The cannabinoid acids are a structurally heterogeneous group of compounds some of which are endogenous molecules and others that are metabolites of phytocannabinoids. The prototypic endogenous substance is N-arachidonoyl glycine (NAgly) that is closely related in structure to the cannabinoid agonist anandamide. The most studied phytocannabinoid is Δ9–THC-11-oic acid, the principal metabolite of Δ9–THC. Both types of acids have in common several biological actions such as low affinity for CB1, anti-inflammatory activity and analgesic properties. This suggests that there may be similarities in their mechanism of action, a point that is discussed in this review. Also presented are reports on analogs of the acids that provide opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic agents, such as ajulemic acid.
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