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Lecture 26

NROSCI 0081 Lecture 26: Cannabis Part 2

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April Dukes

Lecture 26 32217 Cannabis (cont.) Cannabinoids o 85+ structurallyrelated lipophilic compounds exclusively found in cannabis o THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) Main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis The activity of the other components is not well known Potential therapeutic efficacy of Cannabidiol in neurological disorders Difficult to test those components because of their poor solubility in biological fluids The physiology of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been mainly studied using synthetic CB agonists (WIN 55,2122) The mechanisms of action of CB molecules remain underexplored It is still unclear what effects many of these other cannabinoids have in the body o Cannabinol (CBN) Primary degradation (breakdown) product of THC Low in fresh cannabis but increased aa stored due to exposure to oxygen and light Minimal psychoactive activity o Cannabidiol (CBD) Not psychoactive but may be medicinally relevant Antianxiety, antipsychotic, antiinflammatory, antinausea effects o Pharmaceutical cannabinoids Some are natural extracts from the cannabis plant, while others are synthesized in the lab Sativex (oral spray) o Natural extract purified from cannabis plant o For treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis cancerrelated pain o Contains THC and CBD o Approved for use in the UK, Spain, Canada, Spain, and New Zealand not yet FDA approved in the USA Being looked at by FDA for efficacy Some synthetic cannabinoids are more stable and have higher potency o Primarily used in research in the US o May prove more effective in treatment of diseases Marinol (dronabinol) Schedule III drug Synthetic THC (same structure) Approved in the US to treat amorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients
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