The several statements concerning the composition and properties of hemp oil vary considerably. In this connection it should be remembered that the investigations were conducted partly with common hemp, Cannabis sativa, L. (family Moraceae), partly with Indian hemp. The latter cannot be distinguished botanically from the former and differs only in that it produces the peculiar physiological effect known as hashish intoxication.
l) Journ. f. prakt. Chem. II. 83 (1911), 483.
2) E. DeuBen, Liebig's Annalen 388 (1912), 149.
3) Journ. chem. Soc. 83 (1903), 505.
4) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1905, 49.
L. Valente1) examined an oil of hemp obtained from Italian Cannabis sativa. It consisted principally of a sesquiterpene C15H24 which boiled at 256 to 258°, had a specific gravity of 0,9299 at 0° and an optical rotation of [a]D - 10,81°. With hydrogen chloride it yielded a solid chlorhydrate. The same sesquiterpene is contained in the male plants of Cannabis gigantea.
According to Personne2) the oil of Cannabis indica is an oily liquid lighter than water congealing to a butyraceous mass at 12 to 15°. It consists of two hydrocarbons, viz., the liquid cannabene C18H20 which boils between 235 and 240°, and "cannabene hydrate", C12H24, which crystallizes from alcohol in scales with a fatty lustre.
Upon distillation of the female, flowering Indian hemp, G. Vignolo3) obtained a mobile liquid which boiled between 248 and 268° and possessed an aromatic odor. When cooled to - 18° it did not congeal. When distilled over sodium there remained in the residue a stearoptene, which has not yet been farther examined, whereas a sesquiterpene (b. p. 256°; d15,3o0,897) passed over. The formula C15H24 was established by elementary analysis and vapor density. A crystalline chlorhydrate could not be obtained.
Upon distillation of the non-flowering herb of Cannabis indica, Schimmel & Co.4) obtained 0,1 p. c. of a limpid oil with a narcotic but not disagreeable odor. At 0° it congealed to a butyraceous mass. The specific gravity was 0,932.
Whether the sesquiterpene contained in the oil is identical or not with any of the known ones cannot be gathered from the scant information contained in the literature. The cannabene hydrate of Personne is possibly nothing more or less than one of the paraffins so frequently found in volatile oils.
According to S. Fraenkel5) and M. Czerkis6) the active constituent of hashich is cannibinol, a phenol-like substance of the formula C21H29O.OH. From the petroleum ether extract it was isolated by distillation in a vacuum (b. p. 230° under 0,1 mm. pressure). It is not known whether the cannabinol is volatile with water vapor and hence might be contained in the volatile oil.
1) Gazz. chim. ital. 10 (1880), 540 and 11 (1881), 191; Berl. Berichte 13 (1880), 2431 and 14 (1881), 1717.
2) Journ. de Pharm. et Chim. III. 31 (1857), 48.
3) Gazz. chim. ital. 25 (1895), I. 110.
4) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1895, 63.
") Arch. f. experiment. Patholog. u. Pharmakolog. 49 (1903), 266; Chem. Zentralbl. 1903, II. 199.
6) Liebig's Annalen 851 (1907), 467. - Apotheker Ztg. 24 (1909), 742.