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Created: 9/9/2005



The structure of Nabilone

Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid with antiemetic properties. It is chemically related to tetrahydrocannabinol. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth. Psychotic reactions are common. Its use is only recommended during cancer chemotherapy. An endogenous agonist, anandamide has also been found.

To date, two cannabinoid receptors have been identified, CB1 receptors (cloned in 1990), and CB2 receptors (cloned in 1993). CB1 receptors are found mainly on neurons in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, but are also present in certain peripheral organs and tissues, among them endocrine glands, leukocytes, spleen, heart and parts of the reproductive, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts. CB2 receptors occur principally in immune cells, among them leukocytes, spleen and tonsils. There is some evidence for the existence of one or more additional cannabinoid receptor subtypes (Breivogel et al. 2001, Di Marzo et al. 2000, Pertwee 1999). Activation of the CB1 receptor produces cannabis-like effects on psyche and circulation, while activation of the CB2 receptor does not.


[i] Cannabinoids for control of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting: quantitative systematic review. Tramer MRet al. BMJ 2001; 323(7303): 16-21.

[ii] Evidence for a new G protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor in mouse brain. Mol Pharmacol 2001; 60(1): 155-63. Breivogel CS, Griffin G, Di Marzo V, Martin BR.

[iii] Levels, metabolism, and pharmacological activity of anandamide in CB(1) cannabinoid receptor knockout mice: evidence for non-CB(1), non-CB(2) receptor-mediated actions of anandamide in mouse brain. Di Marzo V, Breivogel CS, Tao Q, Bridgen DT, Razdan RK, Zimmer AM, Zimmer A, Martin BR, J Neurochem 2000; 75(6): 2434-44

[iv] Evidence for the presence of CB1 cannabinoid receptors on peripheral neurones and for the existence of neuronal non-CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Pertwee RG. Life Sci 1999; 65: 597-605

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