Basic neuroanatomy and neuropharmacology of cannabinoids.Int Rev Psychiatry 2009; 21(2):113-21IR
Humans have used Cannabis sativa (marijuana) for at least 12,000 years, but researchers have only recently described an endogenous cannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system modulates an array of physiological and psychological functions. Endocannabinoids are widely distributed throughout the body, including the central nervous system (CNS). This article gives a basic overview of endocannabinoid neuroanatomy and function. Several endocannabinoids have been discovered to date, and their roles are being elucidated. Two G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1R and CB2R, have been identified, although other candidate receptors exist, including ion channel and nuclear receptors that might be components of the endocannabinoid system. It appears that cannabinoids are dysregulated in a number of psychiatric disorders and might be involved in their pathogenesis. There is now evidence that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system could be a therapeutic target for a variety of conditions.