Deterioration

In India it is stored only for about three years. After that, it loses its dark brown or greenish color and resinous quality, becoming brownish-grey, hard and crumbly. This loss of potency is due to oxidation the center of a chunk will remain potent longer than the outside. Raphael Mechoulam, the pioneer marijuana experimenter, found one chunk of hash with 2 THC on the outside, but 8 inside. Twenty years earlier, marijuana researcher Levine found that after three...

Propyl Cannabinoids

Before 1969 it was thought that all naturally occurring cannabinoids had the pentyl or five carbon side chain in the right hand (benzenoid) ring. Then some samples were discovered which contained small amounts of cannabinoids with a propyl or three carbon side chain instead of the pentyl. The three analogs of CBD, THC and CBN with the propyl side chain are termed cannabidivarol (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabivarol (THCV) and cannabivarol (CBV). Samples having significant amounts of these compounds...

Species

There is currently much confusion about the number of species in the genus Cannabis. Some botanists hold that, on the basis of morphological criteria, there are three species sativa, indica and ruderalis. These are characterized as follows (Note that akenes often spelled achenes is the technically correct name for seeds. The abscission layer is the site where the seed is attached.) C. sativa Plants usually tall (five to eighteen feet), laxly branched. Akenes smooth, usually lacking marbled...

Grafting and Cloning

Most of the interest in grafting marijuana plants arose from the mistaken belief that hops-marijuana grafts could produce an unrecognizable but potent plant. Even though this notion has been proven false, grafting various Cannabis stocks on one another is still of interest. For example, one plant may root well and have a strong stem, but produce little THC, while another may be the opposite. Or, a person might wish to have branches of four or five different strains growing on a single plant....

The Cannabidiol Story

The widely varying effects of marijuana and hashish have long C Hu R COOH, Cannabinolic acid J'-Tetrahydrocannabinol, (R H) J'-THC (J9-THC) A1 -Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (R COOH) J'-Tetrahydrocannabivarol (tetrahydrocannabidivarol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, propyl-THC) Cannabivarol (cannabidivarol, cannabivarin, propyl cannabinol) Cannabidivarol (cannabidivarin, propyl cannabidiol) Fig. 1. Some naturally occurring cannabinoids. The top three compounds are by far the most important, with the set...

Cannabinoid Content of Hashish

When we examine the cannabinoid content of hashish, we reach some very interesting conclusions. First, the actual content of Cannabinoid Content of Monoecious Strains 'Double backcross of Turkish to German Monoecious SOURCE E. Small and H. Beckstead, Common Cannabinoid Phenotypes in 350 Stocks of Cannabis, Uoydia 36 (1973) 144. 'Double backcross of Turkish to German Monoecious SOURCE E. Small and H. Beckstead, Common Cannabinoid Phenotypes in 350 Stocks of Cannabis, Uoydia 36 (1973) 144. THC is...

Cannabinoids The Active Chemicals of Marijuana

Although chcmical research on marijuana began over 150 years ago, it wasn't until 1964 that the first authenticated isolation of a pure, active principle delta-one tetrahydrocannabinol (A'-THC) was achieved, and not until 1970 that it was determined to be the only major psychoactive component. Even though dozens of cannabinoids have been isolated since then, none have been found to be significantly psychoactive. Cannabinoids arc the compounds with 21 carbon atoms they and their carboxylic...

Saturated Hydrocarbons

Short chain saturated hydrocarbons such as propane (three carbon atoms) and butane (four carbon atoms) are familiar to everyone, but every organism contains small amounts of hydrocarbons with longer chains (more carbon atoms). Cannabis is one of many plants with easily detectable amounts of saturated hydrocarbons which have between 25 and 30 carbon atoms per chain. Limited study of these compounds indicates that they show no consistent variation with growth conditions or canna-binoid content....

Notes

Mechoulam, et al., Recent Advances in the Chemistry and Biochemistry of Cannabis, Chemical Reviews, 76 (1976) 75 R. Mechoulam, Marijuana (New York Academic Press, 1973) M. Perez-Reyes, et al., A Comparison of the Pharmacological Activity in Man of Intraven-eously Administered A -Tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannabinol and Canna-bidiol, Experientia 29(1973) 1368. 2. 1. Karniol, et al., Cannabidiol Interferes with the Effects of A9 THC in Man, European Journal of Pharmacology 28 (1974) 172 I....

Harvesting and Hashmaking in India

The terms charas, ganja and bhang are roughly equivalent to hashish, flowering tops and leaves, respectively. As will be seen, the preparation methods vary considerably. The manufacture of rouna ganja is not completed till the fourth day after the plants are cut. The plants are gathered somewhat later in the day and laid out under the open sky for the night. The sorting is done the next morning, a great deal more of the woody portion being rejected than in the case of flat ganja. The twigs are...

