Originally published on PubMed Central® (PMC)
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Cannabis and endocannabinoid modulators: Therapeutic promises and challenges.
Clin Neurosci Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2008 Sep 19.
Published in final edited form as:
Clin Neurosci Res. 2005; 5(2-4): 185–199.
This paper reviews current understanding of CB1, CB2, and other possible cannabinoid receptors, their arachidonic acid derived ligands (e.g. anandamide; 2 arachidonoyl glycerol), and their possible physiological roles. CB1 is heavily represented in the central nervous system, but is found in other tissues as well; CB2 tends to be localized to immune cells. Activation of the endocannabinoid system can result in enhanced or dampened activity in various neural circuits depending on their own state of activation. This suggests that one function of the endocannabinoid system may be to maintain steady state. The therapeutic action of botanical cannabis or of synthetic molecules that are agonists, antagonists, or which may otherwise modify endocannabinoid metabolism and activity indicates they may have promise as neuroprotectants, and may be of value in the treatment of certain types of pain, spasticity, eating disorders, inflammation, and possibly blood pressure control.