The name “Cannabinoid” applies to a large and diverse family of compounds including plant derived, synthetic and endogenously produced chemicals, some but not all of which are psychotropic. Cannabinoids of all classes have the ability to protect neurons from a variety of insults that are believed to underlie delayed neuronal death after traumatic brain injury (TBI), including excitotoxicity, calcium influx, free radical formation and neuroinflammation. The pathways and experimental models supporting a neuroprotective role for the various classes of cannabinoids are critically reviewed vis a vis their potential to support the development of a clinically viable neuroprotective agent for human TBI.
Keywords: head injury, cannabimimetics, marihuana products, endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, antioxidants
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