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Triphasic blood pressure responses to cannabinoids: do we understand the mechanism

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The cannabinoids comprise three major classes of substances, including compounds derived from the cannabis plant (e.g. Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol and the chemically related substances CP55940 and HU210), endogenously formed (e.g. anandamide) and synthetic compounds (e.g. WIN55212-2). Beyond their psychotropic effects, cannabinoids have complex effects on blood pressure, including biphasic changes of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol and WIN55212-2 and an even triphasic effect of anandamide. The differing pattern of blood pressure changes displayed by the three types of compounds is not really surprising since, although they share an agonistic effect at cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, some compounds have additional effects. In particular, anandamide is known for its pleiotropic effects, and there is overwhelming evidence that anandamide influences blood pressure via (i) CB(1) receptors, (ii) TRPV1 receptors, (iii) endothelial cannabinoid receptors and (iv) degradation products. This review is dedicated to the description of the effects of externally added cannabinoids on cardiovascular parameters in vivo. First, the cardiovascular effects of cannabinoids in anaesthetized animals will be highlighted since most data have been generated in experiments of that type. The text will follow the three phases of anandamide on blood pressure, and we will check to which extent cardiovascular changes elicited by other cannabinoids show overlap with those effects or differ. The second part will be dedicated to the cardiovascular effects of the cannabinoids in conscious animals. In the third part, cardiovascular effects in humans will be discussed, and similarities and differences with respect to the data from animals will be examined.

Source: Pubmed.gov
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