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Cannabis Phenolics and their Bioactivities

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Background: Although Cannabis sativa L. is one of the most versatile plant species with multipurpose use both as medical, alimentary source and as psychoactive abuse, its biomedical relevance focused the attention on major cannabinoids. Phytochemical characterization of cannabis highlights the presence of various non-cannabinoids constituents including flavonoids, spiroindans, dihyrostilbenes, dihydrophenanthrenes, lignanamides, steroids and alkaloids. This review aims to identify polyphenols present in this plant, their biosynthesis, their bioactivities and their synthesis, when this occurred.

Methods: We undertook a systematic research focused on bibliographic databases including all noncannabinoids phenolics in various C. sativa strains from their isolation, structural elucidation, their biological activity to their synthesis.

Result: Nevertheless, attention has so far been focused only on cannabinoids (more than one hundred isolated), cannabis is a complex plant able to produce more than 480 chemical entities that represent almost all of the different biogenetic classes. Regarding phenolic compounds, the plant biosynthesises a plethora of unique non-cannabinoids second metabolites, such as prenylated flavonoids, stilbenoids derivatives and lignanammides.

Conclusion: Cannabis is a plant with high pharmacological and nutrition values, its potentialities and applications are not only circumscribed to cannabinoids biological activities, but also defined by noncannabinoid compounds. The combination of other cannabinoids together with noncannabinoid components could enhance the beneficial effects of THC and could reduce undesirable side effects.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa L; Non-cannabinoids; antioxidant; flavonoids; lignans; spiroindans

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

This article was made available online on October 30, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Cannabis Phenolics and their Bioactivities".

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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