The endogenous cannabinoid system and brain development

Trends Neurosci. 2000 Jan;23(1):14-20. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(99)01491-5.


Cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands constitute a novel modulatory system that is involved in specific brain functions, such as nociception, control of movement, memory and neuroendocrine regulation. Recently, it has also been suggested that this system is involved in brain development. Studies have used a variety of techniques to elucidate the effects of cannabinoids during development, as well as to characterize the presence of elements of the endogenous cannabinoid system (receptors and ligands) in the developing brain. Collectively, they suggest that endocannabinoids participate in brain development through the activation of second-messenger-coupled cannabinoid receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / drug effects
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Cannabinoids
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase