Recent advances in the metabolism of cannabinoids

Ikuo Yamamoto, Kazuhito Watanabe, Shizuo Narimatsu, Hidetoshi Yoshimura

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This review describes recent advances in the metabolism of cannabinoids. Cannabidiol was metabolized to cannabielsoin, 6β-hydroxymethyl-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and an oxepine derivative through epoxide intermediates by hepatic microsomal enzymes containing cytochrome P450 of animals. Cannabidiol inactivated cytochrome P450 UT-2 (CYP2C11) in male rats and a member of 3A subfamily in mouse liver. These inactivations may be very important because serious drug-drug interactions will occur in the case that cannabidiol is co-administered with drugs which are metabolized mainly by the enzyme system containing these P450 isozymes. A member of cytochrome P450 belonging to 2C subfamily was the major isozymes responsible for the cannabinoid metabolism in many experimental animals and that of 3A subfamily made some contribution to the metabolism of cannabinoids by human hepatic microsomes. Microsomal aldehyde oxygenase, a particular isozyme of cytochrome P450 catalyzing the oxidation of 11-oxo-tetrahydrocannabinol to tetrahydrocannabinol-11-oic acid, was found for the first time by the authors. Cytochrome P450 MUT-2 (CYP2C29) is the major isozyme responsible for the microsomal aldehyde oxygenase activity in mouse hepatic microsomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995


  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabinoid
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Metabolism
  • Microsomal aldehyde oxygenase
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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