Medical Cannabis sativa (Marijuana or drug type): Psychoactive molecule, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)

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Medical Cannabis sativa (Marijuana or drug type): Psychoactive molecule, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)

Ravindra B. Malabadi1*, Kiran P. Kolkar2, Raju K. Chalannavar1, Lavanya L3, Gholamreza Abdi4
1Department of Applied Botany, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri-574199, Mangalore, Karnataka State, India
2Department of Botany, Karnatak Science College, Dharwad-580003, Karnataka State, India.
3Department of Biochemistry, REVA University, Bangalore -560064, Karnataka State, India
4Department of Biotechnology, Persian Gulf Research Institute, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, 75169, Iran
*Corresponding author
Received: 17 April 2023; Accepted: 01 May 2023; Published: 12 May 2023

Abstract: This review paper highlights about Medical Cannabis sativa (Marijuana or drug type) containing psychoactive molecule, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) as a part of educational awareness programme in India. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica were originally a native of India growing as a wild notorious noxious weed in the Indian Himalayan region. Marijuana (Charas, Ganja and Bhang in India) is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug, produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana (Charas, Ganja or Bhang drink in India) is an illicit drug containing very high levels (25-35%) of narcotic psychoactive molecule, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is banned and prohibited in India. Import, export, local sales and cultivation of Cannabis are illegal and prohibited in India. Phytocannabinoids (Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-Δ9-THC, and Cannabidiol- CBD) have attained a global attention recently due to the therapeutic potentials in Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, cancers, pain, anxiety, depression other neurological disorders as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Epidiolex for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gauss Syndrome. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is known as the substance that makes a person feel a “high,” while Cannabidiol (CBD) often promotes a feeling of relaxation. However, the adverse effects of Marijuana (medicinal cannabis) comes from studies of recreational users of marijuana led to the impaired short-term memory; impaired motor coordination; altered judgment; and paranoia or psychosis at high doses. The quality control of Cannabis products, contamination and adulteration of Cannabis products in Cannabis industry is another major issue. Therefore, a detailed study with clinical trials is warranted and this knowledge should be shared and explained to the customers.

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Key Words: Bhang, Cannabis sativa, Charas, Ganja, Illicit drug, Narcotic drug, Psychoactive molecule, Schizophrenia

I. Introduction

Cannabis sativa is an economically and medicinally important plant species with a wide ranges of applications from producing fibre for clothing; seed for animal and human nutrition, and psychoactive compounds for medicinal, religious, and recreational use (1-34). Cannabis is the most commonly found noxious weed, cultivated, trafficked, and abused notorious illicit drug worldwide (1-30). For nearly a century, Cannabis has been stigmatized and criminalized across the globe, but in recent years, there has been a growing interest in Cannabis due to the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids (96). According to the survey report of World Health Organization (WHO), marijuana consumption has an annual prevalence rate of approximately 147 million individuals or nearly 2.5% of the global population (1-30). Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica were originally a native of India growing as a wild notorious noxious weed in the Indian Himalayan region (1-33). Cannabis is also known as the Pot gold of Indian Himalayan Region. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years for recreational, medicinal, or religious purposes (1-35, 98-128). Many 19th-century practitioners described medicinal properties to Cannabis after the drug found its way to Europe during a period of colonial expansion into Africa and Asia (1-40). For example, William B. O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician working at the Medical College and Hospital in Calcutta, West Bengal, India first introduced Cannabis (Indian hemp) to Western medicine as a treatment for tetanus and other convulsive diseases (1-33, 98-128).

Cannabis has gained a lot of popularity in the last few decades for not only being an illicit drug but for its medicinal values from ancient times and a potential source for modern drugs to treat several targets for human wellness (1-40, 98-128). The pharmacologic and therapeutic properties of preparations of Cannabis sativa and Δ-9-THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) its most psychoactive compound, have been extensively reviewed (1-40, 98-128). There is still a huge prejudice in society in relation to medical Cannabis due to its recreational use. In India, Cannabis sativa is also commonly known as Indian hemp, marijuana