Cerebrospinal fluid anandamide levels, cannabis use and psychotic-like symptoms

Br J Psychiatry. 2013 May;202(5):381-2. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.121178. Epub 2013 Apr 11.


Anandamide is a ligand of the endocannabinoid system. Animals show a depletion following repeated Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) administration but the effect of cannabis use on central nervous system levels of endocannabinoids has not been previously examined in humans. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and related lipids were tested in 33 volunteers (20 cannabis users). Lower levels of CSF anandamide and higher levels of 2-AG in serum were observed in frequent compared with infrequent cannabis users. Levels of CSF anandamide were negatively correlated with persisting psychotic symptoms when drug-free. Higher levels of anandamide are associated with a lower risk of psychotic symptoms following cannabis use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arachidonic Acids / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Endocannabinoids / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Female
  • Glycerides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Psychotic Disorders / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Glycerides
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • glyceryl 2-arachidonate
  • anandamide