Some science behind the scenes

Synthetic cannabinoids

All the following  drugs are intended to be analgesics, theoretically replacing cannabis, which is illegal, by pharmaceutically derived drugs which mimic cannabis which are legal but cost us a lot of money, but make the pharmaceutical companies lots of money.

All the following are CB1 and/or CB2 agonists. Please note that this list is likely to get out of date quite quickly as there is an enormous amount of activity from pharmaceutical companies intending to circumvent the government bans on cannabis to aid in pain relief and mobility enhancement for the truly sick.  I have made no difference between those that have so called ‘psychedelic properties’ and those that are analgesics or mobility enhancers or cancer fighters.

  • A-796,260 is a drug which acts as a CB2 receptor agonist. It is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory “without producing cannabis-like behavioral effects”
  • CP 47,497 - an analgesic used in scientific research. It is a potent CB1 agonist
  • CP 55,244 is an analgesic and potent CB1 full agonist
  •  CP-55,940  - mimics the effects of naturally occurring THC.   It was created by Pfizer in 1974 but was never marketed. CP 55,940 is “45 times more potent than Δ9-THC”! It is an agonist at both CB1 and CB2 receptors
  • Dimethylheptylpyran (1,2-dimethylheptyl-Δ3THC, DMHP, A-40824, EA-1476) is a synthetic analogue of THC, which was invented in 1949 during attempts to elucidate the structure of Δ9-THC,.  It is a pale yellow, viscous oil which is insoluble in water, but dissolves in alcohol or non-polar solvents.  It is similar in structure to THC and produces similar activity to THC, such as sedative effects, but is considerably more potent, especially having much stronger analgesic and anticonvulsant effects but with comparatively weaker psychological effects. It is thought to act as a CB1 agonist
  •  Dronabinol  - is a synthetic form of delta-9-THC, the primary active ingredient in Cannabis. It is prescribed as an appetite stimulant and for treating neuropathic pain.  This is a schedule III substance in the USA.  Dronabinol is the International Nonproprietary Name (INN) for a pure isomer of THC,  that is, the main isomer in cannabis. It is sold as Marinol [11] (a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals). Dronabinol is also marketed, sold, and distributed by PAR Pharmaceutical Companies under the terms of a license and distribution agreement with SVC pharma LP, an affiliate of Rhodes Technologies.
  • HHC - 9-nor-9β-Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol is a synthetic cannabinoid derivative which resulted from early modifications to the structure of THC, in a search for the simplest compound that could still fulfil the binding requirements to produce cannabis-like activity.
  • HU-210 is a synthetic cannabinoid , it is “ is 100 to 800 times more potent than natural THC from cannabis and has an extended duration of action”.
  •  HU-331  - is an anticarcinogenic drug synthesized from cannabidiol, a cannabinoid in the Cannabis sativa plant.
  •  JWH-018  - is an analgesic that acts as a full agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, with some selectivity for CB2,   It produces effects very similar to cannabis but is considerably more potent.  It was discovered by Dr. John W. Huffman at Clemson University. It is being increasingly sold in legal smoke blends collectively known as "spice". Several countries and states have moved to ban it legally.  The vast majority of EROWIDs numerous reports on use of Cannabinoid agonists are for this drug and some of them do not make pleasant reading.
  • JWH-073 is an analgesic chemical which acts as a partial agonist at both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors
  • JWH-133 is a potent selective CB2 receptor agonist , being developed for anti-inflammatory action and possible cancer relief
  • JWH-200 (WIN 55,225) is an analgesic binding at the CB1 receptor
  • JWH-250 or (1-pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole) is an analgesic which acts on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.  Samples of JWH-250 were first identified in May 2009 by the German Federal Criminal Police, as an ingredient in new generation "herbal smoking blends"
  •  Levonantradol (Nantrodolum)  - (CP 50,556-1) is a synthetic cannabinoid analog of dronabinol (Marinol) developed by Pfizer in the 1980s. It is around 30x more potent than THC, and exhibits antiemetic and analgesic effects via activation of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.   Levonantradol is not currently used in medicine as dronabinol or nabilone are felt to be more useful for most conditions, however it is widely used in research into the potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids
  • Nabilone (Cesamet), a synthetic cannabinoid and an analog of Marinol. It is Schedule II unlike Marinol.  Nothing on EROWID
  • Sativex – is a cannabinoid extract oral spray containing THC, cannabidiol and other cannabinoids.  It was developed by a UK company for multiple sclerosis patients. Sativex is also being prescribed to alleviate pain due to cancer and has been researched in various models of peripheral and central neuropathic pain. Sativex is somewhat different  from other pharmaceutically produced cannabinoids, because it is derived from botanical material, rather than a synthetic process. It has the advantage however that it is standardised in composition, formulation, and dose.
  • WIN 55,212-2 is a chemical described as an aminoalkylindole derivative, that produces effects similar to those of cannabinoid derivatives such as THC but has an entirely different chemical structure.  It is being developed as an analgesic and anti-inflamatory action .  It “has higher affinity than THC for the CB1 receptor”