Drug Testing Logo
store | sign in / account | order status | contact us  

Posts Tagged ‘pharmacokinetics’

Understanding JWH-018

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

synthetic drug banner

JWH-018 is one of several hundred JWH compounds developed over the last few years by John W. Huffman (JWH), organic chemist, as part of research on analogues and metabolites of THC, the active ingredient of naturally sourced marijuana plant (10). Intended exclusively for purposes of scientific purposes, JWH-018 has never been intended for human consumption, let alone recreational use. While there are anywhere from 100 to 300 various JWH compounds, JWH-018 has yielded the highest interest due to its active group functional similarity to THC.

Introduction of marijuana-specific treatment programs (11) have opened the door for a cheaper more accessible alternative, JWH-018, a synthetic marijuana. While it is easy to assume that JWH-018 would act the same as naturally sourced marihuana, the reality is that they are quite different. In many aspects JWH-018 is more potent and inherently more dangerous to human body. To fully understand JWH-018, it is necessary to consider certain aspects of its chemical characteristics, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and addiction potential.

Chemical Structure


JWH-018, also known as K2, fake weed, synthetic marihuana, “spice” and  1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl) indole is a synthetic cannabinoid from aminoalkylindole family, covered under US patent  #7241799(4). It acts as CB1 and CB2, receptor agonist, with partial CB2 selectivity.[1][2] . As both CB1 and CB2 are involved neurotransmitter regulation, JWH-018 has a significant impact on a wide range of neural functions.  Four to five times more powerful than weed, it is a lipid-soluble, non-polar, small molecule (9), with physical appearance of a white crystalline powder with pharmacological resemblance but no chemical relation to tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), an active ingredient of Cannabis sativa L. (marihuana), nor to other cannabinoids from cannabis plant (5). Consequently JWH-018 is not categorized as a THC substance (6).


1)     Influence of the N-1 alkyl chain length of cannabimimetic indoles upon CB1 and CB2 receptor binding, Aung, M. M.; et al. (2000), Drug and Alcohol Dependence 60 (2): 133–140, doi:10.1016/S0376-8716(99)00152-0.

2)     Cannabimimetic indole derivatives, US6,900,236 (PDF version) (2005-05-31) Alexandros Makriyannis, Hongfeng Deng

3)     JWH-018 CYP450 Inhibition. Raw data. Netherlands. 18 Dec. 2008

4)     Cannabimimetic indole derivatives, Makriyannis, Alexandros, and Hongfeng Deng. University of Connecticut, assignee, Patent 7241799. 2007

5) http://www.babelation.com/content/jwh-018synthetic-cannabinoid-agonist-synthetic-cannabis-found-be-4-5-times-stronger-then-mar.

6) JWH-018, 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole, Purported Ingredient of “Spice”, July 2009, http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugs_concern/spice/spice_jwh018.htm)

9)      Understanding the Spice Phenomenon, EMCDDA, EMCDDA 2009  Thematic paper, 2009

10)     Synthesis of Cannabimimetic Indoles, John W. Huffman, 2008

11)     Effects of THC and lofexidine in a human laboratory model of marijuana withdrawal and relapse, Margaret Haney & Carl L. Hart & Suzanne K. Vosburg & Sandra D. Comer & Stephanie Collins Reed & Richard W. Foltin, 7 November 2007

My Account
Order Status
Contact Us
About TestCountry

Sales & Partners
Corporate Accounts
Affiliate Program
TestCountry Resources
Health & Drug Testing Information Center
Drug Slang & Street Name Search
Local Drug Testing Centers

Store Policies


Answers, comments, information, articles and opinions provided on all TestCountry related webpages are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, counseling, psychological, or other professional advice. You should not use the information on TestCountry for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, rehabilitation or detoxification from any substance abuse or adopting any treatment for a health or drug problem.

Shop By Category

BBB Accredited Business, Comodo Authentic Secure, Visa MC AMEX Discover

Same-day FedEx shipping available


"Thanks for your promptness in mailing my order and for the quality product. I will definitely purchase other items from you and will refer you to my friends. Thanks, again." (Dianne C.)

No items

Content Categories

Orange County Dept. of Education BBB DATIA CADCA