Cannabinoid Profile – Δ9-THC

Posted: December 18, 2013 in Cannabis, History, Science
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – THC!

I will be working to update and expand all of these posts with  time and as I come across more research, if you know of anything I may have missed please bring it up.

Hope you enjoy learning about the medicinal and recreational benefits of THC; remember, all use is medicinal use. There  is no way to stop that THC from preemptively fighting your cancer, even if you ‘just wanna get high’ you’re still medicating.

THC

Formula: C21H30O2
Molecular Mass: 314.2246g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ????
Boiling Point: 157 °C (315 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 150 lb person would need to eat 1 pound of 50% pure THC hash in one sitting to overdose, ~1260mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg) [More on Δ9-THC’s LD 50 can be found here.]

While Δ9-THC is the most common cannabinoid in most plants it is not the only THC in cannabis, it is joined by THCa, THCv, and Δ8-THC, as well as a slew of other cannabinoids, including CBD and CBG. Δ9-THC is the primary psychoactive compound that has been identified in the cannabis plant, though other trace cannabinoids may be psychoactive and many more modulate how THC effects the body. Δ9-THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the fabled munchies that cannabis users speak of; ironically THCv, it’s chemical relative, is being researched as an appetite suppressant (more on that in a future blog).

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Antioxidant – Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.

Antispasmodic – Suppresses muscle spasms.

Anxiolitic – While not fully recognized as an anxiolitic compound THC does seem to assist in the anxiety associated with PTSD.

Appetite Stimulant – Δ9-THC is the only cannabinoid identified that is an appetite stimulant, giving people the stereotypical “munchies” many users describe.

Euphoriant – Produces feelings of euphoria, promotes happiness and relaxation.

Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

Currently Being Studied For

Cancer: THC has been shown to halt the growth of tumors, and in some cases shrink them, through various methods not fully understood. In one recent case study, an infant suffering from a brain tumor experienced a 90% reduction in tumor size over a year of twice a day use of hemp oil. Veteran cancer researcher Donald Tashkin, in the largest controlled study of its kind, found that daily smoking of THC-rich cannabis resulted in lower instances of cancer than in the general population of nonsmokers! Think about it; all smoking causes cancer by creation of benzopyrene, but despite that THC is a strong enough anti-proliferative to prevent more cancer than the smoking causes. Fun Fact: Burning ANY organic matter creates benzopyrene. This means that barbeque, toast, and even grilled vegatables can give you cancer.

Pain Management: THC has been shown to have great prospect in treating chronic pain because it seems to change “the way the nerves function.” THC also has been studied heavily for its use in treating neuropathic pain, including the pain associated with HIV and  cancer. Recent studies seem to agree that THC changes how we feel pain and makes it more bearable. It is not a pain killer in the sense that it numbs the ability to feel pain, instead it seems to raise an  individual’s pain tolerance making the same amount of pain less significant.

Anorexia Nervosa: THC shows great promise in reversing the weight loss associated with anorexia in studies on mice as well as humans. Even the synthetic cannabinoids dronabinol and marinol have been demonstrated to help with weight loss.

HIV/AIDs: Aside from assisting with the pain and nausea that often are associated with HIV/AIDs, THC directly fights the virus in unique ways that have only recently been identified. A 2012 study shows THC assisting in HIV treatment by its activation of CB2 receptors and CD4 receptors. Cannabis affects our body by interacting with our endocannabinoid system, the CB2 and CD4 receptors are a part of that system. A study from earlier this year expands on the role of THC in combating HIV through its activation of CB2.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Though THC is not commonly considered a treatment for anxiety it has shown promise for anxiety, specifically with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Gastrointestinal Inflammation: THC lowers the incidence of blockages and other gastrointestinal inflammation associated with use of NSAID anti-inflammatory drugs. THC “protects against diclofenac-induced gastric inflammatory tissue damage at doses insufficient to cause common cannabinoid side effects.” A recent survey of Irritable Bowel Disorder sufferers found that 1/6 use THC-rich cannabis to treat the inflammation.

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://sclabs.com/learn/learn-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

 

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