Cannabinoids: mechanisms and therapeutic
applications in the CNS

Drysdale AJ, Platt B.
Department of Biomedical Sciences,
University of Aberdeen,
Institute of Medical Sciences,
Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK.
Curr Med Chem. 2003 Dec;10(24):2719-32


Cannabinoids comprise three classes of compounds, the active components of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), as well as endogenous and synthetic derivatives. To date, two distinct cannabinoid receptors (CB(1) and CB(2)) have been discovered, but evidence for further receptor types has been brought forward. The potential use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes has long been known, but the mechanisms of action of both exogenously applied and endogenous cannabinoids are only partly established. For nervous system disorders, cannabinoids may be useful by modulating neurotransmission and calcium homeostasis as well as by anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant actions. Some cannabinoids can also trigger cell death, which may be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of malignant tumours. A number of both in vitro and in vivo models have provided promising but diverse evidence for cannabinoid protection in glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, hypoxia and glucose deprivation, brain trauma, epilepsy and MS. Subsequent to many preclinical investigations, clinical trials are now underway in a variety of the above applications. Overall, the understanding of the therapeutic relevance of cannabinoids will rely on further investigations into the neuroprotective and neurotoxic potency of cannabinoids in animal models and humans, as much as on a further advancement of our general understanding of the endocannabinoid system and the development of specific compounds devoid of unwanted psychoactive side effects. D

Just say know
The hungry hydra
The nectar of delight
Stoned chocaholics?
Cannabinoids in medicine
Cannabis and schizophrenia
Cannabinoids: clinical practice
Cannabis as a neuroprotectant
Cannabinoids and the hippocampus
Cannabinoids: rewards and dependence

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15


Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Pharmacology
The Hedonistic Imperative
When Is It Best To Take Crack Cocaine?

swan image
The Good Drug Guide
The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family