can stomach acid convert cbd to thc?

Under acidic conditions, CBD can be transformed into delta9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids. It has been argued that this can also occur after oral administration in humans. Since CBD is able to bind to proteins to a significant extent, it is possible that in the stomach it is protected from the acidic environment through this mechanism. Therefore, it remains true that in biological systems, such as the human gastrointestinal tract, there have been no conclusive reports on the conversion of CBD to THC. Currently, two studies suggest that CBD could be converted into THC.

The first used simulated gastric fluid, devoid of pepsin, to reproduce the conditions that CBD would experience when ingested orally. The researchers found that delta-9-THC was present with a conversion rate of 2.Chemical conversion of CBD to THC was known to be possible but commercially unfeasible, as it was cheaper to grow THC than to convert it. But a 2007 study suggests that stomach acid can convert oral CBD into Δ9 THC (2.This is a very significant finding for CBD therapy and product development. Still, theoretically, due to the similar chemical structure between CBD and THC, the possibility of conversion of CBD to THC, using a series of acid treatments and extraction by chromatography techniques, remains valid. Research in humans and animals has repeatedly disproved the claim that CBD can or will be converted to THC under acidic stomach conditions.

In humans, there is no evidence that THC can be created in the stomach, even after taking very high doses of CBD. A laboratory-grade acid would need to be added to CBD oil to create THC, as well as a full laboratory setting. They also reported that treating CBD with sulphuric acid in methanol gave a mixture of methoxy-iso-HHC and methoxy-HHC, and that boiling CBD with HCl diluted in ethanol gave two stereoisomers of 9-ethoxy-HHC. If CBD oil was mixed with acid, but not tested, the substance could still be highly acidic. The acid-promoted process of solvent conversion of CBD into both delta-9 with Lewis acids and delta-8 with protocol acids has been previously described in the chemical literature by Mechoulam and probably cited as prior art against this patent application.

Pharmacokinetic research (Huestis 2007) on how THC, CBD and other cannabinoids interact and affect the body claims that CBD can actually decrease the side effects of THC when taken simultaneously. One could be forgiven for thinking that the two have similar effects, but this is not the case, although CBD and THC work together and make the effects of THC less potent. Gaoni and Mechoulam reported that CBD was readily converted to ∆9-THC and iso-THC in a series of acidic reagents. Although the overall picture of the conversion of CBD to THC may seem complicated, most studies in living organisms showed no signs of conversion.

Drake Ouellet
Drake Ouellet

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