You are here: Home > Cannabinoids (former) > Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids 2006;1(1):10-14 (17 September 2006))


Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

Franjo Grotenhermen

nova-Institut, Goldenbergstraße 2, D-50354 Hürth, Germany,

The human body possesses specific binding sites on the surface of many cell types for cannabinoids, and our body produces several endocannabinoids, fatty acid derivatives that bind to these cannabinoid receptors (CB) and activate them. CB receptors and endocannabinoids together constitute the endocannabinoid system. Some phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids produced in the laboratory mimic the effects of endo-cannabinoids. ƒ´9-THC (dronabinol), the pharmacologically most active cannabinoid of the canna-bis plant, binds to both types of cannabinoid receptors that have been identified so far, the CB1 and the CB2 receptor. These receptors have been found in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and many peripheral tissues and organs. Depending on the kind of cells, on dose and state of the body, activation of CB receptors may cause a multitude of effects including euphoria, anxiety, dry mouth, muscle relaxation, hunger and pain reduction. Besides activation of CB receptors sev-eral other approaches are under investigation to influence the cannabinoid system with therapeutic intent, including blockade of CB receptors (antagonism) and modulation of endocannabinoid concentrations by inhibition of their degradation. Currently, several preparations that stimulate cannabinoid receptors (dronabinol, nabilone and cannabis) and one compound that blocks the CB1 receptor (rimonabant) are used medicinally.

Cannabis, THC, cannabinoid, cannabinoid receptor, endocannabinoid, therapeutic use.

PDF of the full text ]

Online Events 2020

Please find all information of IACM Online Events including free videos of the webinars here.

Virtual Conference 2021

The 12th IACM Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine will be held online from 14 to 16 October 2021. Registration is for free.

Members only

Regular members can sign up for the new member area of the IACM to access exclusive content.

You need to become a regular member of the IACM to access the new member area.

IACM on Twitter

Follow us on twitter @IACM_Bulletin where you can send us inquiries and receive updates on research studies and news articles.