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Cannabinoids: Pharmacological Profile Of Promising Molecules

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Cannabinoid research has gained remarkable interest in the past ten years after the

discoveries of endogenous compounds with cannabimimetic activity and identification

of their molecular targets, CB1 and CB2 receptors. Subsequently, attention has

focused on putative therapeutic applications of cannabinoids. The non-psychotropic

cannabidiol (CBD), some analogues of natural cannabinoids and their metabolites,

antagonists at the cannabinoid receptors and modulators of the endogenous

cannabinoid system are also promising candidates for clinical research and therapeutic

uses. There is evidence that besides the two cannabinoid receptor subtypes cloned

so far additional cannabinoid receptor subtypes and vanilloid receptors are

involved in the complex physiological functions of the cannabinoid system that

include motor coordination, memory procession, control of appetite, pain modulation

and neuroprotection. Properties of cannabinoids that might be of therapeutic

use include analgesia, asthma, atherosclerosis, dystonia, epilepsy, digestive diseases,

gliomas, hepatitis C, Huntington's disease, leukemia, skin tumors, methicillinresistant

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Parkinson's disease, muscle relaxation,

immunosuppression, anti-inflammation, anti-allergic effects, sedation, improvement

of mood, stimulation of appetite, anti-emesis, lowering of intraocular pressure,

and bronchodilation effects. Although the results of cannabinoid research and

clinical trials with cannibinergic compounds have been confusing, the vast therapeutic

potential of these compounds are only just beginning to be appreciated.





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