THJ-018 (1-naphthalenyl(1-pentyl-1H-indazol-3-yl)-methanone) is a synthetic cannabinoid and analog of JWH-018. It has been marketed by many research chemical vendors as a legal alternative to the popular JWH-018, which had been banned in 2009. Its appearance is a brown, sticky and chunky powder. It smells very similarly to naphthalene. Cannabinoids are commonly smoked or vaporized to achieve a quick onset of effects and rapid offset. THJ-018 is orally active when dissolved in a lipid, which can increase the duration significantly. Like other cannabinoids, it is insoluble in water but dissolves in ethanol and lipids.
Unlike cannabis, the chronic abuse of synthetic cannabinoids has been associated with multiple deaths and more dangerous side effects and toxicity in general. Therefore, it is strongly discouraged to take this substance for extended periods of time or in excessive doses.
THJ-018, or 1-naphthalenyl(1-pentyl-1H-indazol-3-yl)-methanone, is a synthetic cannabinoid containing a substituted indazole structure. THJ-018 is substituted at R1 with a pentyl chain. Additionally, the indazole core is substituted at R3 with a carbonyl group which is also bonded to a napthalene moeity. Napthalene is a bicyclic structure of two fused benzene rings. This carbonyl bridge of THJ-018 classifies it as a ketone. THJ-018 is an analog of JWH-018 in which the core indole structure is substituted with an indazole base.
Like other cannabinoids, it is insoluble in water but dissolves in ethanol and lipids.
Although this substance has not been formally studied, from analysis of the structure, it is presumed that THJ-018 has a similar binding profile to that of JWH-018 and matches many of the in vivo properties of Δ9-THC. As with JWH-018, THJ-018 exhibits its range of effects via full agonism of both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, with some selectivity for CB2. THJ-018 is around 5x the potency of Δ9-THC. However, the role of these interactions and how they result in the cannabinoid high experience continues to remain elusive.