The vast therapeutic potential of cannabinoids of both synthetic and plant-derived origins currently makes these compounds the focus of a growing interest. Although cannabinoids are still illicit drugs, their possible clinical usefulness, including treatment of acute or neuropathic pain, have been suggested by several studies. In addition, some observations indicate that cannabinoid receptor antagonists may be useful for the treatment of alcohol dependence and addiction, which is a major health concern worldwide. While the synergism between alcohol and cannabinoid agonists (in various forms) creates undesirable side effects when the two are consumed together, the administration of CB1 antagonists leads to a significant reduction in alcohol consumption. Furthermore, cannabinoid antagonists also mitigate alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Herein, we present an overview of studies focusing on the effects of cannabinoid ligands (agonists and antagonists) during acute or chronic consumption of ethanol.
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