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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - Table of Contents

Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect


Several investigators have studied the effect of pyrolysis on the cannabinoids. Most have concluded that only negligible changes occur in the original cannabinoid fraction of marihuana except for decarboxylation of the acids to the cannabinoids. No evidence was found for isomerization of Delta 9 THC or Delta 8 THC nor the formation of any new pyrolysis products (Manno et al., 1970; Coutselinis & Miras, 1970; Claussen and Korte, 1968; Foltz et al., 1971; Agurell and Leander, 1971). Mikes and Waser (1971) suggested that a small percentage of cannabidiol was converted to Delta 9 THC, but this observation was not confirmed by the other groups.

Coutselinis and Miras (1970) noted that less THC was destroyed during smoking when Delta 9 THC was the only cannabinoid present rather than when a resin or a mixture of cannabinoids were present. This was believed to be at least partially accounted for by the distribution of THC in the cigarette. More destruction occurred when the THC was evenly distributed in the cigarette than when it was present in a well-defined lump.

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