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Cannabinoid pharmacology: implications for additional cannabinoid receptor subtypes
by Wiley JL, Martin BR.


Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), is known to bind to two cannabinoid receptors: CB(1) receptors, located primarily in the brain, and CB(2) receptors, located primarily in the periphery. Recent research has suggested that other cannabinoids, including anandamide and WIN 55,212-2, may also act at novel non-CB(1), non-CB(2) cannabinoid receptor(s). Anandamide produces a number of in vivo pharmacological effects in CB(1) knockout mice that are not produced by Delta(9)-THC and cannot be explained by anandamide's rapid metabolism. In addition, in vitro anandamide and WIN 55,212-2 stimulate [35S]GTPgammaS binding in both CB(1) knockout and wildtype mice while Delta(9)-THC stimulates this binding only in wildtype mice. Although anandamide and vanilloid agonists share pharmacological effects, anandamide's actions in CB(1) knockout mice do not appear to be mediated by vanilloid VR(1) receptors. While not yet conclusive, these results suggest the possibility of additional cannabinoid receptors in the brain and periphery.

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