Doped Skin18 July 1998
NATURAL compounds that are found in skin but related to the active ingredient in marijuana may help to filter pain.
Daniele Piomelli and his colleagues at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego have found that two cannabinoids, anandamide and PEA, become concentrated in the skin near injuries. They say in this week's Nature (vol 394, p 277) that the two compounds combined have 100 times the painkilling power of morphine.
This suggests that protein receptors for cannabinoids, which had previously only been found in the central nervous system, must exist in the skin as well. Piomelli speculates that the skin's cannabinoid system could help to moderate the pain of injuries and may filter out painful stimuli that are not harmful.
Source: Doped skin - 18 July 1998 - New Scientist