Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 102-103, 13-30

Endogenous Cannabinoids Revisited: A Biochemistry Perspective

Affiliations
Review

Endogenous Cannabinoids Revisited: A Biochemistry Perspective

B M Fonseca et al. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat.

Abstract

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug, particularly in Western societies. The discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) highlighted new molecules in various physiological processes. The ECS consists of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors that can be activated by small lipid mediators, termed endocannabinoids (eCBs) and cannabis-derived drugs, plus the associated biochemical machinery (precursors, synthesis and degradative enzymes, and transporters). Several biochemical, pharmacological and physiological studies have shown that endocannabinoid system elements are widely distributed throughout the body, with regional variations and organ-specific actions. This review portrays the endocannabinoid "family" on new studies concerning eCB storage, release and functional roles and on the growing importance of its bioactive metabolites. Those findings reinforce and confirm the importance of ECS. Strategies for manipulating the system for the treatment of human disease will require a thorough understanding of the roles of the different eCBs and their sources.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 27 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback