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David J Allsop, Richard Kevin & Jonathon Arnold

In: The SAGE Handbook of Drug & Alcohol Studies Volume 2

Chapter 12: Cannabis: The Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Recreational and Medicinal Cannabis

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Cannabis: The Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Recreational and Medicinal Cannabis
Cannabis: The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of recreational and medicinal cannabis
David J AllsopRichard KevinJonathon Arnold
Introduction

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was one of the first active molecules isolated from the cannabis plant (Gaoni and Mechoulam, 1964), and its molecular structure became the template for all similar molecules (cannabinoids) discovered thereafter. Molecules can also be classed as cannabinoids if they have similar behavioural or physiological effects as THC including ‘tetrad’ effects (so named owing to the presence of four distinctive behavioural phenotypes induced by THC) such as motor depression, catalepsy, analgesia and hypothermia (Fride et al., 2006). However, tetrad effects are not a pre-requisite for cannabinoids (e.g. the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) does not ...

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