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    Thoughts on JWH-18 carcinogenicity 
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    JWH-18 is a synthetic cannabinoid with similar subjective effects to those of THC, active principle of marihuana. These last years this substance has become very popular and, as a consequence, the carcinogenic properties of this molecule have been widely discussed.
    In this text I will talk about the potential carcinogenicity of JWH-18.


    ___


    JWH-18 (Fig.1) contains naphthalene in its structure (coloured in red). When we introduce naphthalene in our organism, it is going to pass through various metabolic processes. On some of them, the carcinogenic structures known as epoxides (Fig.2) are going to be produced, which are able to interact with DNA and proteins. As the naphthalene in JWH-18 has no other functional groups attached to it, it is very prone to produce epoxides. Technically speaking, an epoxide is the structure made by two carbon atoms and one oxygen, joined together by simple bonds in a triangular disposition.


    Fig.1


    Fig.2

    As we introduce JWH-18 in our organism, it’s metabolism starts. We will focus on the metabolism of the naphthalene part of the molecule, as it is the one responsible of the carcinogenic properties.
    On the first stages of the process, the cytochrome P450 breaks the double C=C bond to a simple C-C bond. Then both carbon atoms join to the same oxygen, creating an epoxide. Some of the epoxides made are later transformed to alcohols or other non-dangerous functional groups. Unfortunately, not all the epoxides can be converted, and they will remain in the body interacting with DNA and proteins, which is the cause of their carcinogenicity.
    The following diagram shows a scheme of the described process (Fig.3).


    Fig.3

    Taking this information in account, we could consider JWH-18 to have carcinogenic properties, but to what point? It’s true that ingesting naphthalene is not going to be good for your organism, but before pointing a substance as a complete carcinogenic, we must first take in account some considerations. One of them is that we are daily exposed to naphthalene, which is floating in the atmosphere. It is calculated that in our houses there is an average of 2,2ug of naphthalene for every m3 of air (which is equal to 0,0004 ppm). The tobacco smoke of one cigarette (without filter) has 422ug of naphthalene in total.
    Lets now see how much naphthalene we are consuming in an average dose (2,5mg) of JWH-18:

    The molecular weight of JWH-18 is 342g/mole, so in 2,5mg of JWH-18 we have 7,31x10^(-6) moles.As 1 mole has 6,022x10^(23) molecules, 7,31x10^(-6) moles corresponds to 4,4x10^(18) molecules of JWH-18. As each molecule of JWH-18 has one naphthalene, we have a total of 4,4x10^(18) naphthalene molecules in 2,5mg of JWH-18. As the molecular weight of naphthalene is 128g/mole (-1H) = 127g/mole, 4,4x10^(18) naphthalene molecules weigh 9,3x10^(-4) g, which is 930ug of naphthalene.

    One dose of 2,5mg of JWH-18 has 930ug of naphthalene.

    (We could also have calculated this taking in account the relationship between the molecular weight of the JWH-18 and the one of naphthalene. Seeing that the naphthalene corresponds to the 37% of the total weight of the molecule, 37% of 2,5mg is 930ug. The same result obtained by two different methods shows that the calculations are correct.)


    As we can see, the quantity of naphthalene ingested when consuming an average dose of JWH-18 is similar to the naphthalene we would introduce in the body when smoking two cigarettes without filter. Taking this information in account, and without being completely sure if the naphthalene from the JWH-18 would produce the same quantity of epoxides as free naphthalene, the only thing left is to think if this extra ingestion of naphthalene from JWH-18 is worth the risk.

    Knowing all this, the users which decide to consume this substance will be able to follow a risk reduction policy more efficiently, really knowing what kind of risks are being taken.




    *Please leave your thoughts about all this, as it is just theory and speculation.*
    Last edited by Burn it up; 03-05-2010 at 00:29. Reason: Problems with images.
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    #2
    Thank you for the thoughtful post.
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    #3
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    AFAIK, the napthyl moiety isn't really an issue if consumed orally. That could be wrong though. As to whether its freed during pyrolysis, i don't know, but I think that's where the potential carcinogenic activity becomes an issue. Also, its generally accepted that hawking down copious amounts of any drug is bad for you, either physically or psychologically, usually both. So given that, and your calculation of micrograms of napthalene in JWH-018, it seems that even though it contains a carcinogen, reasonable use shouldn't be a problem.

    I would venture a guess that a chain-smoking, fast food eating, coffee guzzling individual that pays little attention to anything health related would have a shorter lifespan than someone living reasonably aside from an occasional jwh binge.

    I've actually been thinking about this general topic a lot lately, as it relates to both the napthyl-indole jwh's (i wanna see more like 250, which i like a lot and doesn't contain a napthyl group) and mephedrone etc. Yes these things are bad for you, but how bad is unknown. Worse than cocaine? possibly, Worse than methamphetamine, probably not. The thing is just no one knows at all.

