Chemical Synthesis of Cannabinoids

Hello everyone!

My name is Daniel Speer, and I am so grateful that the Charles Center has given me this opportunity to perform Organic Chemistry Synthesis research over the course of this coming Summer as an Honor fellow.

I am a rising Senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and I love everything aquatic. I love to surf, kayak, canoe, paddle-board, swim, and everything else in the water. Since I have attended William and Mary, I have gotten significantly interested in Chemistry as a subject of study, and I joined the research lab of Dr. Robert J. Hinkle.

Recently, I have undertaken an independent project for my future Honors Thesis, applying Dr. Hinkle’s recent research toward the novel synthesis of natural products in the Cannabinoid family of molecules through organic chemistry. I will investigate the synthesis of cannabinoids through a novel methodology, as the vital step in its structural formation. I will be using various reactions like a cross-coupling reaction, as well as analytical techniques like Column Chromatography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and Thin Layer Chromatography to achieve my goal. This is a lot of jargon, I know. But, I am attempting to create molecules that look like Delta(9)-THC, which are under the Cannabinoid family of molecules. After doing significant research, it is seen that several molecules in the Cannabinoid family are biologically active, meaning they can be used as possible pharmaceutical drugs. So, I am attempting to chemically synthesize these molecules for their possible usage as pharmaceutical drugs (analgesics).

Thank you for reading! Wish me luck!