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cbd molecular structure

Cbd molecular structure

Jack has been working in science publishing since 2015 and has been the editorial lead of Analytical Cannabis since its launch in early 2017. He holds a 1st class BSc in biological sciences from Essex University, where he received the distinguished Eliahou Dangoor Scholarship for his work. He is also a member of ASTM Committee D37 on cannabis and attends a number of annual international cannabis science conferences. Prior to the launch of Analytical Cannabis, Jack worked in editorial for our parent publication, Technology Networks, where he focused on covering developments in cancer research, genomics, and informatics.

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As with many of the cannabinoids, THC and CBD have low solubility in water, but good solubility in most organic solvents, particularly lipids and alcohols. Both THC and CBD are present in cannabis in a mixture of acidic forms, which are readily de-carboxylated and chemically altered upon heating, important when you consider that smoking cannabis is the most common form of consumption. THC is also well known for its ability to bind to glass and plastic. Therefore, THC preparations are typically stored in basic or organic solvents in amber silicate glassware to avoid loss, especially during analytical testing procedures.

Like CBD, there exists a long list of potential clinical uses of THC. To date, the FDA has approved only two drugs containing THC and a synthetic cannabinoid that emulates the activity of THC. Dronabinol is a gelatine capsule containing THC which is administered orally to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy as well as weight loss and poor appetite in patients with AIDS. Nabilone contains a synthetic version of THC and is approved for the treatment of the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy when other drugs have not worked. Again, as with CBD, a huge range of scientific and anecdotal evidence supports the use of THC as a medicine. Potential uses include the treatment of neuropathic pain, pain caused by injury or accident, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and many more.

Despite the evidence of positive interactions between CBD and THC, there is still a big drive for THC and CBD only medicines. In broad terms, this reflects the consensus of the traditional pharmaceutical industry that a drug with a single active ingredient is easier to develop, test, produce, prescribe and regulate. As evidence for the beneficial effects of combining cannabinoids in medicine increases this may change. Particularly with the growth in popularity of the concept of whole plant medicine. In brief, advocates of whole plant medicine argue that cannabis should be used in the most natural form possible as the various cannabinoids and other active compounds in cannabis have a combinatorial effect, also known as the entourage effect.

CBD was first isolated in 1940 whilst THC was isolated in 1964 by the preeminent cannabis scientist Raphael Mechoulam. At the most fundamental level, THC and CBD are different because of their differing physiological effects. CBD is non-psychotropic and therefore does not illicit a “high” whereas THC is psychotropic and is the only known cannabis-derived compound to illicit a “high”. Here we look at some of the key differences, and similarities, between CBD and THC.

The medical Uses of CBD vs THC

In October 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a pre-review report which provides the most up to date summation of the current and potential clinical uses of CBD. Unequivocal evidence now supports the use of CBD in the treatment for at least some forms of epilepsy including Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder that is associated with drug-resistant seizures and a high mortality rate. Other indications are consistent with its neuroprotective, antiepileptic, hypoxia-ischemia, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, and antitumor properties. These indications are based on limited clinical and pre-clinical evidence as well as swathes of anecdotal evidence. Sufferers of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease as well as multiple sclerosis, psychosis, anxiety, depression, cancer and many more could all benefit from treatment with CBD according to the WHO.

The chemical properties of THC vs CBD

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