Just a warning that this post is going to be long. Ridiculously long. And a little technical. And completely unorganized. I don't have a clue how to begin this, or how to order it. It's going to talk about 11-OH-D-9-THC, 11-OH-THC, D-9-THC, and Marinol. When I first started to research it, I answered some of my own questions, but I still have a few. I also want to inform people about this. To make things easier for me, I have numbered all of the sources I looked at. It's much easier to refer to them during the post. 1 http://www.nova-institut.de/bioresource-hemp/vortraege/macpartland.htm 2 http://www.brittain61.org/positions/statemed2.html 3 http://www.droginfo.com/Enguide.html 4 http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/history/first12000/14.htm 5 http://www.nap.edu/books/0309071550/html/36.html 6 http://www.medmjscience.org/Pages/reports/nihpt2.html 7 http://www.druglibrary.org/olsen/NORML/WEEKLY/96-09-26.html 8 http://scienceweek.com/2001/sw010720.htm 9 http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn-old/archive2001/posts/September/427057.shtm 10 http://smokedot.org/story/2002/9/7/20354/52455 11 http://babyparenting.about.com/library/blmarij6.htm 12 http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com/cannabis/effects.htm Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is supposed to be the most powerful compound in marijuana. But it does not seem like that anymore after all the reading I have done. My interest in 11-OH-D-9-THC began when my friend told me that eating marijuana was more powerful than smoking. Supposedly 3 times more powerful, because your liver metabolizes it into 11-OH-D-9-THC (12). So began my search on this metabolite. The full name of 11-OH-D-9-THC is 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Try saying that 5 times fast . When smoked, the effects of marihuana begin to be felt in about five to fifteen minutes. Maximum effect occurs in about sixty minutes. The parts of the body that receive the highest amount of the drug are those which have the richest blood supply, e.g., the liver, lung, kidney, and spleen. Surprisingly, the brain attains relatively low levels compared with these other organs (4). My guess is that when you eat it, more THC reaches the liver and gets metabolized. The same source also said that when marihuana is burned as it is when it is smoked, however, about 50 percent of the delta-9-THC content may be destroyed (4). In some of the sources, the metabolite is referred to as 11-OH-THC. Notice the D-9 is no longer there. I do not know if this is important or not. Or whether other delta-#'s also get metabolized into this metabolite. This is one of my questions, to know if it matters or not. Because oral doses are processed by the liver before entering the bloodstream, oral THC produces high levels of the metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, while smoked marijuana does not (7). When you digest THC your liver biotransforms THC....when this occurs it produces 11-hydroxy-THC, a compound of equal or greater psychoactive levels than you get when smoking. so, actually your body transforms the THC into a more potent chemical than when smoking. when smoking the compound is 9-hydroxy-THC (10). I think that when smoking your liver does metabolize some of the THC, but not nearly as much as eating it. Also the above post states that it turns it into 9-OH-THC, NOT 11-OH-THC. Notice that there is no delta-#, I do not know if that matters. After reading through these webpages, they do not agree on the power of 11-OH-THC (I've started to call it 11-OH-THC instead of 11-OH-D-9-THC). When comparing it to D-9-THC, some say its equal to 20% more powerful, 2-3 times more powerful, or even 4-5 times more powerful. This is confused even more because some compare it to smoking versus eating, and using the term THC instead of D-9-THC. Onto Marinol. A little background info on it, Marinol is actually dronabinol, a synthetic THC. It only contains one THC (dronabinol), and not the other 60+ cannabinoids. Additionally, swallowed THC (Marinol) caused more intense psychoactive side effects, due to liver biotransformation of THC to 11-hydroxy-THC (2). Responding to the issue of smoked inhalation of marijuana versus orally consumed THC, ElSohly commented that THC in oral preparation "doesn't seem to be doing the good job it should." He speculated that this is because oral and smoked THC produce different pharmacological profiles in the body. Because oral doses are processed by the liver before entering the bloodstream, oral THC produces high levels of the metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, while smoked marijuana does not. Since 11-hydroxy-THC is four to five times more psychoactive than regular THC, this may explain why some users report a high rate of overdoses and discomfort with Marinol (7). