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The Science of Marijuana$
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Leslie Iversen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846848.001.0001

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(p.99) Chapter 4 Endocannabinoids
The Science of Marijuana

Leslie Iversen

Oxford University Press

The endocannabinoids are part of a large family of lipid signaling molecules derived from arachidonic acid, including the prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are important mediators of inflammation. Far less is known about the newer members of the endocannabinoid group, and it remains unclear whether they all play important functional roles. This chapter reviews the multiple members of this family and their biosynthesis and inactivation. Physiological functions, including retrograde synaptic signaling, control of energy metabolism, regulation of pain sensitivity, and cardiovascular control, are discussed. In addition, the chapter reports the synthesis of novel agonists, antagonists, and compounds inhibiting endocannabinoid inactivation as novel medicines.

Keywords:   anandamide, retrograde synaptic signaling, cardiovascular control, cannabinoids, endocannabinoids

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