JWH-051 is an analgesic medication that functions as a cannabinoid agonist. Its chemical structure closely resembles the potent cannabinoid agonist HU-210, with the sole distinction being the absence of the hydroxyl group at position 1 of the aromatic ring. This compound was first identified and named in honor of John W. Huffman.
JWH-051 maintains a high affinity for the CB1 receptor but acts as a significantly more potent agonist for CB2, with a Ki value of 14nM at CB2 compared to 19nM at CB1. It was among the early CB2-selective ligands to be developed, although its selectivity for CB2 is relatively moderate compared to more recent compounds like HU-308.
Its effects are akin to those of other cannabinoid agonists, including sedation and pain relief. Still, it also exhibits a notably robust anti-inflammatory effect owing to its potent activity at CB2.

IUPAC name
PubChem CID9799540
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass370.577 g·mol−1


1. What is JWH-051?

JWH-051 is an analgesic drug that acts as a cannabinoid agonist, affecting specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system.

2. How does JWH-051 work?

JWH-051 binds to and activates cannabinoid receptors, specifically CB1 and CB2 receptors, to produce its effects, which include pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. How is JWH-051 different from other cannabinoid agonists?

JWH-051 has a chemical structure closely related to HU-210 but with a minor modification. It is known for its stronger agonistic activity at the CB2 receptor compared to CB1, giving it potential advantages regarding anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Who discovered JWH-051, and why is it named after John W. Huffman?

JWH-051 was discovered and named after John W. Huffman, a prominent chemist known for researching synthetic cannabinoids.

5. What are the primary effects of JWH-051?

JWH-051 shares common effects with other cannabinoid agonists, including sedation and pain relief. However, it is particularly noteworthy for its potent anti-inflammatory properties attributed to its strong activity at the CB2 receptor.

6. Is JWH-051 widely used in medical treatments?

JWH-051 is not commonly used in medical treatments, and its use has been limited due to regulatory concerns and potential side effects associated with synthetic cannabinoids.

7. What are the potential risks and side effects of JWH-051?

Synthetic cannabinoids like JWH-051 can have unpredictable and potentially harmful effects. Common side effects may include anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, and hallucinations. It is crucial to use caution and consult with a healthcare professional before considering any use.

8. Is JWH-051 legal and available for purchase?

The legal status of synthetic cannabinoids, including JWH-051, varies by jurisdiction. In many places, these substances are controlled or banned due to their potential risks. It is essential to be aware of and comply with local laws and regulations.

9. Can JWH-051 be used for recreational purposes?

While some individuals have used synthetic cannabinoids recreationally, it is not recommended due to the unpredictable and potentially dangerous effects. Furthermore, their legality and safety can be problematic.

10. Are there alternatives to JWH-051 for pain relief and anti-inflammatory purposes?

There are various established medications and treatments available for pain relief and inflammation management. Consult a healthcare professional to explore safe and effective options that are regulated and approved for medical use.


  1. In September 1996, Huffman JW and colleagues conducted groundbreaking research, leading to the synthesis of an exceptionally potent cannabinoid compound without a phenolic hydroxyl group. This compound exhibited a remarkable affinity for the CB2 receptor. Their findings were published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,” Volume 39, Issue 20, pages 3875–3877. [DOI: 10.1021/jm960394y] [PMID: 8831752]
  2. In September 2000, Huffman JW delved into the quest for selective ligands targeting the CB2 receptor. His research, featured in “Current Pharmaceutical Design,” Volume 6, Issue 13, pages 1323–1337, contributed to our understanding of cannabinoid receptor selectivity. [DOI: 10.2174/1381612003399347] [PMID: 10903395]
  3. In 1998, Klein TW, Newton C, and Friedman H explored the intricate relationship between cannabinoid receptors and the cytokine network. This study, part of “Drugs of Abuse, Immunomodulation, and AIDS” in “Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology,” Volume 437, pages 215–222, shed light on the role of cannabinoids in immunomodulation. [DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4615-5347-2_24] [ISBN: 978-0-306-45838-5] [PMID: 9666274]
  4. In November 1997, Griffin G, Fernando SR, Ross RA, and their team presented compelling evidence for the existence of CB2-like cannabinoid receptors on peripheral nerve terminals. Their study, documented in the “European Journal of Pharmacology,” Volume 339, Issue 1, pages 53–61, expanded our knowledge of cannabinoid receptor distribution. [DOI: 10.1016/S0014-2999(97)01336-8] [PMID: 9450616]

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