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is available as a synthetic drug (dronabinol, Marinol). In some studies, however, Cannabis appears to be more efficacious than pure Marinol, and has a lower side effect profile than Marinol. Wherein lies the difference? Part of the difference lies in route of administration Marinol is administered orally, and hepatocytes metabolize it to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is about 4 times more psychoactive than unmetabolized THC. In contrast, very little of inhaled THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC. The metabolite may explain why psychological "overdose" reactions (dysphoria, anxiety, panic reactions, and paranoia) occur more frequently with oral THC than with inhaled Cannabis (1). I also think in addition to the whole 11-OH-THC issue, the lack of Cannabidiol in Marinol allows the user to become higher. Cannabidiol can actually block the high in marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) possesses sedative properties, and clinical trials show it reduces the anxiety provoked by THC (1). If you plug Cannabidiol into a search engine, you can find some studies on it. But now this brings up another point. The government and their reefer madness would have you believe that the metabolites that are created from THC negatively affect you because they linger in your body for a few days or even weeks. After reading these pages about 11-OH-THC, and how it is an active metabolite, one would think that is true. But it is not. It is gradually metabolized in these tissues to inactive metabolites, the most important is 9-carboxy-THC which is 1/10 as active as THC. Another major metabolite produced is 11-hydroxy-THC, which is approximately 20 percent more potent than THC, and penetrates the blood-brain barrier more rapidly. These metabolites are then excreted in the urine, faeces (2/3) and blood (1/3) (3). This sources actually says that THC turns into 9-carboxy-THC, which is supposedly 1/10 as active as THC*. If this is true, I still think that the metabolites are not going to effect the person. 1/10 of something is not nearly as powerful as it originally was. I know that this is extremely anecdotal, but if you search for marijuana and metabolites you will find that they don't have any real negative effects. Except for testing positive on drug tests. The metabolite 11-OH-THC gets metabolized again into an inactive metabolite. But I don't know if an active metabolite is worse than an inactive metabolite. I don't even know what the difference is. So you urinate and crap out some of the active metabolites. But thats not the only way your body gets rid of them. THC becomes 11 Hydroxy THC. 11 Hydroxy THC becomes Inactive Carboxy THC. Inactive Carboxy THC doesn't affect behaviour. It is, however, detectable in the blood for up to 7 days, and in the urine for up to 11 weeks (9). 11-OH-THC turns into an inactive Carboxy which does not get your high, but hangs around in your system. I think testing positive for 11 weeks is more towards people who smoke every day, or even a few times a day. OK, I think I have covered everything I wanted to. If not, I will just simply post some more stuff. To sum up, 11-OH-D-9-THC (or 11-OH-THC?) could be anywhere from being the same strength compared to D-9-THC (or THC?) to 5 times more powerful. It seems to me that the best way to use weed is to ingest it, since it seems the most powerful in that form, and smoking it may actually destroy some of the THC. Marinol does not seem to be the wonder drug that it was promised to be. It is costly, and does not work as well as cannabis. If you are interested in reading more about it, I recommend this article, titled "Marinol: The Little Synthetic That Couldn't." Seems to me that natural medical marijuana works far better than any laboratory created synthetic THC. It brings a phrase to my mind, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I do realize that I did not use all of the sources. This is because they all shared redundant information. I put them there for everyone else to read. Finally, I will repeat my questions. 1. Is there a huge different between 11-OH-D-9-THC and 11-OH-THC? 2. Why does smoking produce 9-OH-THC while eating creates 11-OH-THC? 3. What is the difference between an active and inactive metabolite? 4. Is an active metabolite more dangerous (or have more of a good or bad effect on your body) compared to an inactive metabolite? That's all I have at the moment. Any additional information about this topic would be greatly appreciated. * As I sit here and read over my post, I end up reading over the 1/10 as active part. I am beginning to think that 9-carboxy-THC does not get you high. It seems that it is considered inactive because it is 1/10 as active as 11-OH-THC. But this does not mean that it will get you high. The article does not say that it will get you high, but then again it does not say that it will not. Perhaps a metabolite is considered inactive because its effect on the body is so little that while it may technically be active, it is considered inactive. Hopefully someone will know more about this. I feel that I will end up posting some information about metabolites and their effect on your body related to cannabis.