Quick hit: Preventing Pain with Orphan Receptors

Some recent highlights and curiosities from the amazing world of cannabis science and therapeutics.
By Adrian Devitt-Lee On May 13, 2019

Phytocannabinoids consistently confuse scientists because of the multiplicity of their actions. CBD, for example, binds to a handful of neurotransmitter receptors, as well as hormone receptors, ion channels, and a variety of enzymes. Receptors without a known endogenous ligand are called “orphan” receptors. GPR18 is involved in ocular-pressure (and hence glaucoma treatment) as well as cardiovascular function. The receptor named GPR55 is relevant in cancer pathology, and works with the CB2 receptor to regulate immune migration. In a review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, Mexican and Texan scientists describe the modern approach to pain treatment and propose a future role of cannabinoids, GPR18, and GPR55 in preventing pain.

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Adrian Devitt-Lee, Project CBD's chief science writer, is employed as a research chemist by the University College of London.