1.1 Cannabinoid Function
Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that have a range of interesting activities mediated by two G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets [1–3]. The CB1 receptor is present in the central nervous system and mediates the psychotropic effects of exogenous cannabinoids such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active component of marijuana. In the brain, endocannabinoids and cannabinoids combine with CB1 cannabinoid receptors on axon terminals and regulate ion channel activity and neurotransmitter release . Binding to the CB1 receptor is responsible for the analgesic activity of endocannabinoids as well as many other effects including locomotion and temperature control . The CB2 receptor is present in inflammatory tissues and mediates the anti-inflammatory effects of endocannabinoids and plant-derived cannabinols . Both the CB1 and CB2 receptors couple to Gi and reduce intracellular cAMP levels.
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