Posts Tagged ‘Δ9-THC’

Hey readers,

 

My apologies for my absence from posting here. I have been very busy writing for The Leaf Online, an online cannabis newspaper that used to be a print paper as well, but like many newspapers of the modern era went digital. The Leaf ran updated versions of all my cannabinoid profiles from this blog, which I highly recommend checking out.

Before getting into any of the details on cannabinoids themselves you should read about your CB receptors. The CB receptors are the main receptor sites that cannabinoids interact with in the human body, there currently are two identified types of CB receptors. CB1 is the receptor that THC and the endo-cannabinoid Anadamide interact with to produce feelings of euphoria; feeling high. While it has other functions as well, producing euphoria is the main function CB1 is known for. CB2 is presently seen as the receptor type where the majority of medicinal benefits come from. If you want to know more about the CB receptors you’ll need to see my post.

 

For more on the cannabinoids see my series of cannabinoid profiles on The Leaf Online.

1. CB1 and CB2

2. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

3. Cannabidiol (CBD)

4. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv)

5. Cannabigerol (CBG)

6. Cannabichromene (CBC)

7. Tetrahydrocannabolic Acid (THCa)

8. Cannabinol (CBN)

9. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa)

10. Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGa)

11. Anandamide

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

Formula: C22H37 NO2

Molecular Mass: 347.53468 g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ????

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): Currently Unknown for humans, 100mg/kg for mice  (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

First isolated in 1992, Anandamide is a neurotransmitter and endo-cannbinoid, a cannabinoid produced within the body. Anandamide, also known as N-Arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is  an endogenous cannabinoid that acts as a “key” molecule fitting into the “locks” of the CB1 and CB2 receptors around the body. It’s name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss, and the word amide. An amide is a type of acid found within the body. Anandamide is the bliss amide, though it is more widely called the bliss compound (not to be confused with the spirit molecule, DMT). Very appropriate to the Sanskrit origins of it’s name, anandamide has been shown to be boosted by doing yoga, which may explain why those yogis are so calm and blissful all the time.
Anandamide can be thought of as the body’s version of THC, it has many of the same therapeutic effects and if it wasn’t for the presence of anandamide in the body we wouldn’t have the CB1 and CB2 receptors that all cannabinoids interact with. Anandamide doesn’t exist solely in the human body. Outside of the body this endo-cannabinoid can be found in chocolate. Next time you’re enjoying a chocolate bar allow that anandamide to jog your memory, and enjoy those sweet cannabinoids.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Angiogenic  Causes new blood vessels to form from pre-existing blood vessels.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Anxiolytic – Relieves anxiety.

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

Neurogenic  Promotes the growth of new brain cells. Specifically within the Hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory and spatial awareness (just like CBD).

 

The Metabolism of Anandamide

Currently Being Studied For

Angiogenesis: Anandamide is unique among cannabinoids for its ability to cause blood cells to split and form new blood cells. This is known as angiogenesis and proper functioning is crucial to fighting off the spread of cancer due to the necessity of oxygen, nutrients, and bodily waste removal that come with it.
Anxiety: Anandamide, like THC, has been shown to reduce anxiety. This 2009 study, while done on mice, still sheds plenty of light on the mechanisms that AEA uses to reduce mental stress and anxiety in those experiencing it.
Cancer: As early as 1998, Anandamide had been identified as an anti-proliferative compound. This means that, like most cannabinoids, Anandamide helps slow the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Specifically the 1998 study looked at its role in inhibiting the proliferation of breast cancer cells. A more recent study from 2007 showed that AEA not only suppressed the growth of tumors it also spurred the formation of new blood cells. If that wasn’t enough Anandamide also induces COX-2-dependant cell death, a type of apoptosis that helps control the growth of cancerous cells. Specifically, AEA was found to do this in apoptosis resistant colon-cancer cells.
Memory Consolidation: Anandamide has been shown to boost in memory consolidation, a process where things in the short term memory get transferred into the long term memory. This gives Anandamide a very unique and important role in allowing people to function normally and to build on their prior knowledge, rather than having to relearn the same things constantly. You can think of memory consolidation as a fancy way to say learning. This same study emphasized the anti-anxiety effects of AEA.

