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Medicinal Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids—a Mini Review


Purpose of Review

This review gives an overview of the medicinal uses of synthetic cannabinoids and other related aspects on the basis of recent as well as earlier studies that the authors considered relevant to the context and scope of the review.

Recent Findings

Synthetic cannabinoids are laboratory synthesized products eliciting effects way more than their natural counterparts. These compounds are more potent in generating intoxicating effects and are also difficult to be detected in conventional screening tests. Their clinical side effects are also more pronounced than natural cannabinoids, and their antidotes are also not known. However, they are also therapeutically found to be very effective in many health conditions, as these act by interacting with almost ubiquitously distributed cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the human body and by other mechanisms also that do not involve these receptors.


All the issues related to their appropriate dosage, mode of action, acute and chronic effects in vivo, interaction with other drugs, their metabolism, etc. need much research to be done so that it will be easier to predict their different aspects in human subjects in more appropriate way. Further, development of strict legislation and regulation is required to be done so that their abuse can be curbed, and toxic effects can be reduced, but medicinal benefits and usage can be enhanced.

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Correspondence to Bharath Kumar Velmurugan.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Chemical and Molecular Toxicology

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Muralidhar Reddy, P., Maurya, N. & Velmurugan, B.K. Medicinal Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids—a Mini Review. Curr Pharmacol Rep 5, 1–13 (2019).

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  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Medicinal uses