Vegetative growth of Cannabis sativa and presence of cannabinoids

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Author: J. E. V. VIEIRA,, M. NICOLAU,, J. G. AUCELIO,, J. R. VALLE
Pages: 75 to 77
Creation Date: 1977/01/01

Vegetative growth of Cannabis sativa and presence of cannabinoids

J. E. V. VIEIRA,
M. NICOLAU,
J. G. AUCELIO,
J. R. VALLE
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Caixa Postal 20372, 01000 São Paulo, SP - Brasil

Abstract

Through thin layer and gas chromatography unflowered seedlings of Cannabis sativa 38 and 60 days of age had revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabichromene and traces of cannabinol. Cannabidiol was absent. THC and CBC content increased at least 3 times from the 38th to the 60th day of the growing plant.

During observations of the open air growth of Cannabis sativa in the neighbourhood of these Laboratories (Valle and Hyppolito, 1964) we had the opportunity to collect material from recent plantation and select unflowered seedlings 38 (A) and 60 (B) days of age. The air dried plants were powdered without stem and fibers and the powder extracted with chloroform (Fairbairn and Liebmann, 1973). The respective samples (A) and (B) were submitted to thin layer chromatography on silica-gel plates (Vieira, Abreu and Valle, 1967) and gas chromatography according basically to the procedure of Lerner and Katisiaficas (1969).

As may be seen in the figure, both samples reveal the presence mainly of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabichromene. Cannabinol and cannabidiol did not appear. Through gas chromatography those same compounds were detected besides traces of cannabinol. The table shows that plants of 38 days of age afforded higher amount of cannabis resin, however, the percentual averages of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabichromene were significantly higher at 60 days of growth.

Shoichi and Hiroyasu (1972), Mechoulam (1973) among others, have considered mainly environmental conditions that may alter the cannabinoid content of marijuana. The age of the plant as we have shown is, of course, one of these conditions.

FIGURE - Thin layer chromatography on silica-gel plates of extracts from Cannabis plants 38 (A) and 60 (B) days of age. 1 - pigments, 2 - cannabichromene, 3 - THC, 4 - cannabidiol.

Full size image: 9 kB, 
   FIGURE - Thin layer chromatography on silica-gel plates of extracts from Cannabis plants 38 (A) and 60 (B) days of age

TABLE

Average resin and cannabinoid content of cannabis powder from plants 38 (A) and 60 (B) days of vegetative growth

Days of growth

Resin (g %)

Tetrahydrocannabinol (g %)

Cannabichromene* (g %)

38 (A)
9.40
0.14 ± 0.02
0.03 ± 0.004
60 (B)
6.40
0.55 ± 0.12
0.10 ± 0.01

*Only traces of cannabinol were detected; cannabidiol was absent.

Bibliography

Fairbairn, J. W. and J. A. Liebmann. The extraction and estimation of the cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa L. and its products. J. Pharm. Pharmac. 25: 150, 1973.

Lerner, M. and M.D. Katsiaficas. Analytical separations of mixtures of hallucinogenic drugs. Bulletin on Narcotics, XXI :1, 47, 1969.

Mechoulam, R. Marijuana (Chemical Pharmacology, Metabolism and Clinical effects), Academic Press, New York, 1973 (cf. p. 11 and 88).

Shoichi, H., K. Hiroyasu, M. Misao and K. Takeshi. Variation in the amount of narcotic components of cannabis with its growth. Chem. Abstracts, 76: 232, 1972.

Valle, J. R. and N. Hyppolito. Estudos sobre a maconha nacional ( Cannabis sativa L.)

I. plantação e obtenção de frações farmacologicamente ativas. Anais da Acad. Bras. Ciências, 38: 549, 1964.

Vieira, J. E., L.C. Abreu and J. R. Valle. On the pharmacology of the hemp seed oil. Med. pharmacol, exp., 16: 219, 1967.