average of all samples of this type. An average is calculated by taking the total (sum) of each cannabinoid and dividing it by the total number for that cannabinoid.



    Resin

    Because of THC's adhesive properties, a sticky residue, most commonly known as "resin", builds up inside utensils used to smoke cannabis. It has tar-like properties but still contains THC as well as other cannabinoids. This buildup retains some of the psychoactive properties of cannabis but is more difficult to smoke without discomfort caused to the throat and lungs. This tar may also contain CBN, which is a breakdown product of THC. Cannabis users typically only smoke residue when cannabis is unavailable. Glass pipes may be water-steamed at a low temperature prior to scraping in order to make the residue easier to remove.[43]



    Seperation

    Cannabinoids can be separated from the plant by extraction with organic solvents. Hydrocarbons and alcohols are often used as solvents. However, these solvents are flammable and many are toxic. Butane may be used, which evaporates extremely quickly. Supercritical solvent extraction with carbon dioxide is an alternative technique. Although this process requires high pressures (73 atmospheres or more), there is minimal risk of fire or toxicity, solvent removal is simple and efficient, and extract quality can be well controlled. Once extracted, cannabinoid blends can be separated into individual components using wiped film vacuum distillation or other distillation techniques. However, to produce high-purity cannabinoids, chemical synthesis or semisynthesis is generally required.



    Terpenes

    Terpenes ( tur-peens) are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers,[1] though also by some insects such as termites or swallowtail butterflies, which emit terpenes from their osmeteria. They are often strong smelling and thus may have had a protective function. They are the major components of resin, and of turpentine produced from resin. The name "terpene" is derived from the word "turpentine". In addition to their roles as end-products in many organisms, terpenes are major biosynthetic building blocks within nearly every living creature. Steroids, for example, are derivatives of the triterpene squalene. When terpenes are modified chemically, such as by oxidation or rearrangement of the carbon skeleton, the resulting compounds are generally referred to as terpenoids. Some authors will use the term terpene to include all terpenoids. Terpenoids are also known as isoprenoids. Terpenes and terpenoids are the primary constituents of the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers. Essential oils are used widely as natural flavor additives for food, as fragrances in perfumery, and in traditional and alternative medicines such as aromatherapy. Synthetic variations and derivatives of natural terpenes and terpenoids also greatly expand the variety of aromas used in perfumery and flavors used in food additives. Vitamin A is an example of a terpene. Terpenes are released by trees more actively in warmer weather, acting as a natural form of cloud seeding. The clouds reflect sunlight, allowing the forest to regulate its temperature.[2] The aroma and flavor of hops, highly desirable in some beers, comes from terpenes. Of the terpenes in hops myrcene, b-pinene, b-caryophyllene, and a-humulene are found in the largest quantities.[3]



    Tetrahydrocannabinol (∆8-THC)

    An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) binds to the cannabinoid G-protein coupled receptor CB1, located in the central nervous system; CB1 receptor activation inhibits adenyl cyclase, increases mitogen-activated protein kinase activities, modulates several potassium channel conductances and inhibits N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis



    Tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC)

    Also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), is the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. First isolated in 1964,[5][6][7] in its pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed. Synthetically prepared THC, officially referred to by its INN, dronabinol, is available by prescription in the U.S. and Canada under the brand name Marinol. An aromatic terpenoid, THC has a very low solubility in water, but good solubility in most organic solvents, specifically lipids and alcohols. Like most pharmacologically-active secondary metabolites of plants, THC in cannabis is assumed to be involved in self-defense, perhaps against herbivores[8] but as of now it is still unknown. THC also possesses high UV-B (280-315 nm) absorption properties, which, it has been speculated, could protect the plant from harmful UV radiation exposure.[9][10][11]

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