chapter  3
18 Pages

THE CHEMISTRY OF CANNABIS

ByAmala Raman, Alpana Joshi

The phytochemistry of Cannabis sativa has been extensively researched and more than four hundred compounds belonging to a variety of phytochemical groups have been reported to occur in the plant. According to one estimate, over 7000 scientific papers had been published on cannabis, its constituents and their pharmacological activities by 1980 (Turner et al., 1980). Many detailed descriptions of the chemistry of cannabis have been published over the years, such as those of Mechoulam (1973), Razdan (1973), Crombie and Crombie (1976), Schultes and Hoffman (1980), Harvey (1984) and a major review article dealing exhaustively with the phytochemistry of cannabis by Turner et al. (1980). In the present text, only the most important features of cannabis phytochemistry will be described; the interested reader is referred to one of the more extensive treatments listed above for greater detail. A further source of information is the annotated bibliography of cannabis covering the literature from 1964 published by Waller et al. in 1976 (Volume I) and 1982 (Volume II), updated with regular supplements from 1980 onwards (Waller et al., 1980-1993/4).