Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and related analogs in inflammation

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology



Document Type



Animals; Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; Arachidonic Acids; Cannabinoids; Cannabis; Disease Models, Animal; Drug Evaluation, Preclinical; Eicosanoids; Endocannabinoids; Fibromyalgia; Glycine; Humans; Inflammation; Mice; Plant Oils; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Rats; Receptors, Cannabinoid; Tetrahydrocannabinol


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


This review covers reports published in the last 5 years on the anti-inflammatory activities of all classes of cannabinoids, including phytocannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, synthetic analogs such as ajulemic acid and nabilone, the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and related compounds, namely, the elmiric acids, and finally, noncannabinoid components of Cannabis that show anti-inflammatory action. It is intended to be an update on the topic of the involvement of cannabinoids in the process of inflammation. A possible mechanism for these actions is suggested involving increased production of eicosanoids that promote the resolution of inflammation. This differentiates these cannabinoids from cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors that suppress the synthesis of eicosanoids that promote the induction of the inflammatory process.

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Citation: AAPS J. 2009 Mar;11(1):109-19. Epub 2009 Feb 6. Link to article on publisher's site

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