Polysaccharides from Cannabis Sativa Active in Lowering Intraocular Pressure
Aqueous extraction of air dried Cannabis sativa (marijuana) yields, after dialysis, a mixture of high molecular weight carbohydrate-containing components. This mixture has very potent intraocular pressure-lowering activity (antiglaucoma) when tested by intravenous injection into rabbits. Partial purification by DEAE-cellulose and gel filtration chromatography has yielded very active material (lowers intraocular pressure maximally at 1 μg/animal) with an estimated molecular weight of about 500 000. The active material contains mostly carbohydrate with a small amount of protein. Rhamnose, galactose and uronic acid are the major sugar constituents. The composition of components suggests that the active material is a pectic polysaccharide possibly derived from the cell wall.