Raz Razdan published an extensive review on “Structure-Activity Relationships in Cannabinoids” in 1986. Razdan emphasizes that:
“the potential exists for development of novel analgesics from this field, as cannabinoids act at different receptors than the opiates (analgesic action is not antagonized by naloxene), do not have the physical dependence liability and respiratory depression properties of the strong opiates, and are orally active with a long duration of action.”(19)
Certainly, as Razdan wrote before the receptor breakthrough in 1988 – 1993, much more scientific research was required to develop therapeutic, pharmacologically pure drugs from cannabinoids. This does not mean, in the mid-1980’s or in the mid 1990’s, that the pharmacological activity of cannabinoids was unknown to scientists. Razdan, for example, lists seven characteristics of the Structure Activity Relationship of cannabinoids in man(20), and presents extensive tables documenting what was then known about the SAR of cannabinoids in animals.(21)
“Despite the extensive knowledge about the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids, the two most promising therapeutic areas of D9-THC, i.e., antiemetic and antiglaucoma activities, were discovered serendipitiously without any preclinical pharmacology. This emphasizes the importance of early studies in humans and the difficulties encountered in correlating animal activity with activity in man for this class of compounds.”(22)
It is widely recognized and accepted that valid scientific theories and assertions regarding marijuana can be based on general or specific cannabinoid research. In the language of contemporary research, ‘cannabinoids’ has become the precise scientific term for ‘the unique chemicals in marijuana’ and is used as a widely recognized and accepted synonym.