    Oh well, somethings going to kill us all eventually, its really a pick your poison kinda thing. I'm gonna stick with interesting new substances and just continue to lead an otherwise healthy lifestyle. Talk to you guys later, i'm gonna go smoke a cig
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    #4
    Coffee is actually an anti-oxidant and may be chemo-protective ...However, it drains your adrenals, harms your cardiovascular system if used in excess, and can irritate the lining of your guts increases the risks of colon cancer despite having antioxidant effects. For some Americans it is actually their richest source of antioxidants though.

    But yeah, Americans have alot more to worry about than this...probably.

    I have Napthal in my tattoo ink which covers most of my back.
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    #5
    Good post. Would it be safe to assume when taking into account all the other crap that's found in tobacco smoke, in terms of general bodily health, JWH-018 (when vaporised or taken orally) would actually be safer than two cigarettes?
    Or am I being ignorant of the fact that there are still many unknowns surrounding the possible long term effects of JWH-018?

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    #6
    The Polonium 210, and even uranium/plutonium depending on exposure might actually be one of the most direct ways cigarettes cause lung cancer.....The gama radiation is negligible, but once you have an alpha particle emitter implanted inside of your soft tissues, even alpha particles will damage DNA and eventually result in cancer....all it takes is one little speck of a heavy metal to do this.

    As far as the Napthal....it really depends on what form its in and what it combines with and when. I dont know enough about it.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
    Good post. Would it be safe to assume when taking into account all the other crap that's found in tobacco smoke, in terms of general bodily health, JWH-018 (when vaporised or taken orally) would actually be safer than two cigarettes?
    Or am I being ignorant of the fact that there are still many unknowns surrounding the possible long term effects of JWH-018?
    In your calculating are missing:
    Side-products of the JWH-018 synthesis that are notoriously present as impurities. Health hazard: Unknown.
    Pyrolysis products upon vaporization. Health hazard: Unknown.
    General harmful substances in smoke (when using smoking blends like Spice etc.). Health hazard: Unknown.

    Total sum: Playing russian roulette with your respiratory system/liver...

    - Murphy
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    #8
    Thanks for the point, MurphyClox.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyClox View Post
    In your calculating are missing:
    Side-products of the JWH-018 synthesis that are notoriously present as impurities. Health hazard: Unknown.
    Pyrolysis products upon vaporization. Health hazard: Unknown.
    General harmful substances in smoke (when using smoking blends like Spice etc.). Health hazard: Unknown.

    Total sum: Playing russian roulette with your respiratory system/liver...

    - Murphy
    The impurities issue is probably the main concern for me personally. When highly toxic and carcinogenic substances take the form of cute little cuddly toy hamsters for your children to play with, you can't help but wonder what sort of impurities are lurking in your baggies. As for the pyrolysis products released, I presume they would be in ug range (per hit) since JWH-018 is active at such low doses? And as far as smoking blends go, the extent of my use doesn't go beyond one pack of Spice Gold. Total use of JWH-018 (the almost pure white kind) is at 1.3 grams spread out over 12 months, and will come to a halt once I hit the 2 gram mark. I personally think these sort of amounts won't present much of a danger to my health, and for the unique and intriguing high it produces, it was worth the risk.
    Last edited by 33Hz; 05-05-2010 at 16:41.
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    #10
    930ug of napthalene in 1 dose of JWH-018 isn't too scary. What about the people who smoke grams a month? All of a sudden we're talking about ingesting several moth-balls worth of napthalene.

    Of course i have nothing to offer on whether, mole per mole, the napthyl-containing metabolites of JWH-xxx are more, less, or equally bad compared to naphthalene itself.

    Edit: Why doesnt that cigarette image have a * next to Napthalene? Napthalene is a proven carcinogen, researchers have dosed critters with it and watched them get cancer.
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAzo View Post
    Edit: Why doesnt that cigarette image have a * next to Napthalene? Napthalene is a proven carcinogen, researchers have dosed critters with it and watched them get cancer.
    No one wants to put the official stamp on it until more research has been carried out. For the moment, it remains a "potential human carcinogen".
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    #12
    As I recall, the critters cited above were exposed to naphthalene vapors five days a week for years (encompassing the average lifetime of a rat). There was 'some' increased in incidence of certain cancers, mainly among the females. My take was that it was a very high cumulative exposure, and a strong exposure over years, which ended with a slight increase in certain cancers, weak enough to still be debated.

    As for some other responses: there are people who have turned their noses up at the JWH series since Spice was first discussed, and who are convinced that any day now we're going to see a slew of cancers and other ill effects. They're not glass-half-empty people, they believe the glass is entirely empty, and nothing will convince them there is so much as a drop of water in that glass.
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    #13
    Bluelight Crew negrogesic's Avatar
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    I can't think of any modern rocket which uses methanol as a fuel. You'd still need hydrazine and some type of catalyst...


