Synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of ether and related analogues of delta 8-, delta 9-, and delta 9,11-tetrahydrocannabinol

J Med Chem. 1991 Nov;34(11):3310-6. doi: 10.1021/jm00115a023.


The primary goal of this research was to synthesize a series of ether analogues of the cannabinoid drug class and to evaluate their agonist and antagonist pharmacological properties in either the mouse or the rat. Agonist and antagonist activity was evaluated in mice using a multiple-evaluation procedure (locomotor activity, tail-flick latency, hypothermia, ring immobility) and activity in rats determined in a discriminative stimulus paradigm. Additionally, novel analogues were evaluated for their ability to bind to the THC receptor site labeled by 3H-CP-55,940. None of the cannabinoid analogues were capable of attenuating the effects of delta 9-THC (3 mg/kg) in either the rat (doses up to 10 mg/kg) or in the mouse (doses up to 30 mg/kg). It also appears that the compounds with minimal in vivo activity are not mixed agonist/antagonists. These data would suggest that the phenolic hydroxyl is important for receptor recognition (binding) and in vivo potency. Additionally, cannabinoid methyl ethers previously considered inactive have been found to produce limited activity. Lastly, data suggest that delta 9,11-THC is more potent than previous reports indicated, and does possess pharmacological activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cannabinoids / chemical synthesis*
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Hypothermia / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cannabinoids
  • Dronabinol