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Biosynthesis & Chemistry of Minor Cannabinoids

Updated: May 12, 2023

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Welcome to Cannabis Conclusions, a unique educational series from Higher Learning LV that is targeted at hemp and cannabis industry professionals. This series provides readers with the conclusion section from important modern peer-reviewed research studies. In this particular article, students learn about the biosynthesis & chemistry of minor cannabinoids.


Biosynthesis & Chemistry of Minor Cannabinoids

A May 2020 study entitled "Biosynthesis and Chemical Modifications of Minor Cannabinoids" that was published in the journal eLS investigated the role of minor cannabinoids within the cannabis plant and their importance with respect to drug discovery and the overall understanding of the cannabis plant.

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Biosynthesis & Chemistry of Minor Cannabinoids Study Conclusions

Arguably most important, this study revealed that some minor cannabinoids are produced by plant species other than cannabis, including moss and fungus. "Chemical diversity is not limited to Cannabaceae only," reported the study's authors. This brings into question: Should minor cannabinoids even be called cannabinoids, a name that implies that they are produced by only the cannabis botanical species?


"Arguably most important, this study revealed that some minor cannabinoids are produced by plant species other than cannabis, including moss and fungus."

"Minor cannabinoids are cannabinoids at very low abundances in Cannabis sativa L. essential oils (<0.5% of dried weight). The pharmacological properties of minor cannabinoids have never been determined or validated in clinical assays or in rational in vitro and in vivo assays.


"Due to this lack of biological and pharmacological information, minor cannabinoids have great potential as future drug candidates. The biosynthesis of minor cannabinoids is not clear in C. sativa L., but, likely, chemical conversion in the trichomes influenced by light, temperature, and ultraviolet (UV) [light] is the main catalytic mode. This chemical conversion may explain the high chemodiversity and low structural stability."


View the original study.

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