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Chem Phys Lipids. 2002 Dec 31;121(1-2):159-72.

Endocannabinoids and related fatty acid derivatives in pain modulation.

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  • 1Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Brown University, 89 Waterman Street, PO Box 1853, Providence, RI 02912, USA. j_walker@brown.edu


The brain produces at least five compounds that possess sub-micromolar affinity for cannabinoid receptors: anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, noladin ether, virodhamine, and N-arachidonoyldopamine (NADA). One function of these and/or related compounds is to suppress pain sensitivity. Much evidence supports a role of endocannabinoids in pain modulation in general, and some evidence points to the role of particular endocannabinoids. Related endogenous fatty acid derivatives such as oleamide, palmitoylethanolamide, 2-lineoylglycerol, 2-palmitoylglycerol, and a family of arachidonoyl amino acids may interact with endocannabinoids in the modulation of pain sensitivity.

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