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Br J Pharmacol. 2019 Aug 1. doi: 10.1111/bph.14815. [Epub ahead of print]

Cannabichromene is a cannabinoid CB2 receptor agonist.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
2
Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the most abundant phytocannabinoids in Cannabis spp. It has modest anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects and potentiates some effects of Δ9 - tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in vivo. How CBC exerts these effects is poorly defined and there is little information about its efficacy at cannabinoid receptors. We sought to determine the functional activity of CBC at CB1 and CB2 receptors.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

AtT20 cells stably expressing HA-tagged human CB1 and CB2 receptors were used. Assays of cellular membrane potential and loss of cell surface receptors were performed.

KEY RESULTS:

CBC activated CB2 but not CB1 receptors to produce a hyperpolarization of AtT20 cells. This activation was inhibited by a CB2 antagonist AM630, and sensitive to pertussis toxin. Application of CBC reduced activation of CB2 receptors (but not CB1 receptors) by subsequent co-application of CP55,940, an efficacious CB1 and CB2 agonist. Continuous CBC application induced loss of cell surface CB2 receptors and desensitisation of the CB2-induced hyperpolarization.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

CBC is a selective CB2 receptor agonist displaying higher efficacy than THC in hyperpolarising AtT20 cells. CBC can also recruit CB2 receptor regulatory mechanisms. CBC may contribute to the potential therapeutic effectiveness of some cannabis preparations, potentially through CB2-mediated modulation of inflammation.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabichromene; cannabinoids; desensitisation; phytocannabinoid; surface receptor internalisation

PMID:
31368508
DOI:
10.1111/bph.14815

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