Chin Bull Bot ›› 2011, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (2): 197-205.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1259.2011.00197

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Research Advances in Cannabinoids of Cannabis sativa

Xuan Chen, Ming Yang*, Hongyan Guo*   

  1. Industrial Crop Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650205, China
  • Received:2010-08-12 Revised:2010-12-04 Online:2011-05-09 Published:2011-03-01
  • Contact: Ming Yang, Hongyan Guo E-mail:ymhemp@163.com; yanhongg38@hotmail.com

Abstract: Cannabis sativa (hemp) is an ancient cultivated crop. Although the plant can be used as a drug, C. sativa is an excellent industrial crop, especially for textiles and food. Cannabinoids, found only in C. sativa, are unique secondary metabolites possessing alkylresorcinol and monoterpene groups in their molecules. More than 70 cannabinoids have been isolated from hemp or fresh leaves of C. sativa; examples include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a well-known psychoactive component. This review summarizes advances in research into the main cannabinoids, including THC, cannabidiol, and cannabichromene in terms of characterization, content difference, biosynthetic pathway, key synthases and their corresponding genes, and genetic patterns, and offers suggestions for further cannabinoid-related studies. The information will be useful for cannabinoid research and C. sativa breeding.

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