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

Formula: C21H26O2
Molecular Mass: 310.4319 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 77 °C (171 °F)

Boiling Point: 185 °C (365 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 13500mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

Cannabinol (CBN) is what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will break down into over time due to exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is a mild psychoactive, much less intense than when it was THC. CBN is the strongest cannabinoid identified for promoting sleep, this makes cannabis rich in CBN an ideal treatment for insomnia. Indica strains appear to have more CBN than sativa strains, this would explain the commonly held belief that indicas make you sleepy and give you a body high. CBN is a CB2 and CB1 receptor agonist and may inhibit immune cell functionality.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Appetite Stimulant – CBN appears to be a mild appetite stimulant.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth by stimulating osteocytes.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

 

 

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: Both THC and CBN have been identified as pain killers, though THC is far more powerful. A 2002 study identified that both THC and CBN cause a release of certain gene-related peptides from sensory nerves and they are the only identified cannabinoids to use this mechanism.

Appetite Stimulant: Everyone knows that THC stimulates the appetite, giving users the  ‘munchies’ that many people describe. It was only in 2012 that it was discovered that CBN also stimulates the appetite, though it appears to be not as strong as THC.

Cancer: A 2006 study revealed that CBN joins THC and numerous other cannabinoids in having the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN specifically was found to control a type of lung tumor known as a Lewis carcinoma.

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

Hey readers, I’ve got another great cannabis themed blog for you today discussing the various types of cannabis concentrates out there on the market. This isn’t one of my usual cannabinoid profiles but it is just as necessary. Doing a quick Google search I can tell there is a ton of misinformation out there  about concentrates and I hope this post can help clear things up.

A couple notes before we start, pre-empting some questions. While every purity rating given is in THC ever type of concentrate listed here can be made from CBD-rich cannabis making the resultant concentrate also CBD-rich. A method of vaporizing cannabis will be discussed called dabbing, this method is usually done with only super melt hashes but in actuality you can dab anything over 55% THC. Dabbing involves super heating a titanium “nail” with a small blow torch and dropping a hash of sufficient purity onto it, which causes the hash to vaporize.

The Concentrates

Kief.

Kief – Kief is the term for the trichomes of the cannabis plant once they have been removed from the plant. Usually kief is obtained during trimming when it falls off the plant and can be gathered with a mesh screen. Kief can also be made with a machine resulting in exponentially more potent kief, more accurately labelled a kief-melt (a play on full melt hash). Kief generally is between 10-25% THC but at Harborside we’ve had kief test upwards of 55% THC, which makes it potent enough to be dabbed. Kief is always dry sieved cannabis, without any water processing.

Hash.

Hash – Hash can be made through many different methods, the simplest being pressing kief and resin together with ones fingers to make so-called “finger hash,” perhaps the oldest form of concentrated cannabis known. Hash tests a little more potent than most kiefs but not quite as strong as bubble hash, usually between 15-35% THC. Aside from the method of creation, hash is distinguished from bubble hash by the fact that it burns rather than bubbling up.

Bubble Hash.

Bubble Hash – Bubble hash is a water-based hash that is made using a series of bubble bags filled with freezing cold water and ice cubes. Bubble bags are a series of increasingly finer mesh bags that trichomes pass through creating various qualities of bubble hash in each bag level. The trichomes are dislodged from the plant by being frozen then smashed off by the ice. This type of hash gets its name because it bubbles rather than burning, but it doesn’t melt like a full melt hash. These hashes range in the 20-45% THC range.

Full melt hash. Not always this color but always this consistency.

Full Melt Hash – Full melt hash is the highest quality of bubble hash, it is what you find in the bottom bag that has passed through every purity grade. These hashes while still being cold water derived more resemble the oily super melt concentrates I will discuss below. These hashes get their name because unlike bubble hash they do more than just bubble, they melt fully into a liquid form. These hashes range in purity from around 45-70% THC. Here is one method to make full melt hashes that can test nearly 70% THC, without any sort of a chemical solvent used.

BHO/Super melt, this one looks like melted shatter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Melt Hash – Super melt hashes are not made with bubble bags and usually use some sort of a chemical solvent, though so-called solvent free varieties exist. They are called super melts because they  melti super-fast from a solid form into a vapor form, sublimating without fully being a liquid. This is a result of the purity of the product and method of use, not a result of the chemical solvents. Commonly used solvents are butane, isopropyl alcohol, and CO2. Common slang names are ISO hash, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), shatter, wax, oil, dabs, and numerous more.

These hashes contain between 55% THC on the low end to over 90% THC on the high end, most are between 55-80% THC. While these hashes can be made by anyone in their garage the best ones are coming out of scientific grade laboratories; you won’t find someone making 90% pure hash in their bathroom. The most common method of use is dabbing, effectively freebasing cannabis. Many in the medical community have expressed concerns over people getting over-medicated and more serious health concerns, such as lung collapse, resulting from dabbing.

