The cannabinoid system and immune modulation

Studies on the effects of marijuana smoking have evolved into the discovery and description of the endocannabinoid system. To date, this system is composed of two receptors, CB1 and CB2, and endogenous ligands including anandamide, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, and others. CB1 receptors and ligands are found in the brain as well as immune and other peripheral tissues. It appears the immunocannabinoid system is involved in regulating the brain-immune axis and might be exploited in future therapies for chronic diseases and immune deficiency.

Cannabinoids: mechanisms and therapeutic applications in the CNS

Cannabinoids comprise three classes of compounds, the active components of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), as well as endogenous and synthetic derivatives. To date, two distinct cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have been discovered, but evidence for further receptor types has been brought forward. The potential use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes has long been known, but the mechanisms of action of both exogenously applied and endogenous cannabinoids are only partly established. For nervous system disorders, cannabinoids may be useful by modulating neurotransmission and calcium homeostasis as well as by anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant actions.

Review: The Role of Cannabinoids on Esophageal Function-What We Know Thus Far

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) primarily consists of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), endogenous ligands, and enzymes for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and inactivation. Given the varying and sometimes limited efficacy of current medical therapies for diseases of the esophagus, further understanding and investigation into the interplay of the ECS on esophageal health and disease may present new therapeutic modalities that may help advance current treatment options.