Italian scientists managed to extract two hitherto unknown cannabinoids from hemp: tetrahydrocannabinol (THCF) and cannabidiol (CBDF). Both substances differ in chemical composition from THC and CBD with a longer alkyl chain consisting of seven instead of five carbon atoms.
Extraction of THCF and CBDF
Phytocannabinoids THCF and CBDF were found in the strain of Italian medical cannabis FM2, provided by the Military Chemical-Pharmaceutical Institute from Florence. The fool suffix refers to the resorcinol portion of these cannabinoids. To extract substances from plant materials, experts used saturated hydrocarbon hexane (instead of ethanol). To obtain a pure extract, the solution was kept at −20 ° C for 48 hours. 80 fractions were isolated from the liquid and chromatographic analysis was performed. As a result, it was possible to identify cannabidiforolic and tetrahydro canna biphenolic acids, which at a temperature of 120 ° C for two hours turn into the oil with a concentration of THCF and CBDF of 95%.
THCF surpasses analogs in effect strength
The length of the alkyl chain directly affects the strength of the cannabinoid effect: the more carbon atoms, the more powerful the substance affects the human body. In this case, the minimum chain length should be three elements, otherwise, the substance will not bind to cannabinoid CB1 receptors. In hemp, substances with one carbon atom (orcinoids, for example, tetrahydrocannabinol), with three atoms (varinoids, for example tetrahydrocannabivarine), with four (butyl-phytocannabinoids, such as cannabidibutol), and with five atoms (cannabinoids, in particular, THC ) are synthesized. Thanks to the discovery of Italian specialists, substances with seven atoms (THCF and CBDF) can be added to the list of these substances. In the laboratories, synthetic analogs of THC were obtained with eight and nine carbon atoms, however, they are not found in nature.
In clinical studies, it was proved that THCF binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and is ahead in terms of activity:
- tetrahydrocannabidibutol – 13 times.
- THC – 33 times;
- tetrahydrocannabivarin – 63 times;
Tests of THCF in mice showed that the substance causes catalepsy (maintaining a given posture), anesthetizes and lowers body temperature. The strength of the effect is directly proportional to the dosage.
New varieties of cannabis may appear on the market
Given the advantages of THCF over THC, researchers believe that hemp breeders need to develop new hemp strains with a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol. In addition, scientists suggest that the discovery of THCF will provide an opportunity to scientifically explain the pharmaceutical characteristics of different cannabis varieties that are not related to the concentration of THC. Experts emphasized that CBDF binds poorly to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and therefore is not of particular value to medicine. THCF, on the other hand, should be included in the list of main phytocannabinoids, and physicians are required to evaluate its therapeutic potential.