Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) is the most widely used illegal drug in the West. Chemically speaking, this is the only species of the plant kingdom that, as far as we know, produces "cannabinoids", a family of molecules of which we already know about a hundred different representatives. Although the pharmacological properties of most of these compounds have not been studied in detail, it is widely accepted that D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most important because of both its high plant abundance and its high potency of action. Other cannabinoids, such as cannabinol and cannabidiol, may also appear at significant levels in the plant and its preparations, but its potency of action is clearly lower than that of THC.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids
For approximately 20 years we have known that THC exerts a great variety of effects, both in the central nervous system and in different peripheral locations, because it is similar to a family Of molecules produced by our organism and whose action therefore mimics. These molecules are therefore called "endogenous cannabinoids" or "endocannabinoids", and, chemically speaking, it is a family of more bioactive derivatives of arachidonic acid, which is used as a precursor for the generation of a large number of chemical messengers in Our organism. In particular, endocannabinoids comprise two compounds of an eicosanoid nature: on the one hand, N-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), that is, arachidonic acid amide and ethanolamine (generally known as "anandamide", suffixed "amide" Which denotes the chemical bond characteristic of the molecule, and the Sanskrit prefix "ananda", meaning "embellishment" or "internal pleasure," in allusion to the effects of ingesting marijuana). On the other hand, 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), ie the arachidonic acid ester and the hydroxyl group in the sn-2 position of glycerol.
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