Pruning Branches and Manipulating Stems

Pruning the tops of marijuana plants is the custom in Brazil. But in the Bengal area of India, the lower branches are removed when the plant is about three months old. The Nepalesc supposedly trim the tips, remove the larger leaves and shake the plant from time to time the resulting mass of twisted leaves and flowers is called latta, probably very similar to the colas of mature sinsemilla. Splitting the base is another practice believed to increase potency. In India, farmers reportedly twist...

Cellular Origins of Cannabinoids

Double Cystolith

Until they are about to flower, the plants have only two types of hairs. The unicellular covering hairs (trichomes) are long and thin and end in a point (see figure 9e). These are few until the plant is one month (in warm climates) or two months in temperate climates) old. They subsequently show a gradual increase in number and are especially common on flower-bearing branches where they form a silky down. The second type of hair (cysto-lith) is short, swollen at the base and set into the...

Alkaloids

Most of the plant chemicals found in nature which have any striking physiological effects at low dose levels are alkaloids that is, they are nitrogen-containing compounds with basic (as opposed to acidic) properties. Consequently, it was surprising to find that the active constituent of marijuana was not an alkaloid. Nevertheless, all organisms contain numerous alkaloids in small quantities and a few of these have been isolated in marijuana. The relatively complex alkaloid, cannabisativine,...

Relative Potency of Male and Female Plants

Female Marijuana Plant Pictures

The first observations about the differences in potency of the male and female marijuana plants were probably made thousands of years ago. The ancient Indian practice of separating males Fig. 13. Anatomy of male and female Cannabis A, mature male plant B, mature male flowering branch C, immature closed male flower D, mature open male flower with 5 sepals surrounding 5 anthers E, single anther and cross section of anther containing pollen F, female flowering branch containing many flowers and...

Hybrids

Hemp breeders have long known that Cannabis strains can easily be crossed with each other. What they don't know is the relative fertility of the second generations. Researchers recently crossed 38 strains representing each of the five cannabinoid types and found that all of the hybrids had the normal diploid number of chromosomes (2n 20), normal meiosis (division of the chromosomes during sexual reproduction), completely strainable pollen (a criterion for fertility), and no chromosomal...

Bonsai Marijuana

The common belief is that marijuana is an annual it flowers and dies each year. In nature, this is probably always true, even in warm climates. (However, where it is warm year round, new plants may always be growing. There are reports that C. sativa is sometimes perennial in tropical and subtropical areas.) Nevertheless, appropriate manipulation may allow a plant to grow for years and possibly decades. Some people have kept females alive outdoors for several years by carefully trimming the...

Potency and Color

The extreme redness of the Tepehua's plants may merely indicate the soil's potassium deficiency or may be a genetic factor which has been observed in stems and leaves elsewhere (such as Zihuatenejo purple). Red and purple colors are produced by pigments called anthocyanins. Extreme nitrogen or phosphorous deficiencies can also produce red petioles (leaf stems) or leaves. Plants are green due to the presence of large amounts of chlorophyll the other colored pigments only show up as the plant...

Variations in THC and CBD Content

The data summarized in this chapter have been painstakingly gathered from many scientific reports and have never before been collected together. They should provide a valuable basis for any future discussion of marijuana potency. However, certain limitations should be kept in mind. It has been established that marijuana should be air dried at least three days (or oven dried) in order to extract all the cannabinoids. But some studies have failed to do this or have not given a clear account of...

Apparatus and Procedure

Those with lab apparatus can do the extraction and concentration in a standard refluxing setup (e.g., heating mantle for five liter flask with water cooled reflux head). The rest of us can manage with homemade devices such as those pictured. The water in the tub or bottom half of the double boiler heats up the solvent containing the marijuana. The warm solvent gradually extracts the cannabinoids, and some of it evaporates in the process. The solvent vapors condense on the ice-cooled lid and...

Age Variations

Seeds possess extremely minute quantities of cannabinoids, if any. This is difficult to determine because the bractlets which surround the seeds contain the plant's highest concentration of cannabinoids. Even careful washing with an organic solvent may leave traces on the seeds. After germination, the two seed leaves (cotyledons) appear. They also contain no cannabinoids or such small quantities that they are difficult to measure. However, within a day after the sprouting of the cotyledons the...

