Review Article

An Agathokakological Tale of Δ9-THC: Exploration of Possible Biological Targets

Author(s): Bijo Mathew*, Seetha Harilal, Arafa Musa, Rajesh Kumar, Della Grace Thomas Parambi, Jobin Jose, Md. Sahab Uddin, Muhammad Ajmal Shah, Tapan Behl and Mazhuvancherry Kesavan Unnikrishnan

Volume 22, Issue 7, 2021

Published on: 01 October, 2020

Page: [823 - 834] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1389450121666201001123515

Price: $65


Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the active phytocannabinoid in cannabis, is virtually an adjunct to the endogenous endocannabinoid signaling system. By interacting with G-proteincoupled receptors CB1 and CB2, Δ9-THC affects peripheral and central circulation by lowering sympathetic activity, altering gene expression, cell proliferation, and differentiation, decreasing leukocyte migration, modulating neurotransmitter release, thereby modulating cardiovascular functioning, tumorigenesis, immune responses, behavioral and locomotory activities. Δ9-THC effectively suppresses chemotherapy-induced vomiting, retards malignant tumor growth, inhibits metastasis, and promotes apoptosis. Other mechanisms involved are targeting cell cycle at the G2-M phase in human breast cancer, downregulation of E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) in human glioblastoma multiforme, and stimulation of ER stress-induced autophagy. Δ9-THC also plays a role in ameliorating neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, neuroplasticity, trauma, and stroke and is associated with reliving childhood epilepsy, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases. Δ9-THC via CB1 receptors affects nociception, emotion, memory, and reduces neuronal excitability and excitotoxicity in epilepsy. It also increases renal blood flow, reduces intraocular pressure via a sympathetic pathway, and modulates hormonal release, thereby decreasing the reproductive function and increasing glucose metabolism. Versatile medical marijuana has stimulated abundant research demonstrating substantial therapeutic promise, suggesting the possibilities of first-in-class drugs in diverse therapeutic segments. This review represents the current pharmacological status of the phytocannabinoid, Δ9-THC, and synthetic analogs in cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Keywords: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinol, epilepsy, atherogenesis, neuroinflammation, neurodegenerative diseases.

Graphical Abstract
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