Active compound in the Cannabis – Term Paper

Cannabis is a flowering plant that is classified under Cannabaceae family. The main species that had been recognized are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. The derivation of Marijuana crude drug comes from Cannabis sativa species. Based on the previous history, Cannabis is used in medical approach as an unauthorized drug.

The major psychotomimetically active cannabinoid is Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. It plays an important role in the neuroprotection of human and animal via the CB1 receptor-mediated mechanism that mainly found in the brain and spinal cord.

Depending on the routes of administration, the metabolism of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are several; such as intravenous (IV), oral and smoking routes. Normally, the product of the first phase metabolism through microsomal hydroxylation allylic produce 11-CH2OH metabolites. Then it undergoes nonmicrosomal oxidation resulting major terminal metabolic products.

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The plasma terminal phase (β-phase) half-lives for oral administration is shorter compared to IV administration. In addition, the rate of metabolic routes or plasma terminal phase half-lives is not significantly different between both genders (female and male).

The major elimination route for THC is through feces in all administration routes. 11- hydroxy-19-THC is a major component of the cannabinoids found in feces compared in the urine. This studies proved that the Cannabis-derived drug has an excellent absorption metabolism.
In conclusion, Cannabis has a high potential for producing a therapeutic effect especially in treating neurological diseases for example seizure, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson disease. Thus, an extensive research is required to utilize the benefits of this plant.

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▵1-Tetrahydrocannabinol: Structure of a Major Metabolite, I. M. Nilsson, S. Agurell, J. L. G. Nilsson, A. Ohlsson, F. Sandberg, M. Wahlqvist, Science (1970), 1228-1229.

The Metabolism of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Related Cannabinoids in Man. WalL, M. E., and Perez-Reyes, M. (1981), The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (1981), 21:178S.