G-protein coupled opioid receptor that functions as receptor for endogenous alpha-neoendorphins and dynorphins, but has low affinity for beta-endorphins. Also functions as receptor for various synthetic opioids and for the psychoactive diterpene salvinorin A. Ligand binding causes a conformation change that triggers signaling via guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) and modulates the activity of down-stream effectors, such as adenylate cyclase. Signaling leads to the inhibition of adenylate cyclase activity. Inhibits neurotransmitter release by reducing calcium ion currents and increasing potassium ion conductance. Plays a role in the perception of pain. Plays a role in mediating reduced physical activity upon treatment with synthetic opioids. Plays a role in the regulation of salivation in response to synthetic opioids. May play a role in arousal and regulation of autonomic and neuroendocrine functions.