What do cannabis, coca leaves, and all coffee have in common? They all contain alkaloids, a group of powerful medicinal compounds found in plants around the world. Currently, little is known about cannabis alkaloids, but like other plant alkaloids, they are thought to have significant medical benefits.
Alkaloids vs. Cannabinoids
alkaloid teeth “One of the most common chemical groups [have] Alkaloids, medicinal ingredients found in plants include “Morphine, cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, quinine, ephedrine, and many more.” The name alkaloid comes from the word alkali, a chemical that reacts like a base and opposes acids. Bitter alkaloids, typically present in the outer tissues of plants, are thought to be a plant's natural defense against damage from herbivores, similar to cannabinoids and terpenes that prevent predation.
Cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and THCv are oily, lipophilic (binds to fats), and hydrophobic (does not bind to water) compounds, whereas alkaloids are a very different type of chemical. The biggest chemical difference between alkaloids and cannabinoids is that all alkaloids contain a nitrogen atom that bonds with an additional hydrogen atom. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, lack nitrogen atoms and contain chains of carbon atoms, which gives them their oily properties.
Despite their differences, Efficient extraction method Both alkaloids and cannabinoids are obtained from plants by simply burning the leaves or other parts containing the chemicals or by performing chemical extraction. These methods have been used for thousands of years for both types of chemicals. Caffeine in coffee was extracted chemically by brewing it with water, cannabis was smoked, and cocaine was originally extracted by chewing or brewing it as a tea.
Discovery of alkaloids in cannabis
Cannabis is very complex plants “More than 500 compounds have been reported from all over the world.” C. sativa, of which 125 cannabinoids have been isolated and/or identified as cannabinoids. ” Non-cannabinoid components of cannabis include “42 phenolics, 34 flavonoids, 120 terpenes, and 2 alkaloids.” However, there is debate over the number of alkaloids that have been identified.
The discovery of alkaloids in cannabis actually predates the discovery of the first cannabinoid CBN in 1896 by more than a decade. In 1881, first research Research on the alkaloid cannabinin was presented at the British Pharmaceutical Congress, and two years later another bioactive alkaloid, tetanocannabin, was discovered. Thereafter, research on cannabis alkaloids remained dormant until his 1970s.
In 1971, a group of scientists became stranded. 4 different alkaloids They extracted it from cannabis, which they named cannabinmin AD. In 1975, university of mississippi (UMiss) identified and isolated the first spermidine alkaloid, cannabisatibin, from the roots, leaves, and stems of both Mexican and Thai varieties. The following year, the same researcher at UMiss isolated his second spermidine alkaloid, anhydrocannabisatibin, and showed that cannabisatibin can be converted to anhydrocannabisatibin.
Cannabis alkaloids cannabisatibin and anhydrocannabisatibin were first discovered in Mexican and Thai varieties, but anhydrocannabisatibin since then “It was discovered in cannabis plant samples collected from 15 different geographic locations.”
Which part of the plant contains the most alkaloids?
Just as not all parts of the cannabis plant contain the same amount of cannabinoids, alkaloids are also unevenly distributed around the plant. in the investigation, repetition It is shown “While cannabis roots are not a significant source of cannabinoids or the aforementioned terpenes, they are rich in other compounds, including alkaloids.” Terpenes and cannabinoids are therefore primarily concentrated in the trichomes of the leaves. However, cannabis alkaloids are primarily found in the roots (although they may also be present in the stems and leaves).
Medical effects of cannabis alkaloids
Cannabis alkaloids have many medical possibilities, but the details of these possibilities are unclear. In the case of cannabisatibin and anhydrocannabisatibin, “no pharmacological information is available”; believed it “Cannabis roots contain several compounds, including alkaloids, that have potential anti-inflammatory properties.”
Other researchers Noticed As a type of compound, “alkaloids are analgesics, antibiotics, anticancer drugs, antiarrhythmic drugs, anti-asthma drugs, antimalarial drugs, anticholinergic drugs, bronchodilators, laxatives, miotics, oxytocin drugs, and vasodilators. May be used as a medicine, psychoactive substance, or stimulant, which may include: Cannabis alkaloids. One study It has been found that cannabis alkaloids have diuretic, analgesic, anticancer, antipyretic, and antiemetic effects.
in one study, a petroleum ether solution of cannabis alkaloids and cannabinoids has a “course of action comparable to that of atropine,” a drug commonly administered to reduce airway fluid during surgery, and “is a drug commonly administered to reduce fluid in the airways during surgery.” It can also be used for treatment.” It is not clear how much of the observed effects are due to alkaloids or cannabinoids.
Alkaloids are one of the least known chemicals in cannabis, despite being one of the most common groups of medicinal chemicals found in the plant. Early research indicates that some of the medicinal properties in cannabis may have powerful medical benefits.