Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor ligands: current status.Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 2006; 28(3):177-83MF
There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 also named CNR1 and CB2 also named CNR2, both coupled to G proteins. CB1 receptors exist primarily on central and peripheral neurons. CB2 receptors are present mainly on immune cells. Endogenous agonists for cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids) have also been discovered, the most important being arachidonoyl ethanolamide (anandamide), 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), and 2-archidonyl glyceryl ether. Following their release, endocannabinoids are removed from the extracellular space and then degraded by intracellular enzymic hydrolysis. CB1/CB2 agonists are already used clinically as antiemetic or to stimulate appetite. Potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoid receptor agonists include the management of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, pain, inflammatory disorders, glaucoma, bronchial asthma, vasodilatation that accompanies advanced cirrhosis, and cancer.