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Pain Research and Management
Volume 10 (2005), Suppl A, Pages 7A-14A

Preclinical Science Regarding Cannabinoids as Analgesics: An Overview

ME Lynch

Pain Management Unit, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modern pharmacology of cannabinoids began in 1964 with the isolation and partial synthesis of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in herbal cannabis. Since then, potent antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic effects of cannabinoid agonists in animal models of acute and chronic pain; the presence of cannabinoid receptors in pain-processing areas of the brain, spinal cord and periphery; and evidence supporting endogenous modulation of pain systems by cannabinoids has provided support that cannabinoids exhibit significant potential as analgesics. The present article presents an overview of the preclinical science.