Endo-cannabinoids system and the toxicity of cannabinoids with a biotechnological approach

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Kamal Niaz
Fazlullah Khan
Faheem Maqbool
Saeideh Momtaz
Fatima Ismail Hassan
Navid Nobakht-Haghighi
Mahban Rahimifard
Mohammad Abdollahi


Cannabinoids have shown diverse and critical effects on the body systems, which alter the physiological functions. Synthetic cannabinoids are comparatively innovative misuse drugs with respect to their nature of synthesis. Synthetic cannabinoids therapy in healthy, chain smokers, and alcoholic individuals cause damage to the immune and nervous system, eventually leading to intoxication throughout the body. Relevant studies were retrieved using major electronic databases such as PubMed, EMBASE, Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar. The extensive use of Cannabis Sativa L. (C. Sativa) and its derivatives/analogues such as the nonpsychoactive dimethyl heptyl homolog (CBG-DMH), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) amongst juveniles and adults have been enhanced in recent years. Cannabinoids play a crucial role in the induction of respiratory, reproductive, immune and carcinogenic effects; however, potential data about mutagenic and developmental effects are still insufficient. The possible toxicity associated with the prolong use of cannabinoids acts as a tumor promoter in animal models and humans. Particular synthetic cannabinoids and analogues have low affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors, while some synthetic members like Δ9-THC have high affinity towards these receptors. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have a direct or indirect association with acute and long-term toxicity. To reduce/attenuate cannabinoids toxicity, pharmaceutical biotechnology and cloning methods have opened a new window to develop cannabinoids encoding the gene tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) synthase. Plant revolution and regeneration hindered genetic engineering in C. Sativa. The genetic culture suspension of C. Sativa can be transmuted by the use of Agrobacterium tumefaciens to overcome its toxicity. The main aim of the present review was to collect evidence of the endo-cannabinoid system (ECS), cannabinoids toxicity, and the potential biotechnological approach of cannabinoids synthesis.

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How to Cite
Niaz, K., Khan, F., Maqbool, F., Momtaz, S., Ismail Hassan, F., Nobakht-Haghighi, N., Rahimifard, M., & Abdollahi, M. (2017). Endo-cannabinoids system and the toxicity of cannabinoids with a biotechnological approach. EXCLI Journal, 16, 688-711. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2017-257
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