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Therapeutic Potential of Natural Psychoactive Drugs for Central Nervous System Disorders: A Perspective from Polypharmacology

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 1 ]


Genís Oña and José Carlos Bouso*   Pages 53 - 68 ( 16 )


In the drug development, the formation of highly selective ligands has been unsuccessful in the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Multi-target ligands, from the polypharmacology paradigm, are being proposed as treatments for these complex disorders, since they offer enhanced efficacy and a strong safety profile. Natural products are the best examples of multi-target compounds, so they are of high interest within this paradigm. Additionally, recent research on psychoactive drugs of natural origin, such as ayahuasca and cannabis, has demonstrated the promising therapeutic potential for the treatment of some psychiatric and neurological disorders. In this text, we describe how research on psychoactive drugs can be effectively combined with the polypharmacology paradigm, providing ayahuasca and cannabis research as examples. The advantages and disadvantages are also discussed.


Polypharmacology, multi-target, psychoactive, ayahuasca, cannabis, plant, therapeutic.


International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS), Barcelona, International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS), Barcelona

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