10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cannabis, From Today’s UVM Lecture

Heady Vermont Staff 6 Jul 2016

BURLINGON, Vt. — Today’s Cannabis Speaker Series UVM lecture was presented by Dr. Wolfgang Dostmann, PhD., on the subject of cannabis chemistry. The lecture delved into particulars of various cannabis components and their interactions and effects. Here are a few of our favorite facts:

1. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam not only discovered and synthesized Δ9-THC, he also discovered Anandamine and the brain’s endocannabinoid system.

2. Of the seven double bond isomers of THC, only two (Δ8 and Δ9-THC) occur naturally.

3. All seven isomers of THC are labeled as Schedule I under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

4. Carophyllene oxide is the component responsible for cannabis identification by drug-sniffing dogs. It is also used in food flavoring.

5. THCA does not have any known psychoactive effects on humans. It does, however, have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antiemetic effects.

6. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract, and appears to have a wider scope of potential medical applications than THC.

7. Selective breeding by growers in the USA dramatically lowered the CBD content of cannabis; their customers preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to a higher THC, lower CBD content. To meet the demands of medical cannabis patients, growers are currently developing more CBD-rich strains.

8. The boiling point for THC is 315 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Different constituents of cannabis have different boiling points, all generally within the same bracket. So when you turn your vaporizer to a certain temperature, you can know which temperatures will heat which of those components (see chart below).

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10. GW Pharmaceuticals is seeking FDA approval to market a formulation of CBD under the trade name Epidiolex, as a treatment for Dravet syndrome. It has been granted fast-track status and is currently in late-stage trials following positive early results.

The next and final lecture in the series is Medical Cannabis Business and Policy, presented by Dr. Willy Cats-Baril, PhD. on Wednesday, 

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