Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

January 24, 2011
Image of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 3D Image of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in marijuana (Cannabis sativa). It was isolated by Y. Gaoni and R. Mechoulam relatively recently (1964). THC receptor CB1 in the brain gives the marijuana "high"; receptor CB2 in the immune system is the basis for its medicinal use. From 1984 through 2006, J. W. Huffman and co-workers used THC and its analogues in immunosuppressant drug research.

MOTW update:
September 26, 2022

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol1 (THC) was the Molecule of the Week for January 24, 2011. It is well known as the dominant psychoactive agent in marijuana; but now it has another, surprising, application. This month, Evan R. Darzi and coauthors at ElectraTect (Phoenix) and the University of California, Los Angeles, described a current-producing fuel cell that relies on the oxidation of THC . The researchers believe that this device could be used to develop a marijuana breathalyzer.

1. CAS Reg. No. 1972-08-3.

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