Abstract and Introduction
The isolation of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, set the stage for the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) transmitter system. Endogenous signaling molecules for this system were subsequently isolated.[2,3] Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG),[2,3] the best characterized endocannabinoids isolated to date, bind to and activate cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 is the primary cannabinoid receptor found in the CNS, whereas CB2 is predominantly, but not exclusively, found in the immune system.[6–8] The discovery of cannabinoid receptors allowed researchers to synthesize cannabinoids and characterize their pain-relieving properties. Anandamide and 2-AG are degraded by the enzymes fatty-acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase, respectively. Enzymes catalyzing endocannabinoid breakdown also represent targets for analgesic drug development. This article will briefly summarize the findings of preclinical and clinical studies evaluating the therapeutic and side-effect profile of cannabinoids as pharmacotherapies for neuropathic pain.
Future Neurology. 2011;6(2):129-133. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.
Cite this: Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain - Medscape - Mar 01, 2011.