Recent evidence has raised in discussion the possibility that cannabidiol can act as a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor. Here we have used computational methods to study the modulation exerted by cannabidiol on the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the cannabinoid receptor type 1 and the possibility of direct receptor blockade. We propose a putative allosteric binding site that is located in the N-terminal region of receptor, partially overlapping the orthosteric binding site. Molecular dynamics simulations reveled a coordinated movement involving the outward rotation of helixes 1 and 2 and subsequent expansion of the orthosteric binding site upon cannabidiol binding. Finally, changes in the cytoplasmic region and high helix 8 mobility were related to impaired receptor internalization. Together, these results offer a possible explanation to how cannabidiol can directly modulate effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the cannabinoid receptor type 1.
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