A Note on Super Melt Hash Legality: IT IS ILLEGAL TO MANUFACTURE ANY CONCENTRATE THAT USES A CHEMICAL SOLVENT. Unfortunately state law on this issue lags behind medical cannabis as a whole and the creation of super melt concentrates is regulated under the same law as meth labs. As you probably know making meth is very illegal, a felony; in the eyes of the law making super melt concentrates is also a felony. Be very careful if you are making BHO or any other concentrate, especially is traveling through local areas that are tough on medical cannabis rights. Individual state laws may be different but this is written with California laws in mind.

To quote directly from California state law: “Section 11379.6(a) states: Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance – shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years and by a fine up to $50,000

As I said in a previous post, I took some time off from posting around New Years to do some cooking and you all would be reaping the benefits. Time to show you the best method to make medicated cannabis oil/butter. Supposedly it works better to use a crock pot but I have never used that method, I’ve only done it on stove top.

An important thing to know before making your oil is a good ratio of bud/shake to oil/butter. I prefer using olive or coconut oil as they both have more saturated fat than butter and the THC binds to it much better as a result. THC is lipidic, that means it binds to lipids…fats; THC is also hydrophobic, it cannot bind to water. I used about  three ounces of shake for 2 pounds (32 ounces) of oil, and threw some kief in as well. Most recipes I have found online use a ratio of one ounce shake to one pound of oil/butter, for bud it’s more like 1/2 ounce to the pound. I wanted a very strong batch as I have a high tolerance, and it certainly turned out strong.

What will really help the potency of your medicated oil is if you pre-bake the bud in the oven before cooking it on the stove. This is a process known as decarboxylation, this is a chemical process where carbon is evaporated out of the plant matter. All living things are made of carbon and over time exposure to heat and oxygen will cause decarboxylation. Using the oven accelerates this process. This is crucial for making cannabis oil because when cannabis decarboxylates the non-psychoactive THCa and other trace cannabinoids are converted into THC, which greatly raises the potency of your batch. I put my kief into a pyrex dish to keep it separated and cook it better.

01

Step 1: Decarboxylate the cannabis. You can either use lower heat (240ish degrees) for about an hour, or a flash heat of 5-10 minutes at much higher (about 300). I am skeptical of the flash heating method as the higher heat runs the risk of burning off desirable cannabinoids and terpenoids. I cooked mine at 280 for about 30 minutes and it was a great success.

02

Step 2: While the cannabis is decarboxylating start heating up the coconut oil on the stove in the jars in water. Use a medium to low heat to not crack the jars, it helps to preheat the jars in hot water before turning the stove on. You want the oil/butter to be liquid before you throw it in with the cannabis to cook it all together.

03

Step 3: Begin to boil water on the stove, after a couple minutes add the liquid oil to the water. After about five minutes throw the cannabis in and cook it for the next 2-3 hours. You will want to begin on a medium/high heat to boil it and finish any final decarboxylation, but soon cut it down to a low heat, and you will keep it on low heat for the next 2-3 hours. Low heat is important to not burn off the oil or give it a burned flavor.

04

Step 4: Let the mixture cool off and put it through a metal strainer, letting the water and oil drip into a Tupperware container. After you use the strainer I would recommend squeezing out the additional oil with cheesecloth, or  at least press it through the metal strainer with a spoon. This is crucial as most of the oil will still be in the plant matter and needs to be squeezed out. Put it in the fridge overnight, NOT THE FREEZER!!

05

Step 5: After a night in the fridge the coconut oil will be a solid again, but the water will still be liquid, this is crucial so you can easily separate the oil from the water. Freezing it will also freeze the water making this impossible or at least *really* annoying and  time consuming…so if you like being annoyed and wasting time be my guest…or put in in the fridge and voila!

06

If you put it in the fridge cut out a small corner of the oil and pour out all the nasty waste water. Many people suggest using a double boiler method where the cannabis and oil are in one smaller pot layered inside of a larger one holding the water. Don’t fall for that crap. THC is lipidic and binds into the oils, unlike tannins which go into the water. If you separate the water from the oil those tannins have nowhere to go other than into your oil making it taste awful, by putting it all in one pot the tannins go into the waste water to be discarded.

07

Step 6: Chop up the oil into little pieces and put them back into the jars. I personally like to label my medicated things so people know what it is and don’t mistake it for just plain oil.

08

That’s what the final product looks like. I’ll be posting up a recipe in the next couple of weeks using this, and it’s not boring pot brownies. Stay tuned to learn how to make a medicated curry sauce.

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.