The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is an inhibitory G protein-coupled receptor abundantly expressed in the central nervous system. It has rich pharmacology and largely accounts for the recreational use of cannabis. We describe efficient asymmetric syntheses of four photoswitchable 9-tetrahydrocannabinol derivatives (azo-THCs) from a central building block 3-Br-THC. Using electrophysiology and a FRET-based cAMP assay, two compounds are identified as potent CB1 agonists that change their effect upon illumination. As such, azo-THCs enable CB1-mediated optical control of inwardly rectifying potassium channels, as well as adenylyl cyclase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry