Cannabinoid Receptor as Therapeutic Targets

Ken Mackie

Departments of Anesthesiology and Physiology and Biophysics
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, Washington 98195-6540

Abstract

CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors are the primary targets of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). These G protein–coupled receptors play an important role in many processes, including metabolic regulation, craving, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function. Cannabinoid receptors can be engaged directly by agonists or antagonists, or indirectly by manipulating endocannabinoid metabolism. In the past several years, it has become apparent from preclinical studies that therapies either directly or indirectly influencing cannabinoid receptors might be clinically useful. This review considers the components of the endocannabinoid system and discusses some of the most promising endocannabinoid-based therapies.


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