Handbook of Cannabis

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book provides a multifaceted account of cannabis, a plant that is used widely both recreationally and as a medicine, as it has been over many centuries. Thus, it presents a brief account of the pharmacological history of cannabis and describes the cultivation and genotypic variability of this plant, the national and international regulation of cannabis and its many “cannabinoid” constituents, and the chemical structures and known pharmacological properties of some of these constituents, as well as their pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and forensic detection. In addition, it considers the benefits and risks to patients of taking cannabis-derived “phytocannabinoids” and synthetic cannabinoids that have already emerged as licensed medicines, describes pharmacological actions and effects that seem to underlie the approved therapeutic uses of these cannabinoids, and identifies an ever growing number of new wide-ranging potential clinical applications for phytocannabinoids. Also discussed in this book are the sought-after and adverse effects of cannabis when it is used as a recreational drug, how these adverse effects might be minimized, and the existence in certain countries of “coffee shops” or dispensaries from which cannabis can be purchased “legally” either for recreational use or for self-medication. The final chapter describes the emergence as recreational drugs of synthetic cannabinoids, considers whether these “designer drugs” are more harmful than cannabis, discusses the limitations of their current legal control, and describes their forensic detection.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
ISBN (Print)9780199662685
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • cannabis
  • cannabinoids
  • genotypes
  • phytocannabinoids
  • tetrahydrocannabinol
  • cannabidiol
  • cannabis-based medicines
  • coffee shops
  • medical marijuana
  • designer drugs


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