The evolution of cannabinoid receptors in cancer

Cannabis sativa (cannabis) has been used as a therapeutic treatment for centuries treating various diseases and disorders. However, racial propaganda led to the criminalization of cannabis in the 1930s preventing opportunities to explore marijuana in therapeutic development. The increase in recreational use of cannabis further grew concern about abuse, and lead to further restrictions and distribution of cannabis in the 1970s when it was declared to be a Schedule I drug in the USA. In the late 1990s in some states, legislation assisted in legalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes under physician supervision. As it has been proven that cannabinoids and their receptors play an essential role in the regulation of the physiological and biological processes in our bodies. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the complex that regulates the cell-signaling system consisting of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of the endocannabinoids. The ECS along with phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids serves to be a beneficial therapeutic target in treating diseases as they play roles in cell homeostasis, cell motility, inflammation, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis and even restore homeostasis in a variety of models of cancer in vitro and in vivo. Cannabis and its receptors have evolved into a therapeutic treatment for cancers. This article is categorized under: Cancer > Molecular and Cellular Physiology.


Keywords:

antitumor effects; cannabinoids; legislation; therapeutic.

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