    \

    And how in the hell does polonium 210 get into cigarettes? Wouldn't it be present in very small quantities in any plant matter that is grown using fertilizers derived from phosphate ore (which supposedly contains trace uranium)....
    Last edited by negrogesic; 06-05-2010 at 05:47.
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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by negrogesic View Post
    I can't think of any modern rocket which uses methanol as a fuel. You'd still need hydrazine and some type of catalyst...


    \

    And how in the hell does polonium 210 get into cigarettes? Wouldn't it be present in very small quantities in any plant matter that is grown using fertilizers derived from phosphate ore (which supposedly contains trace uranium)....
    Presumably, polonium-210 is produced by the decay of much-longer-lived lead-210. If it were just Po210, with no longer-lived radioactive material to regenerate it, it would all be gone by the time someone smokes it. And yes, you'd expect to see polonium-210 in any plant grown with a fertilizer containing lead-210, which is itself a byproduct of the breakdown of radium-218.

    It's amusing to see acetone, ammonia, and urethane mentioned; all are basically nontoxic at any reasonable concentration (I wouldn't run around huffing a bottle of ammonia; otherwise, there's no cause for concern!). Cyanide is also a product of burning any purine; purine is one of the building blocks of all life, so it's going to be in any kind of smoke as well as, say, almonds. And arsenic isn't present at notable concentrations unless the tobacco was grown in arsenical soil. And DDT hasn't been used in the US in forty years.
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    #15
    It seems that the idea of jwh being a carcinogen is based on the naphthalene, but it is a possible carcinogen. There seems to be some evidence that it caused cancer in rats that were exposed to it every day, but I don't see any information on dosage. If they were fed 100mgs or something like that, the 900ugs you get from JWH wouldn't be that scary.

    Heres some info:
    "Di-, tri-, and tetramethyl naphthalene contaminants of coal tar were found to be carcinogenic when applied to the skin of mice, but naphthalene alone was not."
    "No carcinogenic responses were reported in rats exposed to naphthalene in their diet and by injection."
    "Workers occupationally exposed to vapors of naphthalene and coal tar developed laryngeal carcinomas or neoplasms of the pylorus and cecum. However, this study is inadequate because there were no controls, exposure levels were not determined, and subjects were exposed to complex mixtures containing other demonstrated carcinogens"
    from http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/naphthal.html
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by negrogesic View Post
    And how in the hell does polonium 210 get into cigarettes? Wouldn't it be present in very small quantities in any plant matter that is grown using fertilizers derived from phosphate ore (which supposedly contains trace uranium)....
    Because something about the physiology of the plant causes lead-210 and polonium-210 deposits to accumulate in the tobacco trichomes. There's something particular about tobacco that makes it extremely efficient as pulling lead out of soil and depositing it on the surface of its buds. The radioactive resin from these trichomes is a major constituent of processed tobacco. It then becomes a major constituent of tobacco smoke.
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    #17
    soil in the southeast of north america (marlboro country) is notoriously rich in arsenic, lead, and radium, even before the chemical fertilizers are spread on it.


    and i'm pretty sure we smoke tobacco leaves, not flower buds
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    #18
    Great post, I've been trying to at least partially access the risk of cancer with jwh018, and this info is quite helpful. Thank you. (!)
    Sorry to deviate slightly, but some people have a Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (like 400million per wikipedia) and are very susceptible to negative side effects from napthalene. Would the amount of napthalene in cigarettes or JWH be enough to trigger a noticeable reaction if you were G6PD deficient? If you can smoke cigarettes without apparent symptoms, then you aren't deficient right?
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    #19
    Does JWH-081 break down to this cancerogenic substance too?
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    #20
    ^The methoxy-group at JWH-081's naphthalene-ring is supposed to serve as some kinda metabolic handle. A usual route of metabolism would be demethylation, thus avoiding the necessity for cancerogenic epoxide-intermediates.

    This is - again! - much speculation, because the human metabolism of JWH-081 is not known, but I'd think that JWH-081 should be safer with respect to harmful metabolites than JWH-018, -015 and -073.


    PEACE! Murphy
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyClox View Post
    ^The methoxy-group at JWH-081's naphthalene-ring is supposed to serve as some kinda metabolic handle. A usual route of metabolism would be demethylation, thus avoiding the necessity for cancerogenic epoxide-intermediates.

    This is - again! - much speculation, because the human metabolism of JWH-081 is not known, but I'd think that JWH-081 should be safer with respect to harmful metabolites than JWH-018, -015 and -073.


    PEACE! Murphy
    Is there anything else (speculations) to worry about with jwh-081?

    Thanks for your answer!
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    #22
    ^Nothing in particular to myknowledge. As usual, overdoses with such potent full agonists are very unpleasant.

    - Murphy
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    #23
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    Do you know anything about jwh-250?
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by HippieChick View Post
    Do you know anything about jwh-250?
    It doesn't have napthalene, if that's what you are asking.
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    #25
    I was going to ask, as already asked above, why couldn't a group be added to napthalene making it pretty safe?

    It seems there should be a bunch of jwh compounds that should give similar effects without having to worry about napthalene.
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