THC Metabolite 11-OH-THC Equal or Greater in Strength as THC, Study Suggests

in Culture

The primary THC metabolite that lingers in urine and blood is likely still active and as potent as THC, if not more, new data suggests. The new findings present more questions than answers.

According to data from a study published June 10 in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the cannabis metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC) has psychoactive properties that are equal to or greater than those of THC (delta-9 THC).

The study, “The intoxication equivalency of 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) relative to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol,” demonstrates how THC metabolites remain active. THC breaks down as it’s decarboxylated and processed in the body, creating new and interesting compounds.

“In this study we establish that the primary metabolite of THC—11-OH-THC—displays equal or greater activity than THC in a mouse model of cannabinoid activity when directly administered and even when accounting for route of administration, sex, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic differences,” the study reads. “These data provide critical insight into the bioactivity of THC metabolites that will inform the interpretation of future cannabinoid research and represent a model for how THC consumption and metabolism may affect cannabis use in humans.”

The study was completed by Canadian researchers in Saskatchewan, including Ayat Zagzoog, Kenzie Halter, Alayna M Jones, Nicole Bannatyne, Joshua Cline, Alexis Wilcox, Anna-Maria Smolyakova, and Robert B Laprairie. Researchers observed male rats and injected them with 11-hydroxy-THC. They observed the effects of the THC metabolite versus its parent compound delta-9 THC.

Researchers continued, writing “these data suggest that 11-OH-THC was 153% as active as THC in the tail-flick test of nociception, and 78% as active as THC for catalepsy. Therefore, 11-OH-THC displayed equal or greater activity than the parent compound THC, even when accounting for PK differences. Thus, the THC metabolite 11-OH-THC likely plays a critical role in the bioactivity of cannabis; understanding its activity …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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