Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi

Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptor

  • Tiziana BisognoEmail author
  • Mauro MaccarroneEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101565


Historical Background

The use of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) has been known for centuries, but it was necessary to wait until the late 1980s to understand the molecular basis responsible for its medical and recreational properties. Unlike cocaine and morphine, isolated as crystalline salts from coca leaves and opium respectively, the active constituent of cannabis appeared as an oily extract, difficult to isolate in pure form. Only in the 1960s isolation, characterization, and chemical synthesis of the active cannabis constituent, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was possible. The identification of THC allowed a reevaluation of cannabis pharmacology and gradually boosted research towards the understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying its therapeutic efficacy.

Although the existence of THC-binding cannabinoid receptors, and of an even more surprising ensamble of metabolic enzymes and...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocannabinoid Research GroupInstitute of Biomolecular Chemistry, National Research CouncilPozzuoliItaly
  2. 2.Department of MedicineCampus Bio-Medico University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.European Center for Brain Research/IRCCS Santa Lucia FoundationRomeItaly