Assessment of structural commonality between tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide
In order to make further structural comparisons between tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide, substituents at C1 and C3 of the phenolic ring of tetrahydrocannnabinol were altered. In order to examine the alignment of the phenolic hydroxyl of tetrahydrocannnabinol with the hydroxyl group of anandamide, 1-fluoro-1-deoxy-tetrahydrocannnabinol analogs were prepared. These analogs had low affinity for the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and were considerably less potent than tetrahydrocannnabinol in producing pharmacological effects in mice. These results suggest that these two oxygen moieties do not overlap. Additionally, the fact that a fluorine group can only accept hydrogen bonds suggest that the phenolic oxygen at the C1 position of tetrahydrocannnabinol donates electrons for hydrogen bonding rather than the hydrogen of the hydroxyl group interacting with the receptor. Additionally, substitution of a fluorine for the hydroxyl group at C1 led to analogs with higher affinity for CB2 than CB1 cannabinoid receptors, thereby underscoring a fundamental difference in the binding properties of these two receptor subtypes.