Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Pharmaceutical Sciences


Medicinal Chemistry

Research Advisor

Bob M. Moore, II, Ph.D.


Isaac Donkor, Ph.D. Wei Li, Ph.D. Trevor Sweatman, Ph.D George Wood, Ph.D.


Pursuant to the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors, research in this field has grown exponentially over the last 2 decades. With their utility in various disease states such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and inflammation, cannabinoids stand poised to become a great therapeutic agent. This research seeks to better understand the functional mechanism of cannabinoids, in the hopes of ascertaining which molecular attributes confer desirable selectivity and functional activity.

Looking first at classical benzchromene core analogues, we have shown that presence of an aromatic substitution at C-1' imparts a CB1 agonist, CB2 antagonist. This is a unique mechanism and one of the first examples of an agent with dual affinity and opposing activity.

In the triaryl series of compounds, more insight is gained for the functional pharmacophore of cannabinoids. With this series of compounds we are able to learn that minor changes are able to confer profound differences, such as C-1'-gem-dimethyl derivatives are agonists while C-1' ketones are inverse agonists.

Within these triaryl series, newly synthesized derivatives help to round out the functional pharmacology for these compounds - allowing a more direct comparison to the previously synthesized classical core compounds. In total, a more thorough understanding of the function, which follows form of several cannabinergic compounds, is gained through this exercise and research.




One year embargo expired May 2016