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11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), usually referred to as 11-hydroxy-THC, is the main active metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is formed in the body after cannabis is consumed.[1][2]

11-Hydroxy-THC molecule
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard 100.164.583
Chemical and physical data
Formula C21H30O3
Molar mass 330.461 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Fresh cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is converted into THC after heating and then metabolized by the body into 11-hydroxy-THC and then into 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC;[2] both compounds can be glucuronidated and mainly excreted into urine. Both compounds, along with THC, are assayed in blood tests.[1]

Based on one study from 1972 that directly compared administration of THC and 11-hydroxy-THC to twenty men, drug effects were equal in potency, but were perceived more rapidly with 11-hydroxy-THC than with THC, and 11-hydroxy-THC was cleared from blood faster; this suggests that 11-hydroxy-THC diffuses into the brain more readily than THC, or that THC remains bound to proteins in blood longer.[2] In sheep, dogs, and monkeys, THC crosses the placenta more efficiently than 11-hydroxy-THC.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Kraemer, T; Paul, LD (August 2007). "Bioanalytical procedures for determination of drugs of abuse in blood". Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 388 (7): 1415–35. doi:10.1007/s00216-007-1271-6. PMID 17468860. 
  2. ^ a b c d Huestis, MA (2005). "Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the plant cannabinoids, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and cannabinol". Handbook of experimental pharmacology (168): 657–90. doi:10.1007/3-540-26573-2_23. PMID 16596792.