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J Cannabis Ther 2001(1):043-62

Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System: Can It Contribute to Cannabis Therapeutics?

Author
V. Di Marzo

Abstract
Receptors for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis' major psychoactive principle, have been identified in animal tissues. These proteins have a reason to exist because endogenous substances may bind to and functionally activate them, thereby producing pharmacological effects similar to those of THC. Such substances, named ''endocannabinoids,'' have been isolated and several studies have been performed on their pharmacological properties as well as on the molecular mechanisms for their biosynthesis, action and inactivation in animal cells.Within the framework of the ongoing debate on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists, the present article addresses the possibility that our knowledge of the endocannabinoid system may result in the development of new drugs for the treatment of illnesses as diverse as nervous and immune disorders, pain, inflammation and cancer.


Keywords
Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, receptors

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