Legal High from Moss better than Medical Cannabis? THC & CBD Biology, Chemistry & Synthesis

Hey guys, I’m back with another video!

This time, we will cover the basics of cannabinoids. We’ll discuss the history, biochemistry, pharmacology and total synthesis of these highly useful natural products. Recent research is used as an example of the importance and potential of cannabinoids in medicine.

This video does not endorse the preparation of illegal substances. No detailed steps or procedures for syntheses of illegal drugs are discussed.
I hope it’s clear that here we focus on fascinating aspects of science and on the potential that compounds have in improving the lives of patients.

00:00 Introduction of medical cannabinoids; Applications of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for treatment of epilepsy and other conditions; Introduction of legal high of liverwort
04:35 History and Isolation of THC; Discovery of the endocannabinoid system, endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and endocannabinoids anandamide and arachidonylglyceride; CB1 antagonists as anti-obesity drugs; Total synthesis of THC and CBD by Raphael Mechoulam at the Weizmann Institute
15:18 Can you get legally high from moss or liverwort? Summary of pharmacological results from the key paper, based on work of Professor Gertsch and co-workers at the University of Bern; Tetrad test, Prostaglandins; Implications for medicinal applications
21:32 Organic synthesis and two total syntheses of cis-perrottetine by Professor Carreira at ETH Zürich (2018) and Professor Kim at Seoul University (2008); Discussion of key steps and synthetic strategies and reaction mechanisms
28:17 Closing remarks

Mechoulam interview/documentary:
– The Scientist (2015):

Liverwort paper:
– Uncovering the psychoactivity of a cannabinoid from liverworts associated with a legal high (Science Advances 2018, 4, 2166):

Some recommended books on organic synthesis:
– Clayden, Greeves, Warren; Organic Chemistry (basic organic chemistry knowledge)
– Wyatt, Warren; Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach (excellent introduction to retrosynthesis)
– Kurti, Czako; Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis (extensive toolkit of reactions and applications thereof with common conditions)
– Nicolaou et al; Classics in Total Synthesis 1-3 (the ultimate total synthesis trilogy)
– Nicolaou; Molecules That Changed the World (the world’s most important molecules and their impact on everyday life)
– Carreira, Kvaerno; Classics in Stereoselective Synthesis (compilation of the groundbreaking methods of stereoselective synthesis and application to synthesis of stereochemically complex structures)


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