Plant, Synthetic, and Endogenous Cannabinoids in Medicine

Plant, Synthetic, and Endogenous Cannabinoids in Medicine Although used for more than 4000 years for recreational and medicinal purposes, Cannabis and its best-known pharmacologically active constituents, the cannabinoids, became a protagonist in medical research only recently. This revival of interest is explained by the finding in the 1990s of the mechanism of action of the main psychotropic cannabinoid, Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which acts through specific membrane receptors, the cannabinoid receptors. The molecular characterization of these receptors allowed the development of synthetic molecules with cannabinoid and noncannabinoid structure and with higher selectivity, metabolic stability, and efficacy than THC, as well as the development of antagonists that have already found pharmaceutical application. The finding of endogenous agonists at these receptors, the endocannabinoids, opened new therapeutic possibilities through the modulation of the activity of cannabinoid receptors by targeting the biochemical mechanisms controlling endocannabinoid tissue levels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Medicine Annual Reviews

Plant, Synthetic, and Endogenous Cannabinoids in Medicine

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4219
eISSN
1545-326X
DOI
10.1146/annurev.med.57.011205.135648
pmid
16409166
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although used for more than 4000 years for recreational and medicinal purposes, Cannabis and its best-known pharmacologically active constituents, the cannabinoids, became a protagonist in medical research only recently. This revival of interest is explained by the finding in the 1990s of the mechanism of action of the main psychotropic cannabinoid, Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which acts through specific membrane receptors, the cannabinoid receptors. The molecular characterization of these receptors allowed the development of synthetic molecules with cannabinoid and noncannabinoid structure and with higher selectivity, metabolic stability, and efficacy than THC, as well as the development of antagonists that have already found pharmaceutical application. The finding of endogenous agonists at these receptors, the endocannabinoids, opened new therapeutic possibilities through the modulation of the activity of cannabinoid receptors by targeting the biochemical mechanisms controlling endocannabinoid tissue levels.

Journal

Annual Review of MedicineAnnual Reviews

Published: Feb 18, 2006

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