The Role of Chemistry in History

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History of THC

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Introduction to THCHistory of THCTHC in the NewCancer and THC

Effects of THC Chemistry of THC

Discovery THC :

  • The actual discovery of the molecule THC is very anti-climatic, the story is very similar to the discovery of opiates and other drugs
  • After realizing that morphine would attach to specific receptors in the brain, causing the sensation of being “high,” American and British organic chemists in the 1940s and the 1950s and found that there were specific receptors for THC in the brain and that the body produces a chemical similar to it, but there was little interest at this time so the research came to a halt.
  • In 1963 Mechoulam and Yehiel Gaoni were the first to isolate THC and reported the first synthesis of THC
  • From there, other organic chemists were able to to figure out the absolute configurations, which there are four of for THC.
  • In 1968 Mechoulam made book that talked all about his discovery and the Cannabinods found in the brain, he was able to make synthetic cannabinoid that was 100 times more potent then THC and was the key to finding the receptors in the brain
  • Today THC is used to help people with Cancer deal with pain and in now believed to help Alzeitmers

History of THC/Weed

  • 10,000 BC- Traces of hemp rope have been found in China, these findings are the earliest use of cannabis
  • Chinese also used hemp cloth in burial rituals for the deceased and in medicine to help heal and take away pain
  • The Greeks began to use hemp in the around 600 BC
  • Egyptians in the Middle Ages, gardens of Cannabis were present through out the city of Cairo. Then the Egyptian government tried to ban the drug but was unable to do so because the use was reinforced by the Koran. The Koran explicitly banned the use of alcohol, but did not mention Cannabis
  • When Napoleon invade Egypt, he was amazed at the use of Cannabis and tried to uphold the ban. But when his soilders went back to France they told many stories of the amazing “hash” and its wonderful effects.
  • In the early 19th century Cannabis came to the United States, but was soon ban by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics because Harry J. Anslinger had a personal vendetta against the drug
  • But in the 1920s THC became a major product in medical research, then money ran out and laws were passed to stop the use of THC
  • After this the interest in THC research declined and the use of Marijuana declined, but in the early 20th century there was a rebirth, as immigrants moved into the US. There was a sudden surge in major cities, but Anslinger was determined to give THC a bad name by saying it corrupted the youth and provoked violent crimes.
  • In 1937 Marijuana was banned for good from further use in the United States
  • Now some states have made Marijuana legal or just legal for those who use it for medicine (see THC in the News)

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