Bibliography

Photosynthesis of Cannabinoid Content of Temperate and Tropical Populations of Cannabis saliva. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 3 (1975) 15. Boucher, F. Etude Physiologique et Chimique du Cannabis sativa L. Originaire d'Afrique du Sud. TTiesis, Curie University, Paris, 1976. Boucher, F. et al. Le Cannabis sativa L. Races Chemiques ou Varieties. Plantes M dicinales Phytotherapie 8 (1974) 20. Bouchet, J. Cannabis. Bulletin on Narcotics 2 (1950) 14. Bouquet, J. Nouvelle...

The DEA Comments on Hash

The following comments were made by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in 1973 There are many ways to produce hashish oil, but the basic principle used by most clandestine operators is similar to that of percolating coffee. A basket filled with ground or chopped up marijuana Fig. 19. Apparatus for continuous extraction of hash oil. Thin tubing brings the mixture of cannabinoids in solvent from the first pressure cooker in the background through the top of the second cooker which is...

Colorimetry

There are color tests which are relatively specific for marijuana, but for present purposes we want a rapid, simple, roughly quantitative test which differentiates between CBD and THC. A111-moniacal silver nitrate gives a green color with CBD and no color with THC or CBN, but the Beam test likewise reacts only with CBD and is simpler. It is desirable to first dry the marijuana in an oven at 00 F for five minutes. Add 1 g of dry marijuana, preferably finely powdered, to 10 ml petroleum ether or...

Essential Oils

Inevitably, all chemical constituents of marijuana will vary with such factors as genetics, age, sex, and growth conditions. But little research has been done on compounds other than the can-nabinoids. The relatively volatile, low molecular weight substances which give plants their characteristic odors can be steam distilled to yield a generally fragrant, oily mixture termed an essential (from essence) oil. About 10 of the contents of the glandular hairs which produce most of the cannabinoids...

Hashmaking in Lebanon

In 1932, Lys described the preparation of hashish in Lebanon, specifically in the areas of Zahle, Ras-Balbeck and Homs. Sometime between August and November, depending mainly on when the seeds were originally sown, the females are harvested and left for a week in the open air. The plants are then placcd in the shade for further drying. When dry, the tops are shaken and gently beaten over a cloth. The resultant powder is sieved to eliminate the larger pieces of stem and the seeds. The highest...

Chromatography

Chromatography on thin layers of silica gel or alumina is a standard technique for identifying and separating marijuana constituents. Marijuana is extracted with solvent as described above, and a small amount is spotted with a capillary tube or micropi-pette on one end of the plate. The plate is then placed vertically in a small amount of solvent. The solvent is drawn to the other end by capillary action, which carries the cannabinoids present in the extract varying distances up the plate. The...

Hashmaking in Greece

A report by Brotteaux in 1934 describes a different process used by the Greeks. According to him the males were weeded out as soon as they were recognizable. When the females were fully mature and the basal leaves began to yellow, they were harvested and dried. The flowering tops were crushed between two pieces of linen which yielded a resinous powder, then placed in white linen bags and squeezed in a press. The press produced flattened cakes with the mark of the fabric on them. The preparation...

Solvents

A wide variety of organic solvents will work, but availability, cost, toxicity and flammability will limit the choices. Research has shown that chloroform is the best solvent it extracts about 98 of the cannabinoids with one half hour of shaking. Light petroleum ether extracts about 90 . But ethanol grain alcohol is most often used. It is easier to obtain and extracts a high percentage as well. Ninety-five percent ethanol is hard to obtain, but denatured 95 ethanol works just fine. Isopropyl...

Procedure

The general procedure and apparatus are identical to those already described for the extraction. The isomerization of CBD to THC is accomplished by refluxing with a small quantity of organic or inorganic acid. If alcohol is being used, add about 2 ml of 1 normal HCl prepared by adding 120 g concentrated HCl slowly to 900 ml water or 2 ml of 1 normal sulfuric acid prepared by adding 30 ml concentrated sulfuric acid slowly to 1 liter of water for each 200 ml solvent roughly the amount needed for...

Introduction

Psychoactive plants have had an extremely important position in most societies. Consumption of such plants tens or even hundreds of thousands of years ago may have been responsible for generating much of the mythology and religion, indeed, much of the very fabric of culture which so strikingly distinguishes man from even the most advanced of the great apes. Could it be that these plants provided sparks to kindle the flame of intellect which now shines so brightly it threatens to destroy the...

Polyploidy

Polyploidy is the occurrence of some multiple of the usual chromosome number in the cells. The diploid or normal number in Cannabis is 20, but plants having 30 triploid , 40 tetraploid or more arc occasionally observed. Some species or varieties of plants arc naturally occurring polyploids i.e. they evolved from the spontaneous or accidental appearance of a polyploid seed which had some selective advantage over its diploid progenitors. Polyploids, either naturally occurring or artifically...