# Has THC been detected in space?

I was wondering if and how astronomers have/had detected the molecule Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), commonly known for it's effects in marijuana, in space.

I had previously seen a hoax regarding the drug being detected on an exoplanet, but I wanted to know if there was any possibility of it.

• Why was this downvoted? Does someone wish to maybe offer an explanation to improve my question instead? – Pulchritude Mar 4 '16 at 16:26
• Ultraviolet Spectrum Peak 276.5 nm FTIR shows nothing remarkable: sigmaaldrich.com/content/dam/sigma-aldrich/docs/Sigma-Aldrich/… , sopicking out the molecule in space is going to be hard. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 28 '19 at 16:47
• I’m voting to close this question because 1) I believe it is... well.... sub-optimal from a scientific view 2) I want a completely politics-free Astronomy SE. – peterh - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '20 at 7:50
• There's plenty of ethanol though. – ProfRob Jul 23 '20 at 8:09
• I'm voting to leave this open: biosignature/biomolecule detection seems like a perfectly reasonable topic here, even for molecules that are regulated in various parts of the world due to having psychoactive effects (see also: ethanol). A question on the politics of psychoactive molecules in space would be off-topic, but that's not the focus here. Furthermore a completely politics-free Astronomy SE is probably not a reasonable or necessarily desirable goal: there are definitely issues where politics and the astronomy intersect. – user24157 Jul 23 '20 at 9:39

An regularly updated list of detected molecular species in space can be found at the Cologne Database for Molecular Spectroscopy (CDMS), maintained by the Universität zu Köln. In the table below, you can immediately see that only four organic molecules have so far been detected that are made out of more than 12 individual atoms. However your molecule of interest, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is constituted by 53 (!) individual atoms as one can infer from its chemical forumlae: $$C_{21}H_{30}O_{2}$$