Cannabinoid receptors (version 2019.4) in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database

  • Mary Abood Temple University
  • Stephen P.H. Alexander University of Nottingham
  • Francis Barth Sanofi Synthelabo Recherche
  • Tom I. Bonner National Institute of Mental Health
  • Heather Bradshaw Indiana University
  • Guy Cabral Medical College of Virginia
  • Pierre Casellas Université de Montpellier
  • Ben F. Cravatt Scripps Research Institute
  • William A. Devane Medical College of Virginia
  • Vincenzo Di Marzo CNR Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry
  • Maurice R. Elphick Queen Mary University of London
  • Christian C. Felder Lilly Research Laboratories
  • Peter Greasley AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal
  • Miles Herkenham National Institute of Mental Health
  • Allyn C. Howlett North Carolina Central University
  • George Kunos National Institutes of Health
  • Ken Mackie University of Washington
  • Raphael Mechoulam Hebrew University
  • Roger G. Pertwee University of Aberdeen
  • Ruth A. Ross University of Toronto


Cannabinoid receptors (nomenclature as agreed by the NC-IUPHAR Subcommittee on Cannabinoid Receptors [107]) are activated by endogenous ligands that include N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), N-homo-γ-linolenoylethanolamine, N-docosatetra-7,10,13,16-enoylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Potency determinations of endogenous agonists at these receptors are complicated by the possibility of differential susceptibility of endogenous ligands to enzymatic conversion [4].

There are currently three licenced cannabinoid medicines each of which contains a compound that can activate CB1 and CB2 receptors [104]. Two of these medicines were developed to suppress nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy. These are nabilone (Cesamet®), a synthetic CB1/CB2 receptor agonist, and synthetic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Marinol®; dronabinol), which can also be used as an appetite stimulant. The third medicine, Sativex®, contains mainly Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, both extracted from cannabis, and is used to treat multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.
How to Cite
Abood, M., Alexander, S. P., Barth, F., Bonner, T. I., Bradshaw, H., Cabral, G., Casellas, P., Cravatt, B. F., Devane, W. A., Di Marzo, V., Elphick, M. R., Felder, C. C., Greasley, P., Herkenham, M., Howlett, A. C., Kunos, G., Mackie, K., Mechoulam, R., Pertwee, R. G. and Ross, R. A. (2019) “Cannabinoid receptors (version 2019.4) in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database”, IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology CITE, 2019(4). doi: 10.2218/gtopdb/F13/2019.4.