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Cannabinoids and GI Disorders: Endogenous and Exogenous

Opinion Statement

Despite the political and social controversy affiliated with it, the medical community must come to the realization that cannabinoids exist as a ubiquitous signaling system in many organ systems. Our understanding of cannabinoids and how they relate not only to homeostasis but also in disease states must be furthered through research, both clinically and in the laboratory. The identification of the cannabinoid receptors in the early 1990s have provided us with the perfect target of translational research. Already, much has been done with cannabinoids and the nervous system. Here, we explore the implications it has for the gastrointestinal tract. Most therapeutics currently on the market presently target only one aspect of the cannabinoid system. Our main purpose here is to highlight areas of research and potential avenues of discovery that the cannabinoid system has yet to reveal.

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References and Recommended Reading

Papers of Particular Interest, Published recently, Have Been Highlighted as: • Of importance; •• Of major importance

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Catherine Gibbs for her help in researching several aspects of this review.

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Correspondence to Ron Schey M.D., FACG.

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Zachary Wilmer Reichenbach and Ron Schey declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Motility

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Reichenbach, Z.W., Schey, R. Cannabinoids and GI Disorders: Endogenous and Exogenous. Curr Treat Options Gastro 14, 461–477 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11938-016-0111-1

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Keywords

  • Cannabinoids
  • CB1 receptor
  • CB2 receptor
  • GPR55
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • GI motility
  • Visceral hypersensitivity