Users smoking the plant have experienced different effects. The cannabinoid is not THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, but it is of similar molecular structure. The liverwort contains perrottetinene and perrottetinenic acid. The quantity of cannabinoid present is much less than in cannabis. Perrottetinene has been shown to be a moderately potent CB1 agonist leading to mild psychoactive effects in mice.
Radula marginata has a long history of traditional use as a rongoā (Māori herbal medicine), and is a taonga of the Māori people of New Zealand, so any attempt to prohibit its use would be a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi .
- Toyota, M., et al. (2002). New bibenzyl cannabinoid from the New Zealand liverwort Radula marginata. Chem Pharm Bull. 50(10) 1390.
- Hussain, Tajammul; Plunkett, Blue; Ejaz, Mahwish; Espley, Richard V.; Kayser, Oliver (2018). "Identification of Putative Precursor Genes for the Biosynthesis of Cannabinoid-Like Compound in Radula marginata". Frontiers in Plant Science. 9: 537. doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.00537. PMC 5954354. PMID 29868043.
- Chicca, A.; Schafroth, M. A.; Reynoso-Moreno, I.; Erni, R.; Petrucci, V.; Carreira, E. M.; Gertsch, J. (2018-10-01). "Uncovering the psychoactivity of a cannabinoid from liverworts associated with a legal high". Science Advances. 4 (10): eaat2166. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aat2166. ISSN 2375-2548.
- NZ's Drug History...From Zero. Stuff.co.nz, republished from Radio New Zealand, 7